My biggest complaint about the study of marketing for decades has been this focus on consumer marketing; selling to individuals like you and me.
While I enjoyed the conversations about emotional buying and entertaining ad campaigns, I didn’t much care for the long, arduous path to the top of the corporate marketing department ladder. Instead, I put my sights on “Industrial Marketing,” which is more focused on business-to-business sales. But I didn’t like that either. It went to the other extreme by making business buying decisions seem devoid of the human element.
Over the years, I’ve created my own opinion and platform that blends the brand-focused world of consumer marketing with the more complex buying process that is often used in the business to business marketing world.
And then, I received a review copy of B2B, A To Z. All I can say is that I wished that a book like B2B, A To Z: Marketing Tools and Strategies that Generate Leads for your Business-to-Business Company by Bill Blaney (@BillBlaneyB2B) was written at the time that I was developing marketing strategies for industrial and business to business marketing organizations.
Bill Blaney Won’t You Please … Show Us How B2B Marketing Works
First, let me tell you a little bit about Bill Blaney. He’s the Senior Creative Director of Cameron Advertising and the President of Good Marketing Soup, Inc. He’s served many Fortune 500 clients such as Canon, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One and many others.
Based on what I’ve read, I can say that his outlook on business-to-business marketing is spot on. He acknowledges the differences in purchasing processes without treating business buyers like robots. This is what makes this book such a refreshing read.
Rather than go over the details in the book, let me just give you a brief layout of what’s inside B2B, A To Z:
- A re-framing of the business to business marketing context. Blaney lays out the case for how the business to business marketing environment has changed and urges companies to change with it.
- Myths such as “customers don’t want to be sold” and “our old ad campaign doesn’t change” are blown out of the water and replaced with sound advice and strategies that will speak more clearly to your ideal customer.
- The importance and advantage of solid marketing strategy to B2B businesses.
- Creative ways to break through the clutter (and not just B2B clutter) and own your market.
- How to generate leads and what to do with them.
- Traditional marketing strategies that are still valid and should not be neglected.
What This B2B Marketer Loves About B2B, A To Z
Blaney does a fantastic job of synthesizing traditional and digital marketing tactics and strategies and making them relevant for B2B marketers. He speaks the B2B management language. If you’re a marketing manager for a manufacturer or a consultant who provides marketing services to B2B businesses, you will find this a fantastic resource because Blaney describes everything in simple, yet complete language that your clients and leadership will understand and buy into.
I wish I had written this book. It is thorough and includes just about every critical topic B2B businesses need to be successful without being overwhelming and leaving you with the feeling that you will never be able to accomplish this.
Can B2C Businesses Learn Anything?
While this book is primarily written for B2B businesses, I think that it may also be appropriate for businesses who sell to consumers. Especially if the product or service you are selling tends toward the complex or technical.
While some people have very strong opinions on the distinctions between consumer and business marketing, I feel that the core principles and practices are virtually the same. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Blaney’s explanations of strategies and tactics are more clear and more grounded and focused on generating sales and profits than you might get from a more consumer focused book.
I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of B2B, A To Z. If you liked my review of Digital Dollar, this book is the ideal companion.