B-to-B Insights: True or False
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what works in B-to-B marketing—much of it spread by highly paid consultants with new technology or channels to hype and axes to grind.
With that in mind, here are five myths about B-to-B marketing today and the reality about each.
1. The myth: The Web has made print obsolete.
The reality: Many people still prefer to read words on paper instead of on a screen, and many marketers are still heavy users of catalogs, brochures and other print collateral.
“We still market our various niche services with brochures,” says Norman Freeman, president of Associated Global Systems. “Since we have been around for 50 years, we tend to favor print. Young professionals may agree, however, that print is not now needed if the information is available online.”
“I don’t believe print media will die,” says B-to-B copywriter and consultant Joan Damico. “Instead, it has been downsized to serve as a complement to electronic media.”
“There’s also been a shift as to who’s doing the printing,” Damico continues. “The consumer is doing a larger share of the printing from the PDF files [he] download[s] from your Web site. It’s still easier for many people to print and then read and annotate later than it is to boot up a laptop and do the same electronically. But that will change, too, as more print pieces are designed for mobile electronic devices, such as PDAs and cell phones.”
2. The myth: Social networks are the most important and most widely used B-to-B marketing tools of our time and have overtaken Web sites in importance.
The reality: Millions of people have embraced social networks—and millions of others don’t use them at all.
Yes, social networking—along with mobile marketing and search engine optimization—is clearly one of the “hot” marketing methods, gaining a disproportionate share of media attention. But the truth is that many of your customers don’t participate in these social sites and have to be reached through conventional Web sites and other traditional B-to-B marketing methods.
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.