Memorable Moves: B2B Marketing Creativity Rules

The Gist

  • Bold approach. Embracing creativity in B2B marketing leads to higher profits and market share.
  • Brand visibility. Memorable brands capture 90% of sales due to strong pre-purchase awareness.
  • Creative impact. Effective marketing blends novelty with meaningful audience connections.

Marketing is a “creative” industry. But, at the B2B end, it’s frequently accused of lacking creativity — Boring to Business. It’s not an unfounded accusation either. Brands skew toward dull. They play it safe rather than being bold. They overwhelmingly favor risk-averse approaches. B2B marketing creativity often takes a back seat.

A vibrant scene of Times Square in New York City, bustling with people and traffic. The image is dominated by colorful, illuminated billboards and advertisements on tall buildings. Yellow taxis are prominent in the foreground, and the famous neon lights add to the lively atmosphere of this iconic location in piece about B2B marketing creativity.
Brands skew toward dull. They play it safe rather than being bold.Luciano Mortula-LGM on Adobe Stock Photos

Do Creative Outliers Boost B2B Profits?

There are outliers but they are very much the exception to the rule. The good news is that research from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute suggests these outliers are cashing in on creativity: They earn more profit, see greater return on investment and enjoy a bigger market share. B2B marketing creativity drives these successes.

Related Article: 5 Refreshes to Boost Creative B2B Marketing Strategies

Creativity Key to Brand Visibility

The reality is creativity plays a leading role in brand building. If you consider the 95-5 rule, which states that only around 5% of your audience is in-market to buy at any given quarter, it’s easy to see why. 

This comes into even starker relief with research from Bain and Google, which found that 90% of sales go to brands buyers were already aware of before doing any research. This means brands need to do all they can to be the most memorable in their category, so they can be a natural inclusion when buyers are ready to shortlist suppliers.

Related Article: Mastering B2B Marketing Strategies in a Digital Age

Creativity or Gimmickry in Marketing?

The trouble is that “creativity” means different things to different people. Often, when we see B2B marketing creativity in the real world, it falls into the category of gimmickry.

I don’t mind a gimmick. They’re entertaining, they do well at industry awards, and at best they even shake things up a bit. Take the winner of The Drum’s B2B award category last year: a campaign and lookbook showcasing “50 Shades of Ginger,” with shades named after famous red-headed celebrities, to show off the spectrum of bright, vivid colors that printer maker Roland DG’s TrueVis range can produce.

There’s no doubt the campaign got eyeballs. Millions of them, in fact. It was even featured on daytime television. Consumer reach is no bad thing, but did it make this printer company memorable specifically to its business audience? I hope so, but I wonder.

The thing we all have to remember is this is not (just) art, it’s business. And it’s through focusing on how B2B marketing creativity can be harnessed for significant commercial impact that marketing gets taken seriously by the rest of the organization and achieves standout results.

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