B2B Direct Marketing Tips

To produce measurable results, it’s important to approach B2B direct marketing differently from the consumer strategy. Business decision makers are much harder to reach in the office than consumers at home. Also typically business decision makers have gatekeepers who screen their mail.

Over the past few years as the world continues to recover from the Great Recession, there has been a significant shift in B2B marketing. As budgets have been slashed across most industries, there is now much more emphasis on ensuring each marketing dollar can deliver on ROI. Companies take longer to make decisions and often involve multiple departments too. Those seeking new business must go beyond marketing benefits and features.

To be successful, companies should put a marketing process in place. It’s not just about doing one direct mailer, or sending out an email blast, and expecting huge results immediately. There needs to be a process that engages the prospect through a series of steps, therefore it may require a series of consecutive mailers. Businesses are more skeptical nowadays, even if your solution is the best thing ever, it still takes a process to translate that perceived value into potential ROI.

In direct mail, it’s all about the list. A great marketing message to the wrong list will not generate a response. A mediocre marketing message to the right list still produces some results. The goal should be to deliver an effective message to the ideal list.

Most companies make the mistake of investing most of their resources into producing beautiful, stylish mailing materials without much consideration for the list itself. It’s important to consider the list brokers where you purchase from. Examine their track record, not the years they’ve been in business that the sales representatives tout, do some research on your own. Ask them to produce references from companies in a similar industry.
Discover the exact process they use to compile their lists.

Some companies resell the same list many times over. Determine the demographics and the needs of your target market before you hone your message. You should pick a focus group comprised of companies with similar characteristics that you need to reach. Do some surveys to connect with the challenges and issues that they face. You can then begin to tailor your marketing message accordingly.

For effective B2B marketing, the message must hit home immediately and if not, at least leave an impression top of mind. The message needs to be not only unique and highly relevant, but also short and precise. Most businesses are inundated with marketing messages all day long through the desktop, direct mail and phone. The message must hit home with the decision-maker, in addition to the gatekeeper. It should be a clear and simple message that anybody can decipher, not full of industry jargon.

This is where testing comes into play, you need to have enough budget to experiment with two or three different marketing messages to see which resonates the most. Your own research and intuition should identify a few key areas, but don’t make the mistake of trying to hammer everything all into one mailing piece, it will just end up in the waste basket. Your objective is to deliver a short precise message that focuses on one major challenge with a direct call to action. Make the message and call to action simple for the recipient.