B2B Shouldn’t Be DOA

About once a month or so, Steve McKee of McKee Wallwork Cleveland writes a column for BusinessWeek, and he’s always right on point. This month, he does it again with 5 Common B2B Advertising Myths:

Over the years, my company has struggled with the creativity-limiting effects of myths like these many times. But we have also enjoyed breakthroughs with forward-thinking clients who overcome their pull. What we have learned is that people are people, and whether they’re making a purchase for themselves, their families, their companies, or even their government, their decision-making processes aren’t entirely rational. Even when they’re thumbing through the trades (perhaps especially then), they’re attracted to appeals that are unique, interesting, and compelling.

Read the whole thing, and if you do a lot of B2B work, send it to your client. But Steve mentions how he encountered resistance during one client presentation. I’d love to know his rationale and go-to arguments during a presentation when clients get nervous.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. So very true, and very refreshing to read!
    For so long we have struggled with the notion that B2B marketing has to be so different because we’re dealing with other companies. However, there is no realization or consciousness that even if the end buyer is the company itself, you’re dealing with other human beings, to whom the principles of B2C marketing apply.
    Good catch,
    Ron E.

  2. This is a good article.
    Love the client rationale “We want the ad to look like the other ads in the magazine.”
    My favorite B2B client comments so far-
    “We make several other products which do the same thing so don’t make this (premium) product look too good.”
    “Our targets for this ad are totally unsophisticated and they will not know what a palm pilot is.”