Much has changed about the B2B process in recent years as consumer attitudes, new technologies and global events consistently keep marketers guessing. Not only are there seemingly more external factors and decision-makers involved than ever before, but additional touchpoints including social media, digital conferencing, email campaigns, and online reviews have significantly transformed how audiences find and interpret information.
If we know one thing about today’s sales environment, it’s that the buyer is now in control of the purchase process. And that not a bad thing. In fact, it’s an opportunity.
This opportunity begins when your brand and value propositions are promoted consistently throughout the buyer journey. It continues when a breakthrough campaign concept is integrated with expertly deployed demand generation efforts.
When done correctly, your brand campaign — strategically leveraged alongside well-timed contextual content — will have a greatly improved chance of capturing the long-term attention that builds brand loyalty, drives clicks and conversions, and enables marketers to build relationships that create customers for life.
Creating breakthrough campaigns can only begin when marketers fully understand the buyer’s rational and emotional needs related to the business challenge he or she is trying to solve. Even then, proposed concepts can only be successful if they tell a story that addresses those needs in compelling, relevant and differentiated ways. Plus, any concept that makes it through these steps must also exist in harmony with the larger brand story.
If this is a challenge you’re eager to take on, let’s begin exploring what it takes to deliver breakthrough B2B campaign concepts — and how to put them to work creating branddemand.
In a buyer-led approach to strategic planning, it should go without saying that the creatives need to fully understand not just the solution being offered offering but equally so the problem that this solution solves for the buyer.
Waiting until the brief is written (you provided a brief, didn’t you?) is a significant lost opportunity. Creatives may ask questions during research and discovery that more analytical minds can fail to conjure. The natural curiosity of the modern B2B creative professional can unearth insights into the buyers’ needs, your business’s value proposition, unspoken objections and other incredibly powerful insights that can lead to that resonant “big idea.”
Only after the buyer journey has been properly and fully mapped will marketers and creatives be able to align the buyer’s though process at each phase with message maps, existing and needed content, and appropriate media channels for reaching the buyer at the moment of need.
When the content creators and big-picture creative thinkers understand the buyer’s mindset in each of those phases, the creative output will be that much more aligned to offering up a solution in a way that resonates.
We live in a digital age. We don’t want to give the buyer everything all at once. Success in marketing storytelling today is about making sure what we present buyers is not only relevant to them in that moment but also that it is digestible over time.
The best campaigns feature bingeable pieces of content that help buyers self-serve their information needs while simultaneously forming a strong bond to the brand. Your concept must ring true, be consistent and invite action without being overwhelming or served up with too much frequency. Ideally, it will feature some killer design work and copywriting, too (see creative involvement, above).
Think of it this way: spamming their inbox with click-bait email subject lines is a sure-fire way to have your hard-earned creative end up in the trash folder. Instead, your campaign should be presented in whatever format is appropriate for that buyer in that moment. If you’ve done your job, they’ll dig in and reach out when they’re ready.
There you have it. BrandAction Agency’s quick guide to creating branded campaigns that serve buyers on their terms. Remember, it’s their journey, and our role is to point them in the right direction.
If you have questions about how to break down the silos and fully integrate your brand, creative and content means into demand generation, we’re always a click away.