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Top 10 Reasons Why B2B Marketing Sucks

Treating B2B & B2C Buyers Differently

It really is quite curious why there is so much disagreement surrounding the best approach to B2B marketing.  Perhaps it starts with whether or not B2B and B2C are to be treated differently? 

Recently one commentator said he thought there was no difference marketing B2B or B2C, because it made no difference if someone purchased some Fintech SaaS for a few dollars per month or purchased a mortgage for hundreds of thousands of dollars – Clearly his perception was based upon value.

Buyers use Company Money! 

B2C is for personal purchases, bought from personal expenses and personal bank accounts.  B2B purchases are paid for out of business bank accounts and from the net profit of the business activities and are expected to deliver an ROI and are based upon profit related decisions and therefore are massively different. 

You never hear a business saying, “this SaaS looks good on me”, they’re not buying the latest Nike trainers!

Too Many Quotes

It’s not only the difference between B2B and B2C, but there are also some fundamental consistent errors that occur which no one seems to be addressing.  These problems/issues are highlighted by the plethora of business “quotes” and statistics which are as follows: -

  1. John Wannamaker famously said, “Half my marketing budget is wated, I simply don’t know which half”.
  2. Dr Augustine Fou wrote in Forbes Magazine - After some very large business ceased their digital marketing advertising spend, it did not affect their turnover. So why do B2Bs keep doing it?
  3. LinkedIn endorsed a paper by the Institute for Marketing Science that stated 95% of business were not in the market for services at any one time. I’ve also heard it’s 1%. So there’s a problem, right?
  4. Gartner Research confirmed that 83% of businesses carry out their research digitally before they will engage with a salesperson. So create content that attracts them and keeps them engaged until they’re ready to talk.
  5. Multiple research papers have said cold calling to find interested prospects takes 6x calls to connect, 94% go to voicemail, 50% are a bad fit and therefore runs at a 400-1 shot – and only approx. 75 calls can be made per day! Don’t use auto or progressive dialler, stop cold calling immediately.
  6. The Top 10 out of 20 reasons for business failure are marketing related; so change your marketing strategy and stop letting the marketers screw up your business.
  7. Business failure rates: 20% in 1st year, 30% in 2nd year, 50% in 3rd year, 70% in 10th year which equates to 91% of all businesses failing within ten years. 500k start up and 500k close down in the UK every year. Is this beginning to make sense?
  8. Of businesses who receive investment; 40% fail altogether, 75% fail to achieve self-stated targets, 95% fail to deliver an ROI for the investors. Is everyone reading the same instruction manual? Bin it, it’s not working.
  9. Tenue of CMOs over the past ten years is 18 months and expectations have become unattainable. CEOs already keep firing CMOs, so there’s no point increasing the workloads, they can’t do the job anyway.
  10. The tension between sales and marketing continues because the business world is digital and neither party wants to own up to the reality that their job titles and descriptions need to change too. As a result, both parties misinform the CEO and the board of directors, hoping to maintain the status quo yet in doing so damage the stability of the business they’re working for.

With so much evidence identifying the wrong strategies throughout B2B, it’s strange with all the A.I. and prevalent business intellect, no one is banging a drum for change, only more digital, more ‘intent’ data, and more SaaS.

Unfortunately, all the marketers drank the Kool-Aid, they all bought in to the hype that digital would do all the work and they didn’t have to!  Business owners were made to think that digital was going to be a low-cost option to make a fortune, meanwhile, the salespeople sat back and hoped to live off the leads provided by marketing and the cold calls/appointment made by business development reps.  But it never happened.


Think of it as the persistent tick-tick-ticking metronome of human behaviour that’s never changed. 

None of us changed our approach to learning and evaluating ‘stuff’ (business or personal).  We’re not idiots, we’re not marks to be knocked off and sold to without there being some substance to us making a decision.  What we’re all saying is ‘teach me, show me, help me’ and we’ll buy. 

You and I are customers too, yet when staff walk into their places of work (or walk into the room at home where their computer is) they seem to have a personality change and visualise customers and prospects as some strange kind of ‘being’ that needs to be tamed and blagged. As I bring this to a close, consider these points: -

  • How you think your business is perceived in the eyes of your prospects is probably wrong, simply because they’re not even thinking about you in the first place.
  • Secondly, keep it simple, hang out where your prospects hang out, provide a variety of multi-format useful content they can spend time with.
  • Keep educating, helping and sharing ideas and you’ll lower your spend, increase awareness, make money and keep growing.

You’re not a B2C who needs to keep posting on social every half-an-hour.  Create less, but higher quality content – thank me later.  But beware; just telling them to buy from you at every opportunity and as shown above, you’ll scare them off and fail.

B2B Marketing is formulaic, there is nothing ‘other-worldly’ or unpredictable about it, but you do need an advertising strategy/system/structure that promotes your multi-format content with call-to-actions that helps prospects buy from you.


  1. John Wanamaker -
  2. Dr A. Fou -
  3. LinkedIn -
  4. Gartner -
  5. Cold Calling -
  6. Top Reasons B2B Fail -
  7. 90% start-ups fail -
  8. Invested businesses -
  9. CMO Tenure -
  10. Google Search, My Summary -

Go to our Digital Selling pages to see how you can change the way you work and scale up your business.

22 April 2024

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The author and founder of salesXchange, Nigel Maine is a B2B marketing and sales expert with a proven track record in scaling up growth for Technology, SaaS, and Professional Services organisations. With 30 years hands-on experience and unique approach, Nigel has developed an effective strategy that dramatically increases exposure and profitability for B2B organizations.

Nigel has founded multiple start-ups, is a published author, public speaker and hosts both a podcast and business live streaming show, broadcast on LinkedIn Live, YouTube & Facebook. He also has extensive knowledge of MarTech software, creative hardware and software, and A.I. prompting tools.  Contact: 0800 970 9751 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.