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Need a new IT infrastructure? Just ask Jared Leto

I want to know why celebrities aren’t used in B2B marketing campaigns. A few companies dabble, but they are mostly ones appealing to small businesses, like BT (because it’s a household name already) or Salesforce (because Marc Benioff is mates with Dave Grohl). 

I want to know why an explicitly B2B company doesn’t do it. Let’s think it through, shall we? Together, like we normally do.

Use your imagination
So, imagine a really B2B company. Let’s go for an IT consultancy that only sells to enterprises. One that isn’t a household name, but is still big enough to have a decent marketing budget (which could stretch to a half-decent talent booking).

We’ve proven before that the people who buy things from companies like our IT consultancy are human beings. Even though they buy enterprise IT infrastructures, professional services and support contracts over chocolate bars and mobile phones for a living doesn’t mean they aren’t human. They still laugh, love, and live (to varying degrees, admittedly).

I’m going to suggest, just for this thought experiment, that the main buyer of IT in our imaginary example is a woman who works at a large manufacturing company. She’s a senior operations professional who worked her way up from lowly IT development roles, through appointments at IT consultancies of her own, and is now a CIO reporting into the COO of the manufacturing company. She’s strategic, smart, and has little time for being marketed to. 

In the evenings, however, she’s a big fan of catching up on her favourite series (Sons of Anarchy), eating out (Italian) and listening to music (30 Seconds to Mars) – although the music generally has to be enjoyed on the commute in her beloved car (Audi TT) from Reading to Swindon. 

One final thing: her annual IT budget is £25 million. 

Based on the demographic information we have about our CIO, it’s a reasonably simple equation to work out a celebrity she would respond well to. I put it through our talent-ometer at Bite Towers and came up with: Jared Leto.

Getting your ROI
Our CIO gets up in the morning, walks out to her drive, and her phone rings. It’s her executive assistant who’s excited as he’s had a call from Jared Leto’s agent who has booked lunch with her, today, at her favourite Italian restauant in Reading. Jared’s in town and mad keen to meet her.

But, true enough, she walks in and there’s Jared, sitting alongside someone she vaguely recognises but can’t quite place.

Over lunch, they chat about all kinds of things – his latest music, his upcoming movie, which shampoo he loves the most, before the chat moves on to her job and challenges. At this point she remembers the other guy – he’s from that IT consultancy that’s been trying to help her with her IT transformation strategy. She met him at a conference last year but hasn’t had time to meet since.

Jared starts to point out the benefits of going for a cloud-first storage architecture over an on-premise solution. He makes a lot of sense when he outlines his preferred technology roadmap and potential for efficiency savings and increased productivity. 

Later that month, still buzzing from the lunch of her life, she looks more closely at her IT budget and suppliers, and realises that the business case put forward by Jared and his IT consultant friend stacks up. She does her due diligence and recommends a new IT transformation strategy to the board, who greenlights the plan.

ROI on the lunch with Jared turns out to be 50,000 per cent.