Friday, May 8, 2009

You say I say tomato

I returned to B2B 3 years ago following a 5-year stint in B2C. And I still sometimes catch myself using phrases from my B2C past with my current B2B colleagues and clients that just fall...flat. Like "direct marketing."

In my B2C days, I marketed credit cards and related financial services industry products. We thought in terms of "list, offer, creative" in that order of importance. We used a variety of media: email, online advertising, paid search, events and promotions, mail, etc. We developed programs across the customer life cycle - from acquisition to activation, usage, retention, cross-sell/up-sell and even collections. And we called it direct marketing.

In B2B, we market products and services, which sometimes are called solutions. (Another topic for other time: shouldn't all products be positioned as solutions? What good is a product if it doesn't solve a problem?). We still think in terms of "list, offer, creative" in that order of importance. We develop programs across the customer life cycle - from lead generation and scoring, qualification, nurturing, acquisition, retention, cross-sell/up-sell, and hopefully not collections. But in my experience (and I'd really appreciate hearing what others have to say), when we call it direct marketing, folks just look a little...uneasy. Demand generation? Good. Go to market? Great. But direct marketing....that's junk mail, right?

My point? We all must think and speak in terms our audience is comfortable with and can relate to. Especially marketers.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, to your point, some things that are (really!) good just simply get a bad 'rap' for one reason or another and tarnish the way people look at things. Not for any reason other than some other marketers have taken advantage of a situation, built a campaign against them/it, and have been able to sway the way we think about it ('Direct Marketing').

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