In his Oscar-winning role as a television celebrity in the 1976 movie “Network,” actor Peter Finch played news anchor Howard Beale who was told he was being laid off due to the low ratings of his news program. In the famous scene where he goes over the edge with anger while live on TV, Beale urges his audience to revolt and express themselves with the expression “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Howard Beale’s message had great impact on his viewing audience. It excited them and they changed their viewing habits, making his program the number one rated show on television.
A lesson for marketers
That may be the kind of forceful expression that B2B marketers can use in order to break out of the cliché-packed, safe marketing that gets approved day after day in the B2B world. The C-suite wants to feel comfortable with the messages they are sending out. Too often, they want to play it safe. Sometimes, they actually want to be just like their competitors. They can be easily frightened away from making a strong impact on customers and prospects with breakthrough marketing communications that whacks them over the head with meaningful creative impact.
How to get creative impact
Creative impact comes from stating a relevant message in a way your customers and prospects have never been exposed to before. It’s putting visuals and message together in a unique, memorable way that screams for the audience’s attention. All easier said than done, of course. And that’s why it doesn’t happen all that often in B2B. In the make-believe world of the movie, Beale’s mad-as-hell message shocked his network employer, while it “sold” his audience who came back to watch him in droves. Making his employer quite happy and keeping him employed (at least for a while.)
How do I know what I’m doing has creative impact?
You can, in fact, test your next communications concept for creative impact.
Simply check your guts. Check the guts of the folks in the C-suite. Check to see if your customers and prospects are affected. If the communications does any of the following five things, you likely are sending out messages with creative impact. Messages that will likely make a difference for your brand.
Does it upset the status quo in your organization?
Does it question conventional thinking and marketing approach in your industry or market?
Does it take your target audience by the shoulders and shake them?
Does it remind your audience of how they felt, feel, or want to feel?
Does it force the target audience to reexamine their attitudes and assumptions about the solution you are offering them?
Being on the receiving end of marketing communications that does any one of those five things can be an unsettling experience. But that’s what makes these kinds of communications impactful. And at Mobium, we feel, that’s what makes them work.
For more information on creating creative impact and other tips on getting your B2B prospects to listen to you, check out the Mobium e-book, The Age of Engagement.
Photo credit: All rights reserved by tchab51