Businesspeople Don't Only Respond to Ads in the Office: Debunking Myths About B2B Marketing

July 23, 2013

Even in the face of much evidence to the contrary, a school of thought persists that B2B marketers should run their ads only in trade publications, on industry websites, and in other business environments. That hasn’t been true for a long time – and, if anything, as our connectedness multiplies, it’s only becoming less true.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.27.40 PM

Back in the 1970s, Xerox was a pioneer in promoting its copiers on television, often during sports programming. Another B2B giant, IBM was also famous in the late 1990s for running its “e-business” spots on TV – far from a business environment.

Today, our laptops, tablets and mobile phones have continued to blur the lines between business and leisure. These devices help ensure that at-work state of mind can occur anywhere, anytime. Businesspeople work at home, and sometimes they take care of their familial duties when they’re at work.

As a moment’s thought will demonstrate, businesspeople don’t walk out of the office and suddenly take their business hats off, leaving their jobs completely behind. Even if marketers may segment B2B and B2C programs, people don’t segment themselves that way. Here are a few stats that will probably resonate with you: More than 80% of people check work email after they’ve left the office, and 64% of business people spend time on sites unrelated to work while they’re in the office.

With these work-leisure lines blurred, B2B marketers should be prepared to deliver the right message, wherever
 their prospects are online – whether those prospects are visiting the websites serving their vertical industries, following baseball boxscores online, or checking up the stock market. B2B marketers should also be ready to communicate with prospects 
wherever they happen to be 
in the purchase cycle. This means 
engaging those prospects who come to 
their websites, visit their landing pages, 
or engage with their social channels.

Marketers 
also need to ensure that their
 B2B display advertising and other programs not only reach 
target audiences wherever 
they’re consuming information 
online, but also that these programs are a well-integrated part of a broader marketing effort. This requires massive scale and integration with existing programs and the systems that support them (e.g. marketing automation integration), and reaching business people in a brand safe environment wherever they happen to be online.

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.

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