October 16th, 2008 by Bob Bly
LT, a veteran B2B marketer, took me to task in an e-mail he sent me, in which he disagreed with my claim that many consumer marketing techniques can be profitably applied to B2B selling.
According to LT, good B2B copy meets the following criteria:
1–It is completely fact-based — full of numbers, statistics, graphs, tables, charts, data, specs,and whatever other technical content the prospect needs to make a correction buying decision.
2–It appeals to logic and rational decision-making. Business prospects are professionals, and to pander to them with emotional consumer appeals insults their intelligence.
3–It is short … as short as possible. Business prospects are busy and have too much to read. The less there is to read in your copy, the greater your response rates will be. Long copy in B2B gets tossed in the trash.
4–The style should be “professional,” not the “conversational” style we advocate for consumer direct response. “These are eduated people and you must talk to them on their own level, which is high,” says LT.
5–You should liberally and deliberately use jargon. The prospects use it, and you want to speak their language, not yours.
In your experience, is LT right? Is brevity, directness, jargon, and heavy technical content the best way to sell to the B2B market?
Or do the same appeals that work so well in consumer direct response — e.g., curiosity, flattery, fear, greed, guilt, exclusivity, human emotion, and a me-to-you conversational style — also boost response in B2B?
What say you?
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