B2B marketing isn’t easy.
It’s also rarely glamorous.
Few would argue that it’s simpler than B2C marketing.
Generating full-funnel demand requires understanding complex B2B buyer personas, navigating lengthy sales funnels and often creating compelling content around products and industries that are, by many accounts, “boring.”
Despite these challenges, there are game-changing B2B marketers and brands doing outstanding work in the field. We’ve curated a few recent examples of exceptional B2B integrated marketing campaigns to inspire ideas and strategies at your own organization.
3 High-Performing Integrated Marketing Campaigns
1. Datavail: Datavailopoly
Datavail is a mid-sized remote information technology services firm specializing in analytics, applications, databases, custom application development and other high-tech solutions for enterprise clients. Despite their immensely technical solutions and undoubtedly fluent “geek speak” buyer persona, Datavail’s launched integrated marketing campaigns that unite creativity, gamification and fun.
Meet “Datavailopoly,” which is akin to the board game Monopoly, except it’s made “DBAs by DBAs” – or in layman’s terms, database analysts. The campaign originally launched with tactile marketing: game pieces mailed to leads, which evolved into email, and eventually, the entire board game was made available.
If you missed the inception of this integrated marketing campaign game, you can still get in on the fun. You can move your token around the board, but you won’t be able to buy properties from the board game of your youth.
You’ll land on decidedly DBA-themed spaces such as:
- Lose a turn, your tablespace is filling up
- Collect $200 because your upgrade completed ahead of schedule
What You Can Learn From It
If you think your brand, product or industry lacks an interesting angle, Datavail may just be proof that you’re mistaken. By building on a familiar childhood game and replacing investment properties with persona pain points, Datavail successfully blended humor, fun and empathy into an integrated marketing campaign that spanned multiple channels.
From direct mail to email to in-person events, Datavailopoly shows no signs of slowing. Regardless of whether the “players” who got into the game converted into brand customers, Datavail undoubtedly created legions of brand promoters for life.
2. HP: The Wolf
Is there anything glamorous about printer security? Well, if you add Hollywood star Christian Slater to the mix there just might be. In a multi-year integrated marketing campaign centered around hacker education and printer risks, HP Business partnered with the former star of Mr. Robot to put a very recognizable face on endpoint risks and office security.
The integrated marketing campaign for The Wolf started off with a four-part web series which dropped, naturally, on YouTube. Web resources for the campaign included a virtual reality experience stepping into a hacker’s lair, research reports, print marketing items and plenty of in-person event marketing.
This integrated marketing campaign proved so successful it’s inspired a spin-off campaign – The Fixer web series, starring Jonathan Banks.
What You Can Learn From It:
Printer security is about as exciting as, well, router or scanner security. Adding a movie star as a celebrity spokesperson could have failed, but in HP’s case, it succeeded. Christian Slater’s sinister character couples perfectly with a believable story that really could happen to you.
When presented in an easily consumable short-form web series, The Wolf was the perfect lead-in for an integrated marketing campaign people wanted to see.
3. IBM: Outage
Case studies are compelling but not as compelling as an opportunity to literally experience being a part of a case study. At least, that’s what IBM proved in their integrated Outage marketing campaign which debuted at the Mobile World Congress 2018 gathering late February in Barcelona, Spain.
Tradeshow attendees are used to stepping into booths where vendor technologies are on display and provided for a demo, but rarely have there been fully immersive opportunities to experience real-world simulations of a worst-case scenario.
Described as a “Take Action” film, Outage is best described as a “choose your own adventure.” The viewer is given seconds to act and select from among IBM’s mobile technologies to save lives, from within the shoes of a female engineer dealing with a city-wide power blackout.
Outage actually consists of seven different short films, since the outcome is determined entirely by the viewer’s actions.
For individuals who weren’t in attendance at MWC or won’t be at upcoming tech trade shows, the Outage experience and related simulations can be accessed online.
What You Can Learn From It:
Fiction authors are coached to “show” instead of “tell” the narrative of their stories, and it’s a concept that can inform powerful integrated marketing campaigns in the B2B space. You can explain the powerful capabilities of your technology to restore electricity after a storm all day, but will it sink in?
Probably not, especially if your audience has spent the day absorbing way too much information at a tech trade show. Providing an immersive, choose-your-own-adventure experience proves B2B marketing can be heart pounding, allowing the prospect to create an emotional connection with the product in just a few seconds flat.
Capturing the Power of these High-Performing Integrated Marketing Campaigns
The potential for B2B integrated marketing campaigns is not just limited to whitepapers, case studies and eBooks – though these are tried and true assets that often perform well. While Datavail, HP and IBM are three B2B brands operating in tech verticals that may seem like they have the potential to be “boring,” these wildly successful integrated marketing campaigns prove there’s no limit to the creative potential for B2B content.
The most game-changing demand generation marketers in 2018 are using multimedia assets – including video, immersive video and even direct mail – creating campaigns that engage their prospects and customers in experiences that range from heart-pounding to wildly, weirdly fun.
Interested in more insights into how some of today’s most effective B2B marketers are pushing the envelope when it comes to creative, integrated full-funnel marketing? Discover hundreds of tips, tools, secrets and hacks in the free eBook: 155 Tips & Tactics from Demand Marketing's Top 40 Game Changers.