Why is Most B2B Marketing So Forgettable?

Every marketer wants to make an impact. Today, with 80 percent of the sales cycle happening in digital or remote settings, you’ve never had a greater opportunity to directly influence buying decisions.

And the number one factor driving those buying decisions? Memory.

Your buyers interact with your marketing in one moment, but they make the decision to buy in the future. That means the messages and assets you create must stick in your buyer’s mind long enough to influence their purchase decision.

Unfortunately, most marketers don’t believe their content is memorable or actionable.

In our recent industry survey, 87 percent of B2B marketers admitted they’re unsure or don’t believe that their audience acts on their content.

And even though the vast majority of marketers (91 percent) agree that it’s important for their audience to remember their content, only 26 percent feel confident that the marketing materials they produce are, in fact, memorable.

Why? What makes most marketing content so woefully forgettable? And what can you do to make sure your buyers remember your marketing?

How Much Do People Forget?

Our studies show that people remember, on average, only 10 percent of the information they consume after 48 hours. This percentage varies—sometimes, they may remember three percent, sometimes 12 percent, but on average, it’s a tiny portion.

Now, imagine your content reaches five prospects at the same company. Our research also suggests that the small amount of information they remember from your content will be completely random. If you don’t control which part of your message they remember, each of those five prospects will walk away with a different interpretation.

That kind of random memory is exactly the wrong outcome if your goal is to drive consensus around a specific buying decision. You don’t want your buyer just to remember something—you want them to remember the right thing.

Why Most B2B Marketing is Forgettable

Our research has identified four common problems that make B2B marketing forgettable.

Messages lack situational context – If your marketing message doesn’t apply to your buyer’s specific situation—for instance, whether they are a prospect or an existing customer—your audience won’t care to remember it.

Content is unfocused – If the resulting content lacks a clear focus and a crisp, well-articulated idea, your audience won’t remember what you want them to remember.

Visuals are uninspiring – If you don’t present your offers using appealing, well-designed visuals, your audience will forget to act on them.

Stories get lost in the crowd – Without a compelling narrative that speaks to the decision-making part of the brain, your story (and your brand) get lost in the crowd.

You may be competing against people’s natural tendency to forget most of the information they view. Still, you can improve your messages, content, visuals, and stories to ensure your audience remembers you better.

How to Make Marketing More Memorable

If marketing is influencing more buying decisions, and the primary factor driving decisions is memory, it naturally follows that the way to ensure buyers act on your marketing is to make it more memorable.

So, how do you do this?

By developing situationally specific messages based on buyer psychology. Creating unforgettable content assets that get audiences to focus on the most important parts of those messages. Designing compelling visuals that persuade buyers to act versus just looking pretty on the page. And building stories that intentionally drive memory, decision, and action.

In this article series, you’ll discover new research and marketing skills in those four areas that will guide your buyers’ decisions in your direction.

Watch Dr. Carmen Simon’s on-demand webinar, How to Make Marketing Memorable, to learn more about our new research.

Read the other articles in the series:

Next up: How to Create a Memorable Marketing Message

Leslie Talbot

Leslie Talbot

SVP of Strategic Programs

Leslie Talbot, Senior Vice President of Strategic Programs at Corporate Visions, has spent her entire career helping organizations tell better stories to sell more effectively. A consultant, author, and content aficionado, Leslie leads the Corporate Visions marketing and sales enablement teams while also delivering messaging skills training to global B2B marketing organizations.

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