There’s a creative execution graveyard out there. It’s the dreary place where good ideas for your brand are buried. It’s the dumping ground for great branding concepts that never saw the light of day. It’s where good brands saddled with terrible creative execution are finally laid to rest.
Why All This Creative Carnage?
It takes creative impact to engage the B2B buyer and decision maker. The cruel reality in B2B marketing is that no matter what you do strategically, no matter how good and integrated your process is, you’re still going to have to compete with other brands trying to reach the same audience. And if that’s not bad enough, you’re going to have to compete for their ever-shrinking span of attention and time in an ever-expanding universe of media.
Overcoming the Graveyard Blues
You have two choices to overcome the graveyard blues. You can either repeat your messages over and over again until they finally sink in. Or you can say them in such a fresh, surprising and relevant way that people simply can’t forget them.
You can either continue to send out interruptive, repetitive monologues. Or you can engage your customers and prospects in dialogue that is of value to them and their business.
Engage Your Audience Before You Bore Them to Death
Engage is the key word here. It takes creative impact to make them want to talk to you and focus their attention on what you can do for them. In this world where customers and prospects control the buying process as well as when and where they will consider your information, engagement through creative impact is a lot more effective than message bombardment.
When you rely on repetition, you not only waste money, you also lose valuable time. Without creative impact, your message is relegated to the slow seep of frequency.
Creative Impact Is Not for the Spineless
Creating an integrated communications or branding program that truly stands out with creative impact means running risks. There’s no way around it. If the creative unit is provocative, interesting, intriguing and engaging, it will create an adverse comment or two along the way -- especially inside your company.
If you want to attract prospects and keep customers out there in the integrated jungle, you have to concentrate on standing out from the pack. It’s really that simple though not so easy to pull off.
Test a concept for impact. Check your guts. Does it go against the grain of the conventional way of marketing in your industry? Does it take people by the shoulders and shake them? Does it scare your C-suite folks a bit or even more than a bit? Does it even make you a bit nervous?
If so, then you just might be finally serving up your brand in a highly creative way that will impact brand recognition and actually get more customers and prospects engaging with you. Remember, the B2B brand graveyard is full of great ideas that were deemed too risky because they were just too different from what the competitive brands were saying and doing. So don’t let your great creative ideas die a premature death.
BOB GORANSON, CBC has nearly 30 years directing b2b communications programs for clients in technology, industrial, health care, graphic arts and other markets. He is the managing partner of Mobium Integrated Branding, a firm that specializes in branding and communications for b2b clients. Bob is currently on the Board of Directors of the Business Marketing Association, past Chairman of the association and a recipient of the G.D. Crain Jr. Award of lifetime achievement in the business-to-business industry and in service to the BMA.