Transformational Advertising, a new marketing method overturns the traditional product-centric selling approach — the marketing of features. Transformational ads, as defined by the American Marketing Association, “Associates product usage with certain feelings, images or meanings that then transform the experience of using the product.” The approach may be B2B marketers’ greatest current opportunity to differentiate their business.
Transformational ads create an aura that is truly exceptional to a brand. Campaign content is designed to transform the user experience by associating positive feelings with the brand as a whole. These feelings in turn influence a buyer’s interpretations of their product usage experience.
Rather than sell a laundry list of features that can get outdated fast, especially in very competitive markets, differentiate your brand through the user experience. According to the Walker study, “By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.” Fittingly, transformational ads aim to sell a product or service as an experience. By selling a unique outcome, you can differentiate your brand in a congested B2B market.
SHIFTING THE FOCUS
B2B decision makers are looking for ways to revolutionize the way they do business in order to maximize their growth potential. They are seeking organizational excellence. So they are most interested in how a given product or service will advance the enterprise. To the modern buyer, transformational change is everything.
Facing today’s reality, B2B selling needs to be redirected toward selling experiences and outcomes, highlighting how your product or service only enhances those experiences. Marketers must deliver a lifestyle vs. a one-time solution. By developing advertisements that highlight the end result vs. the individual features of a product, you can show potential customers how your product can positively impact their business.
Transformational advertising requires a shift in focus from tangible feature items to a broader way of thinking. Experiences are centered on how the product or service will benefit the overall strategy of an organization. Instead of selling products outright, marketing content concentrates on creating intangible feelings that galvanize buyers to action.
Succeed at Transformational Advertising
We can’t stress enough that buyers today are in it for the overall experience, not just mundane features and specs. Whether you’re selling physical products or intangible services, the rules of transformational advertising are the same.
Here are a few tips to succeed with transformational ads:
INSPIRE CHANGE AND GROWTH
Successful transformational ads encourage their target market to be the best version of themselves, to live the best life possible, and to create the best business they are capable of. By challenging B2B decision makers to be innovative and disruptive, you can effectively capture their attention and admiration.
DON’T FOCUS ON SELLING
In order to capture the attention of your target audience, you must sell without technically selling. Instead, you must inspire people to feel that they can’t live without whatever you’re offering. By creating a strong brand aura backed by unique experiences, you can incite repeat purchase and gain more reach without having to do much selling in the traditional sense of the word.
By offering an alternative to the norm, your business will naturally stand out amongst competitors. If it appears that you’re only offering a different version of something that already exists, there will be far less interest in your products and/or services. If you instead offer an entirely new perspective on something, today’s buyers will want to hear more about what you’re selling.
BE A THOUGHT LEADER
People and businesses are much more willing to purchase products and services from companies they admire and or aspire to be like. Become a thought leader, providing trusted and helpful sources of information within your industry. Discuss what’s going on in your market, and in the world. People will be drawn to you because of what you have to say, and then they will see what you have to offer.
In order to stand out in all of the online chatter that exists today, you need to first listen to what buyers want. Listen to what decision makers are looking for, what they’re inspired by, what they aspire to, and what is driving change in their industry. Then go out and prove how your product or service will transform their business in ways they never thought possible.
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