B2B Marketing Strategy

The Sweat of Discipline v. Going Viral in B2B Marketing

Brett McGrath

July 13, 2021

The Sweat of Discipline v. Going Viral in B2B Marketing

Nathan Apodaca.

What does that name mean to you?

I read the name and it didn’t trigger anything for me either. 

How about 420doggface208? 

It might have clicked for you or maybe it still hasn’t yet.

How about “guy who went viral on TikTok by slamming Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice while on his longboard lip syncing Fleetwood Mac?”

I’d imagine you know what I am talking about right now and if you don’t I am not sure why you would have chosen our blog as your first read after getting up from underneath that rock, but thanks. 

This clip took off like a bat out of hell because it represented so many different things to so many different people during a time where we all were glued to our phones itching for any piece of entertainment to help our mind escape the dog days of the pandemic.

I guess we needed a doggface to save us from the dog days?

Sorry for the Dad joke here. Typically, those are saved for our fearless leader, Jonathan to deliver. That’s the last one for me. Promise.

I was thinking about my first 4 months of working for The Juice over the weekend and this viral TikTok sensation couldn’t escape me.

The song “Dreams” will never be the same for me and I would imagine many others. 

That video left an impact. We’ve all seen it dozens (maybe hundreds in some cases) of times. 

We’ve all watched 420doggface208 run the interview circuit and share his perspective for why that video happened.

It’s a feel good story.  Ocean Spray gifted him a new truck. The song, “Dreams” shot up the charts once again and gained exposure with a brand demographic of listeners.

During a year that presented obstacles for almost everyone in the world this video represented liberation and hope to many.

This video is a case study in going viral and everyone who studies this piece of content’s core elements could not replicate the impact no matter how hard they tried.

The product is a perfect mix of authenticity, execution, and serendipity.  It hit a wide audience and represented something different to each viewer. The process to gain virality took algorithms, engagement, and shares from consumers across networks. 

The stars aligned and 420doggface208 became an internet celebrity overnight. I think it’s safe to say that this video changed his life and as a consumer it had an enough impact on me for me to recall it in this blog post many months after the video’s shelf life had expired. 

Whenever I see things go viral on the B2C side I always unpack them and try to understand if similar tactics could be used to gain attention in B2B marketing.

Most of the time I come to the conclusion that the answer is no, but also tell myself that I shouldn't restrict the desire to swing for the fences and try to create our own 420doggface208 version of something that can gain traction with our audience.

I think it’s great to think and operate more like a B2C marketer in B2B marketing today.

We are building a business on the idea that consumer habits have dramatically changed and it’s on us to help empower content marketers to make it easier for them to reach their future customers at the right place and at the right time with their content.

Things get twisted when marketers obsess over this idea of virality. 

We’ve got all of the tools that we need in the mini computers that sit next to our work computers throughout the day.

I sit my mini computer face down and try to pick it up when I am executing, but the temptation is hard. There’s dozens of social networking sites and thousands of opportunities to gain attention.

We are more distracted than ever as marketers, which begins to blur the lines of doing significant work that will push your business forward or wasting a ton of time.

I’m not here to preach about when, how, and where we should all be using social media. I think social media provides unlocked potential for brands to connect with their audiences in brand new ways. On the flip side I think social media can serve as a massive distraction.

We should all be building our personal brands. That’s not only good for you, but can also have a positive impact on our employers. People want to work with people who they know and like and use products from trusted resources. This is where social media can come in for the win.

After I finished the first round of spring cleaning this weekend I grabbed my mini computer, turned it face up and started scrolling through social media.

My favorite team in the world is the Indianapolis Colts and they dropped a new video package on their Twitter feed introducing the process to acquire our new quarterback, Carson Wentz.

During this 10 minute video Colts Head Coach Frank Reich talks about a quote on a placard that has been in his office his entire career. 

The quote read: 

The sweat of discipline and the hard work of repetition always precedes the thrill of spontaneity in any pursuit in life”

I hit the 30 second back button on the video to make sure I caught it all. I hit it again.

The quote hit me like a ton of bricks and the 4 months of work and collaboration at The Juice began to settle. 

We’ve tested, experimented, measured, failed, succeeded, failed, won, lost, failed, failed, and failed again. The reps and sets that we’ve put into the first turn of our time building this company has allowed us all to learn a ton and refine everything.

It’s helped us refine our message.

It’s helped us create better content. 

It’s helped us build a better product.

It’s the repetition of our activities that drives learning and helps us understand where and why we should be spending our time on each initiative that we are working on. It’s a special kind of discipline and accountability across functions that is taking place because we are all invested in the success of our company at an early stage. 

We all are presented with the opportunity to provide hope for our audience much like 420doggface208 did for anyone who consumed his video while in quarantine. It doesn’t mean replicating the video or trying to come up with a parallel gimmick to try to go viral.

It means identifying pain points that your audience is dealing with on a regular basis and being habitual with providing them education and entertainment through your content. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Find ways to use social media as a way to amplify your hard work and repetition. The results can be great if you swing for the fences, but you’ll likely come up short most of the time.

Take singles and doubles. The more times you get on base the more opportunities that you will have to learn and score with future customers.

Going viral is spontaneous and most of the time unmanufactured. It’s helpful to pull inspiration and unpack the why behind successes like 420doggface208’s viral TikTok video. It’s even better to be consistent and disciplined with your activities as a B2B marketer. The results might not break the internet overnight, but staying on course will allow your brand to sustain attention longer than 15 minutes in your marketing. 

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