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Category Archives: Direct Mail

B2B Marketing Secret: You’ve Got To Be Different When It’s All About The Same

MemorableWhen it’s all about the same in the eyes of your prospects, and you find yourself one of many, it’s time to take a step back and examine your marketing.

I came across this quote from David Ogilvy in a Copyblogger article 13 Timeless Lessons from the Father of Advertising:

“There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer.  They are all about the same.  And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines…The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.”

While Ogilvy is talking about B2C business, what he says applies to B2B.  There isn’t any significant difference between accounting services, financial accounting software, customer relationship management software, IT services, or in my own corner, marketing services.

What Marketing Does

At its most basic, marketing is calling attention to ourselves:  our products, services, methodologies, and deliverables.  Good marketing gets attention.  Great marketing separates us from the pack and makes us a desired goal of our ideal prospect.  Great marketing causes a prospect to decide, “I want to do business with [your name here].”  Great marketing differentiates us in a way to make us more attractive than our competitors.

So what differentiates one from another?  I think there are four main ways to differentiate:

  1. Spend
  2. Frequency
  3. Memorable
  4. Personal

B2B Marketing Spend

It was true in the past and it’s true today: if you have a lot of money to spend, you can appear everywhere and reach a wider audience.  Money can buy the biggest exhibit at the conference or trade show.  A big budget can buy signs at the airport.  Lots of money can buy TV ads that run on Sunday during the football game.  Not to mention the impact direct mail (think 3D, high value) can have with hefty cash behind it.

 B2B Marketing Frequency

Every marketer knows the disappointment that comes when marketing budgets are slashed and you know that the cancelled 3rd and 4th campaigns will not be building on the momentum gained from your first two campaigns.  To gain mindshare and favorability with your target audience: frequency of communication matters.  To be sure, a strong message must be at the core, but even with a gripping compelling message (if you’re not able to send it out on a regular cadence) is going to have little chance of gaining a foothold with your target market.

Frequency does not mean spamming.  I was managing a successful monthly direct mail campaign.  The owners of the company, in an effort to save some money, asked me to execute every six weeks rather than every four weeks.  That meant three less mailings a year.  In addition to missing the leads generated from the three cancelled mailings, the remaining nine mailings pulled less response than the average response from mailings sent on a monthly mailing.

The idea is to find a cadence that works for your goals and your audience.  And stick with it!  It is better to pare down your list and ensure consistent communication than target larger numbers infrequently or sporadically.  You’ll see better results mailing 100 people ten times, than mailing to 1000 people once.

Memorable B2B Marketing

The challenge is that most businesses don’t have excess marketing dollars to spend, nor do they want to spend marketing dollars on non-prospects – they want a more targeted approach.

A more targeted approach, for example focusing on a niche or vertical industry, means you can speak more specifically the their pain points and more specifically to the benefits they’ll enjoy.  A more targeted approach means you can use the precise language used by your audience:  the terminology you would use speaking to a nonprofit organization is very different than the terminology you would use speaking to a construction company.

A more targeted approach usually means a smaller list of prospects (remember: better results with touching 100 contacts ten times than 1000 contacts once).  A smaller list means that you may have more budget dollars per contact and can afford to add in a lumpy or 3D mailing to your marketing calendar.

Personal B2B Marketing

A small list means you can get personal in your messaging.  Use the vast amount of intelligence you can glean from LinkedIn, Google Alerts, and other tools to find out more about your prospect.  In addition to your planned marketing messages, send a personalized message when it’s appropriate.  Send congratulations when you see a press release announcing positive financial results or the opening of a new location, for example.  There are other ideas for personalized messages in my presentation ‘100 Names, Ways, and Days to Grow Your Business’.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of ways to stand out from the crowd.  There may be other tactics that you might employ.  But the important things is that you begin to think about how to distinguish yourself from your competition and put a plan in place to make an impression on your prospects.

What ways have you used to make your business stand out?  Please share them in the comments section.

B2B Marketing – Direct Mail The Thrill Is Not Gone

This morning I woke up eager to power up the MacBook Pro.  Two of my clients have direct mail pieces hitting this week and I want to follow the results. Yes, that’s right – I said direct mail. I love direct mail.  Good direct mail, that is. The hard and soft data on the campaignsContinue Reading

100 Names, Days, Ways to Grow Your Business

100 Names, Days and Ways to Grow Your Business View more presentations from Dawn Westerberg Consulting LLC.

B2B Marketing – Face the Fact that It Is a Long Haul

Today sitting in a marketing workshop I was thrilled to hear another participant reference a direct mail piece I had sent him over a year ago. “It was less of a direct mail piece, and more of a gift.  And ever since then, I’ve been thinking about who I can refer to her. “ TalkContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – Why I Still Love Direct Mail

Save a tree!  Your direct mail piece is destined to be unopened, sorted and doomed for the circular file. Everyone wants to get their information electronically.  Who can afford direct mail? All the above are typical responses to the idea of doing direct mail.  And as a marketer, I’m fine with that because it meansContinue Reading

Strategic Marketing: Leveraging Your List

The most valuable asset at your disposal is your list. Unfortunately, most people do not devote enough time and energy to the maintenance and segmentation of their list, resulting in watered down messaging, marketing dollars spent on the wrong contacts, and anemic results. What are the three tiers of lists? The first tier is theContinue Reading

Dawn’s Weekly World News 10 29 2010

A summary of things that caught my interest this week: The Ever-Expanding Importance of Analytics – True Intelligence for Business by @juliebhunt  including a particularly helpful graph of where intelligence hits the wall. Avoid the Corner of Death!  The worst placement for your logo. An article I wish had been around when I started Tweeting. Continue Reading

Rock, Paper, Scissors…Digital?

I read an article (Paper Beats Digital for Emotion) that affirmed something I have long suspected:  print is not dead. Let me elaborate a bit:  most professional service companies I run into have all but entirely abandoned print (direct mail, printed newsletters, etc.) in favor of what is perceived to be the much more affordableContinue Reading