Greg Ott (Demandbase CMO)
& Darcy Cobb (Dotted Line Communications Partner)
THINKING IN B2B MARKETING
Why is B2B marketing often completely
devoid of the creativity that has proven
successful in the B2C world?
A. Unsexy products.
B. Niche markets.
C. Utilitarian in nature.
D. All of the above.
Marketing or advertising a B2B product or service
can be more than challenging –
but that’s no excuse.
Still doubtful? Let’s take a look
at some of the most creative,
inspired campaigns of recent
In 2010, Dell launched a successful B2B campaign for DellBusiness utilizing social media channels. The campaign
focused on a YouTube channel and Facebook page, both of which get impressive engagement numbers despite the
“bland” B2B content.
Dell‟s YouTube channel capitalizes on topics that would interest their customer base, curating topical and humorous videos
like “When Forgotten Passwords Attack,” “Take control of printer security,” and “What‟s an I.T?”
By providing useful content that is social and shareable, the company creates an ongoing, engaging platform for their B2B
DellBusiness customer base.
Define a compelling visual message. Every company has a unique personality and tone. Identify yours by strategically
planning your most important brand asset: your content. Plan your photography, copy writing and graphic design well in
advance so that your content does not end up becoming a stale afterthought. Then drive a stake in the ground with a bold
voice that only you can own, seen here by GE with Data Visualization.
As one of their efforts, General Electric‟s “Experts” page also allows their employees to connect with customers all over the
world in a transparent and social way. Employees from all over the world are encouraged to create content, even if they
aren't marketers, making that content personal, interesting, and engaging.
Demandbase & Dotted Line Communications
Dotted Line Communications and Demandbase wanted to cut through the noise and establish Demandbase as a thought
leader among multiple influential business and technology audiences, so they commissioned a study around businesses‟ use
of the corporate website, as well as its efficacy as a lead generation tool.
In addition to publicizing the results of the survey, they created and distributed a whitepaper and Webinar to showcase the
results and reach even more customers, partners and influencers with the news. Through this effort, Demandbase
strengthened and developed new relationships with a deeper bench of industry influencers, on top of garnering widespread
coverage in a broader scope of industries.
As part of the launch of its Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6 (CS6) products, Adobe came up with an effort that it called
“Create Now” that would serve as the central theme of its branding and marketing efforts, and would tie together its offline
and online efforts.
To promote the launch, Adobe held a scavenger hunt around San Francisco, as well as online. Both scavenger hunts
attracted more than 600 participants on launch day. Additionally, Adobe held a ‟30 Days of Giveaways‟ promotion on
Facebook that attracted more than 14,000 new fans and 32m impressions.
All of this drove 3m+ visits from social media to Adobe.com during the launch, with visitors touched by social accounting for
13% of Creative Cloud subscriptions and as much as 4% for other established Creative Suite products.
Offering B2B software solutions for businesses of all sizes, HubSpot uses its blog, social media, and other free tools to attract
prospects to lead-generation content.
HubSpot‟s marketing strategy has been so successful it has been used as an example for LinkedIn company pages, press
releases made for Twitter, content marketing success stories and viral videos. The company focuses its customer acquisition
strategy on providing educational material that customers will value.
The Guinness Book of World Records also awarded Dan Zarrella (HubSpot‟s “social media scientist”) a world record for the
largest online marketing seminar, after 10,899 attended his “The Science of Social Media” presentation on August 23, 2011.
A few years ago American Express launched Open Forum, a site that aims to give advice to small business owners. The site
is frequently updated with new content, including blog posts and videos, but the jewel in the crown is probably the „Idea Hub‟.
The hub is a forum that allows members to network and share ideas with each other and industry experts.
Open Forum achieved massive growth when it first launched, increasing unique visitors from 160,000 in December 2008 to
almost 1m in December 2009. It now attracts more than 1m unique visitors per month and has more than 18,000 members.
Interestingly, social media is currently the most popular topic on the site.