Just like in the B2C world, pull marketing could easily be every B2B marketer’s fantasy. The appetite for pull marketing is out there but not many people understand it and worse, they label it as “viral marketing”. Everyone with a marketing budget wants a bit of viral. In B2B viral fantasy world the marketer commissions the campaign to an agency, launches and then sits back and watches the eyeballs roll in. Reality is much harsher.
True viral campaigns, where unprovoked interest in the subject matter increases exponentially with time, are very few and far in-between (an excellent example of successful B2B viral is the Grasshopper campaign).
For most B2B companies pull marketing reality is short lived “viral” campaigns where interest dies as soon as the seeding budget runs out and where no long-term affinity is created with the brand, product or service. Such failures have been attributed to the audiences’ short attention span, busy schedules and saturation of their living and working environments with thousands of ads and marketing messages. Lately however marketers are discovering that their super-busy and disloyal audiences find the time to spend an average of 7 hours a month on Facebook (Nielsen, January 2010) and that 67% of them are more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter (CMB Consumer Pulse, February 2010) and realising that B2B marketing needs to adapt to a new reality.