Business-to-Business Marketing is a Myth
The Success Margin
Saturday, February 5, 2005
Recently I had the following conversation with
a well-known direct marketing reporter.
"Ted, you are undoubtedly either the world's most
successful business-to-business (B-to-B) marketer
in the last 25 years, or at least in the top 5. I'd
like to write a feature article about you.
"First, a question. What do you feel are the
biggest reasons for your amazing success?"
Here is how I replied.
"When you hear my answer I doubt whether you'll
still want to go ahead with your story. I'm
successful largely because I do not agree with or
accept the commonly used term 'B to B.'
"The reality is, there is no such thing as B-to-B
marketing! And I get sick and tired of hearing
B to B being used."
The reporters looked shocked and amazed.
I continued, "Businesses don't buy a single thing.
Ever. All buying is done by people, not
businesses. Whether they are profit or non-
profit institutions makes no difference. People
are still doing the buying."
All my sales letters, ads and e-mails are,
therefore, directed at human beings.
Most B-to-B communications are incredibly dull
and boring. They are aimed at some emotionless
Many so-called B-to-B direct marketers are today
lamenting their low response rates.
It's no wonder. They are not preparing their
sales messages with strictly a logical appeal.
This does not work very well. And never will.
Yet, response rates from my copy, especially to
the owners of small business owners and
executives, continue to increase each year.
Here is the real secret.
Forget the B-to-B nonsense so prevalent in
today's business world. Prepare and direct your
sales messages in such a way they appeal to the
emotions of individuals who are in a position to
Let others do it their way. Do not emulate what
other failing direct marketers do. To succeed,
you must create appeals that touch human emotions.
As I've stressed in The Success Margin numerous
times before, all buying decisions are primarily
emotional. And this rule also applies to any
highly technical audience.
Sure, you must include logic and reasons why in
your copy. But logic is not the main cause of an
You must touch both the mind and the heart to
cause your prospect to read and respond to your
Use emotionally-charged benefits with strong
visual words to describe the benefit of your
business product to the recipient of your sales
message. And watch your sales go through
© Copyright 2005 Ted Nicholas