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Business to Business Internet Marketing

Business to Business Internet Marketing by Barry Silverstein
by Barry Silverstein

Published by Maximum Press, 2000
Paperback, 522 pages
ISBN: 1-885068-38-7

Barry Silverstein is an Internet marketing enthusiast. Having spent more than 25 years in a direct marketing environment he has recognised the obvious potential of the medium and expects this method of marketing to become dominant in the marketing world, with all other forms of marketing becoming subordinate to it. To some this will be a controversial view, but to marketers in the B2B field, here is an advocate who can pass on plenty of experience and advice to the open-minded reader.

Like all books written about Internet marketing techniques, its shelf life can be limited by rapid developments in the field. Only a year after the first edition was published, the next edition appeared and the 5 ‘proven strategies for success’ laid out in the original book increased to 7! No doubt another edition will appear soon to keep up with the latest trends and like all similar titles from Maximum Press, readers also have access to an updated ‘members only’ website.

So how does the book specifically help B2B marketers? In the first quarter of the book, Silverstein offers a ‘crash course’ in the basic principles of direct marketing to show newcomers how the Internet offers the perfect medium for this highly targeted and measurable technique. And if you need convincing about the potential power of the Internet, he summarises its benefits to business and how it is transforming the more traditional direct marketing methods.

These sections lead into the main core of the book – the 7 proven Internet strategies which are each covered in some detail. With a focus on business marketing, Silverstein explains how to generate and qualify sales leads using a variety of techniques such as e-mail, feedback forms, weblinks and banner ads. He also provides useful tips on setting up and marketing live web events (such as online trade shows and seminars) which is an aspect not covered by other Internet marketing books we have reviewed.

Other strategies for success covered by the book cover the all-important issues of fulfilment expectations, order generation and building customer relationships. It also discusses how to establish business communities on the web and managing successful partner programmes – all subjects that are not covered in much depth by other more general web marketing guides, but here provide valuable insights and advice on how to make these techniques work effectively.

The book concludes by reviewing how to make these strategies work in the reader’s own unique business, including how to present and justify the case for an internet marketing programme, backed up by an ‘audit’ and action plan.

This is not one of the easiest books to read about Internet marketing and it could do with some more illustrative examples to support the text. However, it is packed with valuable information and guidance for both marketing novices and more seasoned professionals looking to exploit the advantages offered by the Internet. The content is well presented with good chapter summaries, numerous web references, a glossary and an excellent index, making this one book that any serious business marketer should read before trying to exploit the opportunities offered by this still relatively new medium.