5 hot takes on leveling-up B2B marketing from Jason Bradwell
By Daniel Murray
I’m pumped for you guys to get to know Jason Bradwell.
Jason is one of the top B2B marketers and creators in the biz, and he GETS it.
You can even find him screaming “B2B MARKETING IS BROKEN” from the rooftops.
Jason works with enterprise tech companies to level up their creative and build engaged audiences.
As a creator, he’s building an audience of his own. Jason has a podcast, B2B Better, a newsletter, B2B Bite, AND a TikTok.
(Maybe I should start a TikTok, too… taco reviews? 🤔)
Here’s what the LEGEND, Jason had to say about B2B marketing on The Marketing Millennials podcast (ps we talked about acting in college).
1. B2B creative matters:
Creative matters far more than you would expect.
There is just so much BS out there in B2B, in terms of visual and aesthetic material.
There’s a HUGE OPPORTUNITY for brands that decide to put serious budget behind developing a brand style.
If you’re building out a marketing team or a group of designers that covers video, illustration, and audio — they need to be considered a CRITICAL MARKETING FUNCTION.
They’re what’s going to give you the edge.
They don’t need to be internal. If you’re a smaller company, just bring someone in on a short-term basis.
IT WILL DELIVER VALUE.
2. B2C marketing experience helps in B2B:
If you spend any time in B2B marketing circles, you have heard that B2B marketing needs to think more like B2C marketing (IT’S ALL HUMAN TO HUMAN).
Sure, there are other factors at play when you’re selling to a B2B buyer, like…
- The length of time to make a decision
- The amount of money they’re going to spend
- How many stakeholders they have to convince internally
But ultimately, you’ve got to get their attention first.
You have to STAND OUT from the crowd.
Working for 3 years at a consumer brand — we had to work really hard to convince our customers that our bike cleaning product wasn’t just soap.
That tipped our hand to creating some amazing content that we shot all over the globe. Like working with the GOAT, Danny MacAskill (anyone else watch his youtube vids??).
We adopted a very creative and in-your-face approach.
The REAL question is, “How can we capture the hearts and minds of our potential customers?” Not the generic, “How can we create a white paper?”
3. Solve the biggest problem in B2B marketing:
The biggest challenge is bringing together the marketing and the sales functions into a COHESIVE COMMERCIAL ENGINE.
What is broken in a lot of B2B tech enterprises is marketing exists over here and sales exists over there (recipe for disaster).
You’re basically considering them two independent entities.
That’s becoming a problematic way of running a modern B2B organization.
You’re starting with the assumption that there is a MARKETING JOURNEY and a SALES JOURNEY.
There isn’t. There is the CUSTOMER JOURNEY…
A series of moments where you need to provide information in the right format at the right time.
Which is a SUPER hard thing to do when you have a marketing team and a sales team that are disconnected (we don’t want that AT ALL, besties).
Some businesses try to get around this problem by hiring a Chief Revenue Officer (all of our CROs, we still love you).
They say, there’s one leader now — that should fix the problem.
But what happens is you have a sales-driven individual who will focus on sales because that’s what they understand.
You need to bring on a head of sales AND a head of marketing.
They need to be aligned on objectives. They need to share common goals and targets. And they need to be EMPOWERED and on EQUAL FOOTING to do their jobs.
4. Be the signal in the B2B noise:
If you want to get a white paper drawn up, you can do it in a couple of weeks in a cost-effective way.
Any company can do that (like literally any company).
And that’s why there’s so much noise out there.
The ones who are ultimately going to stand out…
- Are INVESTING IN CREATIVE
- Are thinking about how they can entertain AND educate
- Are working on delivering value 24/7, 365 days a year
- Are comfortable with not attributing every single dollar to the bottom line
They’re taking a long-term view of how marketing can benefit a business.
5. A theater background helps in marketing:
The number one skill I picked up from my background in theater was THE ABILITY TO IMPROVISE.
We used to play a game called “Yes, And.”
The idea is that you start a scene and no matter what happens, you have to go with the story.
You can’t say no — you can’t put up ANY BARRIERS that are going to stop a sequence of events.
For instance: We’re at a bus stop. I walk on, I sit down next to the bus stop and you walk in and you say, “I’m here with my tray of breakfast tacos” (I’d be so good at responding to that).
I have to roll with it.
That freedom to explore has been HUGELY BENEFICIAL when leading creative workshops and building marketing strategies.
Don’t say yes to everything.
But in those early stages, when you’re brainstorming and trying to think a little bit outside the box — improvisation skills are hugely beneficial.
If you work in marketing, you will benefit from taking an improv class (I’m signing up for one right now – LOL).