Let’s get personal.
The sudden arrival of coronavirus has changed the world as we know it; nowhere is that more evident than in the world of B2B sales. Traditional forms of B2B marketing have been made redundant as the pandemic has taken hold and social distancing become mandatory. As the workplace has migrated from office to home, B2B marketers have had to shift their thinking and borrow some ideas from their consumer counterparts.
Personal and emotional factors
B2B marketing is having to tap into the ‘people buy from people’ mindset, resulting in their campaigns taking on a more personal twist. Business-to-business campaigns are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from consumer campaigns, a trend that many industry experts don’t see as a temporary shift.
Entertaining and emotional are not usually factors top of the priority list for b2b marketers, but as decision-makers are now working in an environment of kitchen table and slippers, rather than boardroom and business suit, so the strategy has had to adjust.
The lack of face-to-face meetings, sales conferences, corporate events is resulting in sales having to be done remotely, but hiding behind an email is not going to get results. The line between customers’ professional and personal lives have blurred so creative thinking to devise marketing ideas that are not too corporate and target ‘people’ not just ‘customers’ is essential for success.
Decision-making in the home environment
Stepping out of the B2B comfort zone of devising campaigns based on literal and rational elements is not easy. It takes a more creative mindset to devise campaigns that make emotional connections.
The combination of the rise in digital platforms and the onset of Covid have resulted in B2B marketers having to make rapid changes in their thinking and strategies. B2B customers are now inhabiting a new environment, they have been taken out of the corporate world and are making decisions while in a home setting. Any successful marketing has to realise this shift and adjust their campaigns to focus on experience not just product. Only by innovating and embracing new digital platforms will marketers be able to lead customers to engage with their brands.
Four essential B2B solutions to embrace now
Don’t stick to traditional methods
Rational and methodical are not going to win any prizes in this new covid-world. This is the time to entertain, engage and encourage emotional responses through any marketing efforts.
Make them laugh
Recent research from the B2B Institute at LinkedIn found that humour in B2B gained higher ranking in 2020 than in previous years. Why is this? Well, using humour as form of escapism from reality, we’re helping our audience to look at things differently and realise things that are true in a wider sense. And it’s working.
Make it personal
There’s now no such thing as work brain and personal brain. Any campaigns need to have a personal tone. We’re all more in tune with our emotions during these bewildering times so tap into that and encourage empathy.
Up the quality
Your customers’ expectations have been influenced by B2C marketing so don’t risk looking old-fashioned and out-of-touch by sticking to traditional marketing methods. Embrace change and look to create the most innovative and creative campaigns.
The most effective B2B marketing over the next few years will aim to engage both sides of the brain. It will show how what we do relates to things in life that have taken on new levels of importance: generosity, togetherness, humour, escapism. Very few business decision-makers would dismiss these things as unimportant today, particular after all our experiences with Covid-19. As B2B marketers, we shouldn’t ignore these things either. The more of these elements, particularly humour, we can incorporate into our campaigns, the more effective they will be.