We all remember the old nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty. You know, the anthropomorphic egg shaped character who sat on a wall and took a tumble in front of all those regal fellows on horseback, that’s it, him.
Well B2B marketing is a bit like Humpty Dumpty.
Let me explain…
Over the last 10 years, B2B marketing has become ever more sophisticated, but it’s also become increasingly siloed and fractured. Endless channels and platforms, new disciplines, old disciplines, data, AI, building a marketing stack. You name it…
B2B marketing is broken into a thousand pieces.
Even the latest B2B Marketing Trend Tracker survey tells the story for us, with influencer marketing, programmatic advertising, augmented reality all wanting and waiting to have their moment of fame.
And yet, there is not a single mention of what I believe is the mega trend that changes everything.
And within this broken industry we have camps and tribes of believers.
Those who believe in data as the future. Those who believe in creativity. ABMers, technologists, behavioural scientists, experiential gurus, digital wizards and so forth.
All of them right to believe in what they do and equally all of them wrong.
Because B2B marketing is in desperate need of something else.
What we don’t need is more disciplines and new techniques that add to the broken puzzle.
What we need is something to glue it back together again.
Something that can unite B2B marketers, whatever their persuasion or beliefs.
Something galvanising that can impact every channel, technique and discipline.
We need one simple notion, that unites B2B marketing.
Not just for the good of our industry and our own sanity as marketers, but something that is fundamentally good for every stakeholder and good for business too.
In an era where the customer and employee experience feel ever more powerful trends, B2B marketing needs to stand up and be accountable to this challenge.
And let’s be clear, we are not going to reach the lofty ideal behind the ‘customer experience’ movement, when our marketing lacks alignment, focus and a joined up approach.
In recent years, one emerging idea has shown itself to be the keystone of B2B.
And yes, it’s no surprise to hear me evangelise about the role of storytelling. And not just any old storytelling, but strategic and intelligent storytelling.
Storytelling is the glue that can unite every B2B marketer.
Storytelling is accretive to everything we do and everything we believe in.
Story powered brands.
Story powered ABM.
Story powered campaigns.
Story powered experiences.
Story powered content.
Story powered data.
Ultimately, this is the challenge ahead. To glue B2B marketing back together again.
To usher in a new era of story powered growth.
To take B2B marketing somewhere new.
To tell stories that have never been told before.
To look back knowing that we changed things.
So the next generation of B2B marketers inherit something in a better state than most of us found it in.
This is an industry challenge, not an agency one.
Every client, every agency, every freelancer is part of the solution.
We just need to work together.
Nothing is more important.
If you care about this industry, it’s time to give a sh*t about fixing it.
C’mon B2B Marketing. We’ve got this, right?