How to be boring: Our guide to high-performance, low-creativity B2B marketing campaigns

This post is part of our series Marketing Now, about marketing activities that will always serve you well, regardless of market conditions and external factors. We believe that “right now” is always the time to invest in marketing initiatives that will serve you in the short and long term.

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You love Lemonade’s “We Cover Your Stuff” campaign, drool over Gong’s videos, feel jealous of Wix’s Super Bowl commercial, and get excited by Monday’s subway ads. And what about your startup? We know it can be hard not to compare yourself to the flashiest, most memorable campaigns out there.

If you don’t have the resources or creativity of those guys yet, don’t despair. In this post, we’ll share 10 “boring” campaign ideas that get exciting results. Especially these days, let’s go back to the basics: delivering value to your audience through relevant, educational, informative content.

Creativity is overrated

Don’t get us wrong. We’re all for funny, original, creative marketing campaigns. But are they more effective than “regular” campaigns? Do they deliver better results for lower costs? In our experience, the answer is no. I challenge the companies mentioned above to share their ROI and CAC numbers, how many deals they created, and how much new business they won.
Creative campaigns will entertain your audience and make them think you’re original and unique. They can help with brand perception, recruiting, and have a positive impact on marketing and sales in the long-term. But they’re also expensive, risky, and take a long time to produce.

Short-term, in order to hit your 2024 goals, make sure your marketing calendar includes enough “boring” campaigns: campaigns that may not be the flashiest, but are easy, inexpensive, and will dependably deliver results, measured by new Sales Opportunities.

10 “boring” campaigns that deliver interesting results

Here are 10 content marketing ideas that we implemented at different startups, selling to different verticals, that led to excellent results in terms of creating new Sales Opportunities and ROI. In addition to requiring minimal creativity, they also don’t require content writing expertise. In fact, even two technical founders can write them.

For this example, let’s assume you’re a startup selling to marketing managers in insurance companies.

  1. Industry calendar with important dates in the marketing / insurance world
  2. 10 useful tools for insurance marketing managers
  3. Things insurance marketing departments need to do at the beginning or end of every month / quarter / year
  4. Recommended blogs / podcasts / twitter accounts / books for insurance marketers
  5. 10 interviews with successful insurance marketing leaders
  6. 10 conferences insurance marketers should attend (post-corona)
  7. 10 Interesting career stories of insurance marketing executives
  8. Dissecting success stories of insurance marketing campaigns
  9. Commentary on insurance / marketing industry news
  10. Explaining complex or new industry technology
  11. [bonus!] Industry survey of insurance marketers regarding industry trends, challenges, and predictions
  12. [bonus #2!] Awards for the top five insurance marketers

The bottom line

Boring is the new cool. Don’t be afraid to invest in content that might not win an originality award, but will help your audience. They will appreciate it more than ultra-original subway ads.

Even more boring ideas

Netta is the founder and CEO of Blue Seedling. She loves third wave coffee, thin crust pizza, and B2B marketing.

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