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Space Quest League

When you think of B2B marketing, you probably don’t imagine a retro video game.

But sometimes, the unexpected is exactly what’s needed.

Data access and analytics company, Starburst, ran with that concept… They built an entire campaign around a “Space Quest League” sweepstake game.

And so far, the campaign has been incredibly successful.

Press ▶️ to watch Starburst’s launch video.


The idea 💡

There’s a lot of competition in the data, AI and machine learning tech market.

Hundreds of brands are competing on the same platforms with very similar messaging.

So how do you create engagement? How do you build brand recognition within your ICP?

The marketing team at Starburst, led by Jess Iandiorio, decided the solution was to be unique. They wanted to be innovative and bold.

They wanted to do something that nobody else had thought of. They wanted to take Starburst into outer space! How did the idea come about?

Lorna Malja, Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing at Starburst, explains:

“It was a cross-functional brainstorm session. When we first talked about it, we were like, what can we do that no one in the market is doing? We really wanted to stand out in the sea of sameness.”

This creative drive to be different led to Space Quest League.


The Vision 👀

Starburst was looking for a way to stand out. After all, B2B brands in the tech market often look similar.

They wanted a unique aesthetic for Space Quest League, eventually settling on 8-bit retro art.

How was the art put together? Starburst used a creative agency called DC and Co.

Then the competition prizes were worked out. Anna Schibli, Field Marketing Specialist at Starburst, said:

“Space Quest League was a year-long competition with four distinct missions and four prizes.”

How did the Starburst team decide on prizes?

They used a survey to uncover the interests of their data professional target market.

The results suggested that sci-fi-related prizes would be a good fit.

So for Mission One, the prize was “The Ultimate Disney Galactic Experience”.

This offered four people a five-day trip, with two nights on Disney’s newest hotel - the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser.

The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser is a live-action, choose your own adventure experience. It involves boarding a simulated cruise in outer space within the Star Wars galaxy.

It ties in nicely with Starburst’s space quest theme. After conquering Space Quest League, you’re worthy of jumping to the controls of the Millennium Falcon.

Mission Two had a cash prize - “What would you do with a 20k payday?”. How was the game launched? Starburst had a comprehensive multi-channel strategy.

They used paid ads, social channels and email to target data professionals. Starburst even partnered with data influencers.

To unlock the sweepstake competition, users had to follow Starburst on LinkedIn.

Anna’s goal was to maximise engagement. She explained:

“One of my jobs is to work on weekly challenges to bring entrants back and engage more in the games. The more you engage in the game, the higher your chances of winning are.”

There was also a charity angle to the campaign.

Upon launching Mission One, Starburst decided to donate “$1 per valid contestant up to $100,000.”

The participants of Mission One were also able to vote on the charity. After Mission One, Starburst donated $5,000 to a charity supporting Ukrainian refugees.

Starburst set out to “do well and do good”. They certainly achieved that!


The Results 📈

Starburst is currently in Mission Two; the campaign is around 25% completed. Despite still building momentum, the initial results are hugely promising. Lorna told us:

“We are seeing amazing engagement on paid media specifically. There’s been an incredible 7.8x increase in CTR on LinkedIn. We’ve also had a 70% decrease in CPC on LinkedIn.”

Usually, Starburst sees a $20-$25 CPC on LinkedIn. They were able to get that down to $6! Lorna explained further:

“It speaks to how well our content, messaging, graphics and video resonate with the target audience.”

Starburst takes a modern, data-driven approach. They regularly look back at the data to see what is and isn’t working.

Email was the main channel for driving gamification with participants and was used to announce new challenges.

So far, the results have been exciting. Emily Black, Senior Manager, Demand Generation, said:

“Open rates and CTRs have been standing out. Impressively, from Mission One to Mission Two, the numbers have continued to climb.”

“Most importantly, 70% of Space Quest League entrants are new to Starburst. They haven’t been in our database for a long time, and they’re not originally highly engaged campaign members. They’re net new to us! It’s something we’re super excited about.”

Starburst’s creative campaign proves that in B2B marketing, being unboring is the best route to success.


Check out more *unboring* campaigns below...

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