Too often when we hear the word “campaign” in B2B marketing, it refers to the email going out next Monday. Or the four-part nurture email following a white paper download.
But those aren’t campaigns. Real campaigns, in the traditional and true sense of the word, are typically longer, more complex, more integrated, and more designed to drive deeper penetration and action from a target audience.
So what’s a great, recent example of a well-executed campaign? I was highly impressed this past fall with the Marketing Nerd campaign executed by Lattice Engines. This predictive analytics company took a simple concept (rallying their customers & prospects around their proud, data-junkie status) and turned it into a huge winner.
According to Lattice, the campaign exceeded it’s lead generation goals and has already converted dozens of campaign-sourced leads into qualified opportunities for the sales team. It also exceeded the goal of on-site demos at a highly-targeted marketing conference by 33%.
What made this campaign a winner? Below are the reasons I think it was one of the best, most well-executed campaigns in B2B marketing recently.
It’s bigger than you
Great campaigns aren’t about your company or product, they’re about the customer. They also tie into a theme that’s much bigger than both of you. This campaign created a movement, of sorts. Even though the campaign appears to be over (at least officially), I still see and hear people referring to themselves as marketing nerds far more frequently than they did before.
It’s based on strong customer insights
Some customer audiences might have been offended at being called a bunch of nerds. For others, it simply would have fallen on deaf ears and fallen flat. But marketing technologists are nerds and proud of it! They’re not often understood inside their own organizations (and sometimes within their own marketing departments) so this campaign gave them a community to belong to. That’s powerful stuff.
There’s a strong community element
Great campaigns in today’s world aren’t driven entirely on their own. They take life well beyond the sponsoring company or brand. The #mktgnerd campaign generated momentum from the community itself, as evidenced by a significant amount of content created in and around the campaign by its intended audience.
Probably a given for campaigns these days, but again most campaigns (if you can call them that) are self-serving and superficial in their approach overall and that usually is reflected on the social side. Why would the end-user retweet or participate in a hashtag that’s clearly company-centric? Furthermore, the team at Lattice Engines was clearly, actively engaged and responding to social posts. That shows others that they too can get responses, which encouraged even more activity. According to Lattice, the social component of the campaign alone reached more than 1 million users with more than 2.2 million impressions.
Lattice Engines smartly engaged high-visibility influencers from the very beginning. First, they called out several influencers in the launch blog post as nerds. They also included even more influencers in a subsequent video in late December.
This wasn’t a one-and-done blog post. This campaign went on for weeks, including multiple blog posts and content across multiple channels. It was clear that much of this was pre-meditated, and even if some of it was conceived after the fact (after Lattice observed that they had a winner), it all still tied together.
This was evident in their integration not only across channels online but also in their similarly-themed booths at Eloqua Experience and other fall shows. The channels clearly fed off of each other to expand the length and reach of the campaign. Check out the “Blurred Leads” video!
The Lattice Engines CMO (himself a marketing nerd) was heavily involved in the execution and communication of the campaign, which I’m sure made a big difference internally and was noticable externally as well. There’s no underestimating how important executive involvement & participation (and not just approval) can be both internally & externally at driving success for a new campaign.
I asked Lattice Engines why they thought the campaign worked so well, in their own words. Here’s what they said:
- Team Alignment – the entire team was involved & engaged
- Specific Goals – we knew what we wanted to get out of it
- Relevancy of Message – our audience related to it
- Consistency – it was the punch line for every touch point
Some great blueprints here for your next campaign…