The Power of Provocation

Boring. Predictable. Repetitive. Incendiary adjectives threatening what’s left of B2B marketing’s credibility. Through research conducted by alan. we argue for marketers to make B2B electrifying, deeply moving, and we show what needs to be done in our report ‘The power of provocation’

82% of business leaders find B2B marketing boring and repetitive, according to a new research launched today.

The study of UK technology, financial services and professional services leaders by B2B marketing specialists alan. has revealed that business leaders think most B2B marketing is not fit for purpose.

More than half of B2B marketers surveyed (53%) feel they work in a risk-averse culture (so not set-up to break the mould when it comes to new thinking) and 33% feel their company doesn’t understand brand building.

But the survey suggests they should take a bolder approach, with CEOs, CFOs and COOs united and unequivocal with 100% saying marketers need to tackle any risk aversion in their businesses and 88% of CEOs saying marketers need to take a bolder, more contrarian or provocative approach.

This includes taking a radical approach to the look and feel of the brand and marketing departments having more synchronicity between different arms of the business to pool creative ideas. 

alan’s study goes one step further, showing that the C-suite is craving more intense emotions in marketing tactics to drive B2B buying behaviour. 

  • 70% feel great affinity to a brand when moved on an emotional level

  • Half want brands to demonstrate they understand their human experience

  • and 85% respect brands that aren’t afraid to have an opinion and disruptive position on the industry. 

Commenting on the report, Michael Richards, Managing Director of alan said: “We want to shine a light on what business leaders really think of B2B brands. Our plan for this research was to awaken B2B brands to the reality that their marketing approach as it stands just isn’t working. 

“Buyers are screaming for a braver, more provocative B2B marketing approach that injects emotion and humanity.  We argue for marketers to make B2B electrifying and deeply moving.

For B2B brands to deliver to clients and audiences, marketers need divisive positioning, defiant leadership and improved tactics that allow them to tap into the human truth of marketing. 

“It’s now or never for B2B brands to adapt, not only to thrive but to survive. And those who do will reap great rewards.” 

Download the report HERE.

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