B2B Marketing Strategy

A Public Dress Rehearsal: The Opportunity to Build Your Marketing Before Launch

Brett McGrath

July 13, 2021

A Public Dress Rehearsal: The Opportunity to Build Your Marketing Before Launch

I’m a big fan of putting on the nostalgia goggles and using the past to inspire thoughts for work ahead.

If you are a follower of this blog you can probably tell that I am a product of the 80’s and 90’s based on some of the reference points. 

Dream Team.

Blockbuster Video.

TGIF on ABC on Friday nights.

I don’t reference nostalgia without intention. I think there is a lot we can learn from looking back on past experiences.

I grew up in B2B Marketing at ExactTarget.

First big boy marketing job out of college.

High growth. IPO. Acquisition for $2.5 B by Salesforce.

Total dumb luck and I learned a TON!

I’d be an idiot not to dig back on that past experience when working on a brand new opportunity like this one with The Juice.

I don’t look back on the tactics that I used when running campaigns or try to replicate all of the same channels to get the message out.

B2B marketing changes quickly and we all learn to adapt.

I look back on the way the business operated and some of the things that happened internally to see if I can draw on inspiration.

I’ve received a lot of questions from marketers that I am speaking with about the why behind all of the marketing that we are doing before we launch our company.

I’m going to organize that at the bottom into reasons, but first I want to compare it to an experience that I remember vividly during my time at ET.

Connections was our Dreamforce. 

It was the biggest event in marketing and it had an incredible vibe to it.

It was an opportunity to show love to our customers and give them an inside scoop on what was ahead with the product.

This event was the ultimate brand play. 

Every Connections our executive team would do a dry run of their presentations to the entire company. 

This was great internal marketing when reflecting back on these company wide events.

Not only was it great internal marketing, but it also served as an opportunity for the leadership team to test their punchlines on an audience before the big show.

It reminds me of how all the great comedians operate. 

They test out their new material in a small club to make sure they get some reps in.

They get feedback, refine, and create the final set that they will use on the big stage.

While laughter wasn’t the end product that the ET leadership team was looking for (who knows - maybe it was!) I am going to assume that it was the idea of feedback + refinement that drove these rehearsals. 

I draw inspiration from past experiences.

Here's why we are leaning so hard into marketing before we launch The Juice

  1. We want to create value from the beginning - you don’t need a product to create value for your audience (this is where content marketing comes in)
  2. We want to share stories that we are hearing with everyone -- that’s why we started a podcast from the jump and is our opportunity to build trust with our future customers 
  3. We want to create enemies publicly (e.g. forms, attribution intoxication, keyword infested blog posts, etc.) and build alignment with content consumers who are tired of dealing with these experiences in B2B marketing 
  4. We want to promote the content marketer and ask for their support during our launch 
  5. We are a content marketing company and need to do kick ass content marketing -- why wait?

There’s a lot more reasons to do marketing before our company is launched. The culmination of these activities is that it helps build our brand.

This isn’t what our kick ass design or logo will look like. It’s not our name The Juice. 

This is what B2B content consumers and marketers say about us when we aren’t in the room.

We are in the game of getting attention and building trust.

It doesn’t happen overnight and every day counts.

After 2 months of conversations with our stakeholders I have refined messaging because of the words I am hearing others use. 

It’s just like rehearsal before jumping on the main stage. 

A rehearsal that’s not just for our internal team, but for all of you.💯

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