Business to business sales – the wet mop of the marketing world.

B2B marketing (yes we’re doing acronyms, keep up) is a boring wasteland of unexcited gentlemen trying to flog photocopiers. Obviously. Or Filofaxes. I just wrote the word Filofax without having a clue what it means. Google says it’s a ridiculous paper-based thing that doesn’t use electricity, so this

Millennial is bored.

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Okay, back on track. So, B2B marketing. The general consensus is that you can’t/shan’t be as flashy with your B2B marketing as your consumer-direct marketing. Business doesn’t want flashy, in-your-face content. They want a measured delivery of the facts.

And you can’t often dress up B2B products and services, right? They’re boring as hell. Do you think a Red Bull style skydive-from-the-edge-of-space vid would fit with your company’s new invoicing and timesheet software? Do you think someone crushing an empty energy drink can on their forehead while doing a backflip on their BMX is going to move that new paperclip you’ve been working on?

Here’s the thing. It just might.

I’ve pulled the wool over your eyes here, team. I want you to take what you’ve just read and mentally throw it in the bin, because the fact that the B2B marketing landscape is so often so dire means that you’re in the prime seat to blow it open with some of the crispest work since Lays started mass-production.

There are already a few in the branded video content world who have shown a bit of gumption and pizzazz and thrown the ‘man in a white shirt with a pie graph’ book through the plate glass window. A sign of things to come? Hopefully. A sign of how things should be done? I’d give a firm yes.

Taulia

Imagine the most B2B set of words you can think of. Was it ‘cloud based invoice, payment and dynamic discounting management solutions’? Thought so. This is how Taulia describes its services. This is what marketers had to work with.

You’re not fooling anyone by using ‘dynamic’, Taulia.

So where the hell would you even begin? If you’re Taulia’s team, you give an example of what happens when you don’t use their services. And it works brilliantly.

They’ve essentially taken off DirecTV’s award winning ‘Get rid of cable’ ads, but what they might initially lose in the creativity stakes they automatically gain by transferring the idea to something that is, without being rude, so insipidly dull.

While it’s never as high on the B2B marketing agenda, humour, as in consumer-direct marketing, can go a long way to people seeing your brand as something that they can relate to and trust. And believe it or not, corporate decision makers make these mental leaps on behalf of their businesses just as much as consumers do for themselves.

Eloqua

A marketing video that markets to marketers. Oh, what a tangled friggin’ web we weave, Eloqua.

Animation is a great tool to add a bit of excitement to a perhaps otherwise dull message. Eloqua saw the value in this, and produced a series of animated shorts on ‘Modern Mark’, a modern marketer with big marketing dreams. Will he succeed? If the scriptwriter does his job and stops coming into work high, presumably.

Eloqua made a series of shorts, as well as a promo video, which demonstrates the perks of drip feeding your audience. If your message is too big to condense down into a snappy 2 minute video, then why not serialise it? If the content is good enough, people will keep on coming back for more.

So serialised animation works two-fold. It jazzes-up and simplifies the core message, and it is delivered in a way that can build subscribers who are drawn in by the accessibility of it. The mouth-agape, 2-feet-from-the-TV Saturday morning cartoon sessions had an effect on more of the population than may be willing to admit it.

The message for business to business content marketing is simple. The boring, well-trodden road is an easy and very tempting one. But breaking the mould and delivering something new and exciting to the business community could be the difference between a neat campaign and something that blows people out of the water.

Now copy this into your Filofax.