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B2B marketing; A creative renaissance in the UAE – by Linkedin’s Diana Daou

Linkedin MENA's head of client solutions, Diana Daou, lays out the need for creativity and talent in B2B marketing

Myth: B2B marketers do not need to be very creative. The ideas they sell need to be purely functional. 

Fact: What you read above is outdated. The B2B world is exploding with creativity that aims to build brand image. 

It is about time we officially dispel the misconception that B2C marketing takes the creativity crown, as this is no longer true in content nor results. As part of LinkedIn’s newest research 1600 senior marketing decision-makers around the world show a creative renaissance in the B2B marketing world. It comes down to the reality that long-term brand building has become essential to capture the minds and hearts of future clients. 

Creativity is king

In the UAE, B2B marketers believe their companies have become more confident in producing creative campaigns. Traditionally, B2B brands relied primarily on performance marketing to drive short-term sales while building a brand. However, it is a long-term strategy that never ends. In fact, due to this reason, 60% believe B2B marketing is far more challenging than B2C marketing. 

B2C companies have a more straightforward buyer journey. Whether it’s buying new clothes, mobile phones, or a pair of sneakers, B2C transactions are quick and nearly entirely influenced by the buyer’s emotions. Most brand encounters are straightforward and transactional, which is why 80% of UAE marketers believe that building a brand is more important for B2B marketers.

Moreover, 94% of the survey respondents think building a brand has a direct positive correlation with driving long-term revenue growth, meaning success in B2B marketing is sweeter. But attracting attention and generating interest takes a lot more than a strong pitch – it requires creativity. So why has there been a lack of creativity from B2B companies? 

B2B or B2C: UAE knows their customer 

There is a flawed belief that your B2B ‘customers’ are different from your B2C ‘consumers’, and that consumers are more emotionally charged. This notion has led marketers to focus too much on short-term sales rather than long-term brand building. In the UAE, this is not the case, with nearly 75% of marketers concluding that B2B purchasing decisions are as emotionally charged as B2C, as compared to the UK where just half (54%) believe otherwise. Although both require different marketing strategies, both rely on emotion. At the end of the day, you are selling to a human, just with different goals, problems, and desires. This is the most important aspect of B2B marketing – understanding your audience thoroughly. Once companies can do this, they can leverage creativity as a competitive differentiator. 

Need of the hour: talent to match

Apart from being creative, B2B marketers are looking for technical and data-savvy individuals. Creating strong creative output is largely reliant on the diversity of experience, background and skills within a team. Having said that, data shows that around 60% of marketers in this region are still struggle to find creative talent. 

The LinkedIn community, with more than 830 million members worldwide, represents a captive and engaged audience for B2B brands, with our creators becoming the heart of the network. With people increasingly coming to the platform for content, community, and conversation, marketers are presented with a huge opportunity – access to a large pool of like-minded, and active professionals. 

It is time for B2B marketers to reconsider their strategy and place a greater emphasis on long-term brand creation. It is time to dispel the myths. B2B marketers must reconsider how they boost brand recognition and create memorable relationships, an investment that research itself demonstrates is critical to success.