In this guest post, GPJ’s MD, Caleb Bush (pictured below), offers his hard earned tips on how B2B marketers can be less B2B and more human…
Recently, GPJ hosted the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum Asia Pacific CMO Breakfast, which saw three of our clients share their insights around how to build and maintain exceptional, enduring and personalised experiences for their customers.
Senior executives from NAB, Oracle and QuickBooks were our guests in joining a lively panel discussion, contributing their ideas and the benefit of their extensive business experience in understanding the essential value of retaining the ‘human touch’ in the B2B marketing experience. The forum confirmed a consensus of key ideas emerging across each of our clients, fundamental values that can be understood in terms of the following broad, simple, but sometimes easily forgotten, themes.
Great experiences have the power to change the way you think, the way you act, and the way you feel. They should uplift and inspire you, provoke new ideas or change a person’s perspective. Transformative customer experiences can empower, educate or reward. Whatever the positive nature of the impact, most importantly the client should walk away from the encounter feeling different.
Everyone understands that the best customer experiences are effortless, seamless and easy. Simple, stress-free and frictionless experiences are what we all seek in any modern business relationship. Few things are capable of generating more client goodwill than elegant simplicity. Ease of transaction is a very human expectation – the irony is that automation through emerging technologies and data will be the engine driving greater harmonisation and ease-of-use.
Everyone is pushing harder, further, faster. In an always-on, serious world, we occasionally just need to remember the fundamental importance of having fun. Getting back to a simple sense of play appeals to the restless child within all of us, to the human need for recreation and distraction. Great experiences are defined by fun and entertainment, allowing us to temporarily suspend the pressure and pace of the modern business environment. Whether it’s a gamified treasure hunt, hilarious standup, or belting out your favourite tunes – we all just want to have fun. Effective marketing relationships can always be enhanced and sustained by remaining mindful of this simple truth.
Indulge and stimulate the senses to create an emotional experience. Humans are sensorial creatures at heart, driven by a natural need to experience an emotional connection with the world. From delicious food to nostalgic music, smooth textures, a lovely fragrance or a beautiful visual, we all actively seek sensory pleasure. Customer experiences that delight the senses connect with us at a deeper and more enduring level. Great experiences should ultimately give us the ‘feels’ and invite a meaningful reaction. As Matt Oster, Head of Enterprise Events at NAB, perfectly summarised during our discussion: “You know when you get an experience right – you feel it in your being.”
Great experiences reflect you. They go to your Why? When an experience is authentic, meaningful and personalised, it can have a profound impact. Experiences with real purpose are a powerful way to win hearts and minds. Considering the why, understanding the driving motivation – it all starts from there.
We are all social beings. Our most basic human instinct is the need to connect and build relationships with others. Authentic and trusted relationships – those perhaps deeper than Twitter – can transform the way we see the world. We will more readily buy from a friend than a stranger. Our position within a social group is a powerful and private motivator. Experiences that elevate our status are often the most highly valued.
Unforgettable moments are often those that involve taking risks. The best experiences will ebb and flow but they always have a peak moment of daring that will become the signature. Curating the right dynamics along the customer journey, achieving the right peaks – it is all a strategic art form. Surpassing the expectations of the client through originality and through boldness is key to building enduring and effective B2B relationships.