B2B Marketing is one of the pillars of our business, so naturally we’ve all been eagerly digesting in the 50+ presentations made at this year’s B2B Marketing Forum in Boston. While we learned a few new tricks that will keep our B2B service sharp and relevant in today’s fast-moving marketplace, it was clear from the tone of the conference that we’re already ahead of the curve when it comes to the key issue: how to communicate effectively with the B2B audience.
Too often, it’s been wrongly assumed that the language of B2B marketing should be more serious and less emotive than that of B2C – but never by us. We’ve often written here on the blog about the importance of seeing members of the B2B audience as people first and foremost, rather than faceless job titles or responsibilities. It’s focussing on people’s hopes and aspirations, just as we do in our B2C work, that enables us to make emotional connections with the B2B audience and create genuine brand engagement.
Look around the B2B marketing landscape and you’ll see that a major obstacle to achieving this is often the ‘business-speak’ that some brands hide behind in order to appear intelligent and of high-status. But we think the best way to communicate is through plain-speaking, straight-talking copy.
Many speakers at the Boston conference believe the same as us. One put it bluntly, saying, “the old B2B voice is dead,” and called for a more authentic, transparent and simple approach to B2B marketing. “Write how you speak.” “Say less.” “Be honest.” Judging by this year’s B2B Marketing Forum, these are the mantras of the new B2B culture.
Marketing industry events such as the B2B Marketing Forum are always brimming with snappy phrases that aim to sum up a new philosophy. One I liked was, “It’s not the ink—it’s the think”, which neatly sums up the power of refining a creative idea into a memorable expression as opposed to hiding behind wordy business-speak. “The B2B voice is changing: from authoritative to conversational, from safe and stodgy to confident and authentic,” commented another participant at the conference, and we are pleased to have been one of the agencies who has driven that change.
Our current campaign for global auto part manufacturer TRW Aftermarket, True Originals, brings the audience closer to the people who work at TRW, telling engaging, personal stories about the lifelong passions that drive them both at work and at play. Stories that contain real emotion, told simply and which (and this may shock the old guard of B2B Marketing) may even raise a smile. Along with her colleagues in the campaign, the relaxed, happy, smiling face of Amélie Beauger (TRW Product Controller for Steering, Suspension and Shock Absorbers), who is pictured above, represents a new face of B2B Marketing for TRW Aftermarket.
About TRW Aftermarket
Car parts manufacturer TRW Aftermarket is the global leader in automotive safety solutions. It produces Braking systems, Steering, Suspension, Commercial Vehicle parts, Service Tools, and more. As a corporation, it develops, designs, manufactures and distributes almost everything that contributes to passenger safety in cars all over the world.