Volume 17 No. 1: Are you ABLE to break the B2B mold?

The B2B Institute and System1 recently partnered to evaluate the effectiveness of 2,500 B2B ads.  

The results...  

Well, it wasn’t good news for the standard B2B ad formula.


What does effective B2B advertising look like?   

Each week, we break down another marketing concept so you can skip the hype and get directly to what works. 

We’ve all seen the type of ads we’re talking about. The ones with generic stock images and a soothing voiceover promising their product will 10X your ROI. For B2B marketers, this formula is safe. But is it effective? 

According to the B2B Institute and System1, the answer is a clear no, and it’s well past time for B2B creative to change. Fortunately, there are examples of a better direction for B2B—one that has driven meaningful results for the brands adopting it. 

Lessons in B2B Marketing from Disney 

How does Disney consistently create narratives that captivate audiences globally? Their formula is rooted in a profound understanding of their audience, timeless storytelling, and an emphasis on authentic emotional connections.  

Translated into the B2B space, these strategies can lead to more engaging and impactful campaigns. This might look like telling a story about the problem your product solves, rather than just hyping up the features. It could even mean introducing a character to represent your brand! 

Successful B2B Advertising Case Studies 

While many B2B ads fall into predictability, some brands are charting a different course and reaping the rewards. Adobe, Simply Business, and Intuit have managed to break the mold with ads focused on clear messaging and authentic engagement. Most importantly, these ads leverage audience insights gained from a clear understanding of each brand’s target customer.  

Breaking Down the ABLE Framework 

Developed by the team at the B2B Institute, the ABLE framework is one tool you can use to evaluate your ad’s potential. Each letter stands for a critical part of building an effective campaign. 

Attention (How do you get your audience to take notice?)

+ Branding (Does your brand show up clearly in the ad?)

+ Linkage (How does each element in the ad connect?)

= Equity 

This isn't just about getting your audience's attention for the sake of it. It's about meaningful engagement—ensuring that once you have attention, you're delivering a message that both connects to your brand and resonates deeply with the viewer's needs. Plus, every element of your advertisement, from visuals to the call-to-action, should work cohesively, forging a memorable link between the audience and your brand. 


Key Takeaway: It’s time to say goodbye to the traditional formula for B2B ads. Story-driven and highly creative strategies are proving to be more effective, signaling an exciting new era for B2B marketing. 


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