How do you effectively engage prospects amid a global pandemic?
It’s a question many B2B companies have been asking themselves this year. As the tradeshows once postponed have since been cancelled or moved digital and audiences continue to be distracted by significant world events even amid productive workdays, capturing the attention of would-be customers is hard.
It’s a predicament that we at V2 also experienced. We are among the lucky PR agencies: minimal client turnover since March, several V2ers joining our growing team and continued revenue growth. However, we knew that wouldn’t be sustainable without some support and didn’t want to rely on hope to keep our new business pipeline rich as we approach 2021.
A hallmark of the typical V2 prospect (and client) experience includes getting to know our team—both the partners and the staff that will be on the front lines of activity each day. Sometimes that “chemistry check” comes through a formal pitch, but historically it has also involved more organic opportunities to get to know one another—networking at industry events, chatting around a conference room table before presenting our recommendations, connecting at our annual holiday party, or getting together over a drink or dinner.
One of the many curveballs 2020 threw us was not allowing us the chance to spend this valuable time getting to know potential clients—and perhaps more important, them getting to know us. So, we did what we do best when faced with a challenge: we got creative.
We wanted prospects to get a flavor for what working with V2 would be like, so we had to give them a taste of the V2 experience. Quite literally.
That concept came to life through a campaign we dubbed “Get a Taste of the New V2,” a virtual wine tasting event that would introduce marketing and communications leaders to the agency, particularly in light of the brand and expanded capabilities we introduced in 2020. We identified our target list of past clients, former prospects and the disruptive brands we had yet to engage but would love to work with, and invited them all to join us for an hour-long Zoom session where we would have the chance to get to know one another a bit while sipping on delicious wine. Not only were there no strings attached, but there were three bottles of delicious Stags’ Leap wine shipped right to their doorsteps ahead of the event.
We kicked off the tasting with about 15 guests and introduction to V2. From there, we got down to business: the Stags’ Leap team engaged us all in conversation, as well as education on the vineyard and three varietals we tasted. We also got to know each other a bit better—learning that one CMO’s beverage of choice the past few months has been banana bourbon (yes, that’s a thing), and another celebrated her 21st birthday at the very vineyard we were virtually visiting (she highly recommends visiting in person, when possible!).
It was intimate. It was on-brand. It was fun. And, most important for those grappling with nurturing prospects these days, it was effective. Some say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. We also remember to bring the wine!
If you’d like to be invited to a future V2 wine tasting event, please email us to get on the list!