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How to stop your B2B marketing being so boring

Posted by: Ben Fox on 15 August 2018

There’s a misconception in B2B marketing that the people reading your emails, watching your ads and browsing your content — the decision makers — are very serious people indeed.

The type of people who are turned on by spreadsheets, who relish the thought of 4-hour work meetings. Serious business people doing serious business things.

But in reality, they’re just humans, who do normal stuff like watching TV and shopping for groceries. With human emotions like happiness, sadness, fear and surprise.

Stop thinking in B2B terms

Do phrases like “Outsourcing solutions to exceed your expectations”, or “Achieve maximum productivity with service delivery excellence” capture your eye?

No.

Does stock imagery with multinational staff in business suits high-fiving around a boardroom table make you think “these are the guys I want to do business with!”

Again, probably not.

This dull, lifeless, corporate bullshit language and imagery has almost zero impact on people, yet businesses are persisting with it because they think this is the way to speak to other businesses.

Instead, your messaging should be conversational, impactful and totally unignorable. More H2H (Human to Human) than B2B.

6 steps to delivering amazing B2B marketing campaigns

1. Define your proposition

You need to know exactly why somebody should buy your product or use your service. Get to the nitty-gritty of what you offer, and how it will improve the lives of your audience. Focus on benefits rather than features and use the strongest buyer benefits to frame your big idea.

2. Come up with the big idea

This is the fun bit. A strong message that gets your proposition across, attracts the attention of your audience and compels them to buy. Inspiration could come from books, songs, your childhood, people you’ve met, places you’ve been… anywhere. Copy should come before any imagery. And you should always keep it simple.

3. Choose a creative approach

How will you communicate the big idea? You could tell a story of how your product has changed somebody’s life, use humour to entertain people so they don’t feel like you’re pitching to them, or shock tactics to make them stop and think. Above all, make your messaging clear, and avoid business buzzwords.

4. Build a plan of action

Once you’ve decided what you want to say, creating your plan comes down to the channels you’ll be using and the people you’ll be targeting, which could be by industry, sector, role or company. The better your targeting, the more personal your messaging can be.

5. Create the stuff

Now for the graft. Every element of your campaign should have a strong image, a simple message and a consistent voice, look and feel across all media. Just look at how Apple’s clean and simple integrated marketing works seamlessly across their website, stores, adverts and even the boxes the iPhones arrive in.

6. Measure and improve

The best brands never stop testing. So, when your campaign is delivered, everything you do should be tracked, or at the very least, split tested. This lets you know what’s worked, what’s bombed and where you need to optimise for the next phase of the campaign. Once you’ve made the tweaks, it’s time to go again.

Need some help with your big idea? Get in touch.

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