What would you do if you only had 24 hours to create a complex B2B marketing campaign that involved your entire team?
It was that thought that lead our VP of Marketing, Jim Williams, to wonder what the Influitive marketing team could accomplish if we dropped everything and focused on launching an intensive, multi-touch campaign in one day.
Here’s the breakdown of the day (and a half) we spent building the campaign, with tips for running your own 24-hour project by learning from our mistakes.
Monday, late afternoon: Pre-campaign day objective selection
During this planning meeting, every team member pitched a campaign idea that had to include a job for each member to take on. They had to address the pain points the campaign would solve, some examples of measurable goals and the resources needed. They were then scored out of 5, based on impact and feasibility.
And the winner was…Re-Engaging Lost and Closed Opportunities. With Halloween just around the corner, we decided to center our campaign around the message “Buying Is Scary”, using imaging from classic horror movies to address four of our most common sales objections
Marketing team’s feelings: Optimistic
Tip: Firmly establish the scope and measurable goals of the campaign in your first meeting. This will keep your project grounded and give you a solid touchpoint to refer back to if you start to get blown off course.
Tuesday, early morning: Developing the plan
Coming to the table with nothing but a general idea resulted in two hours of extra brainstorming, discussion and debate. This lack of initial direction proved to be a big setback for us, as the scope of our campaign became muddled—costing us valuable time.
By the end of our morning regroup, we had built our campaign into several major projects. This required each of our team members to take on a big role—which likely spread our resources a little too thin.
Our 24-hour campaign broke down into these projects:
- New landing page – To create the website BuyingIsScary.com, we needed one main landing page, a template to host the 4 advocate marketing objection sub-landing pages and alerts for each sub-page.
- 4 pages of content – For the sub-pages, we sourced advocate testimonials, analyst research statistics, and online reviews to combat each buying objection individually.
- Customer videos – As advocate marketing experts, our advocates are our greatest assets. We reached out to our top customers through our advocate marketing program, Influitive VIP, to ask if they would be willing to sit down with us for a 20 minute live video interview to address their initial buying fears, how they overcame them and why they are now happy Influitive customers.
- 2 emails – The first email was sent to our entire list of lost/closed opportunities to introduce the campaign and attempt to re-engage them. The second email was sent as a follow-up to all prospects that interacted with the first email.
- Direct mailer – Sometimes an email just isn’t enough. We selected the 250 dead opportunities that made it furthest through the buying process to receive a direct piece of mail inviting them to check out BuyingIsScary.com, along with a printed copy of the new Forrester Report: Advocate Marketing Creates B2B Customer Relationships That Last A Lifetime to ease their advocate marketing worries.
- Targeted social media outreach – We identified the individual Twitter handles of each opportunity and reached out to them directly through Twitter.
- Retargeting ads – Just in case the two emails, direct mailer and personalized tweets weren’t enough to get their attention, we implemented re-targeting ads on Facebook and Twitter to push these lost opportunities to finally face their advocate marketing fears.
- Sales enablement – We integrated the campaign into our lead management process, set up website visitor alerts via our marketing automation platform and created an ongoing option in Salesforce to let reps add future lost opportunities to the campaign.
Marketing team’s feelings: Stressed
Tip: When you have so many great minds working together, it’s easy to get carried away. Be mindful of your resources and bandwidth, and honest about your capabilities. Remember, time is of the essence!
Tuesday, mid-morning: Divide and conquer
With so much to do in so little time, we knew we needed to divide our efforts if we were to stand a chance at rolling this campaign out.
Here’s how we split up the campaign tasks:
- VP Marketing: Organized touchpoint meetings, conducted advocate interviews
- Advocate Marketing Team: Sourced and conducted advocate interviews
- Marketing Operations Team: Created landing pages, and email templates
- Content Team: Wrote website, email and direct mailer copy; organized targeted social media campaign
- Senior Graphic Designer: All design work
- Data Intelligence Manager: Created targeted lists for email, direct mail and social media campaign
- Marketing Programs Manager: Paid retargeting ads
Marketing team’s feelings: Determined
Tuesday, afternoon: Staying connected
To keep everyone on the same page, we met every 2 hours to share our progress and address next steps. Meeting as a team was definitely helpful. However, we realized too late that we were too siloed in our own projects.
Because we didn’t ask enough questions during these meetings, the team missed an issue with our landing page template and our content: we had written way too much, and it wouldn’t fit into the landing page template we chose (which only one team member could customize). This meant hours of extra work that could have been avoided if we had communicated better before the writing process began, or had chosen a more flexible page design.
Marketing team’s feelings: Frustrated
Tip: Look at the project holistically. Focus on your campaign objectives, look for potential issues and return to your measurable goals to evaluate how the campaign is progressing as a whole.
Tuesday, evening: Evaluate and adjust
By the 12 hour mark, we all knew we were down for the count. Tired, mentally exhausted and frustrated—and with hours of work remaining before the campaign would be up to snuff—we knew it was time to call it a day.
We evaluated the work that was still left to do the next morning, and planned to keep going until we felt it was ready.
Marketing team’s feelings: Exhausted
Tip: Once productivity begins to slow, call a team meeting. Evaluate your workload before discussing next steps. You may just need one final push to get the campaign out the door, or you may need to throw in the towel and return to it the next day.
Wednesday morning: To launch or not to launch?
Jim called a final team meeting around 11 am to discuss how each of us felt about the campaign. Even though none of us thought it was perfect, we all agreed it was nearly good enough to send out if we kept tweaking. By 3:30 pm, after nearly 48 hours of focusing on the project, we hit the launch button (and were pretty happy to see it go!).
Marketing team’s feelings: Relieved
Tip: Marketers are perfectionists. But sometimes you have to let it go. Meet as a team to talk about everyone’s honest feelings around the campaign and evaluate whether or not you’re all comfortable to send it out.
Wednesday, late afternoon: Post-campaign evaluation
With our intended 24-hour project doubling its expected timeframe, we had to sit down and ask ourselves why. After all, marketing needs to be agile; we could be called upon to immediately execute a multi-channel campaign for any one of a number of reasons. We needed to feel confident about our ability to pull something like this off.
Each team member was invited to give their own thoughts on what worked, what didn’t work and what they would do differently if they could do it all over again. This allowed us to identify gaps and overlaps in our marketing team and identify key areas that we can now take action on improving.
Marketing team’s feelings: Humbled
Tip: Be open, honest and direct. Let this be a learning experience that your team can grow from.
Was this B2B marketing campaign worth it?
Despite going well over our projected timeframe, we consider this campaign a successful experiment. Less than one week after launching, we generated 26 inquiries and 2 opportunities. We were also able to directly address the reasons why some buyers choose not to move forward in the buying process and give our sales reps a valuable tool they can continue to use in the future.
We also discovered how agile our team can be and identified areas where we could improve coordination between the different marketing functions. Plus, we now have a blueprint for launching another (albeit, smaller) 24-hour b2b marketing campaign in the future.
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