3 Warning Signs Your B2B Marketing Lacks Confidence

If your messaging is falling flat chances are it’s missing one crucial thing: confidence. The following is a preview from our upcoming webinar with B2B marketing strategist Doug Kessler on Tuesday, August 5th at Noon ET. Dive in and sign up now to learn how you can create more effective messaging.

3 Warning Signs Your B2B Marketing Lacks Confidence

1) It’s About Your Product, Not People

One of the biggest and most common complaints against B2B marketing is that it highlights products and features rather than use cases and value. Newsflash: People don’t care about your software, they care about what it can help them accomplish or enable them to do.
What does use of your product look like from the customer’s personal perspective? How does it help them succeed and what kinds of challenges does it help them overcome? Use your messaging to put them in the spotlight and show that journey in action. Show them triumphing and you’ll attract others who want to triumph, too. (For a side-by-side comparison of customer-first vs. features-first approaches, see my post, “How to Market Like Google in 2014”).
Takeaway Tip: Make your customer the hero.

2) You Have Calls to Action, But No Conviction

If your only goal is to get prospects to click a download button and submit their email address then you’re missing the point. Marketers do this all the time — they get caught up focusing on one small conversion point and lose sight of the bigger picture, that it’s simply one means to an end (not the end, itself).
An email address on its own means nothing, especially if it’s obtained purely as ransom for a gated offer. Evidence that a prospect buys in to what you stand for, meanwhile, now that’s a reason to believe you’re developing a meaningful relationship that can pay off big time in terms of conversion, retention, and active word of mouth.
How can you bridge the gap between that and your empty-gesture download forms? How can you put conviction back into your calls to action? A good way to start is by making them invitations to join an active community (not just download a whitepaper), and making it explicitly clear what the shared values of that community are. Again, that means backing up from a narrow focus on your product and drafting messaging around your mission, instead. In other words, showcase your “Why”, not your “What”.
MailChimp is a great example of a company that nails their “Why”. And like any good messaging, theirs is brilliant in its simplicity — they believe everyone should “Send Better Email”. Their mission is not only to help marketers do that, but to rid the world of bad email and spammy practices, too. Who doesn’t want to get behind that?
Takeaway Tip: Stand behind your “Why”.

3) You Offer Solutions When You Should Be Offering Swagger

The third thing many B2B marketers are guilty of is focusing entirely on business value and ignoring the personal value their solution can provide to their customers. Do you really think buyers at your target prospects are going to bed dreaming of ways to save their companies money? Or are they dreaming of ways they can get a promotion, score a raise, impress their boss, have more time for their family, etc? Let’s be honest — which do you dream about?
So why isn’t your messaging targeted accordingly? Why aren’t you stressing how your solution can help buyers keep their jobs, get new jobs, be unstoppable, the best damn _____ in their industry?
The fact is, according to research done by CEB and Google, personal value has 2x the impact of business value on a B2B purchase. That’s not something that many B2B marketers are actively addressing, and it’s a huge missed opportunity.
Takeaway Tip: Stress the personal value your product provides, not just the business value.

Watch the Webinar

Putting Backbone into B2B Marketing: The Power of Confident Messaging

Doug Kessler_circleWe’re teaming up with marketing provocateur Doug Kessler to deliver a free presentation on how you can produce more confident marketing — and why it’s the #1 key to cutting through the noise and developing real, impactful relationships with your prospects.
Drawing on his work with B2B marketing agency Velocity Partners, and his wildly popular presentations, Doug will share his secrets to creating more effective messaging that:

  • Attracts
  • Grabs attention
  • Signals expertise and experience
  • Signals honesty
  • Projects success and momentum

Start packing more of a punch with your content. Download it now.

Jonathan Crowe
Jonathan Crowe
Senior Content Manager

Jonathan Crowe is Senior Content Manager at Barkly. He was previously the Managing Editor of OpenView Labs.
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