Attention spans are shrinking. Content is shrinking. Timelines are shrinking. You get the point. Everything is shrinking. So it’s easy to understand the rise of shallow B2B marketing.
What is shallow marketing? It’s mindless, get-it-done-fast, follow-a-template, forget-the-audience marketing.
Even if you object to it, it’s hard not to be guilty of creating shallow marketing in today’s rapid-fire world. So here are four questions to ask yourself to ensure you never fall victim.
1. Are you making it overly simplistic?
B2B is complicated. And if you don’t understand what you are selling, you’re likely to water down your communications. Watered down B2B marketing is easy to spot. It’s full of buzzwords, over-used metaphors and the benefit of the offering is general, not specific.
B2B audiences are specialists and experts. They live and breathe the category that you are trying to sell into. If you are faking an understanding, they’ll sniff it out before the email even enters their inbox.
The lesson here is that you can’t know enough about your offering. Thoughtful marketing is built on a foundation of research and understanding. You just can’t cut corners.
2. Are you confusing product features with insights?
The key to a solid campaign is a singular focus. What is that one thing you want to communicate? This singular focus should stem from an insight that aligns with your offering. Unfortunately, a lot of times we mistake product features for insights. For instance, “product X is the fastest.” An insight isn’t about the product. It’s about the audience. So rather than “product X is the fastest,” the insight is closer to something like “audience X wants to work faster.”
Even if you don’t have time or budget for a full-blown focus group, we can all benefit from picking up the phone to talk to someone in our target audience. If you don’t understand their pain points, you’ll be left with no choice but to brag about product features.
3. Are you doing it because it makes sense or because it’s trendy?
Before you do anything, ask “why.” Yes, Snapchat is the big thing right now. And content marketing is all the rage. But doing something because it is trendy has never been a launchpad for success. As content marketing guru Kristina Halvorson puts it, “Don’t try to turn your paper towel brand into the next Red Bull when your customers only go to your website for coupons.”
Everything from personalizing an email to using augmented reality should be done with purpose. No marketing is intrinsically valuable, so don’t do it for the sake of doing it.
4. Do you have enough time to give it the attention it deserves?
This seems obvious, but it can be hard to remember—and enforce. When it comes to marketing, always aim for quality over quantity. A lot of shallow marketing pops up when we overpromise. Constantly taking on crazy deadlines or pushing for 10 tweets a day rather than one really good one isn’t conducive to quality work.
Put yourself in the position to create deep, strategic, thoughtful content. To do that, you need to give yourself time.