Stumped for ways to improve your creative? Sometimes the best ideas come from looking at B2B examples around you. As you audit your marketing collateral, consider lessons learned from some recent campaigns from those in the PMMI Media Group community.
1.) Make the features real. The famous marketing quote from Harvard Business School’s Theodore Levitt stands the test of time: “People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” Scan your own recent ads and consider whether you’re focusing on product features, or taking the more meaningful approach of addressing how you meet prospects’ pain. This example of a recent social post from Glenroy about the impact of its flexible packaging on a customer’s day-to-day business is powerful. The viewer instantly connects with the need to solve the expense and environmental impact of unnecessary shipping—and Glenroy quantifies exactly how its products can help.
2.) Teach them how to shop your product category. “Sales enablement content” is increasingly important to marketers. Many prospects want to research at their own pace, contacting sales people only after they have done an initial analysis of their needs, exploration of solutions and identification of requirements, as noted by Gartner. “Sales reps are not the only channel to customers, but simply a channel, and alignment across in-person and digital channels is crucial for supporting customers in the way they actually buy.” (Gartner, CSO Update: The New B2B Buying Journey and Its Implications for Sales.)
How well does your content support customers with their struggles to buy? Consider how this excellent piece from ProMach assists prospects in learning how to shop labeling systems, with a three-step approach that could easily be replicated regardless of product category focusing on 1) questions new comers should ask 2) an overview of different product types and how they differ and 3) tips for use (in this case shelf appeal).
3.) Don’t underestimate the power of influencers. Chances are, most of your marketing collateral is targeted to key decision makers. But major B2B purchases are made by teams, and often many influencers play a vital role in decisions as well. Consider this video from PTC, which offers solutions to IT leaders around data connectivity and cybersecurity. An important secondary audience for the company is plant leadership and those working in manufacturing operations. Note how the messaging appeals to these important influencers, reminding them of their role. When it comes time for IT to work with the broader team to identify and vet potential security suppliers, PTC will have helped foster awareness—and perhaps helped drive consideration—across this broader buying group.
Consider your own product category and the various roles that often are pulled in to participate on the buying team and whether your messaging sufficiently speaks to them.
4.) Connect using emotion. This recent e-blast from Orkin promotes an e-guide download on pest control to those working in food processing plants using the reader’s feelings of fear as a hook.
Note the alarming phrases in the body copy: “A small number of flies can be a symptom of a bigger problem. Flies thrive off a buffet of decay and have the potential to spread a variety of disease-causing pathogens. Now, picture these grimy pests touching every area of your facility. A fly problem can quickly turn a nuisance into a nightmare.” A lot more engaging than simply asking someone to read about your company’s long history and services around pest control, no?
While your own product category may not align as easily with the creepy crawlies out there, chances are your customers have other pressing fears that are just as likely to grab their attention, whether it’s emotions around wasting money, not operating safely or falling behind competitors.
5.) Tie your product to something bigger. Another way to get your creative noticed is to tie into bigger issues. What are the hot topics of the day? Using a regulatory change, news item or recent trend as a springboard, think of ways your team can showcase its expertise with how-to guidance or tips to address the issue. As an example, packaging supplier Liquibox recently teamed up with consultants at GlobalData on a webinar 5 Steps to Sustainable Flexible Packaging for Liquids, where they promised to share with attendees a toolkit for understanding environmental impact of their packaging choices. This sort of educational approach is a far more engaging way to grab the interest of beverage companies than to simply make a straight product pitch about liquid packaging solutions. Whether it’s COVID, e-commerce, increasing automation or any number of other issues of the day, when you can tie your product message meaningfully to an important issue of the day, you instantly are more likely to gain interest.
Have you seen or worked on any great campaigns that you would like to share? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in future articles.