Famous for NOT making you famous

B2B is not boring as some creative people may think. The problem is it doesn't make you famous. Less prestigious awards, no flashy TV ad or ATL media spend. But if you're ok with that, then the area is full of creative opportunities. And if you love a challenge; most brand marketers on the client side actually need a lot of support to activate their trade audience. They want ideas.

What all creative people must understand is that business customers are people too. Yes, they’re human! You could be a cynic and say that the only thing that matters is the money. But we buy from people and we sell to people (whether online or face to face). So remember the human element.

So why does B2B have a reputation for being unsexy? Sometimes the issues are awkward, sensitive, restricted or technical and some of the marketing that works really well for B2C can be difficult to get right for B2B. Social media, for example, often doesn’t work as well because often you can’t be very ‘social’.

So how can you make it work? We’ve seen a trend with our clients of developing lots of support mechanisms for their customers, less heavy selling the traditional way, more selling of services before and after the transaction. This approach attracts loyal trade customers, as they see real benefits for themselves above and beyond a monetary sale.

A good example of much of this is a recent initiative by Zone Design’s client Bayer Animal Health in the creation of the Bayer Vet Centre. Zone put forward a digital proposal that amalgamated existing websites, resources and services onto one platform. The concept behind the Bayer Vet Centre is simple: a functional and accessible tool that provides knowledge and information to grow and develop animal health businesses, namely vet practices.

The healthcare industry is always on the move. Whether it is product innovations, trends, new research data, clinical studies, and/or opinion in treatment or threat of a disease. Conversations within trade environments are very important, so information and ideas that can be shared and debated are actively encouraged. The Bayer Vet Centre still showcases a comprehensive product range, but also provides veterinary professionals with a place where they can search, find information, absorb material, engage in webinar content, complete CDP modules and much more…

Trade customers want more than just some product to sell, they want a service, they want support, and most importantly they need to feel understood. It is easy as a creative to come up with some fantastic idea with all the bells and whistles, but our reputation as marketers should ultimately be about results – results through the window of loyalty.

Andy Scarth
Andy Scarth

Group Creative Director at MBC.