Empowerment marketing in B2B
The above examples are admittedly B2C. Where the transformation from untapped potential to accomplished hero is a deeply personal one. But B2C strategies are becoming frequently used in B2B.
Instead of selling a personal transformation, B2B empowerment marketing sells a business transformation. And instead of selling a future self you could become, it sells a business opportunity that you could capitalize on.
’s strategic narrative framework is a powerful way to apply empowerment marketing.
I discuss it in more detail in a previous newsletter here
but the five pillars are below:
- Name a Big, Relevant Change in the World
- Show There’ll Be Winners and Losers
- Tease the Promised Land
- Introduce Features as “Magic Gifts” for Overcoming Obstacles to the Promised Land
- Present Evidence that You Can Make the Story Come True
You want to educate prospects about a big change happening in the world. And show them it’s possible to capitalize on this opportunity by offering them the tools necessary to make this transformation a reality.
Outlining that there’ll be winners and losers implies their existing processes are inadequate, but you aren’t selling a fix to these inadequacies, you are selling a transformation that enables them to capitalize on a business opportunity.
The message is more “don’t get left behind” than it is “fix what you’ve already broken.”
A common mistake
Let’s say you wanted to sell a fisherman a new boat. He built his current boat with his bare hands. It’s small and slow, but it get’s the job done. And is perfect for fishing in the local bay.
Telling him how bad his boat is would hurt his pride.
Using empowerment marketing you’d tell him a story of how there is a new current heading in from the North, causing a huge swell of Tuna fish to congregate by an island five miles West.
The only way to get there is with a large boat, with a deep hull, and powerful engines.
The inadequacy of his boat is implied. But that is not the focus. There is no need to highlight this deficit. The reason his boat is no longer good enough has nothing to do with the fisherman’s work, it has everything to do with a new opportunity that has presented itself.
You’re selling the future, not fixing the past.
You have to remember that most of the time in B2B you’re selling to the person who built the existing processes. Be careful that they don’t feel blamed for their inadequacies. Be clear the need for an upgrade has been brought on by something outside of their control.
It’s not their fault their current solution won’t suffice, but they can now act to capitalize on the future gains.