updated February, 2004
Business-to-Business Advertising Primer
marketing efforts are primarily centered on direct sales
and some also utilize telemarketing programs (the telemarketing
industry is shifting and rules must be adhered to regarding
the do not call list). Advertising is useful to develop
leads, expand your target market list, increase visibility
and increase direct inquiries from potential business customers.
are some advertising mediums to review. As with all advertising,
it is important to track the response and be aware of what
works best for each company. Be sure to target the design
and wording of each advertisement towards the target market.
Mail - A
direct mail campaign allows businesses to target their
potential customers as specifically as possible with
the use of clean, updated lists and direct mail pieces
created for a specific audience. Consider the type of
industry (target those most probable to respond), size
of companies, sales, or location(s) when obtaining lists.
Keep direct mail lists clean with constant updating.
A personal contact at each business increases the success
Journals - There
are many magazines available; concentrate efforts on
trade journals that your business audience reads or advertises
in. A full-page ad is not always necessary; just create
a noticeable ad attracting your specific audience. Track
results before placing all advertising funds in trade
Radio - A
business-oriented station or programs that attract business
listeners is what successful marketers will look for. This
type of advertising is useful if your product or service
is unique yet has a broad base business appeal. General
advertising placement on local stations is not an effective
use of advertising funds.
Pages - Service
businesses generally find great success utilizing the
yellow pages for advertising.
Newspaper - Overall,
newspapers are not considered high-impact for business-to-business
advertising. The medium is not directed to specific business
markets; especially small town papers. If a business insists
on placing an ad in the newspaper, the business section
or a business-oriented newspaper is where to place an ad.
Effectively targeting specific markets is difficult with
Television - Television
advertising is highly visible if purchased in large amounts
and during popular time slots (which is expensive). Expensive
and professional TV production and placement is best for
national advertisers. Small business-to-business companies
can utilize funds more efficiently in other mediums with
Outdoor - Billboards
and transit advertising is not a good choice in most business-to-business
marketing efforts. The audience is random and is directed
at the general public.
Every day brings change in the marketplace; group preferences, world events,
economic shifts, lifestyle changes, new interests and human responses
to society that affects the market place.
Trends are in response to changes in society; for example, when a "group
conscious" grows, a demographic group moves to a new stage in life (ie:
the aging of baby boomers) or new needs are created. These trends change and
force businesses to meet the demands of the market and ultimately make profits.
A basic in business is to create a supply in line with demand.
Trends to watch in 2004
Although telecommuting has been coming on strong since the mid to late 90's,
many more companies are turning towards the option of allowing their employee
to “telecommute” or become a “virtual employee.” A
telecommuter is an employee who spends some of their time working outside of
it seems smaller companies, who prefer to stay more in touch with
individual employees, would be more willing to experiment with telecommuting,
it has also proven to be a way of business on the larger end of the
scale. The International Telework Association and Council's (ITAC)
Telework America 2000 Survey finds that 35,000 AT&T employees
telecommute while 56% of managers telecommute once a month, 27% one
day a week and 11% telecommute 100% of the time.
are obvious advantages of telecommuting, such as saving on operating
costs, increased productivity which cuts absenteeism which in turn
results in reduced turnover. Telecommuting also has environmental
benefits. Working form the home cuts down on traffic congestion and
released vehicle emissions, which can be tied to Bill Clinton's Clean
Air Act signed in 1995.
the advantages of not packing a sack lunch sound enticing, be aware
of the disadvantages. As a boss or manager you'll need to keep in
mind what motivates a person to work. There will be less structure
outside of the work office. Are you sure your new “telecommuter” can
be counted on to perform their duties? Also the line between work
and home can become very thin for some people.
trends to watch:
response to parents wanting their children to have fun and prepare
for a good education.
response to the rising obesity rate in children.
(training and support) as families are more and
more dependent on their technology for home-management, education
response to the increasing technology explosion and ever-changing
Home Improvement is
in response to the importance of family and the home sweet home
is important to be aware of your industry and business trends to
stay on top of your customer’s needs.
Write a Message
that Gets Attention
Sales are the life line of
business. There are a wide variety of marketing strategies to utilize
that will increase sales. This MCS Marketing Minute will briefly review
how to grab your reader’s attention through direct mail campaigns
and individual letters to customers or potential clients. Direct mail
campaigns are a basic avenue for many businesses to capture new business,
increase customer retention and expand sales to existing customers
via “upselling messages”.
letter tip: Get Your Reader’s Attention
Standing out from the clutter of mail is crucial. There are a number of ways
to cut through the clutter to increase the chances of getting through to potential
The following are a few basic
Attention Getting Tips to consider:
using unique paper, design, color or offer on the envelope to capture
the attention of the reader. The first goal is to have the reader actually
OPEN your letter.
hurdle of gaining your reader’s attention is not complete if
you cannot get the letter to be read. People have a very short attention
span. If you do not capture the reader’s attention in the headline,
your letter is likely to be filed into the wastebasket. Give them the
information they are looking for upfront, spark their interest, and
tell them something they always wanted to know.
wording for headlines:
" HOW TO………"
A headline beginning with "How To….." is an effective attention-getter;
people like to learn how to do things; it provides them a benefit. Remember,
the benefits are more important to customers than features.
People want to know about "insider secrets". Many believe "knowledge
is power", seeking knowledge is important to people. Generally, those
with more information feel more powerful. Most people enjoy knowing things
that only a few are privy to. The word "secret" eludes to a mystery
and many are fascinated with solving mysteries when the "secret" is
DON’T EVEN THINK OF …….. UNTIL YOU……."
One of the most motivating emotions is fear. This headline appeals to fear
and demands attention. Just the word "warning" many times receives
a response of hesitation and alertness to read the message (to avoid loss or
There may be other words that grab your reader’s attention; use the words
that have punch when writing a letter or marketing message to get the attention