B2B marketing has been sailing the seas along predictable routes for decades now. The expected marketing campaigns, powered by unopened emails and under performing social media posts have delivered nothing but uninspiring results while sucking up resources. 

The SS B2C changed course years ago, it embraced creativity and made people care about the brands and industries. B2C brands started to push the boundaries, they connected with people, solved problems and the results speak for themselves. 

But now it’s time to be brave in B2B too. Set sail for uncharted waters, get ready to stand out and be the leading business in your industry. 

Here’s all the things that help brave B2B marketing campaigns make it back to shore, while the others sink. 

Brave B2B marketing is built on creativity 

When all else is equal, creativity is the differentiator. This is double true for B2B where brave creative campaigns have a real chance to stand out in a sea of same-old-same old. Creativity is all about unlocking the potential in your team. Creativity doesn’t clock in at 9 am and out at 5.30 pm, it’s fluid and needs to be given the right environments to flourish. 

At 256 creativity isn’t confined to certain people or job titles, we get together as a group and brainstorm new ideas with everyone encouraged to contribute. Sessions like these helped us come up with our award-winning campaign for Irish Life which originally came from our social media team. 

We’d all heard about the pension pay gap, but for most, it’s just a figure on a screen that we’ll deal with much further down the road. It’s not something that people immediately respond to. But if you’re being handed an ice cream and you get less than your partner just because you’re a woman, people take notice.  

How to chart a better B2B course: Make a connection with people and be memorable. There’s so much B2B content out there that’s not even forgettable because it hasn’t registered with anyone in the first place. A LinkedIn study found that emotional ad campaigns lead to x7 times more business growth, there are profits in being personal. Think of your content as art, it has to provoke a response otherwise it’s just white noise. 

Follow the data and insights to inform B2B strategy

When you work in marketing you can sometimes drown in stats and figures from all sorts of reports. But every now and again one really stands out. 

90% of content created gets no traffic from Google. 

Think about that. 90%. If you publish one article a day for two weeks, statistically, only one of them gets seen. It’s disheartening and a waste of time and money, we all need to do better and this all starts at the concept stage of a campaign. 

Great ideas are absolutely vital for brave B2B marketing, but they can’t exist in a vacuum. If you’re not solving somebody’s problem then you’re unlikely to gain any meaningful attention.

Creative campaigns need to be built on a foundation of data and insights. This clearly defines an issue that you’re going to solve through your creative thinking. 

Without following the data and research, we wouldn’t have come up with the creative that helped us far exceed our goals with CCV. 

The research showed that CCV’s customers, who use the company for payment transactions, thought Amazon was dominating the market and that the current landscape ‘felt like a jungle’. 

We developed eye-catching visuals around a suite of animals for use across eBooks, landing pages, blogs and social ads. This approach was relevant and immediately punched through the blandscape of the competition to drive 6x more impressions than the original objectives. 

How to stay afloat in choppy B2B waters: Take insights on board and make them the core of your campaigns. 

Strategically plan your B2B campaign 

Brave marketing doesn’t live or die by the creative team alone, it takes a village – you need a strategy in place. 

The majority of B2B marketing is based around creating awareness and interest, this is great news for the brave ones out there. Creating eye-catching hero content can change the course of a brand and open you up to a whole new audience. 

But on the flip side, only 28% of B2B marketers make content for people who are in the middle of the funnel and need one more nudge to convert. It gets worse though, only 5% of the same marketers create content for B2B buyers for times when they’re not buying. 

This shows a clear lack of strategy and a lack of customer insight, because even though the buyer is working in B2B, they’re still people too and enjoy not getting the hard sell 100% of the time. 

How to steady your ship: Be brave and make sure to use some of your budget to be human. The people interested in your brand will appreciate and remember it. 

Know the B2B audience you’re talking to and how 

At 256 we’re huge believers in brave marketing, but it can’t be brave just for the sake of being brave, it needs to be guided by a strategic approach and targeted towards your potential clients. 

Most marketers know that you need to develop personas for the people who you want to market to. It usually happens in the early days of the business and creates these personas around age, gender, job title and a whole host of other determining factors. 

But personas need to be fluid assets. The way people consume content and interact with others is constantly changing, so you need to be adaptable to meet these needs. 

Traditionally, 80% of B2B social media leads come through LinkedIn, but as Millennials are climbing the work ladder into C-Suite roles (50% of B2B buyers are Millennials now), how we market to them has to change. 

How to plan for years of plain sailing: Embrace new forms of marketing. AR is gathering steam and Meta is investing heavily in the Metaverse. Being prepared and the first to market on these emerging platforms helps you to own the space. Legacy approaches need to be left in the past. The future is about adapting to how, where and why people consume content, rather than hoping they’ll adapt to you. 

 

To navigate the choppy seas of brave marketing you need an experienced crew, 256 can hoist the sails and steer towards calmer waters and achieve your goal of being a brave marketer. 

Get in touch with us and see how we can help you. 



Cian Byrne Content Marketing Manager Cian Byrne is in charge of all of 256's marketing. From coming up with attention-getting campaigns and developing our growth in Europe and the US, he loves to balance creativity with robust data and research.

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