Why Humour is an Effective Marketing Tool

There’s no denying it. B2B marketing isn’t the sexiest industry to be in. As B2B marketers, we’re typically tasked with the promotion of complex products with long sales cycles. Operating in such a professional industry, we all too often convince ourselves that our marketing communications should be as serious as the products, timelines, and decision-making processes we deal with. We can forget that a touch of humour can add that much needed splash of personality and character to our brand.

A genuinely funny one liner, a play on words or visual humour in the form of a picture or a video can be exactly what your brand needs to stand out from the crowd, and grab (and keep) your prospect’s attention. In the words of Tim Washer [Social Media Manager at Cisco] “Comedy can cut through all the noise, it makes the point in a very clever way, and it connects with people so they listen.”

People respond well to humour for a number of reasons:

It Humanizes your Brand

While B2B consumers are well informed with the ability to buy from a multitude of different companies, B2B marketing comes down to relationships and the individual people you are dealing with. Most often your prospects will make their decisions based on human traits and characteristics such as warmth, trust, and likeability. Brands that use humour are more relatable, and therefore, more approachable in the eyes of the customer, which makes them seem more “human”.

It’s Attention Grabbing

In the B2B industry, marketing materials written in dry corporate speak or overly promotional language are used all too often. A brochure, email blast or advert with a touch of humour can break the norm and brighten up you’re prospect’s day a little. Humour is unexpected and off beat in B2B advertising so it really catches the attention of the viewer who is more likely to remember it amongst the abundance of other communications they get that day.

It Creates a Connection

When used correctly, B2B humour should speak to a problem that the consumer has in a light-hearted way. By addressing their pain point, you indicate to the prospect that you understand where they are coming from and you are there to help, which will assist in forging a stronger connection between customer and brand.

But …

Humour is subjective, and sense of humour varies wildly between people of different race, age, demographic, education and cultural background. So before sending out that hilarious marketing blast, be sure to fully consider the following:

  • What is the message you are trying to get across and does the humour enhance or distract from this message?
  • Will it alienate those who don’t understand the humour or reference?
  • Is the humour used likely to offend anyone in the target market?

As long as you don’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, your communication should be a hit with the intended audience. The Lead Agency’s philosophy of marketing is: “The best way to get your point across is to make someone laugh”. If you can make someone laugh, you’ve gone a long way to breaking down their pre-conceptions and they are more open to your argument.

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