Late last week Twitter was all atwitter (sorry) with this interesting news tidbit: How to Get Ahead in Advertising with Six Dollars and Google. For those of us too busy to click through to the article I can sum it up for you pretty briefly; some guy looking for a better job scored a really great job and a lot of free publicity for himself and his new employer by buying Google AdWords using the names of creative directors at firms he wanted to work for.
When they Googled themselves (come on, you know you’ve done it too) they would see this paid ad pop up saying“Hey [creative director’s name]: Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.” The best part is that the whole gambit only cost the guy $6 because no one else was trying to buy Google AdWords targeting these exact names. (On a related note, the creative director who hired the guy never admitted to Googling himself, he said that an industry colleague pointed it out to him – we believe you, honest!)
Of course, we can’t take this lesson and apply itdirectly to B2B marketing, but it does prove some key lessons of targeted marketing. Is yours targeted enough? The main element that made this job campaign so successful is that he targeted an exact, specific person, by name, at a company he knew he was qualified to work for. What does that mean for B2B marketers? Quick! Answer this question:
Are you targeting the right person?
If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me that they want to target “C-level executives” I’d have a whole lot of nickels. Even when selling in volume, you need to know to whom you are selling on a very granular level.
“CIOs at manufacturing companies with fewer than 300 employees” is a much better start, but even after deciding that much, it is a good idea to develop a fleshed out persona so that everyone along the marketing and sales chain knows at a glance who they are “talking” to. Start with answering the following questions:
What is the target’s educational and industry background?
Her main motivation for doing a good job?
The things that make his day difficult and cause him to stay late at the office?
Answer these questions and you are getting much closer to effective, targeted messaging for your marketing efforts.
Are you sending the right message?
Another element that got this guy the job was the fresh and unexpected way he delivered his pitch; and creative directors are always on the lookout for fresh, attention grabbing ideas. Would his pitch have worked if he were trying to land a job at an accounting firm? Likely not.
So if you are trying to reach the CIO, talk about technology, not ROI. If you’re pitching to the CFO, do the opposite. That’s just another reason why answering the questions in part one is so important.
Are you in the right place at the right time?
The copywriter rightly guessed that since he Googles himself, big shot creative directors probably do too. Where are your customers “hanging out” that you can approach them in a fresh way that will grab their attention? Are they likely to use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media? What about Google alerts for their company name or industry? And don’t forget more terrestrial, traditional channels either. Being the only flashy tech guy at the boring accounting conference is great if you are selling to accountants.
The bottom line? Get creative, get direct and get to your prospects in a fresh and engaging way.
Ever been marketed to in a surprising way? Used any clever marketing tricks yourself? Share your experiences in the comments section.
About the author: Kate Headen Waddell is a strategic copywriter specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies, solution briefs and other B2B marketing tools. You can visit her website at www.smartb2bmarcom.com.