Research shows that nearly 73% of people who read corporate blogs are, in fact, people.
Tim Washer, a stand-up comedian and senior marketing manager at Cisco, began his 2012 SXSW Interactive session with this “made up statistic” before admitting that his purpose was to “make a business case for nonsense and absurdity.”
I do PR primarily for business-to-business (B2B) technology brands. A big focus for my team this year is bringing personality and a human element to the work we do for our clients, so it was refreshing to hear Tim’s essential premise: that even B2B brands, often thought of as stuffy and corporate, rely on decisions made by human beings – and those human beings like to be entertained.
It stands to reason, then, that infusing humor into B2B marketing and storytelling can yield unexpected, positive results. Take this video Washer produced for Cisco. It’s hilarious, but it also does a great job of communicating the business benefits of the product.
Funny messages and videos like these are more likely to cut through the ever-increasing amount of media noise and evoke a positive connection to a brand. Washer calls it “giving your target audience a gift.” These gifts make companies, and by proxy their products and services, more human.
Tracing YouTube views to router sales in order to prove the ROI for humorous videos may be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. Take steps to make your brand more human and I’ll bet tangible results will be soon to follow.
In Washer’s case, it didn’t take long. The video received coverage from many publications that influence enterprise decision makers like CNET and Light Reading.