We often debate in our office about importance of advertising for a B2B company, specially corporate advertising, and not product advertising.
Most of the times we end up discussing generalities. How it will improve brand visibility, improve brand image and ultimately enhance brand equity. But in nutshell we do advertising because we do. I don’t think we have any measurable advertising for B2B. Because there is an advertising budget, and there is a team, and everyone else is doing it, we do it.
As for measurement, how can one single out results entirely attributable to B2B advertising. I don’t even agree to 100 % linkage of advertising to sales in B2C. Because from my personal experience I know there are ads, which have aroused my attention-interest-Desire (AIDA) but when it came to action, the idiotic response of sales staff resulted in me not buying the product/service. So I know which half, or maybe more than half, David Ogilvy was talking of that did not work. And yes there are ads which made me decide not to buy the product advertised. So instead of selling the product, they desold. Even repeated back-to-back insertions of ads also irritates me no end, and the negative emotions get carried over to the product being sold.
When it comes to new media, the B2B advertising becomes all the more unnecessary. The more I ask, the more my view becomes stronger that it is advertising for the sake of advertising.
I am told there are companies like Intel, IBM etc. which have made a mark through advertising. But what I personally feel is that advertising came later to reinforce their stronghold in the market. So to say advertising can push the the B2B sales would be a lie. What maybe you can do is present your market position in an impressive way through advertising.
Would it be wrong if I say, advertising never sold a B2B product, or will it be too harsh.