The Many Dead Ends of B2B Marketing


“SEO is dead.”

“Telemarketing is dead.”

“Email is dead.”

“Direct marketing is dead.”

It sounds like a lot’s been ‘dead’ in the past few years.

Some marketers attribute this to changing customer behavior. Others think that advancing tech has killed several of these at once. Meanwhile there are those who just like to compare expenses and turn into an ROI debate.

And yet, one truth remains alive amidst all this supposed ‘death’:

Not everything is cheap and easy, not even in marketing.

In every process, tool, tactic, or strategy, there’s going to be something that will cost time and money. The big question here isn’t how little you’ve had to invest but whether you’re doing it right.

Bad SEO is definitely considered a dead end. Same goes for bad telemarketing, bad email marketing, and bad social media marketing.

Since when has bad marketing been anything but a dead end? That’s why it’s always been expensive and will continue to be.

So before assuming that any form of marketing is obsolete in the technology age, ask yourself whether you’ve been using any of them the right way. Ask yourself if you’ve been doing anything to adapt.

You see when technology advances, so does culture and society. And when they do change, it’s only natural that a failure to adapt will lead to extinction.

Let’s use SEO as an example. It too will die out if it doesn’t adjust to an ever shifting market, governed by several diverse cultures. But did it? More likely it just adapted and turned into something others call OAO.

If anything though, OAO is just a name given to any strategy that didn’t involve shady SEO practices. All it does is call content marketers to return to producing the stuff of quality instead of cheap tactics that caused unwary (and often non-qualified) visitors to stumble upon a site.

You can transform other marketing strategies by simply doing the same. Go back to the basics of :

  • Sharing
  • Engagement
  • Branding
  • Audience building

If you have a hard time grasping simple concepts, it’s no wonder you’re having a hard time getting the most out of your marketing money. Here are a few steps to help you review.

  • Renew brand focus – Review your brand message. Does everyone know the right words and phrases that bring it to mind? Make sure this message can be relayed in every medium you use, print or digital.
  • Keep it consistent – Does your reputation online contradict your offline one? Is the contradiction itself a sign of weakness or strength? If it’s the former, perhaps you need to check if your marketing is consistent with the rest of your business identify.
  • Divide and conquer – Social media does more than just improve SEO. It can teach you what it really means to aim for an ideal audience. While getting a lot of attention helps at first, there comes a point when you need to carve out the people you actually intend to convert into customers.
  • Keep audiences hooked – Bounce rate doesn’t just exist in email or website marketing. It embodies the fact that people don’t look at you twice. Your marketing needs to give them that reason through content, activities, and anything else that properly demands their attention.
  • Concept is the new density – The decline of keyword spamming means searchers and potential clients are always looking for ideas first, words second. Everything from telemarketing scripts to email templates needs to internalize this. Worry about putting forth the idea and less about the form.

Ironically, the old basics that define proper marketing have been one of the things technology hasn’t managed to change (let alone kill). So instead of wondering if there’s a new path to a dead-end form of marketing, think about the old roads you have forgotten.