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People power business

Businesses are made up of people.  

People with imperfect, brilliant, unpredictable, predictable, human behaviours.  

When working for a business, people are (normally) aligned to the business’s goals and work in their role to achieve them. In practice, this means working towards the business’s commercial goals, while also working to collectively put values into practice. 

In the B2B marketing space – where there’s often a human element missing – it’s important to understand the aims and challenges for businesses, what drives the team, as well as typical human behaviours in response to certain actions. 

B2B marketing is about listening and understanding, not just thinking B2B = LinkedIn ads. 

There’s more room for creativity. More need to think about the people that power business, and what they are trying to accomplish.

So, what can be done to achieve success in B2B marketing? 

People making decisions in businesses have to meet the ambitions of the business and maintain good results – whatever their goals may be – based on the decisions they have made.  

They need a shopping list of potential, reliable suppliers.  

They need to understand what a new working relationship might look like. 

They need to be reassured that you can do the job and provide the service you are offering to the standard you are claiming, and ideally, know that they can build a positive relationship with you for lasting success.  

You need to show business decision makers that you are decent and reliable – hoping that you are those things – and the way to do this is to reassess your approach, ditching the impersonal in favour of the human. 

The tactics available are largely the same as for the B2C marketing world that typically gets talked about. 

For example, the people powering businesses are likely to have a LinkedIn account, but they may also use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and they may prefer one over the others. 

They may prefer watching a video over reading an in-depth article… They may have a family and their free time (or working from home time) is spent, or interrupted by, being bossed around by a 3-year-old who dictates which media they consume… 

For B2B marketing to be really effective, time needs to be spent understanding the organisations we’re targeting and the makeup of their people. Understanding what people value, what they want to achieve and what makes them tick will help to ensure that the products or services we’re offering are of real benefit. 

Done correctly, like-minded people can connect and work together to the benefit of both businesses.  

The people ultimately hold the power. Work to their human, emotional intelligence and show a real understanding of their business needs, and the marketing should take shape and be most effective. 

There’s more room for creativity. More need to think about the people that power business, and what they are trying to accomplish.