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Is B2B Advertising Dead? Not Really

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“While everyone is saying advertising is dead, what they mean is that advertising the way it used to be done is dead. Giving people something they believe in, in a way that they can’t help but notice, is where the action really is.”

So said Jason Korman, CEO of gapingvoid.com. And while the site is about marketing, in general, at first blush you wouldn’t think he’s much concerned about B2B… but you’d be wrong in this case.

The ‘death’ of advertising is a reality that both B2B and B2C marketers face each day. Whether it’s ‘dead’ print ads or television spots or press releases or trade shows. The question is, what are the alternatives?

Korman has given us the succinct answer: a great product with an authentic story that you present to customers in clever, unexpected ways and in unexpected places.

Why, then, does such a ‘simple’ thing take so much courage to carry out? Because while consumers want what’s new, marketers feel safe and sound with what’s old.

And one more thing: the difference between B2B and B2C advertising is that ‘traditional’ platforms have more life in the B2B world. It would be a mistake to completely abandon print ads, for example, in certain industries. The question for B2B marketers becomes one of proportion. Increasingly, social media is the primary focus of marketing activities with traditional outlets ‘filling in the gaps’, so to speak. As mentioned above, marketers who like safe and sound continue to pour money and resources into what should be secondary efforts and that is a big, costly mistake.

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