Last week I was invited to a presentation by B2B Marketing on ‘Marketing at the speed of light’. It gives great insight into the latest trends and challenges B2B marketers are facing in industry right now, and touches on the things we need to get to grips with to evolve.
One slide in particular grabbed my attention with a jaw dropping sense of alarm! This piece was titled ‘The 2019 B2B Marketing Trend Tracker: The B2B mind’.1
A creative ‘WHY’ still counts when you’re under the cosh
As a creative, part of my job is to ask ‘why’, and I do… a lot! Speaking to creatives when you’re not one of them (and you’re under the cosh to get the job done at the speed of light) must be like dealing with a tenacious toddler. You know, the ones with an insatiable appetite for understanding, and a desperate need to rationalise everything! I get it, and I see it every day. We’re the crazy kids. As a CEO, CMO, or project manager, you’re the measured guardian who knows best. You grin and bear the barrage of seemingly senseless questioning, because you know if you answer them, and steer us in the right direction, pretty soon something wonderful will happen – great results.
But there’s a reason us crazies ask why, it’s because we care emphatically about what’s said, to whom, when, and WHY. This ensures that when we say something, it has impact, it cuts straight to the no-fear neuron of our audience’s brain, and provokes an instant, deeply rooted and human response. Cutting straight to ‘why’ can lead to a measurable difference to marketing results.
What frightens me most about the B2B mind
If you look closely at this year’s B2B Marketing Trend Tracker, the ‘Big Idea’ is sitting half-way down on the agenda. Only 44% for clients and 54% of agencies think it’s a focus for the team in 2019. And this got me thinking… what’s happened to ‘why’?
You might be thinking “So what? We get how imperative the big idea is, in fact we nail that! We know what makes our audience tick and how to get them emotively engaged. Thinking creatively and big ideas are not our problem. Tech stack, CX, ABM & GDPR are our bug bears, and our focus for 2020. When we get those things right, we’ll be more impactful, we’ll cut through when and where it counts, with meaningful marketing.” If you’re in this position, and you are nailing the big idea, you’re no doubt right. And no doubt you’ll be a leader in your field.
However, if your train of thought is “So what? Big Idea, that’s old hat. It’s not important right now. What is important is our ability to invest resource in the latest martech. We need to be up to speed with everyone else. Right now, our voice just needs to be out there, fast. Mixed messages don’t matter, as long as a message lands somewhere, before someone else. If we get there first our target audience will listen and respond. And then we’ll react. And if we can’t, well get some tech that can.” If this is you, you are in danger of being swamped by a swathe of software starts-ups, a choice of over 7,000 in fact, who may make you feel innovative, but won’t actually make you different, or cutting-edge.
Combat the complexity creatively and maximise your results
So, if you’re in the ‘tech tribe’ and believe martech is the maker of real results. STOP! And look at who’s really leading the field. Sense check if seamless marketing without emotional substance is a story worth telling. Look back at your experiences of the digital groundswell and remember the fixes we had to make when we got the ‘don’t make me think’. Look at ABM as an opportunity to get back to great creative marketing for individuals. And, be obsessive about your real objective. Think big and get creative in how you combat the complexity of today’s customer journey to maximise real results.
If you want to supercharge your next marketing campaign with a big idea that cuts through the white noise and slaps your audience around the face, then speak to us today on 02392 314498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.