The Battle Against Boring in B2B Creative

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros
Pinnacle Strategies brought their brand to life by showcasing the work they did to help with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean up.

B2B creative is often burdened with having to be more serious than B2C, typically because customers—and marketers—might feel that the subject matter is a tad boring. But, argues Jonathan Kranz, principal, Kranz Communications, boring isn’t an insurmountable challenge.

“The number one thing about ‘boring’ is that for someone out there, it isn’t boring,” he says. “Think, who cares and why? What is at stake? How can you make it connect?”

Boring can take different forms—it might be a product that is a commodity, or is too complicated to explain in a one-minute elevator pitch. In B2B, that might be an industrial service, software, insurance or consulting services.

International management consulting firm Pinnacle Strategies is one example of a brand that used a real-life, very high stakes case study to help prospects and customers connect the dots. The company worked with BP to help accelerate clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By showcasing in case studies and video how it helped identify key resources and save over $700 million, the stakes became the star, says Kranz.

“Show obstacles and threats, versus opportunities and goals” as a way to bring your B2B creative to life, he says. “Make your product relatable and show where there is urgency.”

More B2B Creative Inspiration:

Interviewing customers and getting them to tell your story is a great way to bring your brand to life. While video interviews are engaging, written articles can have the benefit of careful editing, Kranz notes. Interview your customer and then shuffle the transcript, and write the Q&A in the order that best tells your story.

Kranz also suggests looking at what makes your business different from the competition and playing that up in the B2B creative process. “Where can you make meaningful distinctions?” he says. “Many of your customers may offer a similar product. What unexpected values can you emphasize?”

For some brands, urgency is in play when they make their first contact with a customer, and that can help highlight the values of your company. As an example, he noted that many households might have a magnet on the refrigerator that they never think about…until they have a leak. The homeowner isn’t going to do massive amounts of research, they’re just going to call the first plumber who comes to mind—and it might the one on that magnet that arrived when they first purchased their home.

Plumbers make their real money on more complex projects like heating and cooling installations, but those who turn up quickly and give good service in an emergency are building the relationships that will result in the bigger sales down the line, says Kranz, who spoke at the recent Content Marketing Conference in Boston. “It’s a way to initiate a relationship.”



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