Most marketing activities are the things the public never sees – the planning, market research, audience identification, competitive analysis, product development, campaign development, tracking & reporting, revenue generation, sales meetings and the like. And I’m too discreet and loyal to share any of that. But what I can share it what’s public – the stuff the market gets to see – the external marketing communications, which is where the rubber meets the road. Here, for posterity, are just examples of marketing communications projects I’ve worked on.
The elephant in the Build To Rent room
The UK real estate industry was moving from building apartments to sell, to building apartments to rent – but there were issues that investors and developers would face along the way, and which no-one was talking about. There were some ‘elephants in the build-to-rent room’. We ran a campaign to help clients tackle those elephants – using elephants in build-to-rent rooms. We went elephant mad, using pop-up elephant direct mail to earn attention and educational videos featuring key industry players (and elephants). All activities led clients to a series of cosy meetings with our subject matter experts, which we hosted at our office but converted our meeting rooms to elephant-inspired luxury apartments for the day. ‘I love Dumbo’ posters were my favourite. Every single potential buyer on our target list viewed or downloaded our content; double our target number met our experts; and immediate sales generated a huge ROI within weeks.
Choc-ices, nasty legal disputes and 100% customer satisfaction
This cinema-themed educational B2B event for senior Business leaders – hosted as a pop-up within our office – attracted over 270 existing clients and potential buyers to spend half a day with us. A tongue-in-cheek, movie poster direct mail earned the attention of event attendees; cinema staging; popcorn, choc-ices and other cinematic treats; and hours of entertaining, top-class business content, earned 100% ‘highly satisfied’ ratings from attendees, dozens of sales opportunities and multiple marketing awards, including Best B2B Marketing Event.
The Taxi Test
My firm wanted to attract new graduate recruits – but not just any recruits. We wanted fast thinking problem solvers. But how to test that, particularly in an environment where far bigger rivals were outspending and outgunning us at University recruitment firms? Our solution was ‘the taxi test’. The simple premise was that we were looking for graduates that could hold their own if we put them in a taxi with our firm’s biggest, most important client. And that’s what we did. We created an interactive, web-based video game for students, where they could take a ride in the back of a London cab with a client. In the game an urgent business challenge arose, and participants were bombarded with rapid fire questions against the clock, testing not only their problem-solving capabilities but also their observational skills and knowledge of current affairs. The game racked up thousands of gameplays and the firm’s largest ever number of applications – nearly double the year before.
Brand Video for a Real Estate Team
One of the craziest things I ever delivered, this law firm event highlighted a range of critical issues that were going to come back and haunt our clients if they didn’t tackle quickly. To make the point, we ran an educational event that haunted almost 400 of the UK’s most senior legal representatives. Fake walls, ghost videos, 3D-effect spectral presentations, edible eyeballs, dead guests, a visit from the Ghostbusters and – importantly – a slew of succinct, helpful content, made it an event to remember. It earned rave reviews from guests and dozens of new business leads.
Launched publicly at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this campaign provided helpful guides to companies as they sought to make strategic business transactions in the most surreal market environment of modern times. Set against the context of market turmoil and huge competitive noise, it generated tens of thousands of impressions and thousands of ‘reads’ by our core target audience.
OK, so these aren’t real projects I worked on – they’re certainly not B2B – they’re just advertising concepts I came up with for the fun of it. A few of them gained recognition at advertising competitions, and a few of them were retweeted or used by the brands I created them for. I’ve just added them here for posterity. You can see more here >
This B2B campaign helped senior executives keep on top of an ever-growing tide of financial regulation. Inspired by the Hollywood movie Ocean’s 11, but working to a tiny budget, this campaign created a series of videos, events and helpful reports that presented cautionary tales of regulatory mistakes made by other businesses – and what to do to avoid them. The approach was a huge success, generating over 500% more leads than our target, and a 1000%+ Return on Investment based upon new revenue earned. It also won a number of B2B marketing awards for thought leadership and content marketing. (The videos were all filmed in our office, featuring members of the marketing team as actors, to keep budgets to a bare minimum).
The early warning signs of construction disputes
On huge-scale construction projects, such as building new bridges, tunnels, oil refineries, skyscrapers etc, disputes that arise between the parties involved can lead to eye-watering monetary claims. Having an early-warning radar to sport the tell-tale signs of future disputes can be hugely valuable. This ‘thought leadership’ campaign, which used X-ray theming to help dramatise the point, helped construction companies to spot risks before they deteriorate. It earned construction industry press coverage and generated to a large number of conversations with potential clients.
This direct mail came with x-ray glasses to help people decipher the message it contained…
Capitalising on Real Estate
Described by VIP guests as “the most ambitious event ever attempted by a law firm”, this educational seminar that guided real estate decision makers through the most significant risks impacting large-scale real estate developments and building refurbs, equipping guests with helpful content and tactics that they could apply to their businesses.
To make the content accessible, we created the unforgettable tale of ‘Bill Dings’ and his plan to complete the most ambitious real estate development in London (complete with a rooftop ski slope). And to make the point as memorably as possible, we put our storytelling on steroids – projecting Bill Dings’ development as a 3D light show and physically transforming our event venue from a construction site to an ice bar before the eyes of our astonished guests. The event attracted over 100 industry movers and shakers – 17% more than our target number of guests – who stayed at the event hours after it was due to finish and reported 100% satisfaction. The event differentiated our brand in a crowded market and led to multiple new business opportunities within just a few days.