What’s Your B2B Story?

Posted on by Grant Johnson

My longest client manufactures labeling and filling equipment. Anything with a label on it or liquid in it could be a customer of theirs. Think pickles, ketchup, mustard, soda pop, beer, wine, contact lens solution, modeling clay….the list could go on and on.

vhs-tapesMany years ago we were tasked with a lead generation campaign and sent out over 10,000 VHS tapes (like I said, this is a long-time client) as part of a dimensional direct mail package using a packaging magazine mailing list. The video showcased the latest and greatest technology in the industry, and the package included a letter, brochure and a business reply card.

The campaign garnered three leads.

At this point, you might think the campaign would be considered a failure. Think again.

Of those three  leads, one turned into, if memory serves correct, a nearly $30,000,000 sale for a major brewery in North America. Yep, $30 million.  That’s a pretty decent ROI.

It pays to remember that in B2B, the price points are larger. Response rates are far less important than the follow-up and the quality of the leads you attract. Yes, the sales cycle is typically longer, but you can justify your marketing spend if you can track and measure your efforts.

Would a campaign like this work today? Not likely. Times have evolved.

Today we would direct the prospect to different landing pages and maybe even different YouTube pages where we could test the effectiveness of different messaging/offers in our marketing efforts. We would likely use dimensional mail with support of email and an enewsletter and we would segment by vertical and breakout customers from prospects. Our email would likely tease the recipient with a short video and we might even have a contest, all tied around an event, say a trade show or open house.

Of course we would promote our efforts on our website(s) and via our social media outlet(s) and through our partner channels, and we would blog about it and have others blog about it as well. We might have a sales person visit us. It really is a multichannel world today.

Still, B2B is different. It is still typically a bigger purchase and the sales cycle is longer than consumer buys. Today, however, tracking and measurement is more sophisticated, segmentation is more robust and data is much, much better, but can still be improved.

What’s your B2B story?

Grant A. Johnson is the president and CEO of Johnson Direct LLC.




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