In b-to-b marketing, fear and greed are all you’ve got

Years ago a mentor told me that in consumer advertising, there are many motivations for someone to act. But when you’re talking to someone about a product or service for their business, the motivations are less varied. In fact, they boil down to two:

  • Fear
  • Greed


That was nearly 20 years ago. A lot has changed, but I cannot see any evidence that this has changed at all. Your thoughts?

3 Replies to “In b-to-b marketing, fear and greed are all you’ve got”

  1. Absolutely agree that Fear and Greed would top the list. I would say Pride has a lot to do with effectively marketing a product or service as well although it might fall under the Fear heading.

  2. Good addition Pete. I recognize you as a very early visitor to my blog, from way back in the spring of 2006. One of my “charter readers,” so to speak. 🙂

    Thanks for your two cents. Yes, if someone wants to present a positive impression to customers, prospects and colleagues that is favorable when compared with competitors (either enterprise competitors or those who might want your job), that places Pride definitely in the Fear column. As in: “I’m afraid of losing market share or my current position in the company.”

    You cannot be so overt in your message as to say something like that, but you can talk about pride.

  3. Writing in Target Magazine, Denny Hatch quoted Bob Hacker who said ”If your copy is not dripping with one or more of the eight key direct marketing copy drivers, tear it up and start over: fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation, flattery, patriotism.”

    There’s six more for you.

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