Why Black Friday sales can work for B2B brands

Black Friday over the past few years has been a hive of activity for the retail sector and the B2C industry. Dozens of videos show stampedes of people rushing round shops for the best deals before Christmas, highlighting people’s desire for a bargain.

B2B and corporate hospitality firms appear to have sat back and refrained from jumping on the band wagon that sees B2C companies rake in increased revenue. So in 2015 Paragon utilised the Black Friday weekend to try and increase sales and boost enquiries for their corporate hospitality packages.

The objective being to be a bit different and give B2B Black Friday deals a go. No competitors or other companies in the industry had undertaken this initiative.

Starting at 9am on Friday 27th November and continuing through to 6pm on Cyber Monday Paragon discounted the following four products by 25% (providing savings of up to £2,125):

  • A day trip to the Monaco Grand Prix
  • St. Patrick’s Day VIP Club package at Cheltenham Festival
  • Tuffers’ Lord’s Experience for 10 people to play, drink and dine with Phil Tufnell at Lord’s Cricket Ground
  • Phil Tufnell VIP Club experience at the Oval during the 4th England vs Pakistan Test

People were able to purchase the products through the e-paragon online booking form or through the Paragon sales team.

Initial promotion was launched via email marketing to Paragon’s 60,000 person database a few days before Black Friday and through a series of teaser tweets prior to the launch.

For the four days that made up Black Friday, Paragon tailored promotions for the offers through targeted platforms including: pop-up banners on the website; promotion on Twitter, Facebook and particularly LinkedIn; remarketing ads and PPC ads; email marketing promotions to the database; and through their internal sales team communicating to their own contacts and regular clients.

There were positive results over the four days, with over £200,000 of sales generated, with the most popular days for enquiries and conversions being on Saturday and Monday after customers had chance to respond to the Friday announcement of the offers and when corporate customers arrived back in the office. The initiative boosted overall sales for the period by 50% and increased the number of enquires by over 70%, for both the products on sale and the other products the company provide.

Paragon were surprised that they had an increased level of enquires for products outside of the offers. They were also surprised by how many corporates enquired over the weekend.

“We expected a purely a Friday/Monday working day push. Plus, we found our sales team and remarketing activity had the greatest impact on increasing the number of enquires” commented Megan Collins, Head of Marketing at Paragon.

She continued “We are delighted with the results as it has provided great brand awareness for Paragon and the various products we provide. Next year we would announce it earlier as we felt people had to get used to the idea as the corporate sign off process is not always quick.”

The activity highlights how the B2B industry may be more ready for Black Friday offers than previously thought.