When was the last time you saw a B2B advertising campaign that really knocked your socks off?
I’ll give you a minute.
That you’re having difficulty calling something to mind is unsurprising to me. As a partner in a B2B marketing and advertising agency, I am intimately familiar with the particular challenges of this industry.
Namely that most B2B marketers aren’t given the freedom to elevate emotion.
This is especially true, I’ve found, when dealing with technology. Clients are so in love with the coolness of their product — The features! The integrations! The innovations! The acronyms! — it’s often difficult to convince them that we need to give their buyers more.
In a campaign briefing recently, I pressed the CMO of a large UCaaS company to get a deeper understanding of why someone would want their product. He looked at me, slightly nonplussed, and said: “Because we have the best technology. Period.”
Likewise, a data storage company we worked with listed the following top-level message in their campaign brief: “We’re No. 1.”
Stirring, isn’t it?
If this were enough to convince buyers, these brands would already dominate their industries; so would every other brand whose technology is “the best.”
The problem is that, with few exceptions — engineers, I’m looking at you — most people don’t feel moved by a feature list. And it’s people who buy products — including business products.
While this conclusion reflects years of my personal experience, it isn’t only that. We recently conducted some research that confirmed it. In a survey of several hundred B2B decision-makers, about half said they find B2B advertising boring, half felt most B2B websites aren’t as interesting and creative as consumer websites, and a vast majority (82 percent) wished B2B advertising had the creativity associated with B2C advertising. Fewer than a quarter of respondents said the B2B advertising they see often prompts them to take a next step toward making a purchase, and 81 percent believe they’d make better decisions if B2B advertising did a better job of engaging them.