Mark Ritson wrote an article about business-to-business marketing (B2B) in The Australian which contains lots of wisdom. The article draws from new B2B research by Les Binet and Peter Field.

Some highlights:

Contrary to popular belief, “the lessons of B2B are largely identical to that of B2C.”

“Famously the duo prescribed a 60/40 rule for B2C marketers in which 60 per cent of the total marketing budget should be invested in long-term brand building, with the remainder spent on shorter-term sales activation. And while their analysis of B2B reveals a slightly more balanced prescription — they recommend 54 per cent of spend should go to long-term branding — it still suggests that most B2B organisations are spending far too much on their sales teams and short-term promotions and not enough on building brand.”

“The key lesson of the effectiveness research of the past five years is that long-term brand investments actually prove significantly more valuable when run in tandem to the sales activation campaigns.”

Differentiation tends to be overemphasized. “While it’s important for a brand like McKinsey to stand for certain things, it is unlikely those things will be very different from Bain or BCG. The key in B2B is to be in the thoughts of target clients as much as possible. Maintain that prevalence and your marketing will perform twice as well as campaigns that aim to deliver a specific message of differentiation.”

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