I hear from BtoB marketers all the time that they don’t want to do wacky viral stunts. That’s a good thing. (Most of those are cheesy failures that aren’t brand-worthy.)
But they tend to over-react and think they can’t have a personality, so they get lost in the wasteland of boring BtoB marketing that is instantly forgotten and completely ineffective.
The rules of word of mouth marketing apply even more to BtoB marketers:
- Be interesting or be invisible. The more boring the product, the more interesting (and pleasant) the company has to be.
- Advertising is price of being boring. If people won’t talk about you for free, you have to pay them to do it.
- BtoB buyers are people too. Products may be serious, but people have emotions.
GE proves the point with an amazing series of ads that have us talking about jet engines and locomotives. (More info from GE Reports.)
There’s an interesting debate on AdAge.com about the value of this kind of general brand advertising. And that’s a question that answers itself: The ads are so good that we’re talking about the ads (and the brand). Make advertising worth talking about — or save your money.
There’s even a behind-the-scenes video posted by a fan: