A recruitment company just swore at you. That’s not what you need on a Monday morning. It’s okay though – they could’ve done something far, far worse… they could have been boring, but let’s start at the beginning.
For a long time, we were living under a cloud of boring marketing, at least in the B2B world – whilst the shiny world of B2C could have peanuts wearing a top hat, winged horses, or cringe-inducing humour… we could dream on.
Then came a wave of marketers who decided enough was enough and they were right – B2B marketing can do all the things B2C does. Yes, the purchase decisions are potentially more considered. Yes, we are often dealing with something a bit more expensive than a packet of peanuts or a bottle of perfume, but don’t let the suit fool you – it’s still a human looking at the ad. It’s our job to tap into people’s wants, needs and emotions with memorable communications, and develop positive brand associations. Whether B2B or B2C, this doesn’t change. The only rules we’re governed by and have to play within are those of branding – making sure the executions we decide are the right fit. Yes, how professional you need to be will vary depending on your industry – a law firm using humour may be difficult… or an engineering business using cartoons… but again, professional doesn’t have to mean boring either.
Come on, use your imagination – there is a middle ground.
Plus, humour, light-heartedness and action may not be right for your brand in the first place – and that’s fine. Again, the only alternative to those isn’t ‘boring’. We’re confusing content style with content quality. So that’s where we are now – B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring. Businesses are waving goodbye to their stale corporate marketing approaches, and our eyes have never been more grateful.
But then something weird happened – people got a bit over-excited. We forgot the old mantra so aggressively that we started to wave goodbye to the basics of branding too. Now again, it’s worth repeating – no one’s marketing needs to be boring, or stale, or unnecessarily serious or sensible, but it does need to make sense and it does need to work.
Therefore ‘not being serious’ doesn’t mean randomly swearing in your social content. In an effort to rebel against ‘B2B marketing is boring’, some brands have created a strange game of chicken with what they’ll do to market themselves, forgetting that if it isn’t linked to their brand or what they do, being boring is the least of their problems. So, brands, please don’t think controversial content is the easy way to my heart unless it’s right for your brand and what you do and considering I just sat and wrote this, I’m sure you can imagine that most of the time it’s not.