Many B2B products might not be as flashy as their B2C counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they—or their marketing campaigns—should be boring.
After all, what seems like a snooze to one person is fascinating to another.
“The reality is that B2B products, especially those sold at the enterprise level, are not built for the consumer,” Elliot Schimel writes on Forbes.com. “How ‘exciting’ something is depends just as much, if not more, on who you’re selling to as what you’re selling.”
The idea that B2B has to be all substance and no flash is misguided, he says, noting that presentation is an area where B2B marketers should look to their consumer counterparts for guidance. For example, if you’ve commissioned research, don’t just churn out a standard report or whitepaper.
“Do that, but also create engaging, snackable content, especially something visual, such as infographics that illustrate compelling facts or a video series that breaks down the harder-to-understand portions of the research, without devaluing it,” Schimel says.
Check out how these five brands broke the mold and took the “boring” out of B2B:
Lenovo Gets Artsy: Computer manufacturer Lenovo turned to Japanese digital artist Hideo Kojima—best known for his video game work—to engage professionals in media and entertainment. Videos featuring Kojima’s work are part of an influencer strategy designed to connect with B2B brands in a number of verticals.
Hiscox Cracks the Code: Insurance company Hiscox launched its first fully integrated campaign this year, using barcodes to illustrate that not all B2B brands look alike. The campaign, slated to run throughout 2019, includes everything from print ads and social placements to a partnership with Major League Baseball.
Citrix is Off to the Races: Many B2B brands are taking advantage of sports sponsorships, but Citrix’s partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing goes the extra mile. Last year, the team came up with the idea to do a stunt at a downtown Miami building. A race car was lifted to the 63rd floor, where the driver did doughnuts. From an earned media standpoint, it was the equivalent of an estimated $5 million worth of exposure, thanks to coverage not only on social but ESPN and NBC as well.
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Brex Fryes the Competition: Corporate credit card Brex targeted start-ups with a campaign in NYC poking fun at the corporate card funded Fyre Festival fiasco. The campaign rolled out across the city in March on over a dozen billboards and 1,000 subway cars with the tagline “The Corporate Card that actually lives up to the hype.” Taking a humorous jab at Fyre—which had its beginnings in the Magnises membership card, which offered perks and benefits for entrepreneurs—seemed like a natural for the brand.
EyeMed Gets Seen: EyeMed—the vision care division of Luxiottica (parent company of brands like RayBan, Lenscrafters and Oakley)—is creatively using direct mail to get the eyeballs of prospects throughout the entire customer journey. Dimensional mailers using everything from things like Amazon Alexas to toy magic genie lamps open the door for conversations and boost overall ROI.