B2B Campaign Spotlight: Prophix Strikes a Chord with Visual Storytelling
February 23, 2020
A few weeks back, we reflected on some of the best B2B marketing campaigns of 2019. We compile these lists at the beginning of each new year, and they are annually among our most popular posts on the blog. Marketers understandably like to see what their successful peers are doing. It’s inspiring and instructive.
This year, we thought we’d try something new. We wanted to dig deeper into these exemplary campaigns; to learn and share the planning, strategy, and execution from the teams behind them. Seeing an end result is great, but exploring the nuts and bolts of how everything came together can provide all the more valuable insight for fellow B2B practitioners.
We reached out to brand marketers involved with these top 2019 B2B campaigns, and to our delight, quite a few were happy to participate. Last time we looked at Gong.io and their successful sales book giveaway.
Today we break down financial software provider Prophix’s outstanding Finance Career Accelerator campaign, which we especially like because of its creative and successful utilization of LinkedIn to engage B2B decision makers through relatable customer stories.
B2B Marketing Campaign Spotlight: Finance Career Accelerator by Prophix Software
First, here’s an overview of the campaign and what it achieved:
To make an impact with high-level financial decision makers, Prophix Software teamed with agency TopRank Marketing to create a campaign infusing customer stories with guidance on career growth, and geared it toward current and aspiring CFOs. A robust landing page featured influencer videos with first-hand insights on what it takes to climb the professional ladder. The promotional strategy included a heavy focus on LinkedIn, with the organic carousel format used to capture the campaign’s visual storytelling angle.
The resonant and well-aligned content hit home with LinkedIn members, exceeding Prophix benchmarks for organic carousel click-throughs by 63x, while engagement was more than eight times higher than benchmarks.
We chatted with Rachel Douglas, Senior Manager of Marketing and Brand at Prophix, about how the campaign was conceived and informed, why it connected with its audience, and what her team learned through the experience:
1) What were your primary objectives with this campaign, and how did it fit into your larger marketing strategy?
A key strategic priority for Prophix in 2019 was to drive awareness of the Prophix brand and our software, which is not an easy feat when the market is stuffed with worthy competitors, all trying to win eyeballs. As such, we wanted to leverage key influencers to help amplify and tell the story of how people can climb the corporate ladder to the CFO chair and beyond.
2) Which insights about your target audience helped inform your creative direction, tactics, and channels?
Finance professionals are a unique group of people. A good head for numbers and strong analytics skills make the finance function a key growth driver of any company when leveraged properly. They are no longer the number crunchers of the past but moving towards a strategic place in the boardroom, offering data and insights to drive the business.
We know that our finance audience uses LinkedIn more than any other network for business-focused content. The Finance Career Accelerator campaign was largely designed for LinkedIn and the new carousel ads were perfect for the kind of tips and visual we created.
3) Why do you think LinkedIn's organic carousel format was such a resonant touchpoint for this initiative in particular?
The carousel ad was a new feature on LinkedIn and we were keen to try it out. And it did not disappoint! The graphics and flip-through nature of the ads make it easy to communicate ideas and features to the LinkedIn audience in a format they prefer.
4) This campaign is a great example of visual storytelling. What makes that approach so powerful in B2B marketing, from your view?
Telling a story to a B2B audience is very different and, in most cases, more challenging than storytelling in B2C. For one, consumer products are naturally more visual and therefore, there is more to show. With B2B marketing, you have to ensure you are speaking to the target audience with content that’s easily consumable. However, a finance audience doesn’t suffer fools gladly and we must be mindful that we are speaking to them on their level. By leveraging influencers and Prophix customers, our campaign was genuine, informative, and came with the credibility of finance people talking to other finance people.
5) What were the most important learnings from the campaign that you and your team will carry forward?
We learned that LinkedIn drove top social reach and engagement. Organic carousel content was an excellent tactic to engage Prophix’s sizable LinkedIn following, driving up engagement rates. Going forward:
- Leverage video when program objective is engagement – to drive high average time-on-page.
- LinkedIn carousel ads are a viable tactic that works well for our audience; more carousels in 2020.
- LinkedIn and Twitter are the strongest platforms to reach our audience and engage with influencers. Facebook is a lower priority as we don’t see our audience seeking our kind of content in their feeds.
Show Your Story in 2020
Telling a story isn’t enough to engage busy and sharp decision makers like those in the finance industry. To break through, marketers need to show their brand’s story, and as Rachel explains, it needs to be done in a way that is genuine, informative, and credible. Carousel ads on LinkedIn are one way to incorporate these visual storytelling tenets, but the possibilities are almost endless.
Let’s all take a cue from Rachel, Prophix Software, and this benchmark-breaking campaign to step up our visual storytelling games this year.
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