Robert Rosenthal at his blog Freaking Marketing posts a little rant titled: Why Most Business-to-Business Marketing Campaigns Are Uninspired Or Just Plain Awful.
So what’s he gotta say? The truth, pretty much. He uses B2C marketing as a foil to compare B2B marketing.
“B-to-B marketers view themselves differently — Ask the CEO of the soda company what business they’re in, and she’ll probably say, “We’re a marketing business that happens to sell sugared water.” Ask her counterpart in a software company the same question and he might say, “We’re an engineering firm that has to do marketing and advertising and all that sh*t.””
Here is the rest of the list:
- Marketing managers aren’t in charge of marketing
- Sales steals money from marketing
- Accountability is insufficient
- Not enough first-rate talent
You can head over and read his comments on each of these bullets.
The last one aught to get your attention: Not enough first-rate talent in B2B marketing? Okay, I’ll agree. But if you look at the rest of his list, you can see why.
I do want to add one thing:
B2B marketing is not a consumption/demand generation process. Engineers don’t buy my products because they are cool or fulfill some previously undiscovered need that only a good ad campaign can enlighten them to. They buy because they have a new requirement or a justified reason to improve what they have.
So, Robert is right that B2B marketing campaigns suck. He’s right that we are not the drivers of our businesses. But that isn’t where our focus is. There is a lot that B2B marketing does extremely well that B2C marketers don’t even understand.