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Thrilling Tales of Smarter GTM

Superheroes are big business these days.

Once the preserve of niche comic book collectors and enthusiasts, they’ve grown in popularity and are now among the world’s most recognisable pop culture icons. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is, as of right now, the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

It was only a matter of time than before superheroes swung into B2B marketing - and the company that made it happen was Demandbase, the comprehensive ABM platform.

In early 2022, it released an interactive online comic book, “Thrilling Tales of Smarter GTM”, that reimagined a host of B2B influencers as superheroes.

So, how did this unique blend of content marketing and comic art come about?

Demandbase Campaign

The idea 💡

The comic book was the result of several ideas, all coming together at once. Justin, Director, Social & Influencer Marketing at Demandbase told us:

“We were launching a rebrand - new logo, mascot, messaging, website, colour palette, new everything! But we wanted to do something that was outside of all of that.”

Demandbase had created a new mascot, DeeBee, that was itself a superhero, blessed with Account Intelligence superpowers. That proved to be the spark of the whole comic book idea.

As Justin said:

“How could we take our mascot and do something different with it?” 

“This concept of the infographic came up - but we didn’t just want to do a normal infographic. We wanted it to be interactive. And since I’m responsible for influencer marketing, I wanted to build the campaign off of that.”

And so the concept of DeeBee leading a team of B2B superheroes - based on real-life industry thought leaders - was born.

Justin took up the story:

“We found some of the top influencers in B2B marketing - some of them were friends of mine - and we worked on building an integrated campaign that revolved around them fighting against traditional B2B marketing tactics such as spam.”

Demandbase Superhero Lee

The real-life influencers were given characters with superpowers that matched their messaging - such as Jay Baer using data to personalise campaigns, or Pam Didner aligning sales and marketing.

We asked Justin, why superheroes?

“When you’re building influencer campaigns, everyone uses the same influencers. There’s a very wide network of people who have attained a level of influence.” 

“If you look at the types of companies that stand out, and the influencers that want to engage with those companies, you see ones where those influencers are made into something different.”

“They want to share things that are in line with their brand, but that go beyond just an interview or just a video.”

“That’s why we made them into cool comic book characters that fight against the things they often talk about in B2B marketing and sales.”

It also tied into Demandbase’s new brand messaging, as Justin explained:

“People are sick of these things - they’re tired of spam, unwanted messaging and the never-ending onslaught of emails.”

“We wanted to take our new brand messaging - helping to unspam, launching smarter GTM - and make our mascot DeeBee and our influencers into superheroes battling against those things.”

“Because essentially, that’s what we saw Demandbase as doing. We help our customers and prospects to reach out to accounts intelligently.”

Demandbase Superhero Mario

The Vision 👀

How did Justin and his team create the visual look of their influencer superheroes? 

“We took things the influencers were known for and built them into the comic book. Jay Baer wears plaid suits, so his character wears a plaid suit. Ann Handley wears very vibrant pantsuits, so her character wears a vibrant pantsuit.” 

“We personalised each character for the influencers while making sure it was on-brand for Demandbase.”

What was it like working with external influencers on this very branded project? Justin said:

“We came up with the concept, but it was very collaborative. During production, the influencers gave us feedback on their characters; they all had sign-off.”

“Their characters had to be authentic to them, in their words and voices, while matching our new brand.”

What inspired the comic book’s interactive, animated style?

“We knew it was going to be one page. We wanted something that was consumable in one scroll - not something that was spread over multiple pages.”

“And if you’re going to be on one page, then it’s not very entertaining if all you do is scroll, if the page is completely static.”

Demandbase Superhero Jay

“It’s much more impactful if the page changes as you scroll down.”

How long did it take to create the comic book? Justin said:

“It took months and months of work!” 

“We started it at the end of Q3 2021. We engaged with an agency to work with our creative team on it. We worked with our web team to ensure the page was set up correctly.”

“And we had to manage not just the influencers, but our internal stakeholders as well - the comic and the new brand had to align.”

These were the steps Justin and his team followed before launch:

  1. Identify the influencers and approach them with an offer.
  2. Storyboard the comic book and write the copy (it had to be authentic to the comic book style).
  3. Design the comic book, making sure it aligned with Demandbase’s new brand.

And these were the steps they followed after launch:

  1. Work with the influencers - make it as easy as possible for them to engage with the brand externally.
  2. Give the influencers social cards/assets to share with their networks.
Demandbase Superhero Ann

The Results 📈

Justin had this to say about the launch:

“When you build something like this, it’s important that the launch is cascaded and that it has a long tail to it.”

The comic book was part of Demandbase’s rebrand launch. It was promoted on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, with different creatives developed for each platform.

The influencers were given assets to share on launch day. This gave the campaign its long tail, as Justin explained:

“Many of the influencers still share the comic book to this day. They’re not being asked or paid to do it. It’s simply because it’s cool for them to have their own comic book character.”

Here’s an example of one of the influencers sharing the comic book on LinkedIn:

Demandbase also published a range of supporting content, including blog and social-first content. These were pieces that weren’t part of the comic book but tied into its themes and messaging - such as this example.

We wanted to know if the comic book changed over time. Justin told us:

“It’s been much the same all the way through the campaign. We haven’t updated it. The comic book had a long tail for us, much longer than we expected. We thought it had a life expectancy of 8 to 10 weeks - but to this day, it’s still being talked about.”

These were the results that the comic generated for Demandbase:


Increase in page views
Total asset clicks
Campaign influencers’ reach
Larger influencer reach
Increase in page views
Total asset clicks
Larger influencer reach
Campaign influencers’ reach

Justin concluded our interview by saying:

“The comic continues to pay dividends for us - not just in terms of traffic, but brand awareness as well. More people are aware of Demandbase now because of it.”

And before we ended the call, he shared some great advice for other B2B marketers who don’t want to be boring:

“One of the best things was to see the reaction of other people in B2B marketing and sales.”

“It got a lot of buzz and a lot of positive feedback from the industry. They loved how we did something more lighthearted and fun with B2B content marketing.”


Demandbase Superhero Carla

Check out more *unboring* campaigns below...

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