Flash Sales, Discount Codes, Free Samples and the sorts are among the various common incentives that have proven to work well in the B2C segment. But in B2B sales, it’s quite different story.
Similar incentives do not necessarily help accelerate the B2B sales process because purchases are based on very specific requirements and thorough research by multiple stakeholders, with no real scope for any impulse buying.
Change in B2B Buying Conditions
B2B buyers have evolved in recent years. Most research products/services online from dozens of vendors before even contacting or (willing to be) contacted by a seller. This leads to longer sales cycles and the winners eventually are the brands with strong content strategies and sales enablement practices in place.
Time and again, many companies have gone the extra mile to come up with innovative marketing and sales ideas to increase their brand awareness and boost sales at the same time. While a few such sales campaigns failed miserably, many others were blockbuster hits.
Let’s have a look at some that made some positive impact.
Top 5 B2B Marketing/Sales Campaigns
Shopify – “Let’s Make You a Business”
Shopify, a company that provides cloud-based, multi-channel e-commerce solutions for small businesses, came out with a series of images and videos spread across social media, TV, posters, and billboards, calling out potential businesses to start with their ideas. The campaign featured quirky captions and thoughtful videos, effective enough to ring a bell in the minds of the “to-be” business owners.
Also Read: Lead Generation for Dummies
Drift – #NoForms
The online customer interaction platform – Drift, came up with a rather unusual movement in May 2017. It advocated getting rid of lead capture forms. Not only did it preach the idea of using live chat option to generate leads in place of the traditional lead forms, the company actually went on to officially announce the month of May as #NoForms month.
Drift had been relying solely on other alternate methods of lead generation for a year and opened up its entire pool of gated content assets to everyone for a month!
The highlight of the campaign was that 63% of visitors who opened the chatbox on the company’s pricing page initiated a conversation with a sales executive, while the typical email campaigns (with email addresses collected from lead forms) generated a click rate of 2-3%.
Now that’s what we call “leading by example.”
Upwork – “Hey World”
Humor has been a time-tested ingredient for thousands of brands in the B2C segment for as long as advertising came into being. But does it prove to be as useful when the buyers are C-suite executives exhibiting utmost seriousness from every angle of their behavior and attire? Upwork decided to test this out.
In what would have been a complete disaster of a campaign otherwise, Upwork introduced a bold campaign by creating a series of short punchy videos, each intended for a different celebrity or firm, wherein it pitched the various types of freelancers available with the platform.
Upwork had (in the campaign videos) freelance Mechanical Engineers for NASA, Customer Support Reps for Amazon, Social Media Strategists for the President, and the list just went on! Making use of famous names and tagging celebrities really helped the campaign go viral; imagine the sales numbers afterwards! They even had a Personal Assistant available for Elon Musk (such a busy man!); I’ll check if he actually got the message.
Marketing Dynamix – Transmission + Dropbox
Dropbox partnered with marketing agency Transmission to help the firm with its lead generation efforts. The target audience for Transmission consisted of marketers, of course! Dropbox found out that personality clashes and communication hiccups were the primary reasons for project delays on part of the marketing teams. And thus, a solution was created – Marketing Dynamix, a personality assessment tool for marketers to understand their team.
The campaign was run extensively on major social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube, in the form of images, GIFs, and short videos. The result -> 29:1 ROI!
Carpathia – Enterprise Referral Program
Most of the referral programs we know of are consumer-facing. But, in any scenario, you are still selling to people!
Carpathia, a cloud-based platform offering managed hosting and IT infrastructure to businesses proved to the world that referral programs can be valuable strategies in B2B sales too. The firm facilitated easy registrations to its referral program and the partners got access to tons of case studies, whitepapers, and sales tools. Carpathia also leveraged social proof extensively to turn the campaign into a major success.