B2B Marketing Challenges (notes from the CMA’s Digital Breakfast)

From the B2B Digital Breakfast, hosted by CMA (Content Marketing Association). The full post is here.

August’s Digital Breakfast took a well-established format into largely uncharted territory. For the first time, it focused exclusively on B2B content – a move that clearly struck a chord with a large and engaged audience.

The last person to present was Giuseppe Caltabiano, Head of Content Marketing Advisory Services, NewsCred

He began his presentation by asking ‘Is B2B still boring to Boring?’ He said that when it comes to data Vs emotions the perception is that B2B is more boring. This however doesn’t have to be the case with Giuseppe citing LinkedIn’s Dinner for Five series.

Giuseppe added that historically B2B requires a more rational approach, but that new technologies, new communications channels (social media) are changing the way B2B companies approach clients. And in some ways the new methods of communication, which includes content marketing, have been adopted by B2B companies at faster speed than B2C.

In terms of messaging Giuseppe pointed out that was a real difference between the content marketing approaches. He said that B2B content should inform and educate, while B2C content should inspire.

Another important point that Guiseppe made was that multiple influencers are involved in a B2B decision – something that is not always the case in B2C. There maybe as many four different departments involved in a  decision making process and one of the complexities of B2B marketing is that content needs to address all these individuals and sectors effectively.

Yet one advantage B2B has over B2C is that there is a more limited number of platforms to use. As Giuseppe explained, the distribution channels are not endless. In reality there is really only three or four that are efficient.

Giuseppe then unpacked the B2B content distribution plan citing the importance of, and difference between, owned, paid and earned media.

He also advised caution in companies selecting the right KPIs as these are different along the different points of the sales process.

He also discussed how companies shouldn’t write off different platforms – perceiving them as being just B2B or B2C. For example, there is now a number of B2B companies that use tactics like Facebook Live to illustrate the human side of their business.

Finally Giuseppe went onto nail what he sees as the two most prevalent myths about B2B content.

Firstly that the ‘humans have lesser attention span than that a goldish,’ he argued that this isn’t the case and anyhow should not be used as an argument to dumb down content.

Secondly “buyers are 67% (or 57%, or 90%) of the way through the purchase journey before they want to talk to a supplier (or to sales)”

If you work in B2B marketing, you’ll have been told that buyers are either 57%, 67% or (more recently) 90% of the way through the purchase journey before they want to talk to a supplier. Giuseppe argued that the basis for at least two of these stats is actually very thin and has been so widely misrepresented.


Also published on Medium.

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