The Best B2B Marketing Campaigns of 2017

December 28, 2017

Running a race

For B2B marketers, the stakes have been raised. As competition grows and professionals become increasingly resistant to promotional messaging on the web, we must step up our games in order to make a real impact with our campaigns.

Many are rising to the challenge. These five companies stand out as exemplary case studies from the past year. Each one found a unique and creative way to frame its message, while reaching the right professional audience and achieving exceptional results. 

These are our picks for the best B2B marketing campaigns of 2017. There are plenty of other deserving choices, and as we look ahead to 2018, perhaps yours will be next. Hopefully these examples of well-devised strategies in action will help inspire you.

5 B2B Marketing Campaigns We Loved in 2017

1. Drawbotics Illustrates the Value of Pop Culture Themes

Two of the best ways to capture attention online? Striking visuals and recognizable references. Drawbotics managed to incorporate both into this innovative program.

A real estate marketing platform, Drawbotics creates high-definition 3D floor plans as one of its service offerings. To demonstrate this capability, the company used its technology to render models of fictional workspaces from such popular TV shows as The Office, Mad Men, and Suits. Each of the recreations included subtle Easter Eggs and intricacies that only fans of the shows would pick up on.

To spread the word, Drawbotics shared its work with a targeted audience on LinkedIn and other platforms. And as they hoped, the campaign also gained some viral traction, with media outlets like Business Insider and Mashable featuring the work. Results included “massive uplifts in traffic to their website and blog in addition to signups and sales across 40 different markets."

2. MailChimp Delivers a Clever Take on Google Typos

It happens to all of us. You hurriedly type in a search term on Google and tap the enter key, only to realize that you horribly botched the spelling. Luckily the uber-intelligent engine is usually able to decipher what you meant, automatically serving those results along with a presumptive (but appreciated) “Did you mean [correctly spelled version]?”

Playing off of this dynamic, MailChimp teamed with agency Droga5 to promote its email marketing platform through a multifaceted campaign that involved conjuring several different brands with variations of the company’s name, and then creating actual products and media assets to make them real.

For instance, there were FailChips, a potato chip snack consisting only of the crumbs usually found at the bottom of the bag. There was SnailPrimp, an anti-aging facial product. And there was VeilHymn, a musical collaboration between Devonté Hynes and Bryndon Cook that produced the following jam:

3. ETF Securities Hits the Bullseye with Targeting and Relevance

Operating in the assets management space, ETF Securities faces stiff competition when trying to communicate its value to professionals. But the firm was able to do just that with a well defined LinkedIn marketing campaign that focused on two key content pillars: investment themes and research.

After narrowing its audience scope and applying the right filters, ETF ran a series of educational materials and demonstrative resources, promoting them through Sponsored Content. To help the posts stand out on feeds, the program included plenty of rich media assets like infographics and videos. This strategic content resonated with members, driving powerful engagement and delivering 95 percent year-over-year growth in followers on the platform.

4. Tigris and TransferWise Awaken Toronto with Experiential Marketing

As TransferWise, a money transfer service, was preparing for its launch in Toronto, it had a compelling message for the market: In 2016, banks profited off Canadians to the tune of more than $1 billion in the form of misleading fees and exchange rates. The company’s transparent offering provides a helpful solution for both consumers and businesses, but how to educate people on a problem many aren’t even aware exists?

TransferWise enlisted the agency Tigris Events to execute an ambitious “WakeyWakey Canada” campaign, wherein dozens of actors roamed the city’s streets in pajamas, representing the sleepwalking masses unaware of this troubling and overlooked issue. The event included props such as bed linens, feather pillows, and a giant 10-foot-tall alarm clock complete with TransferWise branding.

You can watch it all play out here:

5. CA Technologies Crushes It with Comprehensive Global Campaign

Digital disruption is a reality that every business faces today, and often a stressful one. In efforts to become positioned as an advocate and guide for companies seeking to transform, CA Technologies launched a global campaign branding itself as the “Modern Software Factory.” They then built this narrative out extensively, formulating content around the message and equipping their sales teams with education and training to apply it in the field.

The concept was developed out of deep customer research, and oriented around specific business goals, helping it really connect with CA’s audience. Asked by AdAge about her top takeaway from launching the Modern Software Factory campaign, here’s what CMO Lauren Flaherty had to say:

I think the biggest lesson -- and it sounds so obvious -- is that when you keep the customer at the center of everything, it's your True North. We just kept coming back to, "How do they express their needs? Where do they place the greatest value?" It framed how we would tell the story, and what we would emphasize.

For more examples of the best and brightest B2B marketing applications, and steady advice on how to create your own award-worthy campaigns, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog.