Are you afraid?
If you work in B2B marketing, there’s a chance you are. Afraid of connecting with customers in new ways. Afraid of producing content that has a unique voice and brand personality. Afraid of being different.
And that’s a shame, because B2B companies have great stories to tell. They are changing the world in profound ways. Making new discoveries. Building incredible things. Developing innovations that help other businesses function.
Personally, I think there are monsters under their beds. In their closets. In the basement. There might be more, but here are the three I’ve been able to identify:
When B2B marketing materials are written, whether they’re web sites, blog posts, brochures, or press releases, they’re loaded with unintelligible, jargon-filled corporate speak that sounds like it was written by the undead. They lead with the gizmos and whizbangs and end with meaningless claims about features and benefits.
The Invisible Customer
When B2B marketers meet in the crypt -- I mean, conference room -- they talk about reaching the customer at first. But then the customer disappears. All of the Zombie Jargon creeps into the communication, and all focus on the customer -- who they are, what they care about, how they like to be communicated to -- is gone.
The Approvals Graveyard
In B2B companies, especially those driven by technology and engineering, the approval process for marketing materials is where good writing goes to die. There are multiple layers of approvals, including product managers, engineers, sales, executives, not to mention those vampires in the legal department.
The fear of being authentic and different is very real, and unfortunately it can scare companies -- especially B2B companies -- away from telling great stories. If you’re in this situation, don’t feel bad, because none of us are immune. I struggle with it myself.
So my plea to B2B marketers everywhere is this: Don’t be afraid. Take the bold step to promoting your brand in new ways that will make customers take notice.