History is boring, right? I mean, for most people, the word history connotes big, dense books and long, dull lectures. There are nuggets or quotes that might capture your interest. But for the most part, it sounds daunting.
That’s how some marketers may feel about B2B. Of course, there are compelling business letters. Dynamic airport Duratrans. Incredible Sunday morning commercials. And hundreds of inspirational TED Talks. But I believe there’s room to take B2B to an even higher level.
Imagine a Campaign that Does for Your Business What Lin-Manuel Miranda Did for Broadway
It’s time to energize your business story beyond your category. Update it. Reinvent it. Create an arresting new visual vocabulary of your own. Leverage today’s mashed-up music. Bring a deliberate yet authentic approach to diversity. A deep understanding of context. And a big, Broadway-caliber approach to showmanship.
Creating a Smash
If someone told you five years ago that a play about one our Founding Fathers starring mostly blacks and Latinos would be the next huge show in New York, would you have believed it? Would you have invested in it? The description doesn’t do Hamilton justice. Not till Lin-Manuel teased the content at the White House did people sense that something big was in the works. What does that mean for you?
Try a little. Test some bold, exploratory campaign elements—a banner ad, a prototype radio spot, a rule-breaking email series. Share these explorations with a few customers or prospects whose influence could really change your fortunes. Then build out a complete new vision.
Respecting the Past
Of course, your new campaign has to align with your brand. You can’t abandon who you are. But with fresh language, fresh music, fresh faces and deep respect for your own business and the industry you’re in, you can win over new audiences while keeping the faith of traditionalists.
Hamilton has earned the praise of Broadway veterans like Steve Sondheim, while gaining props from venerable hip hop gurus like QuestLove. How? By understanding the art forms and leveraging the best of everything to create an experience no one has seen before.
“It’s everything I want a musical to be.”
That’s what one Manhattan theater-lover told me after seeing Hamilton twice. “There’s music, of course, but it’s new and different, way beyond the expected show tunes.”
For your next B2B campaign, maybe it’s time to go way beyond the catchy show tunes and connect on a deeper level with your audience. Maybe even find a new, younger, broader audience.
Creating a smash hit—or a business-changing campaign—doesn’t happen the first time. Just like Hamilton, it can take years of research, writing, testing and refining. But all the ramp-up time you invest can help build the expectation and momentum … and ensure you get it right.
If you’re ready to explore how B2B marketing can be different, bigger, more meaningful, more unexpected, let’s talk. There’s drama in every story, and we’re here to help you find it and bring it to your audience in an unforgettable way.
Five Things B2B Marketers Can Learn From Hamilton: An American Musical
1. Go beyond entertainment. Your B2B campaign can (and should) be bigger and more meaningful than a catchy tagline.
2. Diversity is a conscious decision. It’s not about being sure your “cast” features ethnicity. It may about choosing unexpected people for every role, and making it work in surprising ways.
3. Music matters. It’s emotional. It gives you currency. And it’s memorable. If you think the needle-drop clip that everyone is okay with is okay, think again. Your music should move people.
4. Test and refine. Before you launch a massive campaign designed to change how the world sees you, test out the elements and be sure you’re onto something as big as you hoped.
5. Find the drama. At the core of the Hamilton story is an 18th century duel re-imagined as a rap battle. There’s drama in your business story. Where will you find it … and where will you take it?