B-to-B marketers distinguish between several types of contacts, when faced with many executives in the decision-making chain, while trying to make a sale.

That is the finding of a new report, The B-to-B Sphere of Influence: Best Practices in Reaching the Right Person, released by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) at its annual B-to-B Marketing Conference on Tuesday, reports BtoB magazine.

Some 65 per cent of companies believe their clients have three to five people in the “sphere of influence”, which consists of executives involved in the decision-making process for purchases, the report found.

The findings also indicated that more than 80 per cent of marketers that distinguish between contact types use this information to tailor their message to the appropriate audience.

Moreover, around 60 per cent of marketers said that they rely on titles or reports from their sales force to make distinctions.

According to the Direct Mail Information Service, business managers open 70 per cent of direct mail items, while nine per cent is redirected to a colleague and 20 per cent is filed or responded to.
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