Recently, I had a chance to speak to a group of B2B journalists at an annual conference for the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) held in the Kimmel Center at New York University. I taught a workshop on how to add creative elements to B2B content.
Lots of great feedback:
— Paul J. Heney (@DW_Editor) July 24, 2015
— ASBPE (@ASBPE) July 24, 2015
— Jason Hiner (@jasonhiner) July 24, 2015
This week I realized that many of the suggestions that I gave to a room full of journalists applied to marketers too—simply because we’re all communicators who want to convey a message to an audience. The main theme of my presentation was to think of ourselves as artists. I encourage marketers to do the same.
Those in the marketing industry should be colorful in their campaigns with messages that appeal to the human senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. It’s these companies—whether B2B or B2C— that excite people’s imagination, pique their interests, and ultimately fulfill a need with your products and services.
A few things that marketers should do with their messaging:
Add the human element in all of your campaigns. The message isn’t really as much about the product as it is about the people who you are trying to reach. Make your campaigns about them.
Excite people with your words. I find, many times, marketers—especially with B2B products and services—can get lost in jargon and the technical aspects of their offerings. Although the nuts-and-bolts of any product is important, make sure to use messaging that’s exciting and appeals to the needs of consumers, rather than hypes only the bells and whistles of your products. It should be a more balanced message.
Talk about real life. Current events and personal narratives are an opportunity for brands to make real—and potentially profitable—connections with shoppers. Learning to connect with consumers through major events like, say, Election Day or major holidays establishs a personable, relevant bond; it enables marketers to create campaigns that convince consumers to buy products both over the short and long term.
Push your limits. One of the best ways to market a product is to be distinct and quirky. Without going completely off brand, it’s the marketers who aren’t afraid to create a strategy that’s off the beaten path who get consumers talking and sales spiking (think GEICO’s Hump Day ad or Snickers‘ perpetual You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign).