Six things B2B marketers can learn from the Oscars and Vanity Fair

The 88th Academy Awards is on its way and Tinsel Town is getting ready to welcome the world’s media to cover everything from the red carpet outfits, those humble acceptance speeches, the losing faces or as we saw in 2014 ‘spontaneous’ group selfies, to a playful photo bombing Benedict Cumberbatch.

Although the Oscars are about recognising the achievements of the movie industry, it would be all too easy and if I’m honest boring to write a blog around ‘how to create a B2B video worthy of an Oscar’, or ‘the power of social media’ used by the group selfie to reach more people than actually watched the Oscars by becoming the most retweeted photo of all time at 3 million. There is another side of the Oscars, which I think more relevant to B2B Demand Generation, and that is the Vanity Fair after show party.

‘What on earth can we learn from the Vanity Fair after-show party’, I hear you cry. Well quite simply, we both need to know our audiences, and give them what they want in order to get what we want in return. Cynical and cold, maybe, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch or in this case a top after-show party. There are six takeaways from the Vanity Fair party that we can use in developing effective Demand Generation Programmes.

Be selective — I’m sure the Vanity Fair event planners spend months working out who the Super A Listers they want to attend their after event bash. Your programme development will be no different. You will need to know your personas to be able to develop the foundations for a successful programme from everything from the content audit and development to the nurture logic and lead scoring to the relevant social channels and groups to manage and contribute to.

Give them gifts — Whether they are Samsung phones, watches or jewellery those fortunate enough to be on the party list will receive a bag of goodies for walking along the red carpet. Buyers on a Demand Generation journey are the same, particularly in the day and age where buyers are savvy, but are prepared to part with their information to receive perceived valuable content which helps to address their pain points. Audiences today are used to parting with their details and know that depending on how much information they have to part with shows the value of the content. There are ways of doing this in a smart way through progressive profiling where you can build a profile of the audience over several visits through the use of a smart nurture programme rather than in one super long form.

Get good security — Beware the gate crasher, every party has one and the Oscars will be no different, there’s always someone wanting to grab the limelight for the wrong reasons and having a strict security policy puts everyone at ease. In Demand Generation terms this applies to those individuals who engage with the programme who are not relevant, and there are ways to reduce their impact from improving the quality of your forms to identify details of your audience, for example to ascertain if they are a business or a student conducting research. Adding your IP address and company location to reporting metrics and PPC activity to exclude false results and unnecessary spend being incurred.

An eye for detail — Oscar parties would not be the same without the world’s press lining the red carpet waiting to talk to anyone who is fortunate enough to be walking down it and reporting on every minute detail. The same is true of Demand Generation and your audience, through the use of appropriate reporting metrics in Marketing Technology from the Automation Platform to Google Analytics you have a wealth of information around your audience and what interests them. This information can and should be used for sales to enhance their selling potential, lead-scoring to move the audience through their journey at the pace outlined in the strategy, to providing you and your team with the ability to refine and hone the programme over time.

Get the Golden Man to attend — An after-show party is not the same without a winner of a gong. Your Demand Generation programmes should be no different. Account Based Marketing is our equivalent to the winner of the ‘Best Film’. Marketing must help to improve and prioritise sales opportunities and productivity at an account level. This can be achieved by increasing engagement from target accounts, personalisation of messaging, and packaging of account insight and their readiness for your sales team.

Raise the bar on the previous year — To make sure the crème of Hollywood attend I’m sure Vanity Fair organisers make sure that this year’s event will be better and more memorable than last year’s. We need to do the same with our programmes, they should not be left to run on their own without continual review and investment. Your audiences are on a journey and they need a reason to return and socially share your message, because they feel that you know their pain points and are able to help.

I’m sure the organisers of the Vanity Fair party do a lot more than six things, as we all do in creating and delivering B2B Demand Generation. If you want to build an award winning Demand Generation infrastructure why not take a look at our video to find out how.

Originally published at

About the author: I am not and nor do I proclaim to be an award-winning author, however my blogs are developed from real experiences within Marketing. My aim is to share with and hopefully support others in their quest for B2B Marketing Demand Generation excellence. If you find the blogs useful please follow me on LinkedIn and or on Twitter @ChrisHorley.

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