March 19. 2012 5:00AM - Last modified: March 23. 2012 5:18AM

B2B marketing

The Last Word


John Frantz
CEO of The Frantz Group

John Frantz, CEO and founder of The Frantz Group in Grafton, shares some of the secrets to effective business-to-business marketing.

“What does ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ have to do with marketing? To me, today seems an awful lot like how Dickens introduced his book: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.’

“The best of times news is there is pent up demand out there and companies will begin to buy. The worst of times is, there simply are fewer, hyper-informed buyers out there today with less to spend right now. So, we have no choice but to capture their revenue…Or perish ultimately.

“Never in my professional life, now spanning over 30 years, have I seen companies having more to lose and more to gain, in an environment with more complexity than ever, with more risk. The foolishness I see is how companies feel when they have spent precious marketing budgets and got nothing in return, or have plenty of online leads, but none of that will close.

“So, what is the solution? More marketing precision…More time invested in understanding the market, in segmenting the market, in strategy development, in data enhancement and in dealing with the reality of the business world today.

“We see that B2B marketing has changed dramatically due to the innovation and power of the Internet. It’s hard to imagine doing business without Google, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook and hundreds of other websites that businesses use every day. Then include the impact of smartphones, and the change is even more profound.

“It is now estimated that a B2B buyer is 60 percent through the sales cycle before they talk to a sales executive! That’s absolutely astounding. It means that if you want to participate in the initial and formative 60 percent, you must use both outbound and inbound tactics to introduce content to your buyers.

“Ultimately, the days of dialing for dollars are over. Today, marketing is a process, a science. If we approach it that way, we will win.”