How to become UNIGNORABLE in B2B marketing

  • Better Marketing
  • June 26, 2024

Seth Godin, the follically-challenged and best-selling marketing writer defines marketing as “a consistent set of promises to people who want to hear them.”  

We mostly agree with him (well, most of the time, we are marketers after all!). In fact, we say the promises he mentions should actually be the basis of all your customer-focussed marketing, answering the eternal question of ‘why should I choose your business over your competitors?’. 

And when he talks about those who ‘want to hear’ those promises? He’s talking about your target audience, although they don’t aaaaaaalways want to hear from you, if we’re honest. 

The only quibble we have with Seth’s statement is the oversimplification. You see, those ‘people’ he talks about often don’t really know exactly what they want, and don’t even say what they think when you ask them! 

People are a complicated bunch, which is why you’ve got to keep your messaging single-minded, concise, hard-hitting and highly relevant. 

B2B sales are often complex, with lots of moving parts and lots of triggers that can move the needle for your prospects. That’s why it’s easy to get carried away with all the wonderful aspects of your whatever it is that you’re trying to sell, and just bombard your prospects with a litany of features. 

Three words for you here. Don’t do that.

Most engineering businesses we see are very keen to run through a long list of their strengths, service or product features, methodology, QC and service standards and more – and it’s usually a significantly long list. 

When we ask them “what’s the ONE THING” your customer should remember about your business, they are almost always stumped! 

Now… put yourself in the prospects shoes. They heard a similar list from six other companies. There were many more overlaps than clear differences – and they need to select a vendor. No wonder 86% say they see no real difference between suppliers! (LinkedIn research) 

B2B buyers have been shown to suffer from decision exhaustion, and literally lie down in the middle of a meeting to fall asleep… ahem, no, of course not but I’m sure sometimes they want to! The main enemy of innovation and improvement in almost every single business, is inertia: it’s simply easier to do nothing.  

To have any chance of lodging yourself clearly in the prospect’s mind, you’ve got to make it easier for them to buy.  

You MUST stand out for one thing, one compelling, differentiated thing.  

We call this your Customer Value Promise. If done well, it’s immensely powerful and will make you UNIGNORABLE in your competitive market. 

You’ll grab their attention more easily, and sell more effectively.  

So how Exactly do you get UNIGNORABLE? 

The problem you solve is only the starting point.

Your prospects aren’t wandering around out there just waiting for you to talk to them, they’re busy doing other important stuff, and when they do, perhaps, see a message from you, they’re constantly triaging information in their head to determine whether it’s useful to them, or not. 

So, your Customer Value Promise must immediately: 

  1. Identify the problem you solve for them – the pain 
  2. Explain how you fix it (in a way that competitors can’t) – the solution 
  3. Clarify what benefits they’ll get from your solution – the gain 
  4. Substantiate your claims – the proof 

Critical problems are always floating around in the minds of your prospects. Issues they know are there and need to be resolved, so there’s a sub-conscious part of them always on the lookout for a solution.  If you can present a quick win to a critical problem, then you’re likely to be listened to – as long as you can say it in just a few well-chosen words. 

If you do that, and then wrap it all up in a neat expression, your message will be unignorable in the minds of your target market. 

Here’s a simple framework to prompt your thinking…

Problem  Prompt  Yes? 
Unworkable  Do you fix a broken process where someone gets fired if it’s not addressed?                               The person who will be
fired will champion you. 
Unavoidable  Does your solution have compliance, governance or regulatory implications?                       Then your champion might be the regulator themselves 
Urgent  Is it one of the few top priorities for a company?  Then you’ll have the attention of management. 
Unmissable  Do you solve a clear and present issue everyone’s aware of?  Then your market’s
primed to listen. 


Do you solve a problem that nobody else can?  Then the market is
primed to engage. 

Only now should you start working on what’s uniquely compelling about your solution, the transformative benefits that are the real star of the show. Shine the spotlight on those in a clear and simple way, using non-technical language to get your point across. It’ll still be a long list, so rank it by importance – and be ruthless. 

As a famous example, Apple didn’t sell iPods as media players using audio file compression technology to increase storage capacity. They sold ‘1000 songs in your pocket’. Short, sharp, relevant, and it made billions!

Relax! You can delve deeper later on, but keep bringing it back to the simple, clear and concise benefit that you’ve isolated as a game changer for your prospects. And never be afraid to repeat it again and again.

A simple framework to direct you to your killer Customer Value Promise. 

Here’s a little experiment you can do right now, see if you can write a single sentence that’s framed as follows: 

For (define your ideal customer)
…who are dissatisfied with (name their problem/current solution)
….our product is a (elevator pitch description in non-technical terms)
…that helps you to (key gain or benefit)
…and the proof is (cite key metrics, customers, case studies and testimonials)

Complete that little exercise and you’ll have a looong sentence. Now the hard bit: find a way to say all that in 15 words or less! 

If you prefer, you can do this exercise using our little step-by-step online tool we’ve developed to guide you through it and help you identify the most powerful territory that you can move forward into developing a creative expression which can become the lynchpin of all your marketing. 

How did you find that? Look, it’s a real art getting it all right, so don’t worry if you can’t nail it immediately – especially that last bit which is what copywriters are paid for!  

Also, being inside the business all the time doesn’t help your perspective either, so if you’d like some help crafting a Customer Value Promise that makes you UNIGNORABLE in B2B marketing, then just ask, and we’ll give you a hand. 

And if you’d like to see some example of Value Promises, read our other blog on the topic here,  

Let us know how you get on! 

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