Do's and don'ts when advertising to businesses

b2b advertising Marketing to business owners is not all that different from advertising to end consumers, after all, they are people too. While there will be differences in techniques, the overall emphasis on your marketing efforts will mostly be similar to how you would reach and persuade individual customers to buy your product or service.

Here are five basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to business to business (B2B) advertising, they are particularly true if you are new and trying to break into the industry:


  • Be Creative
  • Be Colorful
  • Be Direct
  • Be Brief
  • Be Perseverant

First of all, you will need to get their attention. Whether you use a third-party ad server, create direct videos or post advertisements in online trade magazines, it pays to be creative with your ads. Make things interesting and memorable because business executives are very busy people. Aside from being creative, being colorful is also important in attracting attention. Make sure not to overdo it though and try to find a balance just enough to get their attention without going too far and pushing potential businesses away. You do not want to make an inappropriate joke or offend a certain group of people.

Business owners are always short on time and hence they appreciate directness, so make sure that your ad gets straight to the point. This goes hand in hand with being brief. The idea is to get how your products and services benefit the company in meaningful and measurable ways. Offer a direct solution to their problem and not just a fancy feature.

Finally, be perseverant. No ad campaign is going to be perfect, but if you keep at it by improving your ads, creating interesting videos, trying hard to get their attention, and having a quality product to back up your ads, you are surely going to be successful.


  • Don't Elaborate
  • Don't Overspend
  • Don't Emphasize Creativity Too Much
  • Don't Bury the Points
  • Don't Be Boring

Of course, there are also things to avoid when addressing business owners. Describing every detail of your product or service is a mistake. If you are creative and colorful enough, you will attract the business owners attention. When they are interested in what you have to offer, they will then ask for more information. There is no reason to spend a lot of money to have all the brochure, technical documentation and manual printed and ready in the first pitch. Don't spend your marketing on fancy items just because it might potentially be useful. Be smart with your marketing budget and spend only on necessary things that have a real return on investment. Too many businesses have gone under because they could not control their marketing expenses.

While creativity is important, it should be used as more of a hint than a hammer which means you should keep the focus on the quality of the content. You will want to emphasize the important aspects of your advertisement with appropriate bullet points, effective slogans, and attractive visual elements to ensure that they get through to the business owner.

Finally, create advertising that is interesting, unique and useful. Your ad needs those characteristics in order to pass through a long journey to the upper management. For a typical organization, there are multiple levels of decision making: from the gatekeepers to different departments and to the final decision maker. The last thing you want to be is boring as this will quickly lose the interest of your viewer and you fail to move to the next level.

Overall, whether you choose display, video, text, radio, TV or any other advertising channels to reach business owners, you need to remember that they are people, too. This means that your marketing efforts should provide information about your solution that is actually needed and wanted with a touch of creativity, style and color so that you stand out from the competition.

Posted in Ad Strategies June 09, 2017 (first published September 2015)


  • Ideas to get more bang for your advertising buck
    "In order for a business to succeed, it must introduce its products and/or services to as many people as possible. For that to happen, a solid marketing strategy must be put in place that will use multiple advertising mediums to be able to maximize its reach. " More
  • 5 ways small advertisers can use video advertising
    "You have probably heard the old saying about a picture being a thousand words. Given that rate of exchange, just how valuable would a video be to a small business in today’s market? " More
  • Five most common online advertising mistakes
    "Every business needs to find a way to standout from its competitors and attract as many customers as possible. This can be done via advertising, and in the digital age, there are more ways than ever before to get your message out to the masses. " More