2023 Award Winner

How we dressed up B2B like B2C (and why it was a smart move)

How We Dressed Up B2B Like B2C | Edgar Allan

What do you get when you take a deck of cards, the yearning to turn traditional B2B marketing on its head, and an affinity for some healthy risk-taking? Our Retrospective Cards project!  

A while back, we had a novel idea. We’re essentially a B2B company when it comes to selling our services – our clients are other companies.

But what if we approached it more like we’d help our clients sell to their customers – B to C?

Strip away the labels and erase the categories, and you’ll find one fact remains: even when you’re marketing as a B2B entity, you’re still selling to people. The goal is to provide a solution to a problem or need, whether that solution is going to stay with the company internally or be blasted out to the individual buying world. What followed was a marriage between functionality and flair, and a simple solution to a multi-layered quandary – how can we work better, smarter, and harder, and what’s the best way to get the word out? 

When Edgar Allan created our Retro Cards, we had the opportunity to perform an experiment with the marketing tactic we chose. 

This was a small and inexpensive product that was closely connected with our work: brand, content, and responsive design.

The intent was for businesses and individuals alike to purchase a deck of cards and start a conversation around the way teams work, the way they review their work, and how Edgar Allan took ideas typically utilized in the digital space and transformed it for the tangible, physical realm. Like we often do for our clients, we created audience types and plugged them into Facebook to generate targeted ads toward our intended consumer. We also made an interesting discovery with regard to our chosen price point – we sold decks of cards faster when we set the cards to cost a bit more than when we introduced another, lower price (selling ourselves short on our perceived value). In the end, other businesses responded to our product the same way a customer in a store would.

For us, the cards became an exciting and fresh way for a B to B seller to experiment with paid content like we were doing traditional consumer advertising. 

We discovered a neat way to engage with our peers, reach potential clients, and gain a little more notoriety in the digital marketing world as innovators and creative thinkers. And it was a proverbial “win-win” too, since all the while we were helping other businesses improve and learn from their projects.

One thing you should know, though. We sold the cards at a loss; it was never about making a quick buck off businesses looking to improve their feedback loop. We basically ate the hours of design, copywriting and print production, but we got a lot in return, including a great lesson in age-old marketing techniques and a primer in the KISS principle (I.e. the big stuff doesn’t have to be massively complicated).

The takeaway:

People are people.
Businesses are comprised of people.

All people need things to make their businesses function better, work stronger, and be more efficient.

If you sell something people need, they’ll buy it (and then buy that you’re good at what you do, too, because you’re the smarty-pants who thought of this great idea in the first place).

This is only one experiment in a much larger conversation regarding crossing B2B with B2C marketing methods, by the way, but we think it’s a pretty good start. 

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