This weekend, Hollywood is preparing for the biggest annual film awards ceremonies in the world - The Oscars. The award for “Best Original Screenplay” may not be the most prestigious, but it’s the award that celebrates the beauty of a film’s story and script.
So, how does this apply to B2B marketing? Well, just as these films have certain elements within the story that make the film memorable, marketing needs to be captivating. It needs to focus on people, not the company. We as humans don’t relate to companies, we respond to people, their struggles, and their highs and lows, because we can empathise and relate to their emotions.
We should be utilising these elements within our B2B marketing to tell a story about our brands, services and identity, and how we can save the day for the protagonist in your story (the buyer).
So here’s the thing, I’m going to use ‘Inside Out’ (the latest Disney Pixar movie) in my examples, because, let’s face it, the other nominations are a bit…gritty.
There are 3 elements you should consider when writing your B2B Marketing story (i)
The Hero/Main Character
In ‘Inside Out’, our hero is Riley, a little girl from Minnesota, and the story is about the characterised animations of her emotions. Because of these emotions, we immediately see Riley’s innermost thoughts. In B2B marketing, your prospects, customer and clients are your heroes, but we are unable to see their emotions like in the film. Start by creating personas on your heroes. Whether it’s a Managing Director or Head of Finance we can delve deeper into their needs, wants and pain points, and start to understand them better.
Riley’s obstacle is her parents’ decision to move to a new city. For our B2B heroes, obstacles could include not getting enough sales-ready leads for their sales teams, or for marketing, struggling to get to grips with the complexity of marketing automation. It’s important that when you’re telling your story, we as marketers address the conflict and pain points and show we understand and empathise with the buyer’s struggles.
Obviously I‘m not going to spoil the end of the film for you, but this is the part where we get to resolve our hero’s dilemma. Offering helpful, useful advice in a straightforward way assures our hero that their pain points can be vanquished. Just like ‘Inside Out’, references to each emotion throughout the story can be used in our own B2B marketing story. It shows we understand our hero and are more likely to gain their trust, and be seen as a thought leader.
Remember, each hero you’re targeting deserves their own story, whether it’s a Sales Director, Head of Procurement, Managing Director or even a Marketing and Planning Executive like myself. Creating personas and knowing what your hero needs will ensure your B2B marketing story is a winning one, perhaps even worthy of an Academy Award!
If you'd like to find out more on how to create personas...