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2024 Trend series: B2B gets human

In all the discussion and frenzied action around AI, algorithms, and more metrics, are marketers losing something vital from their campaigns and strategies? Something altogether more human.


B2B marketers are adopting more empathy to connect with clients in the face of AI and algorithms

Why is now the time for B2B to get more human?


Marketing-wise, demand for virtual events is declining, personalisation is increasingly important and ‘Storytelling’ strategies are experiencing a resurgence.


Our rational minds are overloaded, and we are seeking real connection from the brands that clog up our inbox and online brains. We are only human after all - yes, even your clients!


We are motivated by our emotions more than we’d like to admit - whether it is the pride we get from wearing a certain brand, the ease we experience from working with one organisation over another, or the fun and excitement from unwrapping the latest Apple product, our decisions aren’t always logical.


That is why focusing on the emotions of your audience (instead of logic) will help you increase conversions by 13%.


Who does it well?


There are some great examples of B2B organisations effectively using emotional triggers like empathy, relief, unity, and success in their marketing strategies to better resonate with their audience and build brand loyalty and connection.


“Work with us, we’ll make your life easier, you’ll be less stressed and have more time to focus on what is important”


Dropbox Business focuses on the collaborative and transformative aspects of its platform, highlighting how it enables teams to work seamlessly together, fostering a sense of unity and accomplishment.


Slack’s marketing often emphasizes the relief and efficiency their platform brings to workplace communication, leveraging emotional appeal by showcasing simplified, productive interactions.


“Work with us and you will be better at your job, grow your business and get promoted, and you can get closer to your goals”


Zendesk’s marketing often centres around customer relationships and the emotional impact of providing excellent customer service. They highlight how their platform helps businesses build stronger connections with their customers.


HubSpot employs emotional storytelling in their content and campaigns, emphasizing the journey of businesses and how their inbound marketing methodology helps solve challenges and achieve growth.


What emotion does your organisation evoke in your clients?

How can my B2B organisation ‘get more human’?


Connect


Like with all good business strategies, humanising your brand starts with having a clear idea of who you are as a business, what you are aiming for, and a clear picture of the clients and customers you want to reach.


Get into the mindset of your client, and really empathise with the challenges you solve for them. How does a successful interaction with your brand make them feel? What do they gain? What problems do you help them overcome? What are the results commercially and emotionally?


Don’t be afraid to lean into humour and fun if appropriate, B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring.


Offer choice


Give clients choices in how they interact with your brand. A simple way to do this is to offer more than one call to action (CTA) and offer various ways to take engage throughout the buying journey.


Influencer strategy


Leveraging industry experts and thought leaders as influencers is becoming much more established as businesses try to assert their authority and brand.


Consumer brands have long understood the power of Influencer Marketing, but some my B2B clients have had the misconception that it is “just for fashion bloggers pushing handbags on Instagram” and isn’t relevant to them.

In the B2B world, Influencer Marketing should be seen as the more familiar partnership marketing but with individuals rather than organisations – an effective way to promote the authenticity and credibility of your brand.

The key for any organisation, in any market, is to find the right influencer and deliver the right content with and for them.


Learn more about B2B influencing strategies in this Pink Mingo blog, ‘Circles of influence’.


Engage


Engaging customers, employees and suppliers (AKA people) in a human, authentic, transparent way is key to building brand recognition and advocacy.


Being human isn't about getting your CEO to join TikTok or making your client newsletter more 'informal'.


As our friends over at Brisque Marketing put it, even in very traditional businesses "you can still aim to sound more relatable and easier to understand, while showcasing what’s unique about your business. Remember humanised marketing is about creating better connections".


Consider the client experience across your events and online and offline content. Ensure your content tells a story and when it can, wows.



​If you'd like to discuss your 2024 content plans and integrating these into your marketing strategy, you can contact me.


This blog is part of the 2024 Marketing Leader's Guide. Explore the trends and download helpful planning tools, here: https://pinkmingo.co.uk/2024-marketing

 

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