B-to-B Insights: Survey Says ...
At my request, Editor-in-Chief Hallie Mummert conducted an online survey of Target Marketing's readership. The goal: find out what the best practices are in B-to-B marketing today.
To begin with, 94 percent of respondents are involved with B-to-B marketing. Fifty-three percent do B-to-B only, while 41 percent do a mix of B-to-B and B-to-C.
Let's take a look at the rest of the survey findings.
Brochures Are Not Dead
New media pundits like to observe that print is dead in general; and, in particular, brochures are an antiquated marketing medium. But nine out of 10 Target Marketing (TM) readers who responded use brochures in some form. Seventy-three percent still have traditional printed brochures for their products and services. Eleven percent use white papers instead of brochures to communicate product information. Six percent have brochures available for download only, but these are not print documents. Only one in 10 respondents agreed with the statement, "Brochures are old hat and we don't produce them much anymore."
What this means is that, more than likely, your competitors have sales brochures. These brochures are used in inquiry fulfillment and by salespeople. Without a solid brochure for your company, product or service, you are at a disadvantage in your inquiry fulfillment and sales efforts.
Blogs Do Not Rule
Wherever you turn, you read another story about the increasing influence of blogs in our society. Yet in B-to-B marketing, blogs are underused.
According to this survey, less than one in three B-to-B companies sponsor official corporate blogs that the marketing department or other areas are responsible for. Only 8 percent say employees who have their own blogs may blog on company time.
A hefty 57 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "We don't operate company blogs or worry much about blogs in our marketing." Only 16 percent of PR departments targeted important blogs with special public relations efforts. And 18 percent of marketers surveyed said they monitor other people's blogs to see what is said about them and respond accordingly to correct erroneous information and misperceptions.
According to this admittedly limited survey (there were 131 respondents), most B-to-B marketers don't view blogs as being terribly significant in the scheme of things. That's surprising, given all the hoopla about blogs in the business press.
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.