B-to-B Insights: Marketing Mythbusting
But if there is no difference between B-to-B and B-to-C marketing, why are there webinars, books, conferences, advertising agencies, consultants and publications focused specifically on B-to-B—and an audience that consumes them eagerly?
B-to-B is different from B-to-C in several ways. To begin, most B-to-B buying decisions are considered purchases, while many consumer purchases are impulse buys. In addition, most business buying decisions are made by committee, while most consumer purchases are an individual’s decision. Also, consumer selling is usually a single-step process, while the sales cycle for B-to-B is often a multi-step process.
Myth No. 3: Direct mail is dead. According to the Winterberry Group, in 2010 marketers increased spending on direct mail by 3.1 percent to $45.2 billion. In the 2011 Power of Direct Report, the Direct Marketing Association reported that spending in direct marketing overall grew at a 5.6 percent rate to $163 billion in 2011, generating nearly $2 trillion in sales. The ROI for direct marketing is $12 of sales per dollar of advertising expense, vs. $5.24 for general advertising. So, the idea that direct mail and traditional direct marketing are out of style, obsolete or ineffective simply isn’t supported by the facts.
Myth No. 4: QR Codes are the new 800 numbers. QR Codes are the latest new thing and cool-looking, and so the rush is on to incorporate them into every reply device on the planet. The only problem is, millions of Americans, including me, don’t use smartphones: Half of all mobile device users in the U.S. do not own a smartphone. Many more prospects can respond to an 800 number; 234 million people age 13 and up have mobile devices in the U.S.
Myth No. 5: B-to-B is one homogenous market. People refer to B-to-B as if it’s a single market. The truth is there are many subsegments within the B-to-B market.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.