The Often-overlooked Coolness of B2B Creative

I’m going to be upfront and begin by acknowledging my own bias.

I’ve been a B2B creative since 2008, when I left book publishing to pursue a new adventure. I’ve never done the B2C thing, I’ve never done the in-house thing, I’ve been doing this thing all this time.

And you know, I’ve come to realize my chosen and cherished profession is often misunderstood. I know; a creative who feels misunderstood. So cliché. But it’s not just me. People are noticing that B2B creative goes unnoticed. And I want to correct that. I want everyone to understand what’s so often misunderstood about B2B creative. Mostly because I want my team to continue to grow — so I want my team to attract top talent.

Sometimes I wish more people knew how much a B2B creative role has to offer to growing careers.

Every time I interview a candidate, I ask, “What attracts you to B2B?” And then I hold my breath.

Here’s the answer I usually get: “I like that B2B is all rational thinking. It’s easier to persuade when you can keep emotion out of it!”

Exhale.

I’ll now narcissistically answer my own question: What attracts me to B2B creative is … it’s rational and emotional. In fact, it’s very emotional. In a very complex way. And therefore it’s really hard to be really good at it, which is the very reason it’s so great.

Quote from A League of Their Own: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

Here are a few more reasons being a B2B creative is so great…

Your work makes today’s technology work better

The recent advancements in marketing technology are staggering. It’s incredible what marketers are capable of now … assuming they’re still thinking creatively about how to connect with an audience. No amount of technology can overcome bad creative, but conversely, really strong creative is what really shows your client the capabilities of their new technology. That’s a milestone in any creative’s career.

It’s as much heart as brain

This is what I was getting at before. Think about it: A career path is very personal. How we perform at our jobs has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our lives. Many of the best B2B products were created to solve critical problems in the workplace that are emotionally affecting (whether that’s openly discussed or not). That emotion is therefore embedded in the product and by extension in how we market that product. Yes, yes, it’s B2B, we exercise a lot of rational thinking just like our buyers do. Our creative team creates ROI calculators and other tools to help rationalize decisions … because B2B decisions are also highly emotional. There is no either / or. As a creative, finding that singular jab to both the brain and the heart is what it’s all about, I’m telling you. When you get it right, there’s nothing like it.

Your impact is real and measurable

New team members often tell me they come from other creative environments where they never know the impact of their work and / or they have limited access to all the levers being pulled that make a project possible. This might be the Kool-Aid talking, but I believe we do better than that here. The Mx Group’s overall philosophy is that all of our capabilities are stronger when combined. Modern B2B marketing is just too complex to tackle with disparate solutions, and we know that better than anybody. That’s why we as creatives sit side by side with the dev team when we design websites. We participate in strategic planning. We problem-solve ways to achieve the results we commit to our clients. And we’re there to hear the response, tweak, try again, and continue our campaigns. You’re never unsure of your purpose or of the value your creativity brings to the table. Which is like rocket fuel for more creativity.

What am I missing? What attracts you to B2B? Let’s connect on LinkedIn. And, I’d love to also connect with any creatives interested in continuing their career here at Mx … check out our open positions.

Emily Williams

Emily has been with The Mx Group since 2008. As managing creative director, she oversees the Design & Content department and provides strategic direction for a diverse client base. Emily leverages 15 years of experience in creative conceptualization, writing, content marketing and social media to lead award-winning comprehensive campaigns for clients in a variety of industries. She holds a B.A. in philosophy and creative writing from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

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