Hey B2B marketers: It's okay to have fun!

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Why is so much business-to-business marketing dreadfully boring?

I think it's because the marketers involved think "business" as in "I am marketing to a business" and this results in an overly serious tone. After all, if you are marketing to, say, technology companies that’s different than consumer marketing, right?


B2B marketers seem to forget that what all marketers need to do is communicate to people. People want to do business with people and the companies that understand that in the B2B world develop a following.


National Instruments is a B2B supplier of measurement and automation equipment used by engineers and scientists. The tried-and-true marketing from companies like National Instruments is to focus on feeds-and-speeds, technical data sheets, specs, and so on. After all its the engineering community, right?

While National Instruments does provide product specs, they also realize that their buyers are human.

"We've always had the motto, both internally and externally, that 'It's OK to have fun," says John M. Graff, VP, Marketing & Customer Operations at National Instruments. That fun-loving attitude has produced many ways to communicate with the technical audience that buys NI products.

For example a video blog done by Todd Sierer, an engineer at NI, called an An Engineering Mind is really great. In the episode I chose below, he talks about the meaning of the word "Marketecture." Direct link here.

"We first debuted these videos two years ago at our annual user conference held in Austin, TX where over 3000 engineers and scientists gather to see and discuss latest technologies for measurement and automation," John says.

"In addition to the usual technical product demonstrations, we also try to have some fun, including inviting an engineer from the Spike TV show, Deadliest Warriors to the stage. We've found that our audience greatly appreciates this approach to communication (as they get plenty of examples of the drab, "speeds and feeds" technical fire hose). We believe it's greatly enhanced our reputation."

Are you a B2B marketer? Are you treating your buyers like humans? Are you having some fun?

Really, it's okay to have some fun. I dare you.