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The 7 Biggest Misconceptions of Successful B2B Marketing

by Russell Glass  |  
April 4, 2013
  |  16,501 views

Businesses have been selling to businesses for quite some time now, but only recently has B2B marketing risen to a whole new level with advancements in online targeting, display advertising, and marketing automation. And thanks to the Web, the scale, precision, and cost-efficiency of those technologies are within reach of any B2B marketer, regardless of budget, looking to reach and educate audiences online.

However, despite the massive opportunities available and rapid pace of advancements in this discipline, what really drives success in B2B marketing can be hard to decipher. Here are seven misconceptions about what makes for truly successful B2B marketing—and ways you can steer your efforts in the right direction.

1. Branding isn't as important in B2B as it is in B2C

Actually, branding is arguably MORE important in B2B than it is in B2C. Here's why: The B2B buyer's journey has changed in the last decade, resulting in a B2B purchase process that is long and complex, and it often involves multiple decision-makers. Up to 90% of the process is done before a prospect ever engages a sales person, according to Forrester.

Against that backdrop, creating awareness through branding may be more critical in B2B than it is in B2C marketing. Yet, many B2B marketers often fall into the trap of investing only in lower-funnel lead-gen marketing programs, such as SEO, PPC, and email marketing. Those channels reach only the small portion of target audiences that are ready to engage today, whereas investments in social and targeted display advertising can offer the extended reach needed to educate the broader audience B2B marketers after.


Marketers need to deploy a balanced mix of programs to reach and educate target audiences—wherever they're consuming content online and at every stage of the buying process. So take a "full-funnel" approach that moves beyond purely lower-funnel programs to ensure you make it onto a buyer's short list.

2. Last-click measurement provides an accurate picture of where your marketing dollars are working

On average, a buyer interacts with a brand 4.3 times in the final 48 hours before making a purchase, according to Google. What does that mean? If you measure marketing value by only the last marketing touch, you risk misrepresenting marketing ROI by more than 100%.


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Russell Glass is a co-founder and the CEO of (Bizo), a B2B-audience-targeting platform and advertising network.

LinkedIn: Russell Glass

Twitter: @glassruss

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  • by Eddie Thu Apr 4, 2013 via web

    "Getting in front of the right company makes for successful B2B marketing"

    The moment I read this I thought "the right PERSON!" Good to see my instincts are founded. Once of my biggest peeves is getting a marketing list for a list vendor and having the titles be wrong. It's tough enough to pitch the right person without having to hunt them down first. I finally switched over to using online directories like Hoovers and LeadFerret full time, since buying big b2b lists was killing me, with so much wrong information. Ug.

  • by Kim Roman Corle Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    Great stuff here, absolutely L-O-V-E #1, it's what I preach all of the time to small businesses that don't realize the power of brand, thanks for the read:))

  • by Nick Stamoulis Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    "Last-click measurement provides an accurate picture of where your marketing dollars are working"

    This is especially misleading with B2B brands. Most B2B purchases require a real investment, and one interaction and one click isn't going to cut it! Chances are a lot went into that purchase.

  • by Jean-Marc Saint Laurent Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    Russell,

    Thanks for the informative article. It seems folks rarely talk about these issues.

    I would agree with your assertions that the lines of business and personal activity is blurred these days, especially when it comes to social media. I find it always helps, when contacting corporations, that they're run by people (though tons of them) people nonetheless. And more than anything, they are drawn to that personal connection with a specific provider or product.

  • by tentukotta Tue Apr 9, 2013 via web

    Gain a little knowledge.. Thanks dudes for your informative article.

  • by Andre Sat Apr 13, 2013 via web

    I have a question regarding this section here:

    "On average, a buyer interacts with a brand 4.3 times in the final 48 hours before making a purchase, according to Google."

    Is this really for B2B companies? This seems very high. For B2C, it makes total sense.

    -Andre
    Director
    http://www.inboundmarketingdigital.com.br

  • by antonio susta Mon Jul 15, 2013 via web

    The difference between B2C and B2B is finally dead. Lines are blurred. Branding in B2B is more important today than ever. B2B companies (especially in technical, industrial environment) have a huge potential and space for improvement. Unfortunately it will take yrs before the last marketer realize that the world has changed and the difference is probably a nonsense.

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