Why You May Want to Avoid the Visual When Communicating With a B2B Audience

Like virtually every industry, marketing has been transformed dramatically by advances in technology, particularly the increasing ease with which high quality digital media can be produced and distributed relatively cheaply online. Professional audio and video can be incorporated into a website or distributed through email marketing with ease, and this has led to an increase in the use of such media when marketing for a variety of products and services.

Marketers have taken advantage of new technology and digital content techniques by increasing their use of such material to promote their products and services. According to a dual survey of content marketers and the B2B audiences they serve, 93 percent of marketers plan to maintain or increase their use of content, and that same proportion of marketers said they connect their content directly to a product or service. That seems logical, as the ultimate goal of any marketer should be to generate sales of a product or service.

But how do these efforts square with the expectations of B2B marketing audiences?

Not very well, according to the survey! In fact, the flip side of that dual survey created by The Economist Group Content Solutions and communications firm Peppercorn found that 75 percent of global business executives said the primary purpose for seeking business content is researching a business idea. In other words, they don’t want to be sold to. They want information that can help their careers and their organizations.

Similarly, just because incorporating advanced audio and visual marketing material has become easier and increasingly widespread doesn’t mean it is effective. According to The Economist Group Content Solutions and Peppercorn, “85 percent of global executives report that they prefer text to video or audio;” Only 5 percent said that videos were helpful.

So what is the takeaway here? It would seem that the message to marketers is to lay off a bit and take a more subtle approach. Your B2B audiences don’t want to have flashy, sales-y content forced down their throats. They’re seeking useful information that we marketers need to provide to them while, albeit subtly, incorporating our own key messages into that content.

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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