B2B Marketing Strategy

Experiences Can Be the Magic Needed to Make Your B2B Marketing Better

Brett McGrath

Jul 14, 2021

Experiences Can Be the Magic Needed to Make Your B2B Marketing Better

There is a ground swell of emotion that permeates through the screen every time I ask  B2B marketers the following question:

Do you think B2B Marketing sucks?

The response is never simple.

In fact, it’s often complex.

Think about it for a second...I’m asking marketers in their industry if they think it sucks or not.

Risky?

Not really. 

It’s not like asking an astronaut if space sucks or even asking a doctor if medicine sucks.

They don’t think it sucks. There is a science behind their profession.

Isn’t there a science behind B2B marketing?

I guess.

There’s psychology, and then there’s some analytics, and creation of things that are supposed to make people want your stuff. 

It’s not exact science and I think that is the reason why a lot of B2B marketing is left open to interpretation.

I do know that from a macro level that B2B marketing sucks compared to B2C marketing.

B2C marketers focus on experiences and not forms. 

I dropped an episode of the 3C Podcast last week with the Lessonly content team.


Both Rachel and Olivia offered up B2C brands as areas of inspiration for them.

The more I reflected on that conversation the more I thought about all of the responses I got to the question about B2B marketing sucking:

It’s manipulative 

It’s pushing people through a process 

It’s marketing to machines and not people 

It’s more about features than about helping people 

It’s broken 

I could go on and go, but I think we all understand at this point that a majority of B2B Marketing sucks…

What sucks most for me is that I’ve spent 12 years in this profession and have been a part of the problem for almost all of it.

Yep.

I’m a recovering marketing manipulator, message pusher, form fill builder, and LEAD GENERATOR!

Pheww. It feels good to let that out.

I am making positive changes to better serve the people that are taking time out of their day to read, listen, or watch content that I am creating.

I am no longer pushing people through my process.

I am focused on creating experiences.

Yes, that magical word. 

The reason why I am focusing on experiences is because it’s the #1 word used to describe why a lot of B2C marketing doesn’t suck.

They create great experiences for their customers.

In the Lessonly episode, Olivia mentioned Disney as a company that provides her inspiration when operating in her role.

I get it…

Mickey Mouse

Disney World

Disney+

They are in the business of creating magical, unforgettable experiences for their customers.

They are in the business of hitting on human emotions.

They are experts at winning the hearts and minds of their audience.

How can we be more like the Disney’s of the world and less like every other B2B company?

Experiences!

Here are 3 ways that I am thinking about how we can create experiences once our company launches in May.

  1. Stand for something 

I’ll never forget our first team meeting with our current staff. 

Jonathan organized a company onboarding that helped us understand the work that he had done up to this point and identified some themes he pulled from his conversations with 100+ marketers. 

He got into the narrative around terrible content experiences for consumers of content and everyone on the team lit up.

I can’t stand forms!

It feels like entrapment!

Nothing on page 1 of Google is helpful when researching!

There was so much energy around bad content experiences that I knew that we needed to lean into this magic.

We needed to go to war with these experiences in everything we do.

I still think about these conversations every day because I am reminded of the passion when marketers respond to my question, “Do you think B2B Marketing sucks?”

It’s important to find those triggers and moments of passion in your market.

Be the voice that stands for or against these moments.

It will help lead to unity with your market and the opportunity to create killer experiences that are for your audience. 

  1. Make future customers show up like industry thought leaders 

I’m a rising tide lifts all boats kind of a marketer.

One of the biggest advantages that we have in B2B marketing is the ability and willingness to engage with our peers and create cool content with them.

Relationship building or networking in public with other marketers is a great way to show the rest of the market that you are in the game and stand for something.

I’ve published and recorded several episodes of the 3C Podcast with marketers that I’ve met on Twitter or other groups. 

After I make the connection I’ll set a quick call to learn more about them and then have the information I need to create an awesome podcast episode that will benefit listeners.

This is the definition of a winning situation for me (marketer a company in stealth mode), the marketer being interviewed (exposure on a new platform), and the audience that is consuming the content (new nuggets to take back to their job). 

Consistency with your content can set the tone with your audience, builds trust, and provides a glimpse of what future experiences with your brand might look like. 

  1. Show your work 

We all want to think that the products that we support and bring to market are truly one of a kind.

The fastest.

The best.

The easiest.

The MOST INNOVATIVE!!!!!

Whether you like it or not there has probably been some point in your career where you had one too many pint glasses of your company’s Kool-Aide and you might or might not have been responsible for bringing these messages to market. 🤷‍♂️

Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

Now we are in an era where transparency is king.

Products are commodities and your audience wants to buy from companies that are going to give them more than just some GAME CHANGING features that hopefully allows them to do their job better.

Being honest and open with your audience about the work that you are doing builds connections.

Share what you are proud of and even what you are not.

The more honest and open you can be with your audience the greater opportunity that you have to build loyalty to your brand.

Loyalty leads to your audience thinking about your company more than just a product.

Loyalty leads to your audience wanting to experience your brand. 

Loyalty leads to your audience not thinking that your marketing sucks. 💯

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