Why do so many B2B Brands need to stop thinking like B2B Brands?

Once upon a time it was all so easy. If you made widgets and you knew that your existing, and potential, customers read ‘Widget Monthly’ you simply booked an ad and sat back to wait for the orders to roll in.

These days the vast majority of businesses have moved on, got ‘with the programme’ and tapped into a whole new world. Even widget manufacturers know all about social media, content, events, search and peer-to-peer networking.

Amazingly though, all too many people still seem to be in the dark ages when it comes to the creation of ads and DM pieces. How else does one explain the plethora of B2B communication vehicles that still feature stock shots of people shaking hands, grotesquely large product shots and reams of product features and specifications?

The remedy is simple. B2B brands need to stop thinking like B2B brands and their marketing teams need to stop believing that marketing to businesses is completely different from marketing to consumers. It isn’t…it’s exactly the same.

Top Tips:

  • B2B customers deserve the same level of creativity and strategic thinking as consumers.
  • B2B brands’ customers need to be hooked into communications via compelling copy and ‘different’ imagery. The kind of copy and imagery they are used to seeing every day as consumers. They can wade through your product’s features/ specifications and check out what your products look like after you’ve driven them to your website.
  • B2B communications need to be just as emotionally engaging as B2C communications. Believing the opposite was the perceived wisdom a few years ago but the simple fact of the matter is that when customers buy a chocolate bar they’re in a ‘risk-free’ zone. B2B decisions are high risk. People can lose their jobs if not enough widgets are sold. Get your target audience’s attention, tell them about your key proposition and engage them emotionally at the same time. (“75% of buying decisions are based on emotion”-Source: Kristie Tamsevicius.)
  • “Most B2B buyers will get 70% of the way through the buying process before they are willing to engage with a sales person.” (Source:Hubspot.) All the more reason to build a brand-to-brand emotional attachment early on so that you’re ‘on the shopping list’ because of the quality of your communication vehicles.
  • Whilst B2B communications should be just like B2C communications, B2B purchases are totally unlike B2C purchases. They will almost always involve more than one decision maker. So ensure that your agency, or design consultancy, creates communications that are designed to be kept and to work well when they are passed up the chain.