Imagine if every time your company needed a boost in sales, all you had to do was snap your fingers, and willing consumers would line up at your door ready to spend. Gosh, what a wonderful world that would be. Back on earth, we know that’s not how things work (unless you’re Tim Cook). In fact, if anyone is snapping their fingers these days, it’s the customer. There are so many products and services on the market that people are spoilt for choice and not easily won over. In fact, HubSpot says the number one challenge for 63% of marketers is generating traffic and leads.

Companies are on the hunt for new business, pouring time and money into B2B lead generation campaigns, but consumers are skeptical and fickle these days. According to research by BrightTalk, 53% of marketers allocate half or more of their budgets to lead generation. However, 80% of marketers report that their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. Which begs the question – why bother?

The thing is, there are some amazingly successful B2B lead generation campaigns out there. The question you should really be asking is, what are those companies doing to get it right? Well, let’s find out.  Here are five of the best campaigns – and why they worked.

1.    Fractl

Fractl is an American content marketing agency that simply used its own services to create an established audience and attract business. It had a clear target – marketing decision makers – but wasn’t too sure how to reach them. The team started with some top of the funnel (TOFU) research with two goals in mind:

  1. to find out what marketing topics their target audience is interested in
  2. to discover what marketing websites their audience visits

Fractl analysed all the information it gathered to create some compelling visual content. It then pitched this creatively visualised data to the top authoritative marketing websites that attracted the very people the agency wanted to reach.

The results were very nice. Fractl enjoyed more than 1,400 media pickups and 390,000 social shares. Plus, a 667% increase in annual lead volume!

2.    Concateno

Concateno specialises in substance abuse testing. It needed to position itself as a market leader in its field and help generate new business leads.

Concateno used its own data to create a shocking and newsworthy report called ‘High Society’. The report, based on 1.6 million workplace drug tests conducted over five years, revealed that one in 30 UK employees tested positive for drugs like cannabis, cocaine and opiates.

The release of the report was supplemented by a well-timed news alert, factsheets for journalists and digital content to direct traffic to Concateno’s website for data capture and sales lead conversion.

The media went wild! To date, the story has had more than 200 pieces of coverage, including seven nationals, 25 broadcast pieces and 22 regionals.

This campaign generated 100 new business leads and Concateno was successfully established as an expert industry commentator and leading service provider.

3.    MAN Diesel & Turbo

MAN Diesel & Turbo designs, builds and markets marine engines and spare parts and needed to boost sales. The company achieved a 240% sales increase with a B2B lead generation campaign that delivered a personal service to MAN Diesel & Turbo’s customers.

The campaign – “It’s in the Bag” – cleverly focused on preventative maintenance, rather than perpetuating the current norm of only buying spare parts on a needs-must basis. The target audience consisted of MAN Diesel & Turbo’s own customers. This meant that each customer received a customised maintenance kit that was relevant for their vessels and engines.

The campaign was warmed up with a direct mail teaser and then followed up with:

  • An original maintenance kit in a silver foil bag as an envelope
  • A letter describing the advantages of maintenance kits
  • A sales guide with anticipated customer reactions
  • A Q&A with possible customer queries
  • Mint pastilles in small ‘maintenance kit bags’ as giveaway.
  • Timescales

The results were epic:

  • 34.3 % response rate
  • 27.3 % leads
  • 100 % follow-up
  • 240 % sales increase

4.    Optum

Optum, a B2B healthcare software and services organisation, went from traditional marketing to content-led marketing and thought leadership in one fell swoop. Instead of launching a new marketing campaign, the team developed buying personas and relevant content – and then placed that content cleverly to reach the right people.

It was a bold move that ultimately paid off. The team demonstrated a return of 5,300 form submissions, $106 million in pipeline revenue, a 17% Click Through Rate, and an 89% email open rate from 500 pieces of unique content.

5.    Definition

Last but not least… our very own case study! In 2015, we set ourselves a big goal to grow by 20%. Our plan was ambitious and exciting. First, we audited our existing comms, then we researched our target market and investigated our competitors. We spent time building personas, brainstorming angles and creating good content. Finally, we turned all our hard work into an integrated marketing plan that covered everything and detailed activity by channel and month.

We kept our eye on the prize and smashed our own expectations. That’s not arrogance, just fact. We generated 352 new leads, grew by 29% and increased profits by 46%.

If you like the sound of that, give us a call. Running successful B2B lead generation campaigns may be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. We should know.