B2B Advertising: Where Bad Stock Goes to Die
Written by: Bernie Pitzel, Creative in Residence, Jacobs Agency
[Guy with a hard hat pointing at something]
Flip the page.
[Woman at a computer screen pointing at something]
Flip the page.
[Tractor at sunset]
Flip the page.
[Suits in a boardroom pointing at a guy pointing at a flow chart]
Flip the page.
Welcome to most business-to-business advertising: where bad stock shots go to die and where the oft-repeated executional mantra seems to be “show our stuff and show people like us using our stuff.”
Why do a vast majority of B2B advertisers seem to share the apparent belief that their targets have no lives beyond their cubicles or warehouses or boardrooms?
Most of the advertising is so “me too” that I’m sure the cumulative effect is no commutative effect. And there’s not just a commonality in the look and feel but are their targets so one dimensional that they only read trade magazines? Wouldn’t a couple of well-timed inserts in Sports Illustrated, Maxim or Glamour work better than monthly inserts in Tractor Weekly or Today’s Nurse?
Sure, the big pubs are way more expensive than most trades, but there are so many targeted publications that are a lot less and are probably more relevant to the target than their own trade mags.
No one is so one-dimensional that they only read trades and bypass other forms of communication. How about a little outdoor outside that industrial plant? Or a banner ad on CBS Sportsline. Pinterest, anyone? And how about something emotional, evocative or exciting as opposed to “We have the best palettes going”?
Over the years at my various stomping grounds, we won a ton of new B2B clients because they were attracted to our consumer advertising and wanted to bring some of that humanity into their own advertising efforts. Weird how that works, huh? A consumer in B2B advertising. It’s like B2B readers are actually human. Radical stuff.
This is not rocket science. Nothing is, except, well, rocket science.
Your targets are not one-dimensional cubical critters. They watch sports, change diapers, cook, go to movies, they have hobbies. They age and they have emotions.
Maybe it’s time to start showing some of your own in your advertising, but only if you want to connect. Otherwise, flip the page.
CGI: Driving local solutions with global expertise
Embrace digital transformation and infuse it with a spirit of agility, is the message to the public sector from Aleta Jeffress, CGI Senior Vice President Consulting Services.
“We partner with clients to drive value and innovation,” said Jeffress who has been working with the US City of Mesa, AZ on their digital journey for their local citizens.
Founded in 1976, CGI is one of the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. It is insights-driven and outcomes-based to help accelerate return on investments. CGI operates across 21 industries in 400 locations and provides scalable and sustainable services that are informed globally and delivered locally.
“We have expertise in developing and executing strategies to help companies transform their IT to align with the business through cloud strategies, application rationalization, modernization and outsourcing,” said Jeffress speaking from the Denver CGI offices.
“Digital change can be exhausting, but take the opportunity to embrace it and look for new opportunities,” said Jeffress who pointed out projects should have a sense of agility and specific focus on the end-user.
“This can be a big culture change for some clients but by making sure your implementations are not a big bang theory but you can take smaller chunks which you’re able to do over and over again as it's just going to continue to evolve,” she said.
Informed globally and delivered locally
Commenting on CGI’s partnership with the City of Mesa, Jeffress said: “We are providing a solution that has a lower cost of ownership and helps them streamline business processes and helps increase efficiency.
“The City sought a single source of truth for their ERP business processes. With CGI Advantage, they found a partner in their digital transformation journey with a configurable, unified solution that supports their HR, financial management, and performance budgeting business processes.
“With CGI Advantage, the City is working with a single source of truth that lowers total cost of ownership, streamlines business processes, and increases efficiency - additional benefits include:
• A decrease in customizations and staffing requirements resulting in faster upgrade cycles.
• Empowering HR resources to focus on strategic efforts by removing the need for manual and duplicate data entry.
• Increased accuracy with reporting.
• Process improvements shifting from customized or paper-based processes to automated processes.
• Increased pay transparency and accuracy by leveraging process improvements and configurable support
A trusted partner
“CGI is a company that focuses very intently and very intentionally on delivery - that is something that really sets us apart,” said Jeffress.
“We have an internal process where we meet with clients twice a year to ask a specific set of questions. How our clients answer those questions allows us to be sure we are aligned and can be a trusted partner with all of our clients.”
“As an international company, we can provide key resources when our clients need it in a very timely manner,” she said.
Reflecting on the challenges posed by COVID-19 Jeffress said there had been a true evolution in technology services.