B-to-B Insights: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe ...
Today, B-to-B marketers are faced with a bewildering variety of choices when it comes to choosing how they will communicate with prospects. Let's look at the options and how you can select a medium that's appropriate for your product and your audience.
• Space Ads: Although print advertising has fallen out of favor, it can still be effective, especially when targeted to niche audiences. So, should B-to-B marketers consider advertising in magazines?
Let's say you're a marketer selling valves and your target audience is chemical engineers. There are at least two major trade publications serving that field, Chemical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Progress. Most chemical engineers read at least one of these two publications, so a space ad running in both would make sense.
One guideline to remember: If a target market has its own trade publication, that's probably a cost-efficient and effective way to reach the audience you desire. So trade publication advertising is a medium worth testing. Start with a quarter-page ad, and if it works, scale up to a half or a full-page advertisement.
On the other hand, what if you wanted to advertise valves for sulfuric acid plants? Only a small fraction of the readers of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Progress work in sulfuric acid plants, so advertising in those publications would give you a huge amount of wasted circulation because most people who would read the ad are not prospects.
What's the solution? See if either publication can identify subscribers by the type of plant or operation they work in. If the magazine(s) will rent you a list of subscribers working at sulfuric acid plants, you can reach them through direct mail.
• Direct Mail: Should the mailing be plain and simple or expensive and elaborate? That depends on how many names are on the list. The guidelines here are as follows: 1) the higher up the prospect is on the corporate ladder, the more impactful the mailer has to be; and 2) the smaller the target market, the more you can afford to spend on each mail piece.
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.