What does authenticity bring to the table for B2B marketers looking to create better customer experiences?
Authenticity is a vital factor when it comes to making B2B marketing that’s top-notch, with the inherent trust it builds powering campaigns that stand apart from the common crowd.
Here are 5 vibrant takes on the potent power authenticity holds in the best B2B marketing, from some of the top innovators in marketing and beyond, to help inspire your marketing today and to prepare for the eventually post-pandemic business landscape.
For Alicia Tillman, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer at SAP*, building a community of brand advocates requires not only authenticity but accountability.
“Authenticity and accountability are needed to make a long-lasting impression and build a community of advocates,” Tillman has noted. “Embrace your brand’s humanity by creation authentic experiences. Your customers will thank you,” she added.
For Eric Austin, senior director of global brand building and media innovation at P&G, authenticity requires brands to establish “street cred,” do their homework, and roll up their sleeves — an approach that holds just as true for B2B efforts as those applied in B2C.
“Consumers are very savvy these days,” Austin recently told Marketing Dive. “They really can see through things that are not authentic, and that’s where brands tend to get into trouble: when they don’t have the right insight. They have not done the roll-up-the-sleeve work in the community before they start to go big and broad,” Austin added.
Authenticity can also enhance brand storytelling, as Konstanze Alex, head of global digital storytelling at Cisco, has shared.
“Co-creating content with influential industry experts is one way for brands to unlock powerful, authentic storytelling that results in valuable brand experiences for customers,” Alex has noted.
Alex is one of the marketing leaders in our list of “50 Influential Women in B2B Marketing Who Rocked in 2020,” and “32 Top Social Media Marketing Influencers To Follow.”
There are dangers lurking when brands try to force an air of authenticity when none or very little is actually present, a challenge that Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data, recently observed.
“A lot of people take on a mission purely for marketing reasons and it’s not real because it’s not authentic,” Cassidy has noted.
“Purpose-driven marketing can be tough because you don’t have much traction at first. Hopefully, eventually, it gains momentum and then eventually you have this massive force that is doing good, it’s part of your company culture and is an overall plus to the company,” Cassidy added.
To Carla Zakhem-Hassan, chief marketing officer at Citi and also one of our 50 Influential Women in B2B Marketing, authenticity is both inclusive and diverse.
“Now more than ever, it’s so important to be authentic to who we are,” Zakhem-Hassan said. “I’m a proud female Arab immigrant and I’m grateful to be able to lead with my culture defining who I am,” she added in a recent International Women’s Day tweet about an insightful Our Voices Our Hopes interview, “Being ‘Authentic’ Means Being Empowered to Lead, Citi’s Carla Zakhem-Hassan.”
Even an already fine marketing strategy can benefit by adding ample content that cuts to the heart of authenticity.
Using the keen insight we’ve shared here from Alicia, Eric, Konstanze, Sky, and Carla, you’ll be better able to create B2B marketing efforts that will take you to new heights in the push forward to 2022.
Here are three addition resources we’ve published for looking even more closely at the important role of authenticity in marketing:
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