How to Build a B2B Black Friday Campaign That Works for You

In their 2020 retail trend report, Search intelligence company Pi Datametrics saw record levels of search volume across retail during the peak of the pandemic, which surpassed any previous Black Friday level.

We’ve all been at home buying gadgets to keep us entertained this year – so why would we need more?!

With Walmart and Target announcing that they’re shutting shop on Thanksgiving, it’s looking like Black Friday is going to be a modest affair in 2020 – but is this the case for B2B?

Although more businesses than ever are “Going digital”, many are also struggling to stay afloat and have had to cut costs.

Discounted B2B services may be just what they need to turn business around…

Decide whether your B2B business should be taking part

We’re not here to convince you that taking part in Black Friday is “The Right and Good Thing To Do”. That’s completely up to you (no pressure!) But what we can do is give you a few things to think about.

2020 is definitely not the year to chuck a discount out there and hope that it pays off. Here’s some things that you should consider before embracing the holiday…

What is the ultimate goal of your Black Friday campaign?

Is it increasing Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)? Boosting loyalty and retention? Uptake & awareness? CSR & Authenticity? Knowing this is key to your success on this holiday.

Ask yourself, can we afford to discount?

How much of a discount can you afford to offer on your product or service, without making a dent in your ROI?

Keep in mind that your costs will be higher than usual, especially when it comes to advertising – CPCs are higher and there’s more people bidding!

If you can discount, what can you offer?

If things are a bit tight, but you’re still keen to piggyback on the holiday, think about what you can offer with as little cost to you as possible.

In a B2B world, your core offering is likely to be a long-term, high cost investment, which may not discount well (i.e. you could lose a lot of money, over a long period of time).

If your main product or service is something you just can’t afford to cut, then think:

  • What about sideline offerings? Do you have any standalone services (i.e. expert support, strategy sessions, data bundles etc.) that you can offer? Can you apply a deal to only up one element of your offering?
  • What about creating an entirely new, exclusive offering that better suits the Black Friday model?
  • Can you segment one small portion of your prospects and target an offer to them, and them only?
  • If you’re adding bigger discounts, can you upsell any of your other products and services on your Black Friday campaign landing pages?
  • Can you offer something for free to build loyalty?

Lisa Alexander from PR Secrets did just this. She had a think about how she could stand out on Black Friday, which resulted in her giving away a marketing bootcamp for free.

“This campaign allowed people to experience my brand in a way typically not available to prospects. Forty-one percent of the people who requested the free session had never engaged with my brand previously.”

Lisa N. Alexander

Think about fulfilment

Another huge consideration for participating in Black Friday is whether you have the (wo)manpower to deal with an influx of users.

  • Would you need to automate your support?
  • Are your training guides and help materials up-to-scratch and in place for an increase in questions?
  • If you’re offering an exclusive new product or service, do you have product education in place?

Is Black Friday the right day for you?

According to Henry Clifford-Jones of The Drum “B2B brands in the US may not get very far with targeting professional audiences around Black Friday since it’s a public holiday and most professionals will be at home with their families.”

With this in mind, ask yourself: is Black Friday definitely the right day for me to be launching my offer?

Some brands enjoy less competition and have been successful in building traction early on, while others surprise and delight their customers by extending their sale beyond the shopping weekend.

The Oberlo team think that the latter strategy can be very effective:

“Do this last-minute or when your competitors have ended their sales. When customers see you’re the only [one] offering them a second chance to save, they’re more likely to buy from your brand. However, make sure to associate a deadline with an extension. [This will create] a sense of urgency.”

Don’t feel pressured to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon, just because your competitors are.

Relying on seasonal or buying cycle expectations means you could be missing out on big, untapped opportunities. Look at trend data. Explore your customers’ search and social behavior throughout the year to assess whether Black Friday really is right for you.

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