Campaigns are important.
I've been running campaigns my entire career.
I learned how to really do campaigns in the 15 months that I worked for Salesforce.
That company is amazing at campaigns.
Will these recommendations work for everyone?
Probably not, but this is what has worked for me in the last 12 years of B2B Marketing.
I wrote a post that I published yesterday titled, How to Meet Strangers Who Do Marketing and Create Content with Them.
I had fun putting it together and closed it out by mentioning that we have the opportunity as marketers to orchestrate all of our interactions with the market into ONE GIANT CAMPAIGN that your entire company can rally around.
Because we like to show our work and campaigns are a topic that I am extremely passionate about, I wanted to spend some time here outlining what I am doing to put together a campaign that will support the launch of our company.
The Steps to Great Campaign Building and Execution
- Name It
I don’t think anything becomes real until you give it a name.
Naming the campaign early will allow you to give your stakeholders (both internal and external) an idea of what you are looking to achieve.
Whenever I decide to name a campaign here are the factors that I consider:
- Is it memorable?
- Is it informed from a set of market opinions?
- Will it garner a reaction? (either positive or negative)
I’ve been speaking with so many marketers over the past 6 weeks.
More than I probably have over the last 6 years.
The one theme that I pull from all of these conversations is that “B2B Marketing Sucks”.
It sucks for different reasons for everyone.
The tactics suck.
The message sucks.
The experience sucks.
The content sucks.
There's a lot of passion coming from B2B Marketers when I bring this up.
That makes for a good topic and theme for our stakeholders and market to rally around.
- Create Goals
I don’t think I need to spend a lot of time here. We all know we should associate goals or measures with the work that we do.
The fun happens when you identify which metrics matter most to your business right now and align activities towards those.
The primary goal of the “B2B Marketing Sucks” campaign is to generate exposure for the launch of our new company while building industry connections with those who we want to begin a longer term relationship with.
What does that mean?
It means creating advocates for the brand that we are building. This can result in co-marketing opportunities, information sharing, and even new customers.
Where are these people coming from?
- Jonathan spoke to 100+ B2B marketers before I started and documented those conversations
- I’m networking and building relationships through the 3C Podcast
- I created a list of Dream Accounts / Contacts who have no idea who we are and what we do but will be reaching out to
A big goal of this campaign is to activate the voices of the market. In order to do that I need to use existing relationships and be proactive to build relationships to maximize the success of the campaign.
This is your output and the format for which it will be delivered in.
In many cases it's not singular. Pre-pandemic it was very common for digital assets to be leveraged for direct mail campaigns to compliment the broader experience.
I do not think you should overcomplicate things by layering experiences on top of each other for the sake of showing up in as many platforms as possible.
I decided that for the “B2B Marketing Sucks” campaign I was going to create a digital asset.
I do not want this to be just another e-Book or a sterile PDF that people fall asleep in their home office after reading the first paragraph.
The success of this deliverable is reliant on the people who are contributing to it.
Because I am curating the content that is in this piece I want to make sure that anyone who is taking the time to participate is proud of the end product.
I’m going to create a book. Yes, it’s going to start with a digital book, but who knows what else can come out of this.
Here are the ways that I am aiming for this deliverable to stand out from the rest:
- Great copy: I’m curating great content creators for this. The diversity of writing should keep the audience interested
- Design: We are pairing this with the launch of our brand/company. This will be the first piece that represents the non-Fathom version of us. Although design isn’t my skill set I will rely on super talented people to bring this to life in a compelling way
- Video: I’m going to use video to get people to understand the content marketer behind the entry. Humanizing your work is always a good idea
You are not in this alone.
One of the most important aspects of great B2B Marketing is the ability to set proper expectations with stakeholders and be an expert communicator.
There will be some components to your campaign that you will be responsible for producing, but likely a majority of your time will be spent on selling the vision to all of the stakeholders involved.
You need to get contributors, designers, promotors, and teammates all excited about this campaign.
I like to put on my sales cap when executing on a marketing campaign. Ultimately, that is what we are as marketers with our work. Lean into that. Collaboration is everything.
This one is pretty straightforward. Make sure you give yourself enough time for all of the rounds of approvals and feedback. It might sound like a no brainer, but being mindful of this and adding in an additional week or two isn’t a bad approach.
I always like to reverse engineer timelines based on the event I am supporting.
In this case, it’s the launch of our company.
We are currently in the design phase of our new brand and there is still some uncertainty on the the completion date of the end product.
This is where I try to be as adaptable as possible. I am trying to get this process started probably a week or two before I need to, but that extra time gives me comfort.
I always view the tactics as the vehicles used to deliver your message to the market.
This can include 1:1 outreach, social, database marketing, influencer support, PR, and the list goes on and on and on.
I am not trying to be overwhelmed with this campaign.
I want to keep things simple, evaluate results, and refine for next time.
A big piece of this campaign will be the coordination and activation with all of the contributors.
I’ll be spending a lot of time communicating and coordinating with individuals to make sure they have all the assets they need to help us tell the world about our point of view on the current state of B2B Marketing.
The book is something that I will talk regularly about on The 3C Podcast and will be pulling in contributors as guests to talk more about their perspective.
My biggest recommendation is to think about how your campaign fits into your existing channels before starting new channels because of the campaign.
The message is primary. The message is the strategy.
Not far from that is the power of promotion and thinking strategically about the activation of the content that you are bringing to market.
I mentioned that I was going to simplify the promotional strategy around the delivery of “B2B Marketing Sucks”.
I’m a big fan of starting small and working my way up to broader promotion.
Starting small does not mean get this in front of fewer people.
Starting small means focusing in on a limited number of channels and tactics early and mastering the delivery.
The core promotional channels of this piece will be:
- Contributors: We want to have people share their message with their audience of marketers
- Owned channels: Website, social media, podcast, newsletter, blog, etc.
- Communities: Share in communities that I interact with everyday
- Extended networks: Use the High Alpha promotional engine, share with influencers, and send one off emails to other marketers that I know
Is that going to be it? Probably not.
I will be mindful of the orchestration of the promotion and make sure that I do not compromise the focus on core channels for the obsession of more channels.
Ok. Enough typing.
I need to get to work now. 💯
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