This article is a companion piece to the article written by Nick Runyon for Forbes.
Word of mouth awareness has never been more important — or challenging — for B2B companies to sustain. But there’s a simple way to cut through the marketing noise: fun tactile experiences that create buzz.
Whether it takes the form of water cooler talk, social media shares, or phone conversations, word of mouth influences more than 9 in 10 business purchases. It can also help companies sustain awareness through B2B purchasing cycles that are growing longer and more complex.
Although the idea of WOM is enticing, marketers know it’s much easier said than done. One way to kick-start a conversation is to send physical items that tell your brand story in inventive, playful ways. Here are some tips for launching creative Tactile Marketing Automation campaigns that are sure to drive sales and create positive buzz:
A Shared Experience
A recent Demand Gen Report survey found that more than half of companies involve four or more people in a purchase decision, and 21% involve seven or more. In order to reach and influence an entire group of stakeholders, marketers should devise tactile experiences that invite group interaction among recipients.
For example, one B2B firm selling to sales organizations launched a themed campaign around golf. The slogan was “selling is a team sport,” so they sent a putting mat to the sales ops lead and golf balls to the sales leader. Their offer was to complete a demo and receive a Callaway putter.
Another company delivered a full-sized movie-theater popcorn machine as part of a personalized ABM campaign. The detailed branding for the machine included “everything you need for a popcorn party,” such as personalized bags, popcorn, and marketing collateral. From the dramatic arrival of the machine on a pallet to the personalized bags to the enticing aroma of fresh popcorn, the campaign created a memorable buzz.
Marketers are known for being inventive, but sometimes the B2B world can be a bit dry. Marketers have a tremendous opportunity to get noticed with physical campaigns that stand out based on their creativity alone. In one example, a PFL client was looking to get attendees to a black-tie Great Gatsby party at Dreamforce, where it is notoriously difficult to stand out. A courier dressed in a Great Gatsby character delivered a physical “key” as the invite to the exclusive party at Top of the Mark in SF. They not only drove key attendees to the event, but they successfully rose above all the Dreamforce noise and stood out to their most important prospects.
Items that tap the power of nostalgia — think Lite Brites, folded
These are just a few examples of how PFL clients are thinking outside the box to