Advice from Angela Kambarian
Despite some similarities, there are considerable differences between business/professional buyers and the general public. There are a few important factors that distinguish business-to-business marketing from consumer marketing.
1. The business buyer wants to buy.
Consumers often purchase products just for pleasure, not because they really need them.
Business enterprises must buy products and services to stay profitable and competitive. Therefore, most companies have experienced purchasing agents on staff.
2. The business buyer is more sophisticated.
So, business-to-business copy should be tailored to a sophisticated audience.
It requires tremendous amount of time and research.
3. The business buyer will read a lot of copy.
She/he needs information or advice that can increase profits or solve problems.
They will respond better to a more specific and detailed letter. So, don't be afraid to write long copy in mailers, ads or brochures.
4. The purchase of business products in multi-step
Copywriters working on consumer direct response, usually produce an elaborate package that does most of the selling.
But in business-to-business direct marketing, the concept of package or control does not exist. It's a multi-step process. A VP of manufacturing does not clip a coupon and order a $35,000 equipment by mail. First she might ask for a brochure, then a sales meeting, then a demonstration, then a 30-day trial. Then a proposal or a contract.
5. Business purchase is a team effort.
You do not consult with a team when you want to buy a hamburger, soda, or bottle of shampoo. One person makes a decision.
There are a lot of players involved in a business purchase.
It's rarely an impulse buy. Many people impact the decision--from the purchasing agent to company president, to technical professionals, etc. And each of these audiences has different concerns and criteria.
So, make sure your copy will address the needs of all parties involved in the process.
Business-to-business copy cannot be superficial.
You need clarity and detail. It should not only explain what your product is, but also educate your reader