Personality: The Missing Ingredient in B2B Marketing Today

Personality: The Missing Ingredient in B2B Marketing Today
Savvy Guest - Mon Jan 17, 2011 @ 08:55AM
Comments: 46

We're pleased to present this guest post by Jeff Ogden (aka @fearlesscomp), explaining how to use personality to engage prospective buyers in your products and services.

“No one cares about your products and services except you.” according to David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

Whether it is kitchen appliances, law schools, copiers or automobiles, the fact is they pretty much all look alike. The implications are profound for sellers of products and services to other businesses. How do we get noticed and offer something unique and different. I believe the answer is Personality.


We're swimming in a sea of mediocrity. Everyone looks and sounds the same. We're boring our prospects and customers.  They see
an endless stream of similar offerings and products – a bunch of gray wind-up toys. Be Different

How do we break out of this cycle and get noticed?  How do we become the yellow one in a sea of gray?

What is personality?

It's letting your freak flag fly. It's letting your hair down. It's lightening up and having FUN.

Why did we take the fun out?

There is no roadmap to personality, but you can learn from some good examples.

To learn how it is done, why don’t you look at a few examples:

Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs. In her great book, Content Rules, she talks about the importance of 'talking human." And in this witty and fun video, she and DJ Waldo of Blue Sky Factory share some fun banter about the book.

But they are not alone. Several innovative companies are using witty and fun approaches. Here are four examples:

  • Kinaxis – with their award winning Suitemates series. In this series, Kinaxis decide to make a witty, creative video series that makes fun of their industry. They hired top-flight talent, but used sets which saved money. This series has won numerous awards and lots of views. Good example of wit and fun (personality) used in video.
  • Eloqua – with their Juan Eloqua and Grande series. One of the most important ideas here is creating a reusable character for a series of content. By repeating a character, your audience gets familiar with him or her. Personality is often expressed with a person, like Juan Eloqua. And by using the coffee theme for content, Eloqua reinforces their personality approach.
  • Marketo – with their You Don’t Know Jack game. Lots of people shoot videos, like the two examples cited above. But Marketo took a different approach and reached out to the very creative folks at JellyVision to create an online marketing version of their popular “You don’t know Jack” game.  What a great example of letting your hair down. Make B2B marketing into a game.
  • Hubspot – with their weekly HubspotTV. This online show has become a well-known staple for Hubspot, one of the fastest growing companies in history. Shot before a live audience and broadcast online, it is fun and irreverent – a nice example of personality.  It also focuses a discipline on the broadcaster. Mike Volpe, their VP of Marketing told me “You can’t skip a week or the audience will go ballistic.” An online TV should is a superb example of personality. 

So how do you create personality in your business?


  1. Sit down with your team and discuss this topic. Flesh out ideas. The key questions are these – Why do we exist? What do we stand for? The most important factor is to take chances and think of fresh ideas
  2. Look at these examples and ask “What can we do to show our fun side?” Maybe you can create an online game, like Marketo did, or a fun videos, like Kinaxis did.
  3. Pick one small one and test it. Don’t try to do the biggest one first.
  4. Once you get a success, keep building on it.


What do you think? We love your comments and people who share.

*Photo source: iStock Photo

About the Author: Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple.” Find New Customers helps companies with 50 to 5,000 employees and complex products implement lead generation programs to improve the way you find and acquire high quality sales leads.

Comments: 46


1. Jeff Ogden  |  my website   |   Mon Jan 17, 2011 @ 09:49AM

Thanks for running this post, ladies. Really appreciate it and hope a lot of B2B companies embrace personality in 2011.

2. E. Rice  |  my website   |   Tue Feb 01, 2011 @ 01:51PM

thanks for a great kick-in-the-pants post.

another great example is Indium Corp. they've taken solder and flux (huh!?!?) for electronics mfg and made it funny.

and... Big Ass Fans' Show us your Fanny campaign.

3. Jeff Ogden  |  my website   |   Tue Feb 01, 2011 @ 04:11PM

Thank you so much for your comment, Ms. Rice. Much appreciated.

I heard about the Indium video, but I had not seen it. Ann Handley and CC Chapman in their great book Content Rules said "if commercial industrial solder can be made fun, any product can be made fun." Amen!


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