Speak to the people, not the business.

As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are waking up to the realities of change. Customers, employees and wider stakeholders have all undoubtedly been affected by the lockdown period in one way or another. From working at home to being furloughed, through to losing leisure activities, face to face time and embracing online retail and Zoom sessions, the way we live, shop, eat, socialise and manage our finances may well have changed for good.

So what does all of this mean for businesses operating in B2B industries? After all, many of those businesses have now been shut – or seen their productivity decimated – for over three months. Legions are still just getting back to some semblance of BAU and working out how to market to their business clients in the new world.

One key trend that is emerging is a shift towards personalised, person-centric marketing in B2B circles, rather than the business focus of old. Now, the drift is towards empathy, and those B2B brands that can harness a sense of empathy and sympatico with their clients will find that their marketing efforts are successful.

This whole ‘person-centric’ model of marketing isn’t anything new of course. B2C brands have been using words such as ’empathy’, ‘engagement’, ‘relationship’, ‘trust’, and ‘understanding’ for years. These brands have learned to perfect the art of truly understanding the needs and desires of their customers and they create offers that meet the uniqueness and personal call of these drivers.

But now? Even B2B audiences want to see that emotion in the way that their brands speak to them. They want to see content that resonates with their own emotions and which shows a sense of affinity and understanding.

For many B2B firms, this tricky art of marketing against feelings will potentially be a challenge. After years of marketing on the basis of product offerings, value-adds and other physical features, this transition to emotion and feeling may feel unnatural. From a practical perspective, marketing campaigns will need to change.

Brands will need to humanise to a greater degree than ever before. Marketers will need to show that they understand their clients’ feelings after lockdown – their needs, their fears, their aspirations and their goals. They will need to empathise with the experiences that everyone has shared during Covid, and offer hope and support for the future in the form of their market offers. And all without ‘me too’ messaging.

Agile B2B brands will already be looking at ways to reframe their products and services in this new environment. New conversations need to happen around a fresh presentation. Technical product features are one thing – but how will your product or service actually help your customer? How will it make their working life easier? More enjoyable? More satisfying? How will it help them to achieve their ambitions for productivity, their hopes for a better service, their dreams of a better work-life balance? Think emotion. think context. Think benefits selling (again).

The key will lie in developing audience personas and in using content marketers who can build trust through excellent understanding and awareness of their audience needs. Transactional behaviours will no longer be the focus – emotional journeys, relationships and trust with brands will become the new battleground for brand loyalty.

For most B2B firms, this will mandate a rapid acquisition of the necessary B2C marketing skillets and digital capabilities. Why not contact RC&A to see how we can help you to secure the right senior digital talent to meet these new B2B marketing challenges – before your competitors!

 

Don't just take our word for it

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. RC&A were quick to understand our needs, they only delivered high-quality people for interview, and succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

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