B2B brands often lag behind their B2C counterparts in the adoption of marketing trends. With longer sales cycles, a higher degree of variability in customer needs and more complex and technical products, it’s only natural that B2B businesses sometimes employ different strategies to market their products.
Identifying the trends that are the best candidates for the B2C to B2B crossover is a challenge every marketing director and VP faces, but sometimes one comes along that is an even better fit in the B2B landscape than the B2C one it came from. One such trend is the brand voice shift from “what” to “why”.
“What” to “Why”
A recent ad by fast food restaurant, Whataburger, illustrates moving to “why”. In the spot, a group of high schoolers, frustrated with the lack of good hang-out spots, decide to meet at Whataburger every Friday night. This ritual becomes known as the “Whataburger Social” amongst the group, a regular time for the kids to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
The commercial, while simple in premise, is a great example of moving from the “what” to the “why”. Whataburger easily could have focused on ‘features’ like 100% all-beef patties and fresh ingredients. Instead, they shifted the focus to why Whataburger – it’s a meeting place, providing the kids a spot to socialize and have fun on a Friday night. The product – the burger – is an avenue to enjoy the real product – the experience.
Now consider this in the context of B2B marketing. When you focus on the “what” – the product – you’re really just marketing to your own industry. If you sell LED lights and all you talk about is how your lumen output trumps the competition, you may get some pats on the back at the industry tradeshow, but you’re not demonstrating to customers a true solution – just a product.
The Industry Specific Approach
So how do we get to the why? Today B2B brands are turning to industry specific content marketing. Industry specific marketing content helps demonstrate companies’ expertise in delivering specific solutions to the unique problems faced by customers within a market segment. Take our LED lighting example – instead of focusing on lumen output, they could focus on how better lighting is shown to improve the performance of children in schools. The lumen output is the avenue for solving a problem that the educational market faces in dimly lit, older school facilities.
By focusing on the applications, industry specific marketing is often less-commoditized, higher margin and a more durable approach to growing the business. To learn more about improving your industry specific content, contact a specialist at MarketScale today!