Copywriting: the unsung hero of B2B

We bang on a lot about the importance of copywriting in B2B but we don’t often see good data to support our case. I found some while listening to an excellent webcast by Joe Pulizzi of Junta 42 and Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers (Jeff is a passionate pipeline marketer you might want to be following).

It’s from an SEOmoz survey and simply asks people how they choose what they read. The slide says it all:

SEOmoz survey on B2B copywriting

It still amazes me how many companies get so much right – a great product, compelling logic, an air-tight ROI case – then fall down at the final, most critical hurdle: putting the story into words that attract and convince. Fuzzy, jargon-packed copy alienates buyers. Clear, compelling copy attracts them.

Thanks for sharing this Joe and Jeff.

(BTW – Jeff’s white paper, “Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email” is also worth a read).


I like this a lot – I often find myself falling into the trap of writing for speed rather than quality. It’s a handy reminder to anyone who has to write copy as part of their role (I’m sure professional copywriters need no reminder!).

Thanks for posting this Doug. I was just discussing that very topic this morning over coffee. Those who think posting low-value, high-volume content will ‘win’ them customers via SEO are missing the point – it’s the people in the SEO equation that evaluate the content for credibility and quality. The result of that evaluation makes them buyers or ‘bounces’. This slide does say it all – thanks for sharing.

Thanks Steves — it’s easy to forget that everything we do as B2B marketers eventually has to end up as words!

I am glad to see someone saying what is obvious to anyone who writes. Quality matters when it comes to thought leadership marketing. And so does insight, and originality. Good, thoughtful relevant content rises to the top. Sadly, most marketers cannot tell the difference. So they publish bloated white papers, lightly veiled brochures, rehashed third party content or wafer thin articles.

One problem is that copywriting is not the discipline in question here. Thought leadership selling is not copywriting. Copywriters are trained to write ads – usually with fewer than fifty words – not deliver thought leadership or insight. So traditional ad agencies are ill equipped to provide it. Finding someone who can write and think and has a sense of the sales cycle is very hard.

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