Article | by Claudia Webb
Campaigns: How the biggest traditional businesses stay relevant
Article | by Claudia Webb
In the age of marketing in the digital realm, are there still solid boundaries between what works for B2B and what works for B2C?
Driven predominantly by the ‘frictionless’ apps of B2C disruptors such as Uber and AirBnB, the expectations of B2B customers have increased profoundly. This is where our Bye2Boring philosophy comes into play, and therein lies the opportunity for digitally-savvy B2B brands to come up with some really smart and eye-grabbing marketing campaigns.
We surfed the net to find B2B campaigns and marketing initiatives that really entertained, moved or made us think. Here are a few of our favourites within traditional manufacturing sectors:
How often do people take for granted the heavy machinery that makes modern life possible? In order to promote products that are invisible on a consumer level, GE created their ‘Brilliant Machines’ campaign featuring some great old-fashioned rock and roll... performed by an all-robot heavy metal band.
And while most of us may not have the budget to host a concert in Times Square, we can still look at GE’s campaign as successfully turning a hard-to-visualise solution into a creative, memorable experience.
Tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) used B2C techniques such as influencer marketing to build a classic B2B strategy.
Featuring ESPN sportscaster Charissa Thompson in HP’s series ‘Meet the Intern’ was just what HP needed to showcase their brand as being relevant and comedic, as well as their products being the answer to daily problems for the average person.
GE wanted to show their relevance and ingenuity, what better way than to team up with one of America’s most loved faces?
Fallonventions is a GE sponsored segment on ‘The Tonight Show’, where young engineers and inventors are given the opportunity to present their ideas to Jimmy Fallon and the audience. Not only is it entertaining and adorable, but it's also a great platform to showcase impactful technology and put engineers into the spotlight (which rarely happens!).
Every year, around 15 million babies are born premature. Without being able to reach full development in the womb, and the comforting sound of their mothers being replaced by beeping machinery in an intensive care unit, these premature babies are at higher risk of developing language and attention deficits.
That’s why Samsung developed ‘Voices of Life’, a revolutionary app that allows mother and baby to connect whilst physically being separated.
The app records the mother’s voice and heartbeat, “wombifies” the recording for the baby’s ears, and plays the sounds inside the incubator. Not only does it help the mother feel close to her baby, but research shows these maternal sounds help a premature baby’s brain develop.
This campaign addressed the challenge of making health and safety training engaging, informative and relevant using the latest digital technology.
Using virtual reality, they created the Lloyd’s Register (LR) training simulator. The impact on business results was tangible, with a 23% increase in bookings for LR training services, deepened engagement with the industry and 42 press articles covering the solution, resulting in raised engagement.
With the kick-off of Toyota’s first global campaign “Start your Impossible”, the Japanese automaker is forcing the world to notice that their brand has shifted from vehicles to overall mobility. No longer are they purely a car manufacturer, but instead they have branched into a company whose broad offering includes a variety of futuristic devices that enable human motion in ways that go beyond road driving.
The campaign ran as a set of seven creative ads throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games, whose mission was to spread the brand’s message that every person, in every part of the globe, should have the “freedom of movement.”
The ads feature real life and real people, including noted Olympic and Paralympic athletes, using Toyota products to help them do everything from competing to simply living their daily lives with ease. The campaign actually captured 736 hours of film and 100 different stories, and while only a few made the cut, the rest of the material will be used for other areas within the campaign, including a documentary series and a range of digital and social campaigns.
In a world saturated with information and shorter attention spans, it’s difficult enough to catch consumers’ attention, never mind trying to catch their attention with “unsexy” B2B products. However, given these hurdles, we’ve seen instances of great B2B marketing campaigns that raise company and product awareness through the effective implementation of digital marketing.
We’ve also seen that B2B brands no longer stand for B2C brands having all the fun with their marketing campaigns. Done right, B2B campaigns can certainly rival the effectiveness of B2C campaigns with the use of typical B2C marketing techniques; from user-generated content, to even throwing in a few celebrities to do the pitching.
The times are-a-changing, and B2B marketing isn’t the same as it was 5 years ago. It’s more personal, more creative, more colloquial, and more transparent. And if you truly want to set your company apart, you must embrace these new realities.