Tips for taking risks with your creative

Almost three-quarters of all B2B ads are unlikely to drive any sales impact, as they fail to register with their intended audience. This gives those marketers prepared to ignite their creative B2B spark the competitive edge. But is the risk too high? 

The creative spark is as important as getting all the salient facts and figures into a campaign, especially in light of the following: 71% of all B2B ads are unlikely to drive any sales impact because they are unmemorable and lack creativity [LinkedIn B2B Institute].

That’s a staggering statistic. Is the research really telling us that only 29% of all B2B ads land where they should and have an impact? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, but there is a solution.  

The more engaging you become, the more likely you are to stand out from the crowd. The time for playing it safe is over. 

There’s a strong argument for adopting a different approach, being bold, and disrupting the market. While some may baulk at even contemplating such a radical approach, one thing’s for certain – the status quo isn’t working.

What’s the point of continuing to invest in something that nobody ever sees, or just misses because it’s failing to ignite the interest of the target audience? This way of working requires more investment to get the desired results, or budget is being wasted in those media placements.

As Einstein said, the true definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different outcome.  

We know that marketing budgets aren’t increasing, but performance expectations are. However, if 71% of B2B ads are in essence having no impact whatsoever, the flipside to that is that there’s huge potential for those organizations willing to think outside the box, take a gamble with something that may seem ‘out there’, and stick their head above the parapet.

This is potentially a huge opportunity for those prepared to be different, and who are being asked to do more with less, within the constraints of tighter budgets. 

The villain in this case is getting lost in the noise, or to put it another way – waste is invisibility. There’s also a danger of getting bogged down in tactics, which has become ingrained as a starting point in the creative planning process, but it shouldn’t be. Research tells us that only 5% of buyers are in-market at any one time. The key to standing out from the crowd is to grab their attention for the remaining 95% of the time, when they’re not looking to buy. That can only be achieved by adopting a completely different mindset.

All of us have seen ads that have left an indelible impression on us. But those that linger long in the memory have done so because they’re brimming with originality and creativity and strike a chord within us. Yes, they may be B2C, but why should we settle for second best when it comes to B2B ads? 

There’s no reason B2B ads can’t be as challenging or as innovative.  

Picture of Jon Barkworth

Jon Barkworth

VP of Strategy, Just Global

Jon Barkworth is Just Global’s Vice President of Strategy, and is a highly experienced, commercially-focused B2B marketing specialist who brings a wealth of experience in audience insight, strategy and digital marketing transformation to the table.

Here are some top tips from the experts on producing winning creative in B2B marketing.

  • Create what you’d want to watch or see: The DMU is getting wider and really doesn’t care about your brand. Creative needs to cut through. So, lose the jargon and turn up things like emotion and humor. Escape the quarterly tick box tactical and focus on building long term engagement that is truly memorable, moving, or unexpected. 
  • Balance creativity with relevance and utility: While creativity is essential, it should never come at the expense of relevance and utility. Ensure your creative stands out and provides valuable insights, information, or tools that can help your customers in their decision-making process. Be that trusted advisor, and not just another vendor selling product. 
  • Utilize Unconventional Channels: Step out of the traditional and explore unconventional channels. While LinkedIn and industry conferences have their place, consider other platforms for creative and engagaing content. A well-executed, unexpected presence on these channels can catch your audience off guard, making your brand more memorable. 
  • Avoid Default Creative: This refers to video ideas that have been done to death. It’s default because no critical thinking was done. It just ends up as white noise in your target customer’s feed. Be risky up front.
  • Trust your audience: People want to be active participants in what they watch. They don’t want to be spoon-fed. Marketers are smart cookies – give them a mystery to get them thinking.
  • Make your customer the hero: Prospects are watching your video as they need to solve their problem. They don’t care your company has been around since the ‘50s. Empathize with them more, and engagement will increase.

You can read more from Guy on this topic here

  • Keep it tight: If you don’t grab your viewer within the first 15 seconds of a video, you’re going to lose them. Live by the 90 second rule. Anything more than that is a waste.
  • Storytelling: It’s all about the narrative. Learn how to craft a narrative that resonates with your audience. If you can engage viewers emotionally it will make your content more memorable. Share success stories, case studies, or testimonials that highlight the value of your product or service.
  • Measure and Analyse: Use analytics to measure the performance of your videos. Track metrics such as views, engagement, and conversion rates. Use the data to understand what works for that client and refine your future content.
  • Connect on a deeper level: It is widely known that crafting emotionally resonant content, whether infused with humour, nostalgia, or authenticity, is key to captivating your audience. It’s not always about being bold and shouting louder, it’s about being smart and using strategy to establish a more genuine and meaningful connection with your audience.
  • Breadth and depth: Sure, you can create one hit wonders, most people can; but an award-winning idea is something that goes beyond that. Bringing depth to ideas, nurturing them into comprehensive 360 campaigns, and watching a singular idea transform into an unforgettable one.
  • Be fearless: If we are always afraid of making a wrong decision, where would we be? Creatives are like mad scientists, constantly tinkering with their “ideas” until they get it perfect; but we make some beautiful mistakes along the way and that’s where (sometimes) great ideas can be born. Break rules, explore and always challenge.

Podcast Ep2: How Not To Be Boring

Just Global partnered with Umault on this episode all about ways to be successful with creative marketing in B2B.

Want to connect with our experts and stand out with your creative content? Get in touch. 

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