LONDON/NEW YORK: B2B marketers need to ditch the B2B emphasis in their advertising and instead think in terms of H2H, or human-to-human, a leading industry figure has said.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Devra Prywes, vp/marketing and insight at Unruly in New York, argues for a shift away from the dry, technical approach that often characterises this sector.

Online video, she suggests, can "humanise" B2B content marketing by creating an emotional connection with buyers.

"B2B decision makers are people, consumers in their own right, and approaching B2B video campaigns as you would consumer campaigns will help your ads stand out from the cluttered video ecosystem to gain attention, engagement and advocacy," she writes.

"And, possibly, even become a viral hit." The epitome of this approach is the much-viewed, much-shared and Cannes Grand Prix-winning Volvo Trucks Epic Split video featuring actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.

This was actually only one of a series of stunts designed to showcase various aspects of the product in ways that would grab the attention of both the target group and a wider audience.

A business purchase decision maker has to have a firm understanding of the products and services available to support and improve their business. "If a B2B marketer can make this process less tedious, it's a welcome respite," says Prywes.

Video, which combines moving images, music and storytelling, is the best way of achieving this; online video adds interactivity and measurability.

B2B audiences are already highly engaged, Prywes points out, reporting that Unruly's B2B campaigns show an average interaction rate of 7.51% against an average of 5.21% for all ads. Click-through rates are also two-and-a-half times higher.

B2B marketers have it in their hands to "make the mundane magnificent", says Prywes, by producing informative ads that people actually enjoy watching, while improving metrics such as brand favourability and purchase intent.

Data sourced from Admap