Making a Promise to the Customer: Insights from Mimi Turner, LinkedIn

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Kimberly Conklin
Kimberly Conklin Posts: 202 6senser
edited June 18 in Inspire 24

Mimi Turner from the B2B Institute at LinkedIn shared valuable insights during her session at Inspire 2024 on the importance of making a promise to the customer. Based on research conducted and published in Harvard Business Review, here’s a detailed look at her key takeaways. 

The Power of a Promise 

Research presented by Mimi at Cannes revealed that campaigns making clear promises to customers consistently yield better results. As a former CMO, she acknowledged the frustration of the common marketing mantra—spend more money for better results—especially when budgets are tight. The good news? Making a promise in your marketing is a cost-free way to boost creativity and effectiveness. 

Evaluating Creative Through a New Lens 

Mimi explained that many marketers overlook the concept of a "customer promise." While many brands believe their campaigns make promises, only 40% of the best-performing B2C campaigns actually did. In B2B, this figure drops to just 20%. A customer promise isn’t about claiming superiority; it’s about offering something that deeply resonates with the buyer. 

Understanding B2B Marketing Challenges 

B2B marketing often falters because it borrows too heavily from B2C strategies. Unlike B2C, where the buyer is typically the end-user, B2B purchases involve multiple stakeholders, including finance, procurement, and operations—people who often remain hidden in marketing signals. Marketers need to reach these hidden decision-makers by making promises that address their specific needs and concerns. 

Making a Meaningful Promise 

In B2B marketing, a promise doesn’t have to be about having the best product. Instead, it could be about reliability, ease of purchase, or career safety. For instance, promising that your product is safer and easier to buy can resonate more with B2B buyers, who are often concerned about the impact of their decisions on their careers. 

The Immaturity of B2B Marketing Platforms 

Mimi pointed out that B2B marketing is still underdeveloped on programmatic platforms like LinkedIn, Google, and TikTok. While these platforms are crucial, our understanding of B2B insights is still evolving. Buyers spend 70% of their time researching anonymously and only engage with sales once they’ve made their decision. This means our marketing needs to reach and reassure the entire buying group well before they make contact. 

Key Insights 

  • Research Findings: Campaigns with a customer promise perform better. It’s a cost-effective way to enhance marketing impact. 
  • Hidden Decision-Makers: Recognize that finance, HR, procurement, and legal play crucial roles in the buying decision. 
  • Career Safety: B2B buyers are driven by the need to feel career safe. Your promise should address this need. 
  • Programmatic Platform Maturity: B2B insights on platforms like LinkedIn are still developing. We need to refine our approach to reach buyers effectively. 

Conclusion 

Making a promise to the customer can transform your B2B marketing strategy. It’s about understanding the broader buying group and addressing their specific needs, ultimately making them feel secure in their decision. Next time you’re crafting a campaign, think about your promise and who it’s speaking to.