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Combining Logic and Magic to Market to Marketers

Over the past 22 years as a B2B technology marketer, I’ve developed a specialty in “marketing marketing to marketing,” that is, promoting solutions that help marketing professionals do their jobs better. Having marketers as your audience is a challenge because they’re smart and know all the tricks. To get their attention and be memorable, you need to combine logic and magic. The logic comes from developing highly relevant content that’s useful to marketers. The magic comes from creating campaigns with visually striking look and feel. Combining the two can spell success for marketing anything to anyone, but it’s essential when you’re marketing to marketers.

Below I’ll dive into a multifaceted, integrated campaign that tries to follow that formula. NetBase is a social intelligence company that serves digital marketers, corporate communications, and market researchers at brands and agencies. The goal of this campaign was to get their attention with helpful and meaningful stats, establish NetBase as a thought leader in emerging social media issues, and—most importantly—generate high quality leads.

About the campaign

We joined forces with our partner J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA) for a consumer survey. Being in the social intelligence market, we knew that there’s always a looming concern about social listening and privacy, which is tied to the threat of “Big Brother”—so we surveyed consumers to find out if they know brands and agencies are listening and measured how they feel about it.

The key elements of the campaign that grew out of the survey are:

  • An infographic, with a high-level summary of key findings (see right and click to enlarge)
  • An eBook, with all the results of the study, along with actionable tips
  • A SlideShare presentation of the findings that marketers can integrate into presentations
  • A webinar with JDPA, which is part of the NetBase Social Savvy series

Survey results

  • 32% of consumers have no idea brands are listening.

They’re talking about companies to their friends, which makes their feedback is 100% pure. The other 68%, who know companies are listening, have a tendency to go to their Facebook page or Twitter account and talk to a company, which gives us the chance to service them. This is a helpful data point that can tell marketers about the mindset of consumers.

  • As we analyzed the survey data, the contradictions appeared.

Fifty-one percent of consumers want to be able to talk about companies without their listening; and 43% say they think listening intrudes on privacy. On the flip side, 48% say companies should listen only to improve products and services. Customers are essentially saying, “Don’t listen to me in social but service me in social.” In addition, 58% have a double standard—an expectation that companies should only respond to complaints. This means that if I’m a marketer mapping out my social media strategy, I should speak only when spoken to—a very important insight.

  • 42% expect companies to respond to positive comments—which can be summed up as, “Don’t engage with me only for customer service.”

If I’m saying something nice, join my conversation. But 64% still say companies should respond only if they’re being directly addressed on their channel.

Promoting campaign elements

We used the infographic to pitch the press on a story (successfully, in the case of this article here in Direct Marketing News, as well as others), and we used the eBook in both social and email marketing campaigns. The webinar is advertised via PPC, on the NetBase blog, via direct email, and through social media. We also promoted the SlideShare presentation and we issued a news release.

The entire integrated campaign targets marketers with useful information, and its whole look and feel is designed to high-impact and memorable. The infographic, for example, is a custom design job, not generated from infographic templates, and it’s a little on the risky side with the Big Brother theme. Does it work? Well, the initial email blast for the webinar generated 350 registrations within the first hour.

The combination of logic—marketers love their stats—and magic—our striking graphics—are the foundation for the kind of multifaceted, integrated campaign we like to use when we’re targeting marketers—a tough audience to impress, but one you can take some chances and have fun with.

Lisa Joy Rosner is CMO of NetBase.

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