Beyond Engagement: Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing

Beyond Engagement: Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing

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At the end of this week, Terry Van Horne, the President of IWB, and I will be speaking at SES Toronto 2013 in the session on “Beyond Engagement: Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing.”

A year ago at SES Toronto 2012, I used a series of videos from the ING DIRECT Canada Superstar Saver channel on YouTube as real-world examples of best practices during the session on “Developing a Video Optimization & Marketing Campaign for Canadians.”

One of my favorites is “ING DIRECT Presents: Are you a Superstar Saver?

And two years ago at SES Toronto 2011, I used the “Canucks Stanley Cup Finals Song – Lazy Song Parody,” NadiaG’s Bitchin’ Kitchen channel, the EPIC MEAL TIME channel, “Classified – “Oh… Canada” ” to illustrate specific advanced tactics and video marketing success stories during the session on “Next Gen YouTube Marketing.”

For a sample of what’s cooking in Canada, check out “Fast Food Lasagna – Epic Meal Time.”

But, all of these examples from the country above the United States were about B2C video marketing. So, I’ve been looking for some B2B success stories from “The True North, strong and free” for this year’s conference.

As my session description says, attendees are supposed to “learn some of the fundamentals around online B2B video marketing, including how to get the most exposure for your video, how to use video to move the customer through the sales funnel, and how to prepare your videos for a global audience. You’ll have the opportunity to review successful case studies and see how a company can use video not only as an indicator of where the viewer is in the sales funnel, but also to enable their sales process.”

Fortunately, I found a couple of Canadian companies that are harnessing the power of B2B video marketing – not that they were all that hard to find. Actually, finding success stories from Canada was almost as easy as finding Tim Hortons – even for an American like me.

Suitemates: Comedy by Kinaxis

The first example is a classic. It comes from Kinaxis, which was founded in Ottawa back in 1984. Kinaxis delivers a robust enterprise cloud service that enables manufacturers and brand owners to drive multiple supply chain management (SCM), sales and operations planning (S&OP), and other connected functions from a single product—RapidResponse.

In February 2010, Kinaxis launched its “Supply Chain Experts: Learn, Laugh, Share and Connect” campaign. The company hoped to drive awareness and double its leads year-over-year.

Kinaxis started a blog, built a community for supply chain management professionals, participated in LinkedIn, and used Twitter. The company also developed a couple of online video programs, including “The Late Late Supply Chain Show” and the “Married to the Job” series created by Second City.

In April 2010, Kinaxis launched an online video series called “Suitemates,” which satirizes the practices of big enterprise software companies. Produced by Drama 3/4 Productions, the six-episode series features accomplished actors Kevin Pollak and Ray Wise as two imprisoned executives of the fictitious ERP vendor, BILK-Moore.


The comedic satire in the series represented the growing industry-wide frustrations with ERP mega-vendors’ supply chain offerings, and parodied the tactics these ERP companies employed in developing and marketing their suites of software.

For example, check out the first episode in the series, “Suitemates by Kinaxis: Ep-1 – Two Peas in a Prison.”

All of this worked like a charm: The campaign helped Kinaxis to create buzz among its target audience, drive 2.7 times more traffic to its website, and generate 3.2 times more leads. In addition, registered community members, who numbered 1,615 in February, reached 2,223 in early April.

John St.

The second example is already well-known to ReelSEO readers. It comes from John St. Advertising, which was started in Toronto during 2001. The creative collaborative uses digital, social, advertising, technology, PR, and design to make its clients’ brands “unignorable.”

John St. has also created videos that have made their agency “unignorable.” Their most popular video, “Catvertising,” has close to 2.1 million views and more than 692,000 shares.

“Catvertising” made Time‘s list of the Top 10 Creative Videos of 2011. Valerie Lapinski of Time wrote, “It’s obviously a spoof (sample dialogue: ‘Our goal is to integrate cat videos into every stage of the consumer experience’), but the power of cat videos is too strong to dismiss with a laugh.”

And John St. isn’t a one-hit wonder. Their second most popular video, “BUYRAL – Professional Clicking,” has over 858,000 views and almost 56,000 shares.

It’s also a spoof, but I had a hard time convincing one of my clients of that fact — even after he had visited the mocked up Buyral website and discovered that the shopping cart didn’t work.


So, how successful has John St. been at harnessing the power of B2B video marketing?

Well, on Mar. 4, 2013, Gabriel Beltrone and Noreen O’Leary of Adweek reported, “WPP Group has acquired Canadian agency John St. for an undisclosed sum. The Toronto-based boutique had unaudited revenue of about $13.6 million at the end of 2012, according to WPP.”

In other words, John St. was “unignorable.”

In addition to these successful case studies, I’ll review a couple of others at SES Toronto 2013 during the session on “Beyond Engagement: Harnessing the Power of B2B Video Marketing.”

Hopefully, the attendees won’t realize where I’m from. (I grew up in the Midwest, so I don’t have a Boston accent.) And if I wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey or Blue Jays hat, no one will recognize that I’m a Boston Bruins fan and citizen of Red Sox Nation.

And you won’t blow my cover, will you?

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