With its clinical, informative-but-sometimes-dry approach, B2B marketing appeals to the brain, while B2C copywriters use storytelling techniques to ignite imagination – mind and emotion.
Marketing for B2B or B2C is about more than words. In a multi-page booklet (two pages are shown below) for a Cisco partner, graphic design and photography partnered with copy to create an arresting story of equipment in use. Here and in other project team deliverables, I invited readers to picture:
“…a space where sound and video, not cables and equipment, command attention.”
B2C-style marketing copy carries customers beyond a product’s specifications and cost. Consider the tagline I wrote for the cover. “Nothing beats the power of connection.”
Target markets include churches, governments, hospitals and other businesses, and highlighting a broader context of successful installations can build trust and respect. In a script for a promotional video aimed at multiple audiences including the general public, I wrote, “We help cities and hospitals save lives.”
When reviewing your own B2B copy, don’t just think, “Story.” Think, “Sequel.”
Potential equipment sales are not limited to upgrades or replacements for worn-out models; the sequel, or next phase, of moving big-ticket items is often found in smaller markets. Major metros may be known for their cutting-edge approach to modern medicine, for example, but I once lived in a smaller city. In a town with two hospitals, medical equipment purchases made local headlines even when the technology and newly-available procedures were not recent inventions.
B2B marketing messages aimed at hospital CMOs and administrators can note the specifications of the equipment while also detailing the positive effect an installation can have on the bottom line of a medical facility by keeping more procedures in-house. Acknowledging the backstory of patients migrating to larger cities for procedures only available outside their zip codes, copywriters and sales teams can shape an anecdotal pitch of a patient continuing to work with the same hospital for extensive tests and treatment. Hospitals can then share their good news with the community and media by personalizing this marketing story’s framework with the details of a consenting patient or an anonymized case study.
If you decide to let the spirit of B2C influence your B2B marketing copy, keep the language in-brand and the story-to-specifications ratio tight. Surrounding your product specifications with too much color – conversational wording or casual anecdotes, etc. – may dilute the effectiveness of your marketing approach.
Related Reading: The Zdi Project