Myths are a common part of life. It’s often said the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space, for example, and bulls get angry when they see the colour red, but neither of these is true.
Many myths are harmless and fun to believe (even if they’re completely false), but there are times when they can have negative consequences. In the world of marketing, for example, clinging on to outdated or inaccurate ideas could limit your imagination and deprive you of opportunities.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three common B2B marketing myths you should stop believing straight away.
Myth #1: B2B marketing can’t be fun
Anyone who believes this is simply lacking imagination.
Think about it this way: if the majority of marketers believe B2B marketing can’t be fun, there’s a huge opportunity for those who think differently.
A product or service that could be considered dry or boring gives you a blank canvas from which to create a campaign that evokes a different reaction from your audience. Compare this to B2C marketing for products like sportswear or games consoles – segments that are already saturated with a sense of excitement and wonder, making it difficult for new brands to distinguish themselves and make their mark.
There are many examples of B2B brands that have taken a fresh approach by integrating humour into their marketing. One of the best is Cisco, which wanted to create a video to promote its ASR 9000 router.
Cisco was aware that its content around this product had the potential to be slightly dull, so it took a funny angle for this video, which it released just before Valentine’s Day.
Who would have thought that a promotional video for something as pragmatic and uninspiring as a router would be so well-suited to comedy? But this video works really well, and it managed to add mainstream appeal to a product that doesn’t usually get much attention.
Myth #2: Businesses don’t buy on social
Typical B2B sales funnels are long and complex, right? There can be several personas involved before a final decision is made, and this can take time since several factors have to align, like budget, resources and completion of other projects.
But throughout this time the audience aren’t just monitoring their inbox and reading the latest whitepaper. They’re human after all!
Companies need to share thought leadership content as well as product information, to influence this long and complex B2B buyer cycle.
So why do B2B marketers often overlook social media, when the majority of time spent by their audience throughout this process is on social platforms? It really is the ideal stage on which to influence the sales process and maximise your chances of conversion.
Where better to show off your understanding of your audience’s interests and concerns than on the very platforms they use to engage with new content?
You can use social media to:
- Demonstrate your brand values
- Tell your audience what’s unique about you
- Show how well you understand what’s important to your customers
Myth #3: Business buyers only make rational decisions
This is like saying consumers only purchase a product if it makes them feel a certain way, and ignore rational factors like price and compatibility.
B2B decision-makers are consumers when they’re at home or shopping at the weekends, and while they’re likely to have a different mindset when it comes to making purchases at work, the fundamentals of how they think won’t necessarily change.
They still have:
- Emotions that drive their decisions
- Aspirations to achieve
- Concerns to address
You could find you have a lot to fain from viewing your B2B buyers as consumers with a very specific set of requirements.
Neil deGrasse Tyson once said in an interview with Fast Company: “Don’t call me left-brained, right-brained. Call me human.”
The left brain/right brain concept can lead people to believe they fit into one group or the other. But experienced marketers will know that things are rarely that black and white.
Find the rational competitive advantage in your product or service and infuse it with the most relevant and powerful emotion to impact your audience. Then develop your marketing around that.
If you’re looking for more information and advice on how to add some excitement to your B2B marketing, Axonn can help.