Get Inspired by 7 of Our Favorite B2B Campaigns from 2019
January 6, 2020
Editor's Note: This post is the first in an occasional LinkedIn Marketing Blog series, "Looking Back to See Forward," that kicks off the year by examining marketing's recent past to see the way forward in 2020 and beyond. Read the next post in the series.
Creativity. Impact. Influence. Excellence. Innovation.
These are the traits shared by B2B campaigns that rise above and raise the bar. They are the hallmarks of marketing greatness, and eternal aspirations of practitioners everywhere.
The past year featured a number of campaigns that embodied these qualities, and performed brilliantly as a result. The brands and agencies behind these efforts helped remind us what can happen when a powerful idea comes to fruition, through hard work and thoughtful strategy.
As we look ahead to a new year, our team at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is feeling inspired by these examples, and we hope you might be as well. These are the seven B2B marketing campaigns that stood out most to us in 2019.
7 of the Best B2B Campaigns from 2019
Oracle: Digital Bank of the Future
Standout Feature: Original Research
Seeking to gain greater awareness and influence among digital banking decision makers, Oracle teamed with agency MOI Global to produce in-depth research pieces exploring the disconnect between consumer expectations and present banking practices, as well as a benchmarking tool for evaluation. The content was distributed across multiple channels, amplified by influencers, and supplemented with offline activities such as workshops and bootcamps.
All told, the “Digital Bank of the Future” campaign yielded 350,000 new contacts and leads and $28 million in pipeline for Oracle, according to MOI. It was nominated in two categories on the B2B Marketing Awards 2019 Shortlist: Best Multichannel Campaign and Best Use of Social Media or Influencer Marketing.
Key Takeaway: Unique research and reports that are acutely useful to your target audience can become fixtures for lead generation and thought leadership.
Dentsu Aegis Networks: Live-Streaming Cannes
Standout Feature: Live Video
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a pivotal point on the calendar for organizations like Dentsu Aegis, a global network focusing on media and digital marketing communications. To keep its brand name top-of-mind for key audiences during the event, the company hosted interviews with prominent thought leaders at a pop-up beach house nearby in Cannes, and broadcast them in real-time across multiple channels including LinkedIn Live.
The timeliness, relevance, and live format sparked tremendous engagement and reach for this initiative. Dentsu Aegis was able to earn 48% share of voice during Cannes and achieved a 31% engagement rate on LinkedIn Live, healthily eclipsing their targets of 20% and 10%, respectively. The company’s metrics showed that Dentsu Aegis was the most talked-about digital advertising network at the Festival, and among the top 10 most talked-about brands.
Key Takeaway: Tapping into your audience’s interest in an event or conference, in the moment through live broadcasting, can help your brand co-opt momentum.
Prophix Software: Customer Stories
Standout Feature: Visual Storytelling
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.
Key Takeaway: Even on busy social feeds, strong creative that leverages immersive narrative formats like video and image carousels can pull your audience in and compel them to take the next step.
Cisco and 5G RuralFirst: Me+Moo
Standout Feature: Mobile/App Marketing
5G RuralFirst, a consortium led by Cisco, sought “to create (and drum up interest in) rural test-beds and trials for 5G wireless and mobile connectivity across three main sites in the Orkney Islands, Shropshire, and Somerset.” To do so, they worked with communications agency Harvard to develop an app called Me+Moo, in which users take advantage of the technology to connect with a real-life cow and track its health and well-being (via IoT collars and leg sensors) through a “moonitor” dashboard. Nick Chrissos, Cisco’s Director of Innovation for EMEAR, called it “one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever attempted.”
The ambition paid off, as Me+Moo turned into a big hit. The app drew in more than 11,000 users within the first month (per Chrissos) and received press coverage in Reuters, CNN, The New York Times and BBC Radio, among other outlets. Me+Moo made the B2B Marketing Awards 2019 Shortlist under Best Multichannel Campaign, Best Use of Creative, and Best Use of Content Marketing.
Key Takeaway: Finding clever and unique ways to demonstrate the functionality of new products and services can dramatically boost awareness.
Standout Feature: Employee Engagement
As part of an ongoing initiative to showcase company culture and attract quality talent, Dropbox frequently features its employees and their diverse passions, interests, and experiences under the serial hashtag #LifeInsideDropbox. To make this content stand out on feeds, posts tend to include striking visuals, such as photo collages and videos. The hashtag has inspired plenty of user-generated content as well, bringing an extra level of authenticity.
Exemplifying the engagement driven by these efforts, the above video has been viewed more than 7,400 times, and another image-based LinkedIn post highlighting the team’s involvement in the Grace Hopper Celebration received 248 likes.
Key Takeaway: Businesses have many audiences, and in these times where talent is critical, you can't overlook your potential employees as a crucial audience.
Embraer: Profit Hunter
Standout Feature: Multichannel Deployment
Competing with industry giants Boeing and Airbus, Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer wanted to make a fierce splash, so it partnered with agency Gravity Global on a campaign incorporating events, videos, VR, social media, and more. To emphasize the strengths of its aircrafts in alignment with the priorities of business travelers (efficiency and profit-making), a few of Embraer’s existing models were renamed as the “Profit Hunter” and the noses were painted with a predatory theme — for example, an attacking shark, which was promoted through a range of channels including the organization’s broader “Incredible Journeys” video series:
According to Gravity, the Profit Hunter campaign smashed KPIs across the board, spurring massive growth in global brand awareness and driving a 60% increase in engagement year-over-year. It was selected as Best Multichannel Campaign at The Drum B2B Awards 2019.
Key Takeaway: Be bold and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Gong.io: Holiday Book Giveaway
Standout Feature: Creative Contest
Sales conversation intelligence platform Gong.io embraced the spirit of holiday giving through a contest that featured popular sales books as prizes. Recognizing the proven performance of short-form video content on LinkedIn, they used this approach to promote the giveaway, recording quick clips in which actual employees from Gong talk about the books and why they matter to sales pros. To maximize engagement with the contest, the company made it extremely easy for members to enter, prompting a simple one-word response in the comments on these posts.
This formula came together beautifully, helping the brand rapidly expand and solidify its community on the platform. Within 30 days of launching the giveaway, Gong saw an 85% relative increase in LinkedIn Page follower growth compared to the previous period, along with a 194% increase in likes, 108% increase in shares, and 6,893% increase in comments.
Key Takeaway: Make contests and giveaways more substantive by creating clear relevance and value for your audience (adding a human face by featuring your employees doesn’t hurt, either).
Join the Best of B2B in 2020
Hopefully these examples help inspire you and your team to be creative, impactful, influential, excellent, and innovative in the coming year, and decade. Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we’ll dive deeper into a few of the campaigns mentioned above with behind-the-scenes looks. And for more displays of strategic marketing savvy to guide your go-forward strategy, you can check out some of our favorite B2B campaigns from 2018 and 2017.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2020. Perhaps next year you’ll find a campaign of your own profiled in our annual rundown. In the meantime, you can subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog to stay informed and inspired all year long.