Leads, leads, leads, leads – not a misspelling of a famous North Yorkshire football team chant but of course the main focus of any B2B marketing plan. However, would a B2B marketeer be brave enough to put forward a plan that included broadcast above the line activity? If your proposition solely focuses on B2B and you have TV media budget to spend you’re a lucky person but would you use this kind of budget for channel demand generation? What if you could power a whole channel development proposition around this medium and go from challenger to market leader in the space of 2 years?
This was exactly the position that a Head of Marketing of a large tech brand found themselves in a few years ago when faced with the proposition of declining sales, slumped in number two market position and a desire to crack a tough electrician markets with a new product range but needing new ideas.
Within 2 years the brand had moved to number one in the market, substantially increased sales of all products in its range and were listed in all major suppliers including all electrician wholesalers. So how was it done?
Lighting the creative spark
The brand was very functional in the market and not making many waves when it came to creative innovation. The global organisation in question had decent budgets when things were going well so they channelled some of that into a piece of creative genius that really made the brand stand out. However despite sizes of budgets they key learning is to invest in a proposition that truly makes you unique in the market (even if your product is pretty normal) and that can inspire those that you want to notice you; from partners, customers or internal employees.
Once they knew they had a gem of a creative proposition to hang their hat on they went for it big style in making sure all existing partners, staff and prospects heard about it. What would normally be a dull product launch in a drab hotel turned into a cacophony of sound, colour and plenty of the unexpected in a converted brewery in hipsterville. It galvanised people into joining the momentum that was now building and everyone started to believe in not only the product, but the campaign that it was going to deliver.
Eyes on target
A key aim of the campaign was to get listed in major retailers and trade partners especially electrical wholesalers. Initially the brand worked on identifying and targeting the main buyers in each company. To do this as well as having a strong commercial proposition they needed something they could buy into and see the benefits of how the product was being taken to market. There’s nothing quite as big as going on TV so even though budgets weren’t huge for this world at least, they picked the biggest slot available to launch on (everyone’s favourite Northern soap set on the cobbled streets of Manchester) and packaged up the whole offering in a smart DM piece to send to these key influencers and invited them to be a part of it.
Once these key influencers saw that the brand meant business they quickly wanted a piece of the action and buyers that wouldn’t take calls several months earlier were now falling over themselves to take stock. They’d used the campaign to help create demand for the product from the trade which in turn pushed demand out to the end market. Off the back of the retail campaign the electrical wholesalers followed suit with TV replaced by Radio as their means of demand generation with all partners receiving a slice of co-advertising as part of the deal.
It was one of the most commercially successful campaigns delivered by the brand and the success was replicated across other countries amongst the wider organisation. The team also had a huge amount of fun making it along the way – who would have thought; a B2B brand having fun and being commercially successful!!
P.S for a sneak look at the ad take a look here.