Looking across the 50+ campaigns on MLC’s B2B Marcomm Showcase, it’s clear that the very best get 3 things right: 1) they engage the sales force; 2) they maximize cross-channel synergies; and 3) they capitalize on a customer insight.
As all 3 are easier said than done, we’ve surfaced tips and tactics from the marketers behind some of last year’s best campaigns – Alcatel-Lucent, National Instruments, and Qwest Communications.
- Engaging the sales force in marcomm creation: Alcatel-Lucent’s Hotel Experience campaign received praise from MLC’s 2009 B2B Marcomm Award judges for its strong recognition by the sales force. Jacqueline Eschbach, Marketing Manager at Alcatel-Lucent, explained how to involve Sales from the outset (Webinar replay available). Marketing jump-starts campaign development by hosting a workshop for key sales reps to discuss early ideas. Marketing provides different scenarios to get the discussion started, as Sales likes nothing more than correcting Marketing’s work. To resolve any disagreements and ensure the campaign is grounded in genuine voice of the customer, Alcatel-Lucent always invites a few representative customers along. Alcatel continues to test hypotheses with reps throughout campaign development via a series of reviews. The result is a campaign that reps believe in (400+ reps installed the campaign’s desktop sales tools) and sales and marketing messages that reinforce each other (86% of customers exposed to the campaign said they understood the value of Alcatel’s solutions).
- Maximizing cross-channel synergies: Qwest Communications’ Voice of the Customer campaign was noted for its creative use of customer references across multiple channels. The campaign began as a sales process fix: to accelerate sales, Qwest created a range of video and audio customer testimonials for sales reps to share with prospects. Soon, however, Qwest realized that soundbites could be included in sales collateral, Web sites, and print or TV ads, while advocates themselves could be invited to speak at trade shows. On top of this, Qwest also noticed that interviewed customers became even more loyal and has since integrated testimonial interviews into retention efforts. Tom Robson at Qwest Communications’ will share more on this campaign during our Webinar on April 6th at 11am ET (4pm UK time).
- Capitalizing on customer insight: National Instruments’ ‘Energizing Engineers at NIWeek’ campaign was commended for effectively tapping into the core motivations of their audience. Deirdre Walsh, National Instruments’ Social Media Manager, explained how National Instruments always bases its entire channel and message selection on customer insight (Webinar replay available). Deirdre’s team started by identifying customers’ key objectives (e.g., to be respected by peers) and building back from those to choose relevant platforms/content (e.g., online communities and live conferences to facilitate networking, training seminars to keep customers up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies). By playing to customers’ core motivations in this way, National Instruments’ NIWeek campaign was able to generate more than 2,000 customer tweets in just one month.
MLC Members, learn more by registering for our Webinar on the Key Principles of Effective B2B MarComm Design on March 23rd at 11am EDT (3pm UK time).