Is B2B really boring?
“You’re going to work at a business-to-business agency? That sounds a bit dry”. This was how one of my friends responded when I said I was starting a new job at Badger Communications. I’m happy to report that after four weeks at the sett, the agency is in fact great, with some excellent clients, quality creative and interesting projects. But it got me thinking about why B2B gets such bad press, and is universally viewed as a little bit dull.
To a certain extent, I am used to being at the bottom of the pile when it comes to advertising. For many years I worked in sales promotion, which was frequently referred to as the ‘arse-end’ of marketing. This always confused me as I got to work on major FMCG brands with £1 million + budgets on fantastic campaigns that genuinely changed consumer buying behaviour and delivered some serious cash to clients in sales. I digress… B2B what’s it all about? I asked Badger MD Matthew Masters why he chose to start an agency which solely focuses on businesses talking to other businesses, given his background in the ‘sexy’ world of business to consumer.
He told me that there were quite a few reasons, I’ve compiled the top four:
- “It’s a lot harder and more complex than B2C. That's exactly what makes it fun”.
- “No-one else in NZ is doing it, or at least not taking it seriously, so typically it doesn't get done very well”.
- “Having been a business-to-business client myself I know just how frustrating it can be when your brief gets minimal attention because everyone at the agency would rather be working on a beer commercial (or whatever)”.
- "I love that there's often a direct connection with the sales process in B2B. In the end, we're here to help sell a product or idea, and there's no better way to do that than get right into the gritty bit".
These all sounded very sensible in theory, but how does that translate into practical ways to help businesses sell their brands, products and services to other businesses?
B is for bloody good creative
For me (and perhaps understandably so as a writer), it’s about creativity. Having written copy and worked on concepts across several different clients offering a variety of goods and services from industrial wood chip boilers, commercial legal services and rental workwear through to steel roll forming machines, it’s about keeping it fresh and connecting with who you’re talking to in innovative ways.
Now more than at any other time in the history of communications, we need to make sure our messages are clear, concise and relevant to the people we are connecting with. If you can add clever and stand-out to the mix, then you’ve got an even greater chance of getting the attention of purchasing influencers, which will lead to more sales.
From what I’ve seen thus far, the Badger team has got a breadth of creativity and problem solving skills which can create cut-through in the B2B environment and achieve real results. They’re also not a precious bunch and understand the need to work on the less wolf whistle projects such as PowerPoints, RFP copy and sales conversation planners.
So, if you’re looking to work with a company that really understands the nuances of business-to-business communications, and one that thinks beyond boring, then get in touch.