Flipping the B2B Marketing Script: 7 Brands That Talk to Consumers, Not Companies

Flipping the B2B Marketing Script: 7 Brands That Talk to Consumers, Not Companies

But one of the biggest issues in B2B content marketing is actually the reverse: people tend to feel like the brands marketing to them are the ones talking to walls – as in, speaking to them as if they were an intangible corporate entity rather than a human being. That means striking notes of authenticity, emotion, and distinct personal relevance. And plenty of brands are doing it well. Below, we highlight seven B2B brands that we feel are setting a great example with their approaches to customer interactions and conversations. #4 – DivvyHQ* Offering a specialized platform for planning and executing content marketing initiatives, DivvyHQ markets to a specific type of professional: content marketing managers and others in charge of running content teams and strategies. If we take away technology and go back to the fundamental basics – what are we as marketers really here to do? You can check out that CMI post for prime examples or just scroll through Zendesk’s Twitter feed to find plenty of casual and informal language that strikes a chord with everyday folks. For a taste of the brand’s humorous and edgy take on B2B campaigns, watch their classic “I like it when he gives me the business” ad from a years back: No More Business as Usual The days of companies talking to walls need to end. When crafting your message, think always about the people at the businesses you’re marketing to, rather than the businesses themselves. Check out these helpful posts: *Disclaimer: Slack, Antea Group, and DivvyHQ are TopRank Marketing clients.

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“It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”

This is the utterance you might hear from a person whose counterpart in a conversation is not particularly engaged. If you’ve been there, then you know it’s not a great feeling.

But one of the biggest issues in B2B content marketing is actually the reverse: people tend to feel like the brands marketing to them are the ones talking to walls – as in, speaking to them as if they were an intangible corporate entity rather than a human being.

For this reason, “business to business” can be a troubling misnomer. In this discipline, we’re not really marketing to businesses – buildings with walls and stairs and desks and chairs – but the people who inhabit those buildings.

And in order to be truly effective, we need to break through this wall and achieve meaningful human connections. That means striking notes of authenticity, emotion, and distinct personal relevance.

The good news? It most certainly can be done with fun, flair, and finesse. And plenty of brands are doing it well.

Below, we highlight seven B2B brands that we feel are setting a great example with their approaches to customer interactions and conversations.

These B2B Brands Bring the Human Touch

#1 – Slack*

Their collaboration hub is a business solution, helping organizations produce better work more efficiently, but that’s because it makes life so much easier for the people who use it. When a business adopts Slack, it’s often because the employees made a push for it by consensus. Accordingly, the company’s message tends to be aimed toward those professionals, and not just the decision makers or executives who ultimately hold the buying power.

Slack’s Twitter account is far from a stuffy business feed. They also run another account called @SlackLoveTweets, which amplifies the voices of relatable everyday users who express affinity for particular features of the product. And if you scroll through Slack’s blog, Several People Are Typing, you’ll find plenty of posts that focus more on the people doing the work than the work itself.

For example, a recent piece titled A Slack Guide to Going Out of Office opens with this empathetic paragraph:

Even though many of us daydream about our next vacation, there’s a real fear about being able to unplug, leave your team and projects behind, and return later with minimal disruption. It’s not easy, and it’s natural to ask yourself, What will happen at work while I’m gone, and how will I ever catch up when I get back?

Oh. And check out this little gem.

#2 – MailChimp

The email marketing platform received a lot of positive attention last year for its first large-scale marketing campaign, which was tremendously fun and clever. Riffing on slight misspellings of the brand name (and Google’s knack for determining a searcher’s intent with “Did you mean X?”), MailChimp and agency Droga5 created a series of faux products, short films, and songs.

The video below explains the rationale behind this effort and shows some examples:

MailChimp’s people-first branding is also displayed on their Instagram account. Here’s a snapshot of recent posts on their feed; not exactly the typical dry B2B fare:

MailChimp Instagram Marketing Example

#3 – WeWork

A provider of…

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