What’s Working in B2B Marketing?

When I got my first job in business-to-business marketing in 1979, the most important marcom tools were, in this order:

A. Product brochures.
B. Corporate capabilities brochure.
C. Product data sheets.
D. Bylined articles in trade journals.
E. Application briefs.
F. Case studies.
G. Ads in trade journals.
H. Trade show exhibits.

Today, A and B seem to have vanished, but C through F still exist — if not in print than at least online. G and H also exist, but seem diminished in importance and effectiveness.

If I were to attempt to compile a list of the most effective B2B marketing communications today, it might look something like this:

A. Company Web site.
B. Search engine optimization.
C. Online ads.
D. White papers.

Would you modify my list above? What am I missing? What REALLY works like gangbusters in your B2B marketing today?

Share

32 thoughts on “What’s Working in B2B Marketing?

  • Having started a new endeavor, search has been most productive at getting folks to my site. There, they download my white paper more than anything else. So, I’d vote for those to marketing strategies.

  • One of my clients, a company selling technical products for industry, is having good results from a quarterly newsletter that we produce in hard copy, in HTML version and post on their site. It gets mailed to key customers & prospects and is one of a few “leave-behind” items the sales people use. It has raised company morale and increased interest in the company by prospects. I believe that a variety of well-crafted materials is still needed to raise and keep a corporate profile. I don’t believe in one quick easy fix.

  • In B2B, direct mail is still the king of prospecting. I would look at on-line ads only if my audience was difficult to profile precisely or too large to reach by mail.

    Email has emerged as the choice for conversion, retention and reactivation.

    Search engine optimization make sense in most cases, but if you market to a very small audience, it wouldn’t be my highest priority.

    White papers make sense as do articles and speaking engagements.

    Bob McCarthy
    McCarthy & King Marketing

  • A, B, C & D above make sense but it really depends on the product and the market you’re selling into. One client for instance has a product that works in a new way compared to its competition. The product has to be demonstrated at trade shows for the prospects to understand the benefits and ease of use. Case studies and corporate capabilities brochures are most effective for a client selling highly specialized chemicals and services. Product brochures and data sheets worked well for a client selling a line extension for an established brand into supermarket chains.

  • Here are my additions to the list:

    — Lead gen letters (old-fashioned, but they work very well)
    — Case studies
    — Email (to an in-house opt-in list)
    — Podcasts
    — Webinars
    — Articles (in ezines, mags, online pubs, etc.)
    — Online press releases
    — Short very targeted specialty brochures (sell sheets, application sheets, etc.). Usually one or two pages.

    You already mentioned online ads but… direct-response ads in targeted ezines are also working very well.

    And improving the copy on offer pages on websites can dramatically increase leads generated.

  • The communications mix is changing, and I would add following as techniques that have been proven to work for us:
    – Blogs
    – Webinars (at least for image building & lead generation)
    – Software tools & interactive animations (for technical marketing)
    – Email marketing still works, but not as it used to

    Application briefs remain very popular in our sector, as are case studies.

    Technical articles in the trade press, and trade fairs are declining. For trade fairs, it’s probably worthwhile to distinguish between information trade fairs (rapidly declining) and networking/business trade fairs, of which some are thriving.

  • Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll
    be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  • Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform
    are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had
    problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • You could certainly see your skills within the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not
    afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button!

    I’d without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll
    settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  • This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I
    was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  • I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your blog.
    It appears as if some of the text in your posts are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening
    to them too? This might be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had
    this happen previously. Kudos

  • Thanks for some other informative web site. Where else may I am
    getting that kind of info written in such an ideal
    approach? I’ve a undertaking that I’m simply now working on, and I have been at the glance
    out for such info.

  • Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However
    I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why
    I cannot join it. Is there anyone else having the same
    RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

  • Hey there! I realize this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does managing a well-established blog like yours take a
    massive amount work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however I
    do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can
    share my personal experience and feelings online. Please let me know
    if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Thankyou!

  • Yeah, it is true that there has been a huge change that has occurred to B2B marketing in the new era. Since everything has started taking place online, most of the offline things like brochures lost the importance at all.
    printer spooler error

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *