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How storytelling can be at the heart of B2B marketing

According to research by LinkedIn quoted in Marketing Week, out of 13 major countries, it’s the UK where B2B marketers have the lowest confidence in their companies being able to produce more creative campaigns. The report says that a majority of UK marketers “are concerned that the best talent in the industry is drawn to working in consumer marketing over B2B.” However, it also says that perceptions could change if B2B brands focus more on storytelling in their marketing and advertising, as consumer brands do.

Storytelling allows us to communicate a product or service without a hard sell. Rather than being passive spectators, prospects are led to interpret a story on their own terms. A classic story identifies the type of issue experienced by a customer, addresses these with the product or service, and reveals the happy ever after. The resulting marketing content is far more likely to resonate with its audience.

True case studies can be storytelling content, but they’re not the only approach. Even short product descriptions can be presented as a story, if we have the imagination. Consider a descriptive but dull line like: “The XYZ Blue Widget for aerospace applications is faster than its predecessor”. A storytelling approach might simply replace this by: “Aerospace engineers needing a Blue Widget to keep up with more challenging sprocket speeds are specifying the XYZ model, which will be able to handle increasingly higher throughput requirements for years to come.”