Awards case study: How Radix Communications got its message across with a content marketing board game

Think there's no room for creativity in B2B? Discover how Radix Communications rolled a double six by creating their very own Awards-shortlisted board game to engage target customers.

Summary

As a copywriting agency specialising in the B2B tech industry, Radix has long evangelised the importance of using the right writer for the right project.

To communicate the importance of choosing the best writer, and to keep Radix front of mind with potential clients and B2B marketing influencers, it designed a content marketing-themed board game and sent copies to just 32 key contacts.

A board game was the ideal creative vehicle for the agency's core message, as it is a striking, tactile and fun content format that had yet to be used in the B2B marketing world. 

Radix commissioned professional illustrator and comics artist Keith Sparrow to create the game’s unique artwork (pictured above), to ensure it would look great, stand out, and stay on office shelves as a visually appealing physical product.

It complemented the fun look and feel with deep, strategic gameplay that shows – rather than tells – the importance of getting the right writer for every marketing campaign and asset.

At a cost of just £6,000, this campaign generated significant social media coverage, as well as coverage in industry blogs and publications. Importantly, it also got Radix into conversation with four B2B agencies it wanted to work with.

About

Radix Communications is a copywriting agency specialising in the B2B technology industry. Radix’s inhouse team of seven writers work on everything from social media posts and email nurture campaigns to video scripts, whitepapers, comic strips, and infographics for leading tech brands including Dell, Fujitsu, Oracle, Sprint, Salesforce and Xerox.

Strategy

Radix's aim is to become the go-to copywriting agency for the B2B technology sector, worldwide. As a small business with limited budget and reach, it needed a cost-effective and creative way to raise awareness of our brand and services with a broad audience of B2B tech marketers and agencies.

We settled on producing a board game based on the content marketing industry. As a richly-featured, commercial-grade board game, Funnel! would demonstrate our experience as content creators as well as its creative skills. Importantly, as a high-end physical object, the game would be likely to stay on recipients’ office shelves and act as a reminder of Radix.

Objectives of the campaign

The main objectives of the campaign were:

  1. To raise awareness of Radix with prospective clients.
  2. To raise awareness of Radix in the B2B tech marketing world, ideally via recipients photographing the game and sharing it on social media.
  3. To educate marketers on the seven different kinds of B2B copywriter – and why it’s important to get the right one for every content project.

The company felt an interactive experience was the best way to reflect the different kinds of writer and the skills they bring to each project. Plus, an eye-catching physical artefact would be more likely to get noticed - and stay noticed.

With plenty of board game geeks on the Radix team, a physical board game was a natural choice, and it quickly became a fun and exciting project that everyone enjoyed working on, while at the same time raising its profile.

The target audience

Thirty-two copies of Funnel! were sent to a select group of existing clients, agencies it wanted to work with, and some of its favourite B2B marketing influencers.

This is an audience of content marketing thought-leaders and innovators, so it needed something bold, beautiful and different to turn their heads. Radix hoped that at the very least, they’d all like Funnel! enough to share it on social media.

Media, channels or techniques

The main component of the Funnel! campaign was the board game itself. The package includes a designed box, board, dice and counters, and over 100 cards depicting different industry events, campaign types, team roles and fictional B2B agencies. Designed by illustrator and comics artist Keith Sparrow, the Funnel! package is visually arresting and hard to resist opening up.

Complementing the appealing visuals is a deep yet accessible strategy game designed by Radix team members who understand both the intricacies of game design and the unique world of B2B content marketing.

To drive further awareness and help players get the most out of the game, it produced two tutorial videos and hosted them on a microsite. Copywriter Steve George also wrote a blog on the Radix site detailing the history of the Funnel! project.

Timescales

The idea came from a February 2014 meeting where the Radix team discussed Joe Pulizzi’s book Epic Content Marketing. Following Joe’s advice to be bold and innovative, the team came up with the idea of producing a fully-fledged board game with unique rules; something no other agency was doing at the time.

The first step was to pitch multiple ideas for the team to choose between. Three different board game concepts were designed and pitched between April and September 2014, with a full prototype being created and designed by the following October.

Between October 2014 and March 2015 Funnel! entered a rigorous testing period, with all Radix team members weighing in on crucial decisions to ensure the game was as fun, rich and as playable as possible.

By March, comics artist Keith Sparrow was recruited to bring the cards, board and box of Funnel! to life.

Glasgow-based board games manufacturer Shannon Games was commissioned to produce 50 copies, and they arrived in June 2015 ready to send to selected agencies, clients and influencers.

Funnel! The Content Marketing Board Game

Results

  • 12 influencers who received a copy shared photos of Funnel! on Twitter.
  • Three B2B agencies got in touch to ask for a copy after seeing it on social media.
  • One B2B agency blogged about it on their own site and on b2bmarketing.net.
  • B2B Marketing covered it in the “News in Pictures” section of the magazine.
  • The game sparked conversations with four agencies Radix is keen to work with.

Fiona Campbell-Howes, managing director at Radix Communications, said: "Lots of B2B marketing content these days is digital and throwaway. We wanted to create something that would get our core message across, but which would also be a beautiful object with lasting value, that people would want to keep and share. The enthusiasm we saw for Funnel! across social and print media (not to mention people emailing us to ask where they could get a copy) more than repaid the time and effort we put into creating a genuinely fun, playable game with a serious message about copywriting quality."

B2B Marketing Awards

This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It was shortlisted under Best use of creative: Funnel! The Content Marketing Strategy Game by Radix Communications.

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