Are your B2B marketing messages boring?

The key article in the December issue of Target Marketing Magazine, entitled “Big Ideas,” features experts predicting marketing trends for 2010. The information highlights many important issues, including integrated customer marketing, privacy issues, research, the continued rise of data and more.

But the trend I’d like to comment on is the one discussed by Nick Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Wunderman. Founded in 1958, Wunderman is one of today’s most respected direct marketing agencies. Mr. Moore perfectly defines today’s advertising ‘sensory overload’ with the dramatic image of “standing in Times Square surrounded by flashing lights and advertisements, bombarded by shouts from street vendors and buskers, watching traffic and readying to cross the street, all while trying to make a cell phone call.”

YawnThis is the environment in which today’s marketers must get attention. His advice is even more profound. “We are in a creative business. Data alone merely gets you to the right place at the right time. But if you say something boring, nobody is going to listen to you.”

His focus, of course, is consumers. Yet his point affects B2B marketers as well.

Back in April of 2009 I wrote a post titled “Not a creative bone in your body? That’s good news,” that advised B2B marketers not to try for creativity in their communications. But Nick Moore is right — in this crowded environment, messages can’t be boring.

So here are two tips on how B2B marketers can take the ‘boring’ out of their marketing communications:

  1. Add energy: Marketing messages can come off as matter-of-fact or they can exude excitement, enthusiasm and energy. For example: An upcoming Webinar can ‘deliver the most valuable information you’ll learn this year.’ A white paper that talks about network security could be presented as dramatic and intriguing: ‘This white paper reveals the secret steps leading CIOs take to maximize network security.’ By being excited about what is being offered, prospects will get excited about it, too.
  2. Make it about them: No matter how much a company thinks about itself or its product, marketing copy that focuses on those subjects is boring. Messages that focus on the challenges an individual prospect title faces — and how quickly, easily or cost-effectively that challenge can be met — is exciting. Why? Because it’s about them and the information has value. If B2B marketing targets the right person and focuses the message on the issues that person faces every day, the message will not be boring.

Before starting a B2B marketing program, it’s vital to conduct thorough and accurate data analysis and build an accurate profile of best prospective customers, then to choose the channels that best reach those prospects. Once you do, however, it’s just as important to follow Nick Moore’s advice and not be boring.

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