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B2B Marketing Must Become More Humanly Relevant

By: Elaine Fogel


Data, mobile, social media, digital, blah, blah, blah. What’s B2B (business-to-business) marketing all about? Being human!

So says a terrific article in AdAge and I couldn’t agree more.
“Data and automated messaging are hot topics, but b-to-b marketers say their marketing must get more personal in 2015. ‘We need b-to-b to be more human,’ said Andy Goldberg, global creative director at GE. That sentiment was echoed by other marketers and agency execs who shared their predictions for the top b-to-b trends of 2015.”
When did the humanity in marketing lose its luster? When we allowed ourselves to be distracted by the “next big things?” 
Now, I don’t want to disparage my marketing colleagues who specialize in a variety of marketing specialties. Many are doing great work.
But, let’s be real. When their livings depend on these specialty areas, of course they’re going to say, “You’ve got to do it.”
Call me a back-to-basics marketing girl. I believe in a holistic approach to marketing—one that’s based on a solid marketing strategy that encompasses the most appropriate digital and traditional marketing channels to reach your target audiences. And, that means being personal and demonstrating your humanity and personality.
Where to start? No matter the size of your company, it’s important to develop a branding strategy along with your marketing plan.
Here are some of the branding components you need to identify*:
  1. Brand Positioning Strategy: the way you frame your brand/products and/or services to each market segment. It’s also how your segments perceive them.
  2. Key Messages: the main points you want your target market segments to remember about your business, products, or services.
  3. Brand Vision Statement: “an articulated description of the aspirational image for the brand; what you want the brand to stand for in the eyes of customers and other relevant groups like employees and partners.” (David Aaker, Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles That Drive Success)
  4. Brand Values: the beliefs, actions, and behaviors your company delivers to, and shares with, its customers.
  5. Brand Personality: when you give your brand human characteristics and personality.
  6. Brand Identity: is how your customers perceive your brand, company, product, or service. However, in many marketing circles, it has come to represent the brand’s visual elements such as colors, typography (font styles), symbols, graphics, marks, and logo.
  7. Brand Promise: represents what a brand promises to deliver to stakeholders and customers—focused on the benefits for them.
*Based on my book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas that Matter Most for Small Business Success. Sign up to receive news about the book launch!
Does your business have a branding strategy that gives it personality and makes it human?
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: March 9, 2015

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Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is a marketing, branding, and customer experience evangelist, professional speaker, and author of Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success. People in 100+ countries regularly read her blog, Totally Uncorked on Marketing and her articles have appeared in many publications.

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