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B2B Ninja Marketing Campaign – Pros/Cons

Marketing to B2B marketers can be difficult. We are a tough bunch; often hard to impress.

Yet every now and then I come across a creative B2B marketing effort that does impress me.

B2B Ninja EmailThe Business Marketing Association (BMA) did just that with their B2B Ninja email:

  • It broke through the clutter (in my case, more 300+ emails a day that make it past both my corporate and desktop email filters, not including hundreds more that don’t).
  • It spoke directly to its audience. (B2B marketers like you and me.)
  • The email addressed pain points and offered solutions.
  • It created a desire to learn more, causing me to click through to the landing page.

However, there were some things I believe they could have done better:

  1. B2B Ninja Landing PageThe email wasn’t text friendly when viewed on my PDA, which is how more than 30% of business executives, including the email target audience (B2B marketers) read much of their email. If I saw it there first, and didn’t recognize the sender, it would have been “sayonara” email and no chance of response.
  2. The designer must have a honking-big, high-resolution monitor. The landing page was designed to be too big to see without scrolling on my 1024×768 resolution monitor, which is the resolution used by the highest percentage of computer users. I, like most web visitors, click more than I scroll, especially when it wasn’t apparent that there was anything else to see “below the fold.” So I almost missed the viral “SEND TO A FRIEND” feature and didn’t get full exposure to the “free B2B Ninja armband” and “FREE DOWNLOAD” information off on the right.
  3. Also, the designer must be young with perfect eyesight. I’m over 40 and even with my glasses I had a hard time reading the tiny, fuzzy font on the landing page that says “GET YOUR FREE B2B NINJA ARMBAND NOW!” (My web designer who’s slightly under 40 with good eyesight couldn’t read it either.)
  4. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that it was a teaser, “stay tuned”-type offer. As Clara used to say, “Where’s the beef?” (If you don’t know who Clara is, ask an American who’s over 40.)

Regarding that last point, remember seeing billboards that spend weeks teasing before they actually reveal they were teasing about?

I think they represent weeks of lost opportunities at high cost while teasing; weeks and money that could have been better spent communicating what they were selling and generating real leads (not just curious people) and driving actual sales.

Back to the BMA, why tease when you could have been more specific? You already got my attention.

I’m guessing the objective was to create interest in their summer conference, but I really don’t know. Perhaps someone will let me in on the secret. Eventually.

You can take a look at the campaign here:

Then please share your thoughts with the rest of the readers.

Comments

Mac,

I was glad to see the BMA doing something “edgy” that caught my attention. (I usually delete their e-newsletter without reading it.)

And, I’m glad to see the BMA getting on board with regard to social media — I’m now following B2BNinja on Twitter.

However, I don’t “get” B2BNinja’s “Tweets,” or the purpose behind them.

So I’m not sure what the campaign’s objective is — or how it will help me be a better B2B marketer.

 

Patience is a virtue, grasshopper. In B2C, you might hear, ‘Hungry? Why Wait?’ But after many year spent working around buying cycles, B2B Ninja know a thing or two about timing and patience.”

 

Dear B2B Ninja:

I guess you heard about my blog post from Dianna Huff at DH Communications.

Regarding patience, my three beautiful daughters have taught me all about that! So I’ll patiently wait to see what develops.

However I, perhaps like many B2B marketing professionals, don’t have the inclination to subscribe to your tweets via Twitter just because I’m curious about what may be coming.
I honestly have more important and pressing things to do; like help my clients generate more qualified, sales-ready leads despite today’s tough business environment!

-Mac

 

I think building anticipation like this is very engaging. I like the fact that the BMA is utilizing social media in a creative way, keeping me in the loop, and making me feel like part of an exclusive group. This campaign makes me proud to be a B2B Ninja!

 

John,

I agree with all your points, but I was already “engaged” without having to wait to get the answer.

By the time the BMA and its B2B Ninja get around to announcing whatever it is they are going to announce, their audience may no longer be as interested or receptive.

The world has sped up. People, even in the B2B world, want answers right away. Immediate response always converts into more sales than slower response.

– Mac

 

John,

To be honest, B2BNinja hasn’t exactly engaged me. I see his/her Tweets and am perplexed. Are they marketing bon-mots? What is their purpose?

I did not know B2BNinja was building anticipation until I read B2BNinja’s reply to Mac.

One time a cheese company in California ran a similar “anticipation” campaign using a billboard. For weeks I stared at that billboard while sitting at a traffic light. It never made sense . . . then the answer came, and by the time it did, it was anti-climatic. I kept driving.

 

Must there be an answer? Is it not enough to simply gather with one’s fellow warriors? To trade war stories? To rally an army one can call upon when a battle is nigh?

 

I started following B2BNinja on twitter (after he followed me I think) and am on the verge of giving up becuase I can’t see anything to keep me subscribed. I just get cryptic tweets like the B2BNinja reply above.

to B2BNija – I’m here, you have my attention, why do you want it? I’m not hanging around forever.

 

@B2BNinja,

Perhaps warrior should channel Kiichiro Toyoda for business insight and direction.

 

Imagine the impact if the “what’s next” messages were methodically thought through in advance. And better yet, customized based on small pieces of information we the intrigued provided in exchange for being part of the “exclusive” dialogue. This kind of reminds me of fishing with my daughter this summer…all of the excitement leading up to her reeling in a catfish on her Barbie pole, only to be met with a shriek of “now what Daddy?!” as the fish flopped on the bank!

 

Mac,

Based on the graphics, the B2B Ninja campaign looks to be a teaser for this year’s Pro-Comm awards competition. The timing is right and the sledgehammer is a giveaway.

 

Dick,
You called it. It was forThe Business Markreting Association’s ProComm Awards competition.

Regading the B2B Ninja campaign, in my opinion it fizzled out rather than building excitement.

Once again this confirms my belief that teaser campaigns represent wasted time and money that could be better spent communicating about what is being sold, generating real leads and driving sales instead.

 

Mac,

As I posted above, I was really happy to see the BMA getting into Social Media and started following “B2B Ninja” on Twitter.

However, I quickly found the “ninja” Tweets annoying. They didn’t say anything.

Then, once I read the comment above about this being a promo for the Pro-Comm awards, I quickly tuned out.

The BMA lost me again with a campaign that did not resonate with me nor provide me with information on how to do my job better.

And B2B Ninja? He’s no longer Tweeting — and he’s a perfect example of how NOT to use social media.

As they say on Twitter: B2B Ninja Campaign — FAIL.

 

A B2B Ninja lets no obstacle stand in his or her way, for there will always be those who doubt, but Ninja pride does not allow for the acceptance of defeat.

 

Man in black pjs: I still stand by my position that you blew a great opportunity early on. And now you have fizzled in the end. Now go back to bed! – Mac

 

I know it’s been a year since the article was posted, but does anyone know what came of B2B Ninja? Their twitter account hasn’t been updates since April and BMA never really did anything with the teaser.

 

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