B-to-B Insights: Marketing Mythbusting
Based on company size, for instance, there is the SOHO market (small office/home office), SMB (small to medium size business), and Fortune 500 (large corporations), each with different needs and characteristics.
The SOHO customer, for example, is spending the buyer’s own money, and shares many characteristics with the consumer segment. The Fortune 500 buyer is locked into a rigid corporate hierarchy and requires buy-in from multiple parties before placing an order. A smaller SMB acts more like a SOHO and a larger more like a big corporate buyer.
Myth No. 6: Whitepapers are old hat. Many marketers share with me their opinion that whitepapers are overused and, therefore, much less effective today than a couple of years ago.
That may be. The more pervasive a marketing technique, the more difficult it is to get yours noticed. Years ago, video cassettes were a hot marketing tool until too many marketers jumped on the bandwagon; then their effectiveness cooled off.
Despite the flood of whitepapers in the market, they can still work well when integrated into a B-to-B marketing campaign. And although there may be a lot of whitepapers out there, the more specific you make yours, the fewer competitors there will be.
Also, we’re hearing how marketing with content is the new mega-trend. Given that whitepapers are content, they would seem the perfect marketing communication for today’s content-based marketing world.
Myth No. 7: Talk only about benefits, not features. I can’t count how many times I’ve read an article or heard a talk by a marketing expert who proclaimed, “Use benefits, not features.”
But this is patently absurd. To make your copy effective, you need both features and benefits. The benefits are what prospects want and the features are what convince them your product can deliver those benefits.
An ad for IntraLinks in an issue of KM World reads: “Now, IntraLinks Connect gives you the enterprise-strength, cloud-based collaboration platform to confidently share content with partners anywhere outside the corporate firewall, while controlling your content everywhere.” The benefit is securely sharing content with partners; the feature is the cloud-based collaboration platform.
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.