Neil Rostance from Fat Free Media

Is B2B Marketing boring?

That was the question posed at the most recent gathering of the East Midlands Business Marketing Club (BMC). And, not surprisingly it divided opinion among an audience of passionate agency and client side B2B marketers.


BMC posed the question “Is B2B Marketing Boring?” to agency and client-side marketers from around the East Midlands

RIP ‘Corporate Video’

First up in the event’s cracking speaker line up was the ever-entertaining Neil Rostance, Partner and Head of Creative at Fat Free Media, a full service creative agency specializing in live action video and animation.

Having made over 2,000 films in his career as a filmmaker and ‘bus driver’, his passion for his work stands out when he talks about what he loves – telling compelling stories. Banning the phrases ‘Corporate video’ and ‘Corporate Communications’ from his agency some time ago, Neil believes that B2B has had a tough times over the years – although, after showing a comical selection of talking heads from the world of 1980s corporate videos, it was clear to see why!

Video killed the customer

Sadly, we haven’t left these style videos behind. Neil explained how B2B hasn’t fundamentally changed – the methods of storytelling are the same, there are just many more channels: “B2B marketing is littered with bias and assumptions. B2B marketers assume the world already cares that it is a good idea, then it bombs. It’s not that it is boring – it is that no-one cares. What holds back real human connection is trying to please their boss, peers but not their audience. The audience are humans and they want meaningful moments.”

Free your mind

Using a clever analogy about what your choice of seat on the bus says about how you want to be seen, Neil (the bus driver) went on to share different mind sets for visual marketing, including treating it like a first date and considering what you would put on your own TV channel for 24 hours. Pro tip: Don’t be a 24 hours news channels!

Be human, not boring

Neil wrapped up by saying “Successful B2B marketing content which captures attention needs to stop talking about what your business does. It needs to prove how much you love what you do and why in a human way. Everyone has a story to tell. B2B marketing is not boring, the bosses are boring. There is an expectation is that most of it will be dross, but it definitely doesn’t need to be.”
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B2B is more creative than B2C

Next up, a controversial lead in from Neil Berry, a B2B marketer with a decade of client and agency experience gathered at Capgemini, Fujistu and Affari Media, amongst others. His opening statement suggested that B2B marketing is naturally more creative that B2C, because sometimes it’s painful. Because you are limited by bosses, budget and having to sell the most boring crap. B2B is naturally more creative than B2C as you have to be more exciting.


Neil Berry presented the idea that B2B needed to have a heart and courage to have more impact and be less boring

From greyscale to colour

In a Wizard of Oz themed presentation, Neil discussed ideas, creativity, Account Based Marketing (ABM) and strategies for personalization of direct mail with wow factor.

The phrase “I just don’t have a creative brain” Neil suggested was an excuse and a myth.

He believes B2B has lots of great ideas but sometimes it is the content implementation that lets it down, adding that “If you are not evoking emotion in someone then you will not get the audience to feel anything – if you are not excited about it no-one else will be.”

For more on ‘Is B2B Boring?’ visit the BMC’s website. To read about previous events, check out ‘The Rise of the Humans – Are we experiencing purpose overload?”.