Colin Lewis wrote an article in Marketing Week titled Branding is still alien to many B2B firms.

« My favourite ever B2B ad is an ad for… B2B advertising! The ad for McGraw Hill was featured in my undergraduate textbook Principles of Marketing by Philip Kotler in the one chapter that featured B2B marketing. The reason I love the ad is that it summarises the challenges of B2B marketing in eight lines. Those eight lines are still true today: in the B2B world, you need to convince management that having a brand is important. »

McGraw Hill ad copy:

“I don’t know who you are.

I don’t know your company.

I don’t know your company’s product.

I don’t know what your company stands for.

I don’t know your company’s customers.

I don’t know your company’s record.

I don’t know your company’s reputation.

Now—what was it you wanted to sell me?”

« I know Les Binet and Peter Field’s research shows that long-term B2B brand building is just as important as a product’s features and price, and that “brand advertising really does work in B2B to drive buyer choices and revenues”. But just try to convince a sales team with no idea of branding that we should reallocate resources away from driving sales. »

« The importance and power of the sales team in B2B cannot be overestimated. The sales force is the main driver in B2B revenues in most companies and their worldview of meeting specifications, complying with tender regulations and showing how lowest total cost-of-ownership predominates. This is very true when selling complex customised equipment or propositions with year- or multi-year long sales cycles. »

« Plus, there are so many moving parts in a B2B sale that you can blow a huge hole through any claims by marketing of attribution to an individual sale. »

« The real challenge for B2B marketers is not brand management, it is change management, and convincing a CEO and senior management who do not have the background of its value. »

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