Why B2B Marketing Isn’t Working

Businesses don’t talk to each other. They don’t form relationships. They don’t feel stress or long for more time with family. They can’t engage and, oh yeah, they don’t buy technology. Nope. No wonder why B2B marketing isn’t working for so many software and technology companies!

The lines are more blurred than ever in marketing today and, for the most part, we can actually thank our clients and their solutions for this transformation. You’ve helped us become so connected—to our devices, our work and each other—we expect more in less time. And that means the connection we feel with you. Business just feels more personal now.

Do you see ME?

The marketing team has to figure out how to make prospects and customers feel noticed, important and understood. It’s on you to create messaging that is relatable and drives people to convert so the sales team has the opportunity to make a call, setup a meeting and build a relationship.

If all your marketing messaging is from your business to their business, where’s the personal engagement? That’s not to say B2B messaging isn’t necessary or is a bad thing, but don’t expect to make real connections with real people.

So what’s the problem with B2B marketing? I created this image which is super simple and quite literal, but I think it makes the point.

Why B2B Marketing Isn't Working

Want an interesting marketing exercise?

Probably not, but try it anyway. Take a look at your marketing collateral—your website, sales sheets and even your company profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Note where you could take B2B language and tweak it or add to it so it is more H2H. After all, I’m 100% certain that a person is reading them and it doesn’t matter if your decision maker is the CEO, CFO or the marketing manager—they are still people. Tapping into emotions and empathizing with your decision makers as both business leaders and human beings is key.

Here are a few examples:


The “value” you offer can mean something different for a person than to a business. Business goals aren’t people goals. You’ve got to learn how to create messaging for both.

4 easy ways to make your B2B marketing more personal:

Of course we’d love to help you create a deeply engaging campaign, revamp your sales collateral, or energize your social strategy but, if that’s not in the cards right now, here are 4 quick things you can do to get started:

  1. Create buyer personas so you know how to relate to each person, not the business.
  2. Post blogs by real employees, not the business.
  3. Send emails from real employees, not the business.
  4. Rework your social profiles to speak like people to people, not the business.
  5. Select a few key, responsible employees and setup their own business Twitter account so they can share your posts and content in a more personal way, answer questions and engage with customers as a real person, not the business.

You see the pattern. You might have a B2B business model, but make sure you have a H2H sales and marketing model. It’s really that simple.

Written by: Michelle Etherton, The Partner Marketing Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
05 Feb 2018

8 Overlooked Marketing Tactics You’re Missing Out On

One of the questions I’m frequently asked by marketers is what NEW tactics am I seeing others use? I ALWAYS include “overlooked” trends when answering this question. Of course you want to be innovative, but what’s “new” to you may be something others have been doing successfully for years. Cutting edge isn’t always necessary –

Latest Posts
31 Jan 2018

3 Easy Steps to Download LinkedIn Contacts (and what NOT to do with them)

At first I thought everyone except me knew how to download LinkedIn connections anytime they wanted. But, after checking with a few people, I realized that most have never really thought about how to obtain a list of their connections. Or why they might want to.
Let me show you how easy it is:

Latest Posts
16 Jan 2018

5 Simple LinkedIn Profile Hacks for 2018

Do you want to generate new business from LinkedIn this year? If not, stop reading right now. This post isn’t for you. But if you do want to start getting more leads on LinkedIn, follow these 5 simple hacks below.
Of course there are more than just 5 things you can and should be doing

Latest Posts
03 Jan 2018

9 Creative Content Ideas to Fuel Your Content Engine

Content marketing is more than just blogging and creating an occasional eBook. We’ve written in the past about visual content, but what other types of content and formats can you add to your portfolio to keep your readers engaged and interested? If you’re stuck in a rut, here are some content ideas to get you

Latest Posts
21 Nov 2017

4 Steps to Clean Up Your Online Presence

With many marketers slowing down during November and December due to the holidays, I typically will come up with a year-end blog on things you can do during the slow months. This year, I have decided to focus my year-end advice on ONE topic—cleaning up your online presence.  Specifically, all those profiles you have—directories, LinkedIn