There’s No Such Thing As B2B Marketing

We do a lot of work for clients who don’t sell their products or services in a retail store.  We, like most of the world refer to a lot of that kind of work as Business-to-Business marketing (or B2B if you like business-speak).  The problem is, too often, people talk about B2B marketing as if it should be less creative, less engaging and more predictable.  Big product photos.  Lots of stock photography.  Diversity.  Political correctness. AP Stylebook English.  Print advertising.  Features, features, features.

6a00d83451f23a69e20120a61ff2ff970b-250wi-239x300Now think about this … the person who gets up in the morning and lathers up with their Zest soap, rolls on their Old Spice deodorant, pours their AE Dairy milk into their bowl of Kellogs Rice Krispies and stops by the Kum and Go on the way to work for gas and a coffee is the same person who sits down behind the desk and decides where their company is going to bank, what kind of color copier they are going to buy and who they should buy their insurance from.  They don’t want boring and bland from the companies who are trying to market to them.  They get enough of that by sitting through lifeless Powerpoint presentations read to them off the wall.  They want someone who is going to engage them and invent ways to fix their problems.

The biggest difference between consumer/retail marketing and B2B marketing is that the problems are often bigger, the people are easier to target and the creative bar is usually much lower.

It doesn’t matter what you are marketing, you’re still marketing to PEOPLE.  These people don’t  change once they cross over the threshold of their office or cubicle.  So, why should the approach to getting their attention change from engaging and creative to boring and bland?

Think about all the ways you talk to your B2B customers. If you’re still doing the same things you’ve done for the past five years, you’ve missed a whole generation of marketing tools and opportunities related to the web, personalization, social media, event marketing, public relations and more – all tools that any B2B marketer should at least be considering adding to their marketing arsenal.  So stop thinking like a B2B marketer and start being a creative marketer.