A Few Secrets In Business-To-Business Advertising

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Long ago, it used to be called trade advertising, or industrial advertising, but these days we call it business-to-business which I suppose sounds classier. It means products that people buy for their companies and not for their individual use.

Admittedly, even the most effective advertisements seldom close a sale on their own. Know that an advertisement, especially in the case of business-to-business sales, serves primarily to pave the way for a salesman. You want to use advertisements by pre-selling your products and services to attract new leads.

It’s true that business and consumer advertising both rely on the same general principles such as making promises, testimonials and upfront information. The difference here is that you’re going to need to be more specific. Businesses and their respective decision makers are looking for percentages, time elapsed, dollars save.

You are talking to practical people, so speak their language. Here are some helpful tips when transitioning consumer advertising techniques to business ones.

Testimonials

These work well, as long as they come from experts in a reputable company. Understand that putting a “mom and pop” shop that no one’s heard of for your testimonials may prove to hurt your marketing more than help it. On the other hand, if you’ve worked with a big company like Suncor, this will give your potential clients a lot of confidence in your ability to deliver your product or service.

Information

To get ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to prove to your clients that your products and services have the most reliable performance. To do this, simply devise a demonstration that your reader can perform themselves. This can be something as simple as letting someone try out your product or giving free consultation that gives your potential clients results.

Giving out useful information is very effective, so long as the information involves your product or service. An example is showing your client how to calculate how much money they can save by doing business with you. By doing this, you’re giving results first, and also getting your potential clients more invested in your business, brand and products.

Another important note is that advertisement copy is seldom read by more than 10 percent of the readers. Know that this 10 percent consists of your prospects–the people interested enough in what you are selling to take the trouble to read about it.

Headlines

We know the numbers. Headlines get five times the readership body copy does, so if your headline doesn’t sell, you’ve successfully wasted your money. Your headline should include at least one of the following.

– Benefit to the customer
– Deliver news
– Offer a service
– Tell a significant story
– Recognize a problem
– Quote a satisfied customer

Finally, a major difference between consumer and business sales is that many businesses require approval from top management before making a big purchase. Top managers may not understand or even care about the specifics of your product and will ultimately be interested in cost savings. It’s usually a good idea to prepare your marketing and pitches separately. One for talking to the specialists and another for talking to the top brass to close the deal.

Also, to reiterate, business-to-business and consumer marketing usually have different goals. Remember that when dealing with other companies, your marketing goal is to sell a meeting, not a product or service. You need to pave the way for your salesman to walk into a meeting and work their magic.

Then there’s talk about sales, but I’ll save that for another day.

-Babar Mirza

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