B-to-B Insights: The Power of Proof
4. Visualization. When prospects can see how something works, they are more inclined to believe that it does work. The mist eliminator company described above also made trays that enhanced efficiency in distillation towers. Part of what takes place is the liquid rises through capped holes in the tray and bubbles on its surface.
Normally, distillation towers are made from brick or metal, so you cannot see the trays operate. For their trade show booth, the company made a simple model of a distillation tower out of Plexiglas so process engineers visiting the booth could see the bubbling action.
Gore-Tex manufactures (among other things) a putty-like sealant that is used to prevent leakage in piping connections. The front cover of its sales brochure showed a picture of a pipe flange. Attached to the flange was an actual sample of the Gore-Tex sealant. Not only could prospects visualize how to apply it properly, they could also remove it from the brochure to touch, feel and manipulate.
5. Dramatization. Years ago, to promote sales of its disaster recovery systems and services, U.S. West mailed an audio cassette to telecommunications managers. When recipients played the cassette, they heard the background noise of a busy telecom center. Then suddenly, the CD went blank and the noise disappeared. A voice-over narrator said, "This is the sound of a telecommunications disaster waiting to happen." They dramatized the danger in a meaningful way without actually cutting off the prospect's telecom system.
6. Description. A manufacturer of digital switches for wireless networks wanted to convince telecom managers that their switch was highly reliable. Here is what the manufacturer wrote in its product brochure: "The XYZ Switch is one of the most reliable digital switches available for wireless systems today. According to the FCC's ARMIS report, the XYZ switch has the least down-time of any switch used in U.S. networks, exceeding Bellcore's reliability standards by 200%. With an installed base of more than 2,300 switches, the XYZ switch currently serves over 72 million lines in 49 countries."
7. Demonstration. We know from all those direct response TV advertisers for cleaning products that demonstrations work. And they work in B-to-B, too.
My favorite ad of all time was from a company manufacturing a fireproofing compound. The ad was printed on paper treated with the compound, bound into the magazine, and had a coupon for requesting a brochure. The headline of the ad was, "Try Burning This Coupon!" The coupon told the reader to remove the ad from the magazine, and hold a lighted match to it. The paper burned as long as the match was there. But when the match was removed, the flame went out.yy
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 75 books, including "The White Paper Marketing Handbook" (Racom). He can be reached at (201) 505-9451, firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.bly.com.
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.