Courtney Eckerle

How to Engage in the B2B Sphere With Nostalgia

January 15th, 2016

Having lighthearted fun with your customers is probably the most effective way to engage them with your services. Especially when you want to stand out in the B2B sphere.

At data protection company Intronis, a multi-channel campaign was launched around a dimensional mailer with an initial incentive of an Atari game console replicator.

Intronis sells to a very specific type of customer, IT service providers, who is “very busy, they have a lot going on. They have to run their business, they have to help their customers with their problems. So we were looking for a way that we could break through that noise,” Aaron Dun, CMO, Intronis, said.

Aaron’s team discovered that with their targets, traditional tactics like phone calls and email weren’t really getting through. After a challenge by their CEO to do a direct mail piece, they began thinking about what would resonate with customers.

“Our target audience … are, generally speaking, men between the ages of 30 and 50. So with that is insight. We started thinking around, ok what kind of thing can we send to them, that will really get them to engage with us and think about Intronis in a different way,” Aaron said.


The team, lead by Richard Delahaye, Director of Marketing, Intronis, began looking into what Intronis could send out that would be distinguishing.

“We thought about drones, we thought about gadgets, all this good stuff, and eventually, I found … I think it was on Toys ‘R Us, that they now sell an Atari … it looks like the Atari, the original, but it works with any TV now,” Richard said.

This idea works because Intronis’ customers remember the Atari, he added.

“They all remember the Atari, either it was the first console they ever played, or it was something their father gave to them … it has that emotional connection, and that’s very difficult to do in B2B,” Richard said.

Another important aspect, Aaron said, was that the customer could use it right away.

“A lot of times in a two-step marketing campaign, you’ll send something that’s not usable, and they have to take a meeting with you to actually take advantage of that. We went completely differently, and said, ‘Hey we’re sending you this Atari console, and you can use it, it’s yours,’” Aaron said.

That’s not to say that there was no incentive to continue down the purchase path though — if the target took the call-to-action, he added, Intronis would actually upgrade the Atari to an Xbox.

“What was really amazing as we rolled out the campaign was how much this device … really resonated on an emotional level with folks,” Aaron said.


Aaron and Richard will be speaking on this campaign at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 at Bellagio Las Vegas, February 22-24.


You can follow Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, on Twitter at @CourtneyEckerle.


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MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 — At the Bellagio in Las Vegas, February 22-24

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Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

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