When you’re looking to raise brand awareness, generate leads, or work on inbound marketing, you will need to create a b2b marketing campaign.
A b2b marketing campaign is a cross between execution and operational plan for the what, how, where and when specific content/communication will reach a particular, pre-decided target market segment.
B2b marketing campaigns support a firm’s business intention and commercial targets. They are often used to generate leads that support business development. The number of best practices in creating a marketing campaign can be at best overwhelming, and at worst, expensive, ineffective.
At Teach a Brand to Fish, we have spent decades of trying, failing forward, learning and reiterating to eventually develop a jackpot, 12-week, 4-touchpoint b2b marketing campaign that can fill the middle of your sales funnel with a view to 5%-35% return.
If you’re curious as to how a 12-week b2b marketing campaign unfolds to generate results like this, read on for the full roadmap.
What is a Minimum Viable Campaign for b2b marketers?
A Minimum Viable Campaign is a b2b marketing campaign developed and executed with just the core elements needed to move a specific target market into momentum, filling the middle of your sales funnel with a view to 5%-35% return. Designed for firms of 50 employees or fewer, who’s proactive marketing efforts to date span no more than 3 years.
An MVC is the marketing equivalent of a Minimum Viable Product, which is front and centre in many business conversations and refers to a product developed and released on a small scale with just enough features to satisfy initial buyers.
Your Minimum Viable Campaign is a detailed plan to set a foundation over 4 weeks, and then execute, on average, 4 meaningful touchpoints with your Target Market across 12 weeks.
Done well, an MVC can become a system you can scale, re-skin, and re-purpose for new markets and products.
What you need before starting your B2b Minimum Viable Marketing Campaign
We usually say that companies will want to spend between 1 and 4 weeks gaining clarity on things like:
- An approved Marketing Strategy anchored in commercial objectives.
- A well-researched and clearly understood Target Market.
- Your database of perfect-for-you prospects. The number of people in the database directly correlates with your commercial goals. More on that here.
- A sales funnel tailored for your target market that runs like a machine.
- Tools you’ll need including: a website that works like a sales funnel, sales collateral, marketing content/collateral.
How the first 4 weeks unfold in your b2b marketing campaign
A b2b marketing campaign, or TABTF Minimum Viable Campaign, consists of roughly 4 meaningful touchpoints with your target market across 12 weeks.
Usually within the first 4 weeks of execution you’ll want to carry out your first communication (we call it Alpha). It will be important to determine the following:
- Based on research into your target market, what you communication is going to say. The content should be hyper-relevant to your audience.
- The best communication format for your audience.
- What’s needed to produce it (stamps? A LinkedIn script & premium account?).
- If this, then that scenarios: a way to plan for responses to any of the 4 communications. For example, when you send out an Alpha communication:
- If a prospect responds to Alpha, then they receive Alpha 1 follow-up
- If a prospect does not respond to Alpha, then send Bravo
- Should a prospect responds with questions, then escalate to brand manager to determine an appropriate response
- A project plan to organise and track your campaign.
- An established way of reporting on how things went:
- How many Alpha’s were sent?
- How many prospects responded?
- Any questions that may have come back
- How many will need the next communication (Bravo)
- Database tracking, a way of accounting for progress with each level.
Once the communication is sent, prepare to track what comes back. Expect mostly radio silence. After just one communication, we typically see only a 0.5% response at most.
In this time, it will be important to take note of any feedback, report on it, and course-correct if needed.
How weeks 5-12 unfold in your b2b marketing campaign
If there is no response to Alpha, then you’ll need to send Bravo (touchpoint 2).
If there is no response to Bravo, then that triggers Charlie (touchpoint 3).
Usually Charlie is enough. But if there is no response to Charlie, then Delta (touchpoint 4) is next. And so on.
Every four weeks, ensure you are reporting and making changes as needed. Also ensure that as prospects respond to a touchpoint, you have follow-ups in place.
Why are there so many touchpoints?
It’s important not to be discouraged if, after 8 weeks, you’ve only seen a 3% response rate.
Human nature is inert. Procrastination is in our genes.
We have rarely experienced a large-scale response on touchpoint 1 of a marketing campaign. A handful have responded on touchpoint 2. When we reach touchpoints 3 and 4, and have monitored and pivoted throughout, we have seen up to a 20% response.
A Minimum Viable Campaign in b2b marketing looks like a series of 3-6 touchpoints, but usually 4, executed over the course of 12 weeks.
This type of b2b marketing campaign is a smart use of your marketing muscle. It is the best use of time, money and resources for a b2b firm of 50 or fewer employees, who have only just stepped into active marketing.
You can create a detailed plan for setting a foundation over 4 weeks, and then executing, on average, 4 meaningful touchpoints with your Target Market across 12 weeks. And the best part is, an MVC can be rinsed, repeated for a new Target Market once the first has filled the middle of your sales funnel.