In B2B Marketing, It’s All About the Offer


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Assuming that you have a quality product or service, with a compelling value proposition, aimed at the right target audience, the marketing offer will be a key difference in your success (or lack thereof). So what do I mean by offer? In simple terms, a marketing offer is what you propose to give to the prospect, and what you are asking for in return. The offer is the “What’s in it for me?” part of the marketing equation. How do you know if you have an effective offer? Here are the six criteria every B2B Marketing offer should meet:

  1. It works. Unless the offer achieves the intended results, it is not a good offer.
  2. It is compatible with your organization’s positioning statement. Offers that are not compatible may generate short-term results but be counterproductive in the long term.
  3. It is compelling enough to cut through the marketplace clutter and your prospect’s preoccupation. The average consumer is exposed to up to 3,000 promotional messages per week. You must have an offer that stands out clearly to overcome this barrage.
  4. It is targeted at exactly the right audience. For instance, employees are motivated by offers that help them get promoted, build their work spheres of influence, and make their jobs easier or faster. Upper management is motivated by increased sales, lower costs, and saving time.
  5. It is aimed at the proper stage of the sales cycle. For example, information offers are used for prospects that are in the information-gathering stage, and pricing offers are used when prospects are in the purchasing phase.
  6. It is powerful enough to demand immediate attention from the prospect. If possible, the offer should be tied to a strong call to action that shouts, “Take advantage of this offer right now.”

The type of B2B Marketing offer you use should be based on the objectives of your program. If you are selling a high-ticket or complex product, or if you need to make a personal sales call to finalize a transaction, you should choose an offer geared to sales lead generation. Conversely, if you are promoting a low-ticket, non-complex item via online, phone, or mail, you will use a different type of offer.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


  1. Nice post on offers. This is a very good checklist to consider before spending time and money on an offer.

    Regarding criteria 3, a challenge is to create a compelling offer that rises above the marketplace clutter for one’s prospects.

    Do you have suggestions on how to identify potential offers that are powerful and compelling to your market?

  2. Myron, good point about creating an offer that rises above the competition. The choice of offer is highly dedependent on the target audience and competition. It’s very important to provide an offer that answers the primary pain point of the prospect. I’ve had very good success with our clients with information offers like white papers and case studies.

  3. while I cannot disagree with anything you have shared here, one caveat comes to mind. Doesn’t a product category also define a workable niche? In other words when a product category is broken down to its simplest elements are you not defining a niche or audience based on common likes and or dislikes of that product category? And the demographics of these people sharing interest in these products defines the audience.

    I am way new at this so maybe my thinking is backward, but right now it makes perfect sence to me.


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