Humour in B2C is a strong weapon: it draws attention to the product, company, brand and helps to break out of the crowd of competitors. Content that comprises humour is better promoted on social networks than the ordinary one, and it also attracts more attention and, what is preferable, customers.
But do all these arguments refer only to B2C marketing? Is it worth presenting serious information about B2B products ironically or even in a funny way? How will customers react to this? Will they take your company, services and products seriously?
Before answering these questions, let’s have a look at humour itself. Believe me, that’s interesting too.
WHAT IS ‘HUMOUR’ OR WHAT MAKES US LAUGH?
Humour on Wikipedia is described as ‘the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement’. A sense of humour is related to the subject’s ability to detect contradictions in the outside world.
Simply put, if this ability is not developed, then the culmination of the joke will not be perceived as a contradiction and therefore it will not be understood properly.
There are different types of humour: irony, parody, satire, anecdote, joke etc. And all of them are present in advertising and marketing. Of course, marketers are more careful with irony, parody and satire, but there are also amazing examples of such kinds of humour in advertising. Examples include the videos of Pizza Hut about the danger of a selfi stick and a parody of Apple from IKEA . But again, these examples are taken from B2C marketing.
WHAT DO WE LAUGH AT?
Very briefly, we laugh when the story doesn’t deliver the expected outcome. But, unfortunately, creation of the content in accordance with all these theoretical concepts doesn’t guarantee that it will be perceived as a funny one. The likelihood of success depends on many factors, such as:
Atmosphere and time of perception of the content (whether it’s being perceived in front of the TV in a cozy and quiet atmosphere or on the cell on the way to work),
Development of ‘intellectual abilities’ of the one who perceives,
The content itself (a trifling joke will remain a trifling joke even if it’s created according to the right scenario).
So here is a summary so far: there is no ‘recipe’ for successful funny content. It is possible just to look at the factors that influence its perception and try to increase the likelihood of creating such content.
AND NOW ABOUT THE HUMOUR IN B2B.
Many experts say humour is also very suitable for B2B marketing. Many SMOs have a different opinion: it’s better not to joke with serious topics and products.
Recently I was shown ‘funny’ videos of competitors and then asked why we don’t create similar ones. Well, how shall I put it… I was just paralyzed. Everything inside me was yelling ‘no!’, but I couldn’t explain why. It’s not respectable, it looks cheap, it’s not good for us! Of course this is not an argument, this was just an emotion! Maybe it’s not funny, but embarrassing? Again, there exists the ‘fremdschämen’ term in German – this is a situation when you’re ashamed of another person’s behavior. It’s much the same with this video. I was ashamed of the trifling humour, low opinion of clients and the meaning. And what if the clients experience the same emotions?
So it all comes down to the purpose and execution. I still believe that, when it is correctly used, humour (at the level of irony or joke) in B2B marketing defuses the situation (let’s say at presentations) and give the customers positive impression of the company, its products and services.
SO, NONETHELESS, HOW CAN YOU USE HUMOUR IN B2B MARKETING? HERE ARE 10 RULES TO HELP YOU DO IT CORRECTLY.
‣ Директор маркетинга одного из ведущих агентств по интернет-макретингу в Германии, ‣ Эксперт в области развития В2В-бизнеса и международного маркетинга, ‣ Создатель и автор блога, а главное ‣ Практикующий маркетолог, а не инфокоуч!
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