B2B marketing is a competitive space, and the most creative marketers get the most notice. Tactile marketing offers potential for businesses to shine through the seemingly constant onslaught of digital advertising. A thoughtful tactile marketing piece has the potential for high return, but where do you start? This guide walks you through the development phases of a successful tactile marketing campaign.
Determining when tactile marketing makes more sense than digital marketing
It may be hard to believe, but not so long ago, all marketing was tactile. These days, prospects are inundated with emails, digital ads, sales pitches, and pop-ups offering free demos. The emergence of digital marketing has provided businesses with a quick-and-dirty way of getting their brand in front of potential new customers.
B2B marketing buyers have become so inundated with digital marketing messages that many brands are turning to old-school marketing tactics – with a modern twist – to stand out.
So, how do you know when tactile marketing makes more sense than digital when launching a B2B marketing campaign?
Here are some tips for identifying when tactile marketing is a winning approach:
- Event marketing: Events are an excellent opportunity to connect with B2B customers and prospects. Whether it’s swag or a striking case study, events provide an ideal opening for tactile marketing. After all, you’re already in front of them. Leave them with a lasting impression.
- Loyalty marketing: Nothing makes customers feel more special than receiving a personalized direct mail piece. Show your appreciation with a skillfully crafted thank you.
- Creative outreach: Failing to reach a B2B customer base with your other marketing efforts? Tactile marketing could be the game-changer you need to fast-track your efforts.
- Rebooting a stalled account: Tactile marketing has the potential to jumpstart a customer that has slowed down their purchasing. If a customer has gone quiet, try tactile marketing to boost your relationship.
- When in-person contact just isn’t possible: Whether it’s a global pandemic or evolving work-spaces, tactile marketing via direct mail campaigns or physical leave-behinds makes it feasible for brands to maintain a connection with their customer base when in-person touchpoints simply aren’t possible.
Planning your tactile marketing campaign
Once you’ve determined that a B2B tactile marketing campaign is the best route, you need a plan to bring your campaign to life.
- Identify your marketing objectives.
What is the end goal of your tactile marketing campaign, and how will you measure the success of your investment? Whether your goal is to educate potential buyers with a well-designed service guide or to promote a new product with a 3D direct mail campaign, your effort should have measurable objectives from the start.
- Analyze your audience.
To develop your tactile marketing campaign, you need to know who your recipients are. In what industry do they operate? How can you demonstrate value for their business? What should be included in a print piece to appeal to the business’s challenges? B2B customers want to know how your product or service will enable them to conduct better business and where they will see a return on their investment. Unlike B2C, their investment in your business will be calculated and logical.
- Determine budget.
No marketing budget is limitless. Nail down how much you’re working with and what makes sense for your initiative.
- Brainstorm deliverables.
Two heads are better than one; four are better than two…you get the idea. Make your campaign a group project, and brainstorm how you want the end deliverable to look, feel, and convey. (At Tactive, we love to help you brainstorm ideas!) When targeting a B2B audience, you want to make sure you address your prospect or customer’s pain points. And remember to make it sharp and unforgettable.
- Identify your non-negotiables (and your negotiables).
What do you absolutely have to have and where can you compromise? If you are putting together a direct mail kit and MUST include a specific product, then tailor your selections to budget for that piece and be flexible on others. Suppose your offering has the potential to grow a prospect’s business significantly. In that case, you may want to invest more in a tactile marketing piece that communicates that idea most clearly.
- Find the right print and fulfillment partner.
Having the right partner to execute your print piece, signage, promotional product, or mail campaign is key. Find a partner that supports your ideas, your budget and offers all of the services you need to execute your campaign. (And if you don’t already have one, say, “Hey!” We are happy to help!)
Tactile marketing options for B2B
Now comes the execution component. What products or print materials do you need, and how can you fulfill your vision? Here are some tactile marketing options for B2B marketing.
Three-dimensional direct mail allows you to create an engaging brand experience for customers or prospects at their homes or office. Choose products, a professional letter, kitting, a customized box and ship it off to your customer. 3DDM is an excellent tactic for getting noticed. Companies can use a personalized kit that promotes an upcoming event or showcases new product features.
Case study or capability cards
B2B customers love to know what they’re getting for their money. Consider a professionally designed and delivered case study that shows how your offering led to success for another business. You could also offer capability cards or booklets that highlight your proficiencies.
B2B customers want to know what they are getting, and they need to see how it will impact their future state. Putting together a sleek product portfolio with feature sets and images could be just what prospects (and decision-makers) need to see.
A little swag never hurts, and if you can tie it into your offering or consumer pain points, even better. Swag helps to keep your brand top of mind and acts as a billboard for other prospects. Form a positive brand association with promotional products that positively reflect your brand.
Tips for a solid B2B tactile marketing campaign
Tactile marketing isn’t the go-to approach for every initiative. You will need a well-rounded marketing strategy to ensure you are reaching B2B prospects. When you decide to take the plunge, we recommend a few things to help your campaign shine.
Be bold. B2B customers are overwhelmed by sales pitches and marketing materials. A thoughtful tactile marketing campaign provides you with an opportunity to stand out from other offerings. Be bold and get noticed.
Be thorough. A good tactile marketing piece is comprehensive. If your campaign includes a 3DDM element, be sure to theme your packaging and content around the promotional products to tie them together. From font and color choices to deliberate design work and poignant copy, your entire campaign should be thoughtful and complete.
Be logical. B2B customers want to know what kind of ROI they can expect from your offering. Use numbers to showcase the success of your offering and demonstrate how it performs in real-life situations.
Be a storyteller. Yes, you need hard numbers and evidence of effectiveness, but don’t forget that this is your opportunity to shine. Let your tactile marketing piece tell a story. Complement data with a compelling voice.