Even in the most technical of B2B environments people are still human and will engage with inspiring creative. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget that B2B buyers are no different from B2C buyers and we need to remind ourselves that it’s the people we’re talking to, not the business.
As B2B marketing becomes more automated, creativity is at risk of being compromised, but we’d argue that creative has a more important role now than ever before. How else will you cut through the noise, flex the boundaries of new channels and get your brand noticed?
As buyers ourselves, we all have expectations about how and where we like to be spoken to. And we certainly notice when our expectations are not met; when we’re uncomfortable with when, where and how.
Our advice is to get to know the channels your audience prefers to use and what they expect to get from each channel. If, for example, they use a channel for research, they will not want to receive a sales message in that channel. It will put them off straight away.
If you’re looking for a response from your marketing such as renewing a contract, making a claim, getting a quote or completing a form, try to visualise every step from your buyer’s perspective and make it easy for them. Small changes to your process can make a huge difference to response.
Your buyers have had their expectations set by companies like Amazon and eBay. Like all of us, if it’s easy, we’ll do it. If we have the slightest head scratch or think you’re asking more from us than necessary, we’ll stop, we’ll put it off, we may even abandon it all together.
Mintel’s 2018 Europe Consumer Trends research tells us buyers are looking for brands to ‘court them with transparency, simplicity and evidence’. If you can become an authority on your subject, but not overtly sell your product as the solution, you will earn trust.
Tempting as it is to promote our products through every channel, the truth is that’s not what buyers want to hear about until later in the relationship. All of us in marketing, B2B and B2C, must work hard to master the art of ‘tell, not sell’.
As tech develops and possibilities seem endless, keeping it simple is becoming more challenging. But simplicity is what buyers are looking for.
We are all busy. Our worlds are full of interruptions. We are looking for simple, transparent truths, backed up by evidence. We want things to be simple to find, simple to remember and simple to respond to. And that will make it simple to buy.