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  • Writer's pictureKim Richardson

Five things B2B marketers can learn from Barbie

“Barbie is everything” will be the phrase of the year – and I love it! Three generations of #barbie magic went through my family. I grew up playing with Barbies and even my mom’s own Barbies. There’s so much nostalgia around this brand and seeing it come to life again has been nothing short of amazing and a family reunion – dressed in all pink.

I can’t help but correlate Barbie to my work life. Barbie’s marketing team is teaching and reaffirming a lot for us #b2bmarketers – mostly that integrated marketing campaigns work (+ doesn’t hurt to have a massive budget). Our team had the crafty idea of creating our own signature Barbies for each of the industries we primarily support and used the power of AI to bring our concepts to life – from EV Barbie to Life Sciences Barbie to Construction Barbie and many more Barbies – oh, and we can’t forget about Video Ken.

Here’s our take on what we’ve learned from Barbie in the B2B Marketing world:

1. Budgets matter. Barbie’s marketing plan, dubbed Operation Barbie Summer, is estimated to have an $150 million dollar budget. With over 100 different partnerships, everyone was talking about all things Barbie before the movie even came out. Moral of the story, budgets matter, even if it's small. Paid advertising allows us to expand our reach, target specific audiences and drive higher engagement.

2. CTA all the way – leave your audience wanting more. Everyone wants to see the Barbie movie, but what is the movie even about? Is it a fun comedy? A broader message on capitalism? A chick flick? We don’t know, but we’re definitely going to the theater to find out. The same should be said about your content. At the end of the day, we all want our audience to hit that CTA to learn more.

3. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Barbie’s marketing team has leveraged partnerships with everyone and everything ranging from shoes with Aldo and Crocs to Progressive car insurance to the chance to stay at a Barbie dollhouse Airbnb. The lesson here is to get creative about where you’re meeting your audience. Don’t be afraid to take a risk trying something new, because it could pay off.

4. Beauty lies within diversity. As seen in the movie (and in real life!), there are many different versions of Barbie. By embracing diversity, we can bring more well-rounded and engaging ideas to life that help inspire those around us.

5. Partnerships are powerful. Letting someone else tell your story can broaden your audience and diversify your messaging channels. Build relationships with industry partners who can help you find mutually beneficial growth.

6. Lean into storytelling and user generated content. Storytelling is a powerful message. Plus, we’re seeing so much UGC that this brand will have lots of content to repurpose, refresh and reuse (Thanks Pam!).


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