David Ogilvy once said: ‘If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” This quote has relevance for today’s B2B marketers because the fact is, more creativity in B2B can help deliver sales uplift in the short-term, as well as build longer-term brand reputation and future sales. At The Marketing Practice, it’s something we’ve always firmly believed in, and there’s some compelling research that proves the point.
For a long time, there has been a popular misconception that creative marketing communication is the sole domain of B2C businesses, with their focus on big ideas and access to big budgets. Complex B2B propositions aimed at complex decision-making chains should be presented as serious, logical arguments with little need for any emotional engagement. Or so the thinking goes.
In reality, research conducted by CEB in partnership with Google, shows this is simply not true, with B2B buyers having a far greater level of emotional engagement with leading B2B brands than was found with B2C brands. Increasingly then, B2B marketers are seeing the value that creativity can add to their businesses – both in terms of generating immediate sales revenue and in establishing brand recognition, differentiation and customer trust over time.
Creativity can take many different forms – from how you define the communication challenge and how you apply insights, to the way you use ideas, imagery and language to make strong, profitable and lasting connections with your customers. When every brand, whether it’s B2C or B2B, is competing for our attention at every possible touch point, the rewards are there for those who dare to be different, but remain relevant.
By taking a more creative approach, B2B campaigns can simplify sales propositions, cut through multi-channel clutter and provide a consistent and reassuring brand experience. It’s all about finding the best mix of rational and emotional messages and communicating them in the right way. You can see how this balanced approach can drive profitability and increased return on marketing investment in this logical argument for creativity, where facts and figures from recent research studies are combined and summarised in a succinct and easily digestible commentary.