B-to-B Insights: What Are We Doing Here? (Part Two)
In my June 2007 column—before taking a break to unload my summer reading list—I started to talk about the aspects of B-to-B direct marketing that appeal to me. Since the folks here at Target Marketing sensibly allow me only a finite number of column inches each month, I didn’t get that far in Part One. So I’m back with more of what I love about this business. And if you’re still reading along with me at the end, then I guess you love it, too.
I Think My Roots Are Showing
I come from a family of physicians. So it’s no surprise that the science of testing and measurement, which are the underpinnings of direct marketing, are so interesting to me. But it’s the social science of understanding human behavior and the psychology of motivating individuals to respond in specific ways that really get my juices flowing.
In our society of overworked, overcommitted people, getting anybody to pay attention to a direct marketing message—let alone respond to it—is a hugely difficult task. That, of course, is why we get paid: We are able to apply psychology to direct marketing. Put another way, we understand that “a successful direct marketing offer” and “an honest bribe” are, in fact, synonyms.
The quid pro quo between marketer and consumer basically boils down to the following promise:
Hey, Ms. B-to-B buyer! If you want exclusive, valuable, new information that could help your company make more money and save time, while making you look smart and just possibly helping you advance your career—for free—then you’re going to have to respond by telling us who you are and why you’re responding.
In a nutshell, that is the basic offer proposition of B-to-B marketing. All we have to do is execute it. What makes doing this so much fun is the cornucopia of enticing, motivating options we have at our disposal. But before I share some of the things that work, let’s review the basic motivators for B-to-B buyers.