Prickley Issues 01 Who decided that B2B campaigns had to be so boring, anyway? Time for change! +10 Easy ste ps to suc on the N ceed ew B2P Frontier
It’s been one of the most consistent conversation piecesover the past year: tuned-in MDs commenting on thesomewhat confused state of B2B communication. It’schanging, everyone feels it, but how? And why such aGrand Canyon sized gap between enticing ‘pull’ B2Ccampaigns and the somewhat dull hard-sell ‘push’tactics oft-used for B2B?
A middle ground has emerged in the boardrooms, namely B2P – Business to People. In the past year a wide array of vastly different clients came through our agency doors with highlyspecific B2P briefings. Brands like California shoe company K-Swiss,global printer make Océ, Swedish Tourism Board VisitSweden, Schiphol,Amsterdam RAI, to name just a few. Their briefs were tellingly similar:give us B2B, but make it feel B2C. In trying to meet their expectationswe spent much time seeking out the right balance between hard and softselling, rational and emotional, cash and cuddly. Along the way we’vemade a few key discoveries. And we’ve packaged them for you herein this Prickly Issues whitepaper. And when all is said and done, weoffer up a B2P Survival Guide for all those marketers looking forinspiring B2B campaigns.
Case 1 K-SwissK-Swiss’sclassic woosshoes into stockWhat to do when high-end European retailers are no longerstocking your most iconic shoe? This was the challengefacing California sports company K-Swiss in the Spring of2010. The result was an award-winning campaign (D&AD‘In Book June 2011) that not only activated retailers to stockmore shoes, but ignited positive conversations about theK-Swiss brand across the globe.
Case 1 K-SwissInsight Campaign Results Media Mix The lowdownWhile the Classic shoe itself is just The challenge was to tell the long story The results resonated far beyond Print, brand story, DM,a pretty nifty heritage sneaker, it’s of the Classic in a way that would help retailers. Because we packaged the hard- PR: plugging & seeding The D&AD award wasstory is extraordinary in these times of retailers sell more shoes. So we broke the sell story of the shoe in an emotionally certainly unexpected, butfast-moving goods. The problem was, story up into 8 non-linear chapters and relevant way (i.e. respected designers), it just goes to show thatK-Swiss didn’t communicate the story asked 8 respected underground designers major sneakerfreak communities picked even B2B campaigns canof its shoe to its retail partners, namely across the globe to design posters around the story up and helped us create the create positive B2C buzz onbecause the company didn’t know them. We sent the resulting double-sided demand for retailers to stock more a global scale if that’s whatthe whole story itself. We immediate limited-edition posters to key retailers to Classic shoes. The campaign and social you set out to do from day 1.set about piecing one together out hang in their shops and hand out to their media strategy it entailed resulted in aof the fragments of information and most exclusive clients, creating goodwill 63% increase in brand awareness and acommunication lying dormant in the and making them part of the campaign’s 36% jump in positive conversations aboutcompany archives. success. K-Swiss.
Case 2 OcéKick-starting conversations and creatingquality leads for Océ’s global sales forceOcé is a global market leader in large-format printers andthought it was time to drive that point home through a globalB2B campaign around its new PosterPrinter. The brief: createa powerful conversation starter for the brand’s global salesforce that helps them create genuine leads and ultimatelysell more printers.The catch? Needs to be adaptable across all Océ’s OPCOsand succeed with no media budget. The result was an onlinemockumentary that drove home a hard B2B message;namely, that the Océ Poster Printer is the fastest and “We wanted a campaign that would tell the story of the PosterPrinter ineasiest poster printer on the planet. a way that would inspire our sales force and function as a conversation starter. A B2B story that didn’t feel B2B.” -Ed Lensen, International Business Development Manager, Océ Display Graphics Systems
Case 2 InsightOcé The decisionmakers in the large- The entire campaign was format printing business (the guys complemented by an activation who place the orders) are the last link microsite, where an online Poster- in a very creative chain, but they are Printer turned uploaded images into still part of the creative chain. We virtual posters. The Instant Poster played into their creative instincts by Power also translated to on-site and The lowdown capturing every creative individual’s trade fairs where clients could turn dream: to escape the monotony of the images from their telephones into B2B campaigns office! instant posters in 30 seconds. are so caught up in corporatespeak that they often forget WHY their Campaign Results products and services are We scripted a story around two very In the first few months after launch so interesting and unique. likeable young guys who launch a some 30,000 video views and the By giving the PosterPrinter pop-up printer business called ‘Instant microsite hundreds of community a human, ‘outside-in’ Poster Power’ from the back of their uploaded images. Every Océ Opco context (instead of purely customized van. The mockumentary picked up the campaign and adapted inside-out), the Océ sales follows these two micropreneurs as both the film and microsite into local team enthusiastically they service small businesses, pull languages. The campaign also sparked picked up on the campaign pranks, do some social good and local activation campaigns around and used it as a serious transform the urban landscape, all the Instant Poster Power theme. The tool to service current with the help of the PosterPrinter. In campaign was included in prestigious clients and to create new short, they capture the emotion of the international marketing magazine leads – each salesman was poster business and the importance of Contagious as a Best Practices for encouraged to plug&seed posters in communication today. All B2B campaigns. the film into his own the printer’s USPs were worked into networks. the script, but we avoid typical B2B Media Mix corporatetalk through unscripted, Online film, print, DM, web platform, spontaneous dialogue to help the trade shows, PR: plugging & seeding message sound heartfelt and real.
Case 3 VisitSwedenHow Swedishtourism gotDutch travelagents ontheir sideThe Swedish tourism board, VisitSweden, had one businessgoal: get more Dutch to give up the Austrian and FrenchAlps for Swedish ski sojourns. An integral part of thechallenge was thus to convince travel agents to takeSwedish skiing seriously. What they got was the B2C/B2B‘Fit for the Winter Games’ campaign that travelled wellbeyond the agents’ offices and ended up a global cult hit.Oh, and the first direct charter flights to Sweden.
Case 3 VisitSwedenInsightTo challenge the Dutch annual Alps agents – in return they could win aroutine, Sweden needed a serious limited-edition ‘Fit for the Winteredge, and we quickly pinpointed one, Games’ bag.an insight the Swedes themselvesweren’t particularly proud of. Namely, Resultsthat since 1986 the Swedish winter By activating Dutch travel agentssport towns of Are and Ostersund via DM, the bag and a special pagehad bid for the Olympic Games three on the website, the number of Dutchtimes – and lost. We didn’t see losing winter hotel stays after the campaignbids however, we simply saw proof doubled and the first winter charterthat Sweden had world-class facilities. flight to Are took off from Schiphol. B2C results were also impressive: over The lowdownCampaign 800,000 video views, a 200% increaseThe ‘Fit for the Olympic Games’ in web visits and a campaign that Your B2B partners arecampaign was created around two completely dominated all Google also consumers, and inamusing online films highlighting search results for ‘Swedish winter some situations you needSweden’s Olympic ambitions and its sport’. to activate them likekey USPs. We told the story through consumers. If they liketwo fanatical Swedes who dream of something they’ll activelythe Olympics so they can display Media Mix share and sell it. And iftheir talents as, respectively, a mascot Film, Web platform, Print, they don’t, encourage themand a streaker. In addition to DM, a DM, Events, PR: plugging & seeding other ways like givingflyer team, web and taking the films them free give-aways.consumer direct via YouTube, we sentagents a special package with DVDand brochures and encouraged themto send the film to at least three other
B2P B2B short 1 Amsterdam Schiphol AirportShorts Schiphol’s ‘Magic in function’ film It’s not just enough to be Europe’s 5th largest hub and one high-quality partners. More specifically, the short film of the most innovative airports in the world. Sometimes, combines the Schiphol elements people know with behind-“Lemon managed to reinvent our you have to remind people that behind the business there’s the-scene action they don’t – the functional and the magiccorporate message and create a a clearly defined mission §and vision. Our ‘A day in the of an airport.brand story that makes us appealing Life’ B2P campaign for Schiphol was designed specificallyto virtually everyone. Never before did to spark positive conversations internally and with new Media Mix Brand story, Filmwe get so many thumbs up!”Chella Busch, Brand Manager Schiphol Group
B2P B2B short 2 B2B short 3 Amsterdam RAI WYSTC AmsterdamINTENSER DE ERVARING WYSTC 2011’s RAI’s Shorts HOE inspiring ‘experience HOE KOSTBAARDER DE HERINNERING fake travel trend angel’ challengeWaar je het ziet, is hoe je het ziet. Hier zie je alles op zijn mooist, beleef je het intens. Een galadiner, feest, beurs, congres, vergadering of training... RAI Elicium staat voor ongekende allure en elegantie. Wil je meer weten? Ik kan je nog veel meer laten zien! Graag leid ik je rond op www.rai-elicium.nl In its effort to further reinforce its status as a business We’re starting to really like B2B campaigns here at Lemon. and innovation hub that connects people, the The latest in our string is The Fake Travel Trend Challenge Amsterdam RAI built a new congress building called for The World and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) Elicium. Once built, they needed a campaign that would 2011, a conversion campaign and identity rolled into one. The inform its national and international business network conference organizers asked us to work with them to create a – large corporations, CEOs, organizers – of the Elicium’s quick-hit B2B campaign that would stimulate key delegates cutting edge facilities and, quite simply, fill their halls. to book booth space and attend the fair. The Challenge With ‘Elise’, we didn’t change the RAI’s messaging, we invites key travel industry delegates to tweet their best fake just changed who was saying it by wrapping all those travel trend to win prizes. With this cheeky Challenge we’ve USPs into an emotionally relevant story. Elise turned positioned WYSTC’s authoritative insights against all those all the RAI’s B2B communication into fun testimonials. sketchy online travel trends people are so eager to believe Next to posters, DM and web, we also turned Elise into these days. We already have a favorite fake trend: “Holy Land a teddy bear that businessmen could take home to their tours spike as European youth rediscover religion.” Yeah, children. right. Sorry, open exclusively to travel industry delegates only. Media Mix Print, web platform, DM, events, brand story, Media Mix Web, Twitter, identity, Facebook, brochures, DM merchandize, PR: plugging & seeding
The B2Psurvival No more split personality companies From push to pull Think (more) like a publisherguide Transparency of the web means that Wrap your hard sell in a soft shell. Content marketing is on the rise. B2B and B2C are no longer mutually Rational information works, but With all those daily clicks going to exclusive. Google doesn’t differentiate repackage those facts enticingly (i.e. Facebook and Twitter, content for between the two. infographics) and recycle your content social platforms is rapidly replacing in an emotionally relevant way. expensive and flashy microsites – yes, even for B2B.10 easy steps tosucceed on theNew B2B Frontier Telling enables selling Work in your WHY Few things enable sales teams and You can never drive home your vision, help generate leads as well as a simple mission and company culture enough. opening story about your company However, one caveat: the more you and your product. talk about things, the higher the expectations that you make good Flip page for on them. next 5 steps.
The B2PCan’t share? Despair! Embrace employee advocacy Synchronize your voice survival guideEven B2B initiatives should link to If it doesn’t inspire Jane in accounting, Create a clear and consistent toneYouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr, it won’t inspire anyone else either. of voice across all your platformsslideshare, pdfs, etc. You may have that mirrors the culture of your30 white papers lying around, but if company. B2B too often captures thepeople can’t share them they aren’t most boring part of your corporategoing to get around. personality. 10 easy steps to succeed on the Content is key, but only Post-purchase New B2B Frontier when you do it consistently ambassadors Producing content is not enough, Perhaps the biggest opportunity you’ve got to produce unique and for B2B credibility is turning compelling content – and consistently! happy clients into post-purchase And then complement it with the ambassadors simply by making their right marketing mix (blogs, videos, comments visible on the platforms microsites, newsletters, social media). people like to visit (i.e. Amazon, Yes, another tip from the retweets) B2C playbook.
While we truly believe in universal sharing of ideas and content, our pricklyissues are not cut-and-paste affairs summarizing other people’s hard-thoughtinsights. We read a lot, we talk to a lot of people, we tweet and retweet andkeep our ears close to the ground, and our reports are born from all that.If we appropriate original thinking, we give them credit. The rest is lemonbeing, Well, lemon. We just thought you should know.www.lemonscentedtea.com