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(B)2B or not (B)2B: More tech marketing lessons from Shakespeare

Craig Clarke

By Craig Clarke
January 26, 2024

(B)2B or not (B)2B: More tech marketing lessons from Shakespeare

The writings of William Shakespeare have inspired audiences for centuries with their compelling stories, complex characters, poetic language, and insights into the human experience. While the Bard penned his works to be viewed by audiences in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, their lessons still apply, even to today’s modern B2B marketers.

In our first look at Shakespeare's lessons for tech marketers, we covered the strategic side of B2B. But his uncanny ability to capture attention and persuade can also offer B2B technology companies effective ways to connect with customers and promote their solutions. By channeling some of the narrative strategies that served Shakespeare so well, savvy marketers can craft messaging that truly resonates.

Channeling persuasive powers—
Insights from Henry V

Of all Shakespeare’s vast repertoire of characters, perhaps none personifies the sheer force of compelling oratory better than the title English king in Henry V. Through lines still widely quoted today, Henry’s “band of brothers” speech and the eloquent St. Crispin’s Day rallying cry, he persuades his outnumbered troops to ultimately defeat far stronger French opponents at Agincourt despite the odds.

Now that’s potent messaging!

For today’s B2B technology marketers, artfully crafted value propositions remain essential. Drop the derivative corporate-speak and dry technobabble in favor of vivid storytelling framed around actual customer problems solved. Follow King Henry’s lead: Win mindshare through bold expression and clarity, and ground your positioning with authentic simplicity prioritized over jargon. Then it’s much easier to rally support behind your solutions.

Mastering engagement through storytelling—Insights from Twelfth Night

One element permeates all the Bard’s finest works: immersive storytelling. And nowhere did his mastery at assembling the building blocks of setting, character, and narrative arc shine more brightly than in Twelfth Night. This madcap tale of misdirection and mistaken identities beguiles through relentless comedic momentum.

Such creativity inspires awe among B2B technology marketers seeking to transfix customers. Drab spec-laden whitepapers simply fail to match the persuasive punch of stories illustrating how solutions remove headaches. Instead, take notes from Shakespeare’s plotting, and sequence customer journeys as intriguing quests. Frame pain points through relatable protagonists that key segments will recognize. Showcase resolution through product application. Draw audiences deeply into envisioning their lives improved by your solution.

Brevity is the soul of wit

The principles Shakespeare followed for engaging audiences—vivid storytelling, using language for every audience member, and making emotional connections—remain universal. By taking a cue from techniques that worked so masterfully then, B2B marketers can break free of tired industry jargon and start speaking in more concise and compelling ways now.

It worked for Shakespeare, and it works for B2B. A lot has changed over the past 400 years, but people still love a good story.

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