Smart B2B marketing is all about balance

If you work in marketing, chances are you’ve already heard of Binet and Field. They’re the authors of ‘The Long and the Short of It’ - the B2C marketing effectiveness bible, which is based on analysis of both successful and unsuccessful campaign data taken from the IPA Databank (spanning 1998 to 2016).

The ‘Long and the Short of It’ demonstrated that, in B2C marketing, “mental availability” is the most powerful driver of growth. “Mental Availability” is more than awareness, and is defined as ‘the probability that a buyer will notice, recognise and/or think of a brand in buying situations.’  It sounds obvious, but if you’re a brand that gets talked about, and readily springs most to mind, then you have a serious advantage over less familiar competitors. You’re always an obvious answer to the question of what to buy.

Binet and Field have now turned their attention to B2B. In summary, they’ve found that smart B2B marketing is all about balance. Unlike the 60/40 rule in B2C, we’re looking at a more equitable distribution – a 50/50 split.


Balancing long-term with short-term investment. Balancing brand building with targeted campaigns designed to generate demand and quality leads for sales. Balancing your campaign approach across mass reach brand advertising and narrowly targeted, segmented campaign activity focused on converting prospects - simultaneously fishing with a net and a spear. Balancing effectiveness with efficiency.

Find out more about the importance of finding the right balance in our infographic.


Activation marketing cannot build a brand for you - no matter how much you spend on it or how much you optimise it. In contrast, building brand salience and word-of-mouth will make your short-term lead generation activity more effective. This means allocating budget to long-terms goals and running campaigns for longer than 6 months.



In short, sustainable growth in B2B depends on branding, mental availability and fame. However, it’s also dependent on the scale of your marketing investment. Market share is impacted by share of voice. Again, it sounds obvious but the greater the number of people you reach, the greater the number of people you can get talking about your brand and the greater your opportunity to maintain or grow your market share.


Another finding which will surprise many in B2B marketing – successful campaigns are not all about logic and reasoned arguments. You need to invest in understanding the relevant emotions of your buyers and their relationship with your brand / product. What need do you solve?


Aspiration, confidence, fear of failure and trust play a role in the B2B buying mindset. Again, it sounds obvious, but avoidance of risk is a key component of business continuity – and the people we’re targeting are human beings not rational decision-making robots. So, another element of balance is the need to appeal to both the heart and the mind.




Colin Gray | Head of Marketing Strategy and Behavioural Economics


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