Where has all the creativity in B2B gone?

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Where has all the creativity in B2B gone?

Where has all the creativity in B2B gone?

By Charlie Hamilton, Gilles Prigent and Alexandra Klinnik. – Published March 13, 2021.
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Why is B2B marketing so flat and lacking in creativity? That was the question we asked Jon Lombardo, Global Lead at the LinkedIn B2B Institute. We chatted about how to resuscitate B2B marketing, how to put creativity back into the heart of content, which brands are succeeding and why it's so important not to fear failure.

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All the creativity has gone from B2B advertising. Content is flat, easily forgettable and frankly boring. This is the pull-no-punches view of Jon Lombardo, Global Lead at the LinkedIn B2B Institute. The institute's recently released report "Cashing in on Creativity" backs up his assessment: 75% of adverts get a one-star out of five rating in the Ads Rating Database.

"Most creative in B2B isn't mediocre, it's downright bad," insists Jon. In his opinion, there is a glaring contrast between today's content and that of the past. "People used to think the advertisements were as good as TV programmes," he continues. "The ads used to be very creative and very fun and engaging and worth watching. [They] have lost a bit of that creativity and have become too serious, a bit too sales-orientated."

Although the "creativity crisis" exists in both B2B and B2C sectors it is much more pronounced when it comes to the business-to-business domain. Instead of lamenting the situation, B2B brands need to grab the bull by the horns and see it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

To do this they need to put creativity back at the heart of their productions. A good ad, one which stirs emotions and that is supported by well-defined characters, leaves its mark in the minds of potential clients not only in the short term but in the long term too.

Highly creative content is 10 to 20 times more effective in increasing sales than mediocre content.

But why is content so poor in the first place? Is it due to the fear of bad publicity?

Companies want to limit risks so they copy each other. "Nobody got fired for buying IBM," goes the old adage. "If you copy the most reliable solution that exists, you're saying to yourself that the people behind it must be very intelligent, and you therefore think your own position is safe," Jon explains.

"Like I said, 77% of ads are bad in B2B but nobody is getting fired, so, I don't see what the risk actually is in the end," he concludes. It is time for B2B advertisers to take the plunge. In other words, it's time for them to opt for creativity and not hold back.

Jon finishes with a plea to B2B advertisers: "You have to embrace failure, and recognise that there is no reward without risk."
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Story Jungle is a leading independent content marketing agency, specialising in campaigns for premium and B2B target audiences.

With a comprehensive network of international correspondents, the Agency creates editorial strategies in multiple languages throughout EMEA, LATAM and Asia. We are experts in Thought Leadership, Influence, Inbound Marketing, Social Selling and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns.

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We lead the fight
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We at Story Jungle powerfully believe that your convictions are your commercial weapons.

However: 71% of C-suite executives in Europe believe most branded content is... "boring*". And 64% of them expect a brand to adopt an authentic and original point of view.

That’s why we place such importance on creating content strategies that really make your target audience stop and think. Let’s lead the fight in the war on boring.

*Raconteur, 2017.
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For us, turnover is the new KPI.
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The war on BORING!

Your convictions are your commercial weapons.
However: 71% of C-suite executives in Europe believe most branded content is... "boring".
And 64% of them expect a brand to adopt an authentic and original point of view.

And, be honest, who likes listening to so-called “experts” repeating the same tired old trends that went out of style years ago? That's why at Story Jungle, we pledged to lead the war on boring. That's our mission!

Accuracy at all costs

It’s our guiding star. Factual errors, inaccuracies, approximations... are all banned at Story Jungle. We believe: “Haste makes waste”! Our processes guarantee rigorous fact-checking of all our content.

R&D is in our DNA

Discovering new formats is our specialty. Story Jungle teams are on constant lookout for new formats and content approaches, scouring the Web to unearth innovative attention-grabbing storytelling styles from around the world. Want to find out more? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Good creative ideas are worth their weight in gold, right? So don’t twist it out of shape just to make sure it hits every single goal of every single stakeholder. Stay focused! Prioritize. Make some tough choices. At Story Jungle our goal is simple: execute the creative idea, don’t kill it.

Audience is king

At the end of the day, it is the quality of audience engagement that allows you to achieve your campaign objectives, whatever they may be. Story Jungle always demands its content has a “real media” approach, making audience interest a top priority – if its too corporate, no one will read it. Our editors are all tried and tested frontline journalists from some of the world’s leading internationally renowned media titles.

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At Story Jungle we try to give you maximum visibility throughout all stages of project development. When we commit to a deadline, we deliver on time, every time.

Time is quality

"All the success of an operation lies in its preparation" (The Art of War). There, I said it! Whether it's responding to a client brief, a call for tender, designing a content campaign or simply a single impactful asset, at Story Jungle, we agree with Sun Tzu. In the words of French poet Nicolas Boileau: "Hasten slowly, and without losing heart, Put your work twenty times upon the anvil: Polish it over and over again, and then polish it once more; sometimes add, and often erase."

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