b2b marketing example

4 Creative B2B Marketing Examples & What You Can Learn From Them

23 March 2021

Marketers struggle with creative B2B marketing ideas. In the B2C world, cool campaigns are a dime a dozen.

When it comes to B2B advertising, though, we have to get a bit more crafty considering the formality of most companies. 

The problem is, most B2B marketing examples are boring or so niche they won't work for your business. 

Copying a campaign won't be effective, of course, but a great idea can get the gears turning or give you an idea for a new approach. 

So we've created a list of creative b2b marketing ideas along with lessons you can learn from them — along with a few GIFs to keep it interesting because nobody ever B2B marketing strategies have to be boring (And if they did, they were wrong.) 

Note: Does your B2B marketing campaign need a tool to help you identify new leads and learn more about them? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to see the companies that visit your website, plus behavioral details about the pages they visit and more.

Lesson 1: Tell them what they want (what they really, really want) to know. 

The length of the B2B sales funnel has gotten longer than ever. What used to be a straight line looks a bit more like the autobahn with multiple twists and turns. Part of this is due to marketers adding new B2B marketing ideas to the top of the funnel. 👍🏼

In fact, the average B2B buyer makes an average of 12 online searches before making a purchase. 

What does this mean for B2B companies? 

It means you need to provide searchers with what they really, really want — and fast.

 YourSales, a sales consulting and outsourcing company, used this tactic to start highly relevant sales conversations about topics important to their customers. 

Using Leadfeeder, they were able to see who visited their site and, using the MailChimp plugin, see website activity for visitors who registered. 

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As a result, they could send their sales team a full profile of prospects — including their name, email address, and website activity. 

For example, if someone views your page about why buying Spice Girls CDs is still a great investment, you could open the conversation with information about how much the average Spice Girls CD sells for.

(In case it was unclear, I am not a financial advisor.) 

YourSales CEO Jakob Thusgaard was thrilled with the result of these valuable insights. He does, however, remind his staff not to say things like, "I saw you were looking at our product page online!" which can feel creepy. 

Rather, reps are instructed to ask questions that guide the prospect to explain their thought process and hang-ups. You'll already have an idea of what they’ll say, of course, but it feels more natural this way. 

Why it works: 

The B2B sales process is less of a straight line from point A to B. This strategy creates a connection by helping you deliver useful, on-target content and conversations. 

Lesson 2: Show them how to do it 

What do most B2B customers want? 

Free lunch, dogs at the office, maybe beer pong in the break

Sure, some people want those things. (✋) 

Really, most workers want someone to make their job easier. 

Good B2B content tells them how to do their job better. 

Marketing Muse, an AI-based content tool, produces a ton of detailed, in-depth content aimed at teaching prospective clients how to build an effective content strategy and produce excellent content. 

They create top-of-the-funnel content, like "What is Content Strategy (With Examples)" that defines content strategy and provides detailed examples as well as definitions of important terms. 

creative b2b marketing marketmuse

Within the content, they weave in references to their platform, which helps businesses research, build outlines, and optimize their content against competitors. 

For example, on the side of the article above, they show their own pieces' content score in the sidebar.  

creative b2b marketing score

They also provide advanced content for more knowledgeable prospects, such as their Guide to Gap Analysis

Forty-seven percent of B2B buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. 

Marketing Muse produces content that educates those buyers about the industry — but also shows how their tool can help those folks produce better content. 

Their approach seems to be working — they have raised a total of $1.3 million in funding, including their most recent round of funding in October of 2019. 

Why it works:

Fifty-one percent of B2B buyers rely on content to make purchasing decisions — and they want that content to be educational. 

Creating educational content creates a sense of trust — and educates them about your product before they ever talk to a sales rep. This improves the quality of the leads you generate, which means less work for more sales.  

Lesson 3: The lasting first impression 

According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, you have just seven seconds to make a first impression. That’s seven seconds to make your brand memorable, and convince the other person that you’re worth their time.

So, why are so many salespeople wasting their first impressions with a fact-finding mission? 

FA Solutions decided to do something different and focus on building a lasting first impression. 

They found that sales reps were often cold calling prospects to find out more about their specific needs and interests — often with almost no knowledge of the company in advance. That first call was just a research project. Then they’d attempt to set up another meeting to give a more informed sales pitch.

Stop me if this sounds similar to the process you are currently using. 

It was clear to FA Solutions that they were wasting their precious first impression. It was inefficient and it was turning away potential customers. 

In the words of FA Solution’s Marketing Communications Manager Anni Salo:

“The first impression is extremely important when contacting a potential customer. We only get one chance to shine.”

So, what did they do? 

They turned to Leadfeeder for data about who was visiting their website and where those folks worked so they could cyber-stalk research their prospects and deliver carefully tailored sales pitches that made a lasting first impression. 

This process ended up being so effective that they were able to eliminate cold-calling entirely.

Why it works: 

Cold calling prospects and quizzing them about their business turns them off. In fact, 65 percent of B2B buyers say they’d switch brands if a company didn’t at least make an effort to tailor its offer. 

Instead, start with a strong first impression that serves as the building block of a good relationship

Lesson 4: You're so funny 

Lenovo was looking for ways to bond with IT professionals. 

It is a tall order; IT is often a high-stress job, but it also comes with its own brand of inside humor, lingo, and acronyms. 

Even, at one point, a classic television show. 

IT folks build, test, and maintain hardware, provide secure access to data, connect computers to networks, and often handle general computer maintenance for folks who are often less computer savvy.  

As a result, they often rely on wry humor, including developing nonsense acronyms like PEBKAC (“problem exists between keyboard and chair”) to vent their frustrations.  Lenovo, to its credit, knows who its audience is. While their B2C customers might be more concerned about streaming Netflix, their B2C customers know their way around a server. 

So, they developed a video series and written campaign called "Users Happen," which empathizes with the situations IT folks often face due to their colleagues — like Chad, who tries to stop an elevator with his laptop.   

What were the results? For Users Happen campaign, Lenovo saw:  

  • 250 percent higher lead generation rate 

  • 87 percent video completion rate 

  • Activated more than 90K dormant leads 

  • Won 17 different B2B marketing awards 

Why it works

The first rule of advertising is to attract attention — and humor is effective at attracting attention. The deep understanding of their audience also helped Lenovo create funny content that resonates well with their audience. 

What do the best B2B marketing ideas have in common? 

B2B marketing campaigns can absolutely be creative and funny, or educational and in-depth. They can be long-form guides, short funny videos, or driven by technology. There are no hard and fast limits. 

But, the most effective B2B marketing examples are built by companies that take the time to learn who their customers are and what will resonate with them. 

Note: Does your B2B marketing campaign need a tool to help you identify new leads and learn more about them? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to see the companies that visit your website, plus behavioral details about the pages they visit and more.

Anna Crowe
By Anna Crowe

Anna is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Content Strategy Lead at Leadfeeder. Over the last 9 years, Anna has successfully developed and implemented online marketing strategies, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 100+ businesses of all sizes; from the Fortune 500, to startups, and nonprofits. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).

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