Transformational advertising can help you connect with modern buyers on a deeper level.
Transformational advertising is a new marketing method that overturns the traditional product-centric selling approach. It’s an approach that enables brands to connect emotionally with prospects and customers.
Below, we discuss what transformational advertising is, its appeal to modern buyers, and provide some tips to help make your transformational ads successful.
What is transformational advertising?
Transformational advertising is a marketing approach that focuses on adding transformational appeal to marketing and advertising materials. A transformational ad connects with people’s emotions, making them want to buy a product or service. This is done by using ads and content to associate positive, transformative benefits with owning or using a product. A transformative ad should successfully communicate how what you’re selling will make someone’s life better, rather than simply listing out the product’s features.
Transformational advertising, as defined by the American Marketing Association, “Associates product usage with certain feelings, images or meanings that then transform the experience of using the product.” The approach may be a B2B marketers’ greatest current opportunity to differentiate their business.
This is a marketing strategy that focuses on transformation. The goal is to create a connection between the customer and the company or brand with a meaningful message or advertisement, that has transformational appeal. This connection is based on shared values and emotions, rather than simply a transaction.
Transformational advertising has shown particular appeal with the modern buyer. Recent data from Lippincott reveals that a strong brand drives business purchase decisions more than price or product features. The study found that 39% of business purchases are driven by brand, versus 34% by features, and 27% by price.
Image Source: Lippincott
In today’s market, buyers are inundated with choices. They have access to more information than ever before. Transformational advertising allows companies to stand out by appealing to the emotions of the buyer more than any single feature or benefit.
Tips for creating successful transformational ads
When done correctly, transformational advertising creates a strong connection between the customer and the company. This connection can lead to repeat business and loyal customers.
Transformational ads have the power to transform a brand. They create an aura of exceptionalism and make the brand truly stand out.
Transformational marketing campaigns are designed to connect with customers by associating positive feelings with the brand. These feelings influence a buyer’s interpretations of their product usage experience. To achieve this, transformational marketing campaigns should focus on a message strategy that creates a meaningful connection with the customer.
When asking yourself the question, “what is transformational marketing?” the answer should always take you back to the humanization of your messaging. A transformational marketing example demonstrates empathy, transparency, openness, and authenticity. Each ad or message must emphasize being a partner rather than a supplier and positioning your company as a long-term resource for the customer.
Rather than providing a laundry list of features that can get outdated fast, especially in very competitive markets, differentiate your brand through the user experience.
Some transformational advertising examples include:
- A software company sells its products by focusing on how it will make the customer’s work life easier and more efficient.
- An office supply company focuses on how its products will help the customer be more productive and organized.
- A business consulting company focuses on how its services will help the customer achieve growth and outperform competitors.
The above transformational advertising examples should be paired with images that evoke the emotion you want to convey—a focused person hard at work or a neatly organized office space. But remember, it needs to be authentic. So this:
With each transformational advertisement, the goal is to sell a product or service as an experience. By selling a unique outcome, you can differentiate your brand in a congested B2B market.
Shifting the focus with a transformational marketing approach
B2B decision makers are looking for ways to revolutionize the way they do business so they can maximize their growth potential. They are seeking organizational excellence. Thus, they are most interested in how a given product or service will advance the enterprise. To the modern buyer, transformational change is everything.
With the transformational approach, B2B selling needs to be redirected toward selling experiences and outcomes and highlighting how your product or service enhances those experiences. Marketers must deliver a lifestyle vs. a one-time solution. By developing ads that highlight the emotional benefits vs. the features of a product, you can show potential customers how your product can positively impact their business.
Transformational advertising requires a shift in focus from tangible features to a broader way of thinking. Experiences are centered on how the product or service will benefit the overall strategy of an organization. Instead of selling products outright, transformational marketing content concentrates on creating intangible feelings that galvanize buyers to action.
How to succeed at transformational Advertising
We can’t stress enough that buyers today are in it for the overall experience, not just mundane features and specs. Whether you’re selling physical products or intangible services, the rules of transformational advertising are the same.
Below, we list five examples of strategies to help you succeed with transformational ads:
- INSPIRE CHANGE AND GROWTH
A successful transformational ad encourages people to be the best version of themselves, to live the best life possible, and to create the best business they are capable of. By challenging B2B decision makers to be innovative and disruptive, you can effectively capture their attention and admiration.
- DON’T FOCUS ON SELLING
To capture the attention of your target audience, you must sell without technically selling. Instead, focus on inspiring people to feel that they can’t live without whatever you’re offering. By creating a strong brand aura backed by unique experiences, you can incite repeat purchase and gain more reach without having to do much selling in the traditional sense of the word.
- BE DISRUPTIVE
By offering an alternative to the norm, your business will naturally stand out from competitors. If it appears that you’re only offering a different version of something that already exists, there will be far less interest in your products and/or services. Instead, offer an entirely new perspective on something. Today’s buyers will want to hear more about what you’re selling.
- BE A THOUGHT LEADER
Business professionals are much more willing to purchase products and services from companies they admire and or aspire to be like. Become a thought leader, providing trusted and helpful sources of information within your industry. Discuss what’s going on in your market, and in the world. People will be drawn to you because of what you have to say, and then they will see what you have to offer.
- LISTEN CAREFULLY
To stand out from the online chatter that exists today, you need to listen to what buyers want. Listen to what decision makers are looking for, what they’re inspired by, what they aspire to, and what is driving change in their industry. Then prove how your product or service will transform their business in ways they never thought possible.
Transformational advertising is a key to success
By focusing on the overall experience, and not just on features and specs, you’ll capture the attention of your target audience and inspire them to act.
Be disruptive by offering an alternative to the norm. Gain a competitive advantage by becoming a thought leader and providing trusted information. Build a rapport with existing and potential customers that endures.
If you’re ready to transform your advertising and marketing strategy, get in touch with us. We’ll help you create an experience that your customers will love and that will drive results.