Transparency is the Best Policy for B2B Marketing

by Jennifer Beever

B2B Marketing RatLet’s face it. Most buyers can smell a rat these days. If you’re not being honest and open about the products and services you are selling or how you manufacture or provide them, people aren’t going to buy. Last week I participated in a fantastic webinar  hosted by Sustainable Industries and featuring Brand Strategist Susan Bierzychudek of Green Ideals and Scott James of Fair Trade Sports.

In the webinar, titled “Beyond the Eco-Label: Strategies for Marketing Your Sustainable Brand,” Susan explained that brand storytelling is far better than any green seal or label a company can use. (There are over four hundred green seals alone – see the LOHAS Journal article, Proliferation of 400+ Green Seals Detracts from Message). Buyers are justifiably suspicious and cautious.

Susan pointed out that any facts you use today to market your products or services are less powerful today because they are so readily available, but stories bring facts to life. She said  that the middle market has eroded, and buyers are either looking for value with lowest price or values: alignment with their beliefs. Today’s buyers get emotionally engaged when they hear a story that tells them the seller’s values are in alignment with theirs. Studies have shown that people make decisions with their hearts. This is because decision-making takes place primarily in the limbic region of the brain, which is ruled by emotions.

Is your B2B marketing transparent? Are you still doing product-driven marketing, or have you graduated to story-driven marketing?

Photo by Gruntzooki on Flickr. CC License.


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B2B Marketing Trends I’m Thankful for | NewIncite
November 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jere Clancy June 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I agree! As Bill Maher said recently You Tube and the internet are killing the practice of lying. Cause you can simply check facts. Moreover, An NPR recently cited company that were delivering better products that product longer lifetimes. The customer is demanding more. Not to worry though if you are the company. They cite the fact the technology is changing so fast they no longer worry about it lasting to long, they just want to be relevant long enough for you to remember the brand the next time you shop.

As far as Sustainability goes, the Parducci Wineries is a great case study in how and why companies should practice good methods. Oh, and they also saved a bundle in fertilizer, water and electricity all while improving the bottom line.

Jennifer Beever June 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Thanks, Jere, for your comments. When we stop to think about it, people can fact check us during meetings and presentations! Better to just be truthful and transparent. And, I agree that Parducci has a great sustainability story, I’m sorry I missed ASP’s program with them in San Francisco earlier this year!

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