Rule #3: The ‘So-What’ Factor
The ‘So-What’ factor is about being memorable.
In this increasingly commoditised world, there is really very little to differentiate many of our B2B products and services from our competitors. Yet the bulk of our B2B marketing effort continues to be done on features, benefits and price, which is simply no longer enough to become truly memorable in the hearts and minds of our customers.
One of the ways we become memorable is through the VALUE we bring to our social conversations. And this doesn’t mean what we value, it must be of value to our customers.
I’ve said it many times, but I’m going to say it again because this is important: we as marketers are still too focussed on ourselves and our organisations, about what WE want to say and the conversations WE want to have.
But social media is not about US, it’s about our customers.
And if our customers no longer want to be sold to, what do we – and our salespeople – have to talk to them about?
Well, for starters, we need to stop talking about what we sell. We need to stop talking about our products and services and start focussing on the BIG ISSUES our customers are dealing with every day. We get so caught up with ‘bigger, better, faster, cheaper’ that we forget these larger issues are the fundamental drivers for our customers’ buying decisions.
So this means we need to stop thinking about what we want to tell our customers and think more about what’s meaningful and valuable to them.
A few years ago I discovered the Coca Cola Company’s Content 2020 initiative on YouTube. I think Coca Cola was way ahead of its time and if you haven’t seen it I recommend it as must-see for all B2B marketers. Jargon aside, it’s essentially about the way that Coca Cola’s customers understand the role and relevance of the Coca Cola Company brands, and the ways in which they relate to and ENGAGE with those brands.
There were 3 things that really made an impact on me::
- Coca-Cola talks first about their move away from one-way broadcast to dynamic story-telling that creates engagement and delivers an experience that unifies customers around its brand.
- They then focus on the content elements that underpin this experience, which are ofvalue, substance and significance to their customers.
- Around which they develop conversations that are about more than insight…Coca Cola uses the word ‘provocative’ and I really like this word, because provocative is emotional and provocative is memorable and it’s these kinds of conversations that stay with our customers.
Experiential engagement, underpinned by content with substance that provokes conversations…this is not just story-telling, but relevant and inspiring story-making.
This is how we create differentiation in an undifferentiated world.
And this is what I believe is the role and purpose of marketing in this new age…to be truly memorable.