The Creative Side of B2B Marketing

By Christina Chu | Public Relations Account Supervisor

When most of us were mapping out our careers in advertising, we pictured ourselves working on all the high-profile consumer accounts, creating the next Super Bowl spot for Budweiser or Apple or Mercedes-Benz. But with a little – and in some cases a lot – of experience under our belts, we’ve found working on the sister brands of Mercedes-Benz like Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses is just as challenging and rewarding, if not more so.

You see, B2B marketing is usually thought of as less cutting-edge, less creative and less fun – and often deservedly so. But our approach has never been to see it as less desirable. Business owners and corporate managers are people, too. They’re consumers of the products our clients sell. That’s why we approach B2B marketing campaigns the same way we do consumer campaigns. We take the dull and make it exciting. We take the complex and make it simple. And we change behavior and sell product. After all, there have been hundreds of great Nike ads. Great school bus ads, those are far rarer, unless you’re around our offices.

Case in point, just a few years ago we earned back-to-back National ADDY awards from the American Advertising Federation, one of which was for our Thomas Built Buses Facts about Fuels campaign.

This integrated campaign was aimed at educating school transportation directors, school board members and school bus dealers about the benefits of diesel fuel for school buses. We entertained while we educated through a fun and interactive parallax landing page, posters, digital ads, videos and a lot of thought leadership content that helped to communicate the benefits of a misunderstood fuel type. 

The campaign achieved resounding success based on millions of impressions, view and open rates nearly double industry averages, time on site of over six minutes and a place in the top ten search results on Google. It was effective, which is the goal of every campaign. That it won a national award, that was icing on the cake.

At the end of the day, we don’t care if brands are consumer or B2B. We just want to have fun, and create smart, engaging and effective work. Winning awards, that’s the result that comes from doing that.