Volume 11 No. 2: What irrational decision-making means for B2B marketing

Companies are made up of... well, people.  

And people make decisions based on emotion, storytelling and recognition. 

But for years, marketing has acted as though B2B purchases are made based on pure rationality. 

Now, that’s starting to change. 


   Marketing Breakdown   

What irrational decision-making means for B2B marketing     

Each week, we break down another marketing trend so you can skip having a breakdown.

Marketing is an essential department when the road gets bumpy.  

The traditional processes and playbooks for B2B sales and marketing are coming undone. Changing technology and buying preferences highlight the limitations of the typical B2B sales approach, which is driven by data and product features. 

In 2022, 56% of businesses reported a belief that a lack of humanity results in ineffective B2B marketing. And 82% of people found most B2B marketing boring

The good news? Many B2B marketers are waving good-bye to the old ways. But that creates the need for a new playbook. One that considers creativity, emotion, and brand-building. 

So what does the future of B2B marketing look like? One thing is certain: it won’t be boring. Here are a few ideas for getting started. 

  1. Lean into creative storytelling. For greater memorability and loyalty, spend time developing and promoting your brand’s story. Push for interest and excitement. 
  2. Don't be afraid to learn from B2C marketing. B2C marketers have been using these strategies for a long time. They’ve learned more than a few things along the way. 
  3. Link your brand to category entry points (CEPs). The more situations in which prospects think of your brand, the better both retention and market penetration will look. However, this requires a certain level of awareness and familiarity. 

Key Takeaway: Think of this marketing shift as an opportunity... how can you engage with potential customers in a fresh way? Mostly it comes down to treating your customers like humans. Because they are. 


   The Growth Lab   

Question: How do you decide which industry trends are worth exploring and which are fads?  

We ask an experienced group of business leaders, marketers and statisticians about strategies for success.

Answer: "Always investigate before deciding to pursue or dismiss a trend. Try asking: 

  1. Are competitors making significant investments in the trend? Think of product innovation, marketing support, or press coverage.  

  2. How quickly did the trend come on the scene? Those that come in hot usually leave cold just as quickly.  

  3. What ways can we test against a trend? Before making substantial investment, try pressure-testing the trend’s longevity."

— Faye Doyle, VP Client Growth


   Channel Changers   

Listen: B2B Growth 

Here we celebrate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers that are actively pushing marketing into the future.

Hosted by creators James Carbary, Dan Sanchez, and Benji Block, B2B Growth ranks among the top marketing podcasts for good reason. It features interviews with B2B growth leaders who share strategies for success alongside stories from their time in the industry. Each episode explores actionable growth insights in which marketers (even those outside B2B) will find value. A must-listen for staying up-to-speed on marketing trends and ahead of competitors. Plus, it’s never boring. 

Our favorite insight? B2B marketing is changing, sure. But B2B content marketing specifically is experiencing a massive transformation—from new roles that may be required on your marketing team to how businesses are building true “media” brands. 


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