A lot of people's eyes gloss over when you start to talk about B2B marketing. I have a number of friends that work in consumer marketing and they always seem to think that B2B marketing is all junk direct mail letters and telemarketing. I actually think that B2B marketing is both more difficult and has more opportunities for innovation than consumer marketing.
So, just to show up my consumer marketing friends that even "boring B2B marketing" can be fun, viral and creative, I found 3 different B2B viral videos that I thought were both interesting or funny, and also were effective and well executed marketing campaigns for the companies.
1) VerticalResponse "An App Thing" - VerticalResponse has joined the SalesForce.com AppExchange, and they want to get the word out and encourage people to use their email marketing solution with their SalesForce.com data. There are LOTS of email marketing applications on AppExchange, so how do they cut through the clutter and get themselves noticed? How about a rap that spoofs an old Dr. Dre song?
What I like about this video is that it is entertaining, but also gets the message across and has a clear call to action. It can be hard to balance working you marketing message into a viral video, but they have done an effective job. One thing that surprised me about this video is that has less than 2,500 views on YouTube. I have personal videos that have more views than that :). It seems like they did not do much to get the viral ball rolling yet. I think they should email it to all employees, friends and maybe even some customers or prospects, or post it in forums or something. Viral marketing is great, but you need to prime the pump to get the effect going. PS - They have another similar video (not quite as good IMHO) that you can see here on YouTube which has about 5,000 views.
2) SolidWorks vs. Origami Master Torimoto - SolidWorks is an engineering software company (CAD software), which sells mostly to engineers, especially mechanical engineers. Maybe you think engineers can't enjoy something funny, but SolidWorks clearly thinks differently.
What I like about this campaign is that it is unexpected, funny and still gets some of the core benefits across about the product they sell. Plus, there is a very clear call to action that generates leads for them. I would have liked it more if it were more "shareable" and embraced web2.0 a bit more by putting the video on YouTube with maybe a link to the microsite they built. For instance, the way Vertical Response did their video, I can embed it in this blog. For SolidWorks, I have to link to it and send you away from this blog, or not link to it at all, making it less "viral". Click here to open the site in a new window.
3) Cisco "Don't Have a Meltdown" - Cisco is promoting their unified mobile communicator service, I assume to IT folks and business people. The video features a business guy having a total meltdown in a hotel lobby because he cannot contact a coworker.
I like that the video is funny, and builds until the end where the guy really just blows up. There is also a clear call to action in the video, and they have had over 80,000 views of the video on YouTube. But, what I don't like about this one is that it is not clear to me that the product they sell actually has a whole lot to do with the video. Maybe the real problem is that I don't get that the product has any real benefits over a Blackberry/Treo PDA, even after watching their product video.
Do you know of another great B2B Viral marketing video? Leave a comment below and tell me where it is and why you liked it.
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