A few days ago, while in a meeting with a client, we were interviewed:
“Is it easy for you to sell the concept of B2B marketing and services to companies that often have no idea of this concept? You know, after 10 years, people still think that marketing is synonymous with beautiful flyers, catchy logos, etc. I’ve been told “Hey! I like it, I think it’s beautiful! Therefore, our marketing is great”. As if communication is the sole purpose of marketing! “
This led me to reflect on the reacurring clichés of B2B marketing. I then decided to question the Exo team. Here are some intakes, in no particular order, about B2B marketing
1. David : “There’s no need for marketing. I’m going to lunch with a client and he will give me some business”
2. David et Nathalie : “We will participate to a trade show”
Don’t confuse tactics with strategies.
3. David : « We don’t need marketing, we just need to hire an experienced sales person »
4. Nathalie : “We don’t need marketing, we already know all our clients”
5. Me : « Our clients don’t use the internet »
…I suppose they still use a type writer and a fax machine?
6. Nathalie : “Online strategies are good for B2C”
…because your clients never use the web. They will never go on your website either. Of course they won’t!
7. Me : “We alone sell our marketing”
There are many people who confuse sales and marketing. It’s a good idea to integrate them, but thinking that its strategy will stop at “we are selling” is not enough.
8. Me : « Our clients don’t use social media »
…Ok, it’s possible, but are you saying that you clients will never use social media?
9. Lynda : “I don’t need to do research, I know the market. I’m able to get good feedback from my clients”
10. Lynda : «Strategic content? 2 blogs per week? PFF, this is impossible! After 2 blogs post, we’ll have nothing to say. Exo, I challenge you! »
…an added bonus: “marketing is a pure expense; there’s no ROI when it comes to doing marketing.
Then to counter all these prejudices and false beliefs, I want to say that Yes, in marketing B2C, the link is certainly sometimes not as obvious between the marketing effort and the return on investment (ex: TV advertising = sales?). However, in B2B integrated marketing with sales, performance is measured in several ways: lead generation (this is a marketing job), the conversion of leads to sales opportunities versus sales alone.
The leads generated by marketing are commonly through online activities. If your site is well designed, it should encourage users to interact. For example: subscribe to a newsletter, download information, open an account, etc. These calls-to-action are used to collect contact information from clients, potentially converting them into customers.
What about you? What are your thoughts on B2B marketing? Have you heard anything about this subject?