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Problem Solved #20: Business marketers explain their pandemic pivot

B2B just got a little more metal.

To mark the launch of our new manifesto – setting out The Drum’s editorial mission to help readers solve their problems – we’re christening today Solutions Day on thedrum.com. And to set the tone, over the course of 24 hours our team of worldwide journalists will be spotlighting 24 recent examples of times when our industry demonstrated its remarkable talent for solving problems.

Problem: B2B marketers were heavily dependent on events to explain their often expensive and complex products and services. In a pandemic, however, tried and tested methods just weren’t cutting it.

Solution: Business marketers had to concoct plans to move from boring, methodical and rational strategies to ones that more entertaining, engaging and emotional.

As tried-and-true B2B tactics become less effective, here’s some advice from businesses marketers who have made the leap on creating a new playbook amid Covid-19:

  • Don’t be afraid to play for laughs. B2B ads with humor or established brand characters are scoring in 2020, per research from the B2B Institute at LinkedIn.

  • Dial up the UX or else. The expectations set in the consumer world for high-quality, frictionless digital CX have had a significant impact on B2B marketing.

  • Feel good about leveraging empathy. Marketing that dials up human relevance and emotion have scored well for B2B brands – and will likely continue to do.

“We must instead take a page from consumer brands, going a level deeper and taking the time to think about how we can develop a meaningful relationship at the right level with our customers as people,” says Carla Piñeyro Sublett, the chief marketer of equipment testing company NI.

“Filling inboxes with unopened emails and throwing up banner ads only contributes to a go-to market strategy that is noisy.”

Read more Problem Solved articles in our Solutions Day hub.

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