ServiceNow, the enterprise software company, has injected emotion into business-to-business (B2B) advertising as it seeks to create messages that break through with its target customer.

Alan Marks, chief marketing and communications officer at ServiceNow, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2020 Masters of B2B Conference, which was held online.

And he argued that business leaders have specific goals as they pursue digital transformation - and think about using the kind of cloud-based solutions the company provides.

“Those CEOs are really trying to deliver great experiences for their employees and great experiences for their customers,” said Marks. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: ServiceNow builds an emotional connection with B2B customers using B2C ad techniques.)

“That's not a rational, technical discussion. That's an emotional discussion. And experience, ultimately, is an emotional thing.”

Such principles informed a campaign entitled “The smarter way to workflow”, with light-hearted ads that feature everything from a happy employee hugging his boss to a spot that lampoons the challenges of working from home.

The production style, said Marks, “always tries to bring the right element of humor – a little bit of a wink-wink nod-nod to the campaign.” 

Behind the levity, however, is an understanding that the “customer is making a big bet. And, often, it's a multi-million-dollar, multi-year bet,” noted Marks.

A core emotional aspect of the ServiceNow message, he reported, is thus “to make sure we are seen as a trusted partner [and show] that we understand what our customers are trying to do.”

Similarly, the ads demonstrate an understanding of the emotion that comes when an IT executive realises they made the right choice of supplier. “That's a moment of joy,” said Marks.

Sourced from WARC