Listen to this blog post in our Podcast
Storytelling is a fundamental tool for marketers, no matter the industry or business sector. But while it is common practice to think in terms of storytelling in the B2C environment, it’s still sadly lacking in the B2B space.
If you visit a typical B2B website or stumble upon their adverts, you are likely to see content that is primarily focused on the company’s product and features. Pretty standard, right? The reason for this is simple.
B2B businesses have always acted in an analytical way, driving business strategy from raw data and metrics rather than emotion and stories.
But while this analytical approach has worked in the past, it simply isn’t enough anymore. B2B businesses need to look past their basic products and features and showcase their unique story.
Different Targets, Different Story
At Anyline, we provide solutions to customers across a wide variety of industries. From manufacturing and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), to government, healthcare, logistics, and more recently, healthcare – we touch nearly all business spaces around the world. But with so many target audiences, how can you know you’re telling the right story?
Simply put, you need to understand every industry and listen to your customers. This means looking beyond the basic Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and raw data. You need to understand who the end-user of your product will be, how that industry works, and most importantly, what other effects your solution will have for them.
Here’s a working example in action
One of our many solutions is a mobile serial number scanner. This solution, although relevant to many industries, primarily serves two that are polar opposites to each other which are presented below:
Bottlecap scanning for large FMCG companies
- Company Goal: to build consumer engagement and build brand loyalty.
- Solution Needed: an accurate mobile solution built around the best user experience.
- End User: anyone who purchases this beverage.
Serial number scanning in a large manufacturing company
- Company Goal: a mobile and agile solution for optimizing operational processes
- Solution Needed: an accurate solution for faster data entries with less manual typing errors
- End User: company employees and front line workers
As you can see, marketing ourselves purely in terms of products and features would fail to reach either audience. Although it’s the ‘same’ technology, it would be unrealistic to market to both audiences with a single product-focused campaign.
That’s why we love stories!
Stories are universal. We all grew up hearing them and can understand anything easier when placed within a narrative. It’s human nature! What’s more, people want to connect to the stories they are told. We want to feel emotion, magic, and wonder.
So when it comes to B2B marketing, the first thing I want to hear is not ‘how the product works’; it’s how it will make me happy when I can see how it will solve my problems and help me achieve my goals or dreams. After all, that is the joy storytelling has brought us since we were young.
How easy is storytelling to implement?
So how can we take the magic of storytelling as we know it, and infuse it into our business communications? In my experience, the first step is the hardest nut to crack, but always worth it.
Recently, we launched our new website, and it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to do things differently. We wanted every user’s very first impression to be our story, literally right at the top of the home page.
Since we work with so many different industries, our main challenge was telling a story that each visitor could relate to, no matter what sector they come from. We kept asking ourselves, “how can we tell a story that showcases our product portfolio to such diverse target audiences?”. Combining all of these into ‘one magic moment’ – that was the task.
Invest in your briefing
The briefing for a project like this is what ultimately leads to its success and so every moment you can spare for it is crucial. For our new video, the key message we wanted to communicate was “Anyline provides a solution, no matter where you are, no matter what you do, no matter which industry, and no matter which use-case.”
It was also important at this stage to have defined the target group, as well as the format and length, knowing that it would have to work ideally for a website home page. For the target audience it was important that everyone would understand our solution immediately, no matter their background.
We found that the following briefing questions helped to guide our storyline, ensuring it was a true and authentic narrative:
- What is the main message?
- Who is the audience?
- What are your values?
- Which tonality fits your company?
- What makes you unique?
- What do you not want to communicate?
These briefing questions then took shape and transformed into our ultimate project goals.
Let the audience dive into a world…
- Of modern scanning experiences
- Of diverse people, scenarios, and industries
- Where the scanning process is a magic moment
- Where the superpower of Anyline transforms everyone into modern superheroes.
- Creating a magical concept
- Identifying these goals were a start for the team, but the greater challenge of fitting all of this into a 45-second video still remained.
The approach was clear. To manifest an authentic and visually captivating concept that mirrors our brand while differentiating us from our competitors. And with the help of an inspired and motivated creative agency, and many feedback loops (they are super important!), we delivered a story that captures the true essence of who we are and what we do, packed full of those magic moments.