B2B Marketing and Dry White ToastBy Joe Walsh
July 2, 2014
The Business Marketing Association hosted its annual combine in Chicago recently.
The keynote address was given by General Electric’s CMO, Beth Comstock. I don’t know Beth, but I like her already. Speaking on the difference between B2C and B2B marketing, she observed, “Good marketing is the same at the end of the day—we’re all about people.” And she added: “B2B does not mean boring to boring.”
Here are a couple of tips we use for ourselves and clients to try to break from boring and change the way B2B or professional services marketers communicate for the better:
1. Always remember you are selling to a human and not to a company or a title. Understand and appeal to them individually. Connect to the heart and head simultaneously. But lead from and to the heart.
2. Take creative risks in the way you communicate. As a colleague of mine says, “If it doesn't make you slightly weak in the knees, it’s likely to be overlooked as ordinary or more of the same.”
3. Focus on benefits instead of features. Many B2B providers lead with benefits, which makes the communication about the business and not the customer or client. Simple tool, complete this phrase for all your communications. “Because of ________, I can _________, which means ________.” Focus on “I can” and “which means” in your marketing. Then support with “because of” stuff, like proof.
By the way, the BMA event is wonderful. Check it out some time.