Through an integrated market research campaign, CodeScience connected with targeted prospects, delivered value and improved its positioning as a thought leader in leveraging the AppExchange.
CodeScience had marketing resources and budget to allocate for an initiative that would help the company to connect with key prospects while emphasizing and further establishing its positioning as a leading developer of Salesforce AppExchange products. SmarkLabs pitched a number of ideas for integrated, full-funnel campaigns. After review and a collaborative call, CodeScience and SmarkLabs decided to leverage a market research strategy to accomplish these goals.
By laying the right groundwork, this campaign fueled content and drove strategy for months to come. Here’s the framework for the campaign, piece by piece:
- Identify your persona and research targets. CodeScience uses an account-based marketing approach, emphasizing ideal-fit companies to work with, so we looked to target this demographic in the research: loosely, mid-size to large technology companies with at least one product on the AppExchange.
- Define your offer. We wanted to create content that would be valuable to both companies who have developed on the AppExchange before and those who have not, but might benefit from doing so. The sweet spot: A report on strategies for driving adoption and revenue through the AppExchange, with research on what works best.
- Determine your questions. What do you want to ask, why is that information valuable and how? We brought together key stakeholders to break findings into sections and reach consensus on the most valuable learnings, drafted a series of questions, and brought in a data expert to make changes geared toward extrapolating insights from collected data.
- Build your survey. There are several tools to do this; we used SurveyMonkey for ease of creation. The survey had an immediate question to disqualify any respondent not yet on the AppExchange, and required a work email to confirm respondents fit.
- Build your outreach and strategy. We compiled a targeted list based on account priorities, data on whether a company has an AppExchange presence. We also drafted a series of emails to go to this list until they completed the survey, scheduling six touches over the course of three weeks. An escalating incentive to solicit responses, which doubled if there was no response after the first touches, was also budgeted for and implemented.
- Collect and process the data. In the weeks the survey was live, we collected about 140 qualified responses from targeted respondents. Due to the highly defined nature of the group, responses were solicited through targeted, private emails only. The data expert helped shape responses into clear insights and takeaways.
- Create the report. We grouped and wrote through our key findings, publishing a PDF report within a month of completing response gathering and closing the survey. The report’s original iteration was downloadable behind a form on an optimized landing page.
- Tell the world. Our promotion strategy ran deep. The launch of the report coincided with Dreamforce ‘17, Salesforce’s (and the AppExchange’s) signature event. Leveraging a mix of direct sales outreach, sales development, and promotional marketing emails, we used the report as a foot in the door to generate meetings — with the angle that we just published research about how to succeed in the ecosystem, and would love to share the findings with them first. Other pieces included social-media and email-signature promotion, press release, a five-piece blog series breaking down the insights, a semi-custom direct mail play and social targeting to priority accounts, and a digitally optimized, interactive version of the report.
The market research campaign significantly impacted CodeScience’s marketing and sales outcomes, as well as the company itself. Here are some measures of success — some based on KPIs, others less numerical but still significant.
- 140 qualified responses (and Amazon gift cards sent in appreciation)
- 100+ form submissions to download the report
- 5 additional meetings booked at DF ‘17 to discuss the report
- 1000+ digital views of content (blog series, landing page, PDF and interactive report)
- Improved market positioning and boosted awareness
- Provided topic for DF ‘17 hosted panel and a reason for sales to helpfully reach out to prospects
- Launched a related podcast on the strength of findings and connections
Advent Health Partners (Advent), a technology and services provider helping hospital organizations centralize and collect data for more efficiency, had a solution for an industry problem but needed more leads faster to capitalize on market conditions. In a crowded content marketing world, it was essential for the company to provide something truly of value to break through the noise.
SmarkLabs evaluated Advent’s positioning, market and resources to recommend next steps that will help them achieve their goals. To do this, Advent had a valuable internal resource: its client services team. The team’s experience in helping clients solve problems could also be applied to prospects as a way to add value and establish its expertise and credibility.
Leveraging this expertise without disrupting client services called for a plan that was consistent and repeatable, to distill knowledge efficiently. To maximize internal investment, it also needed to be scalable. Hospitals face substantial resource and revenue challenges through the claims process, including combatting or receiving denials, responding with additional reviews and appeals. For Advent prospects, that pain is top of mind. Here’s how Advent and SmarkLabs set out to help hospitals solve that pain through a coordinated marketing and sales strategy.
- Blog content educated prospects of the problem with tips on solving it
- A free download offering examples of good and bad appeal letters, and a template for crafting your own captured leads and created interest
- A webinar series helping hospitals solve challenges increased awareness, captured leads and demonstrated expertise
- A free review of hospitals’ own appeal examples and a consultation with personal advice started the sales conversation
- Automated emails from sales reps revisited a consultation with interested leads who did not book meetings originally
Each piece of content had clear next steps and built toward a sales situation, nurturing prospects and creating new, well-informed opportunities. Pieces were added after initial successes to keep building a clear path and meet evolving lead-generation goals.
- Blogs focused on combating denials generated thousands of views and represent the top two most-visited posts.
- The marketing offers generated hundreds of submissions from current prospects and previously unknown leads.
- The consultation offer alone increased quarterly pipeline by 22%.
- The success of the webinar and campaign led to a monthly recurring webinar series educating providers on how to better manage common problems throughout the claims process. The series regularly generated 100+ registrants seeking assistance and expertise.
New business for LTA was primarily referral driven by previous customers or their technology partners. In order to scale new business revenue, they needed an approach to identify new prospect opportunities directly. Without a brand name like Accenture, the direct outreaches were not effective despite increasing activity.
SmarkLabs worked with the LTA team on a new approach that leveraged their industry expertise to build trust with potential prospects. The approach required a monthly webcast series featuring a 30-minute Q&A session with LTA’s CEO that focused on industry-related topics. The webcast series was an opportunity to gain trust and credibility among new prospects and identify new projects with existing clients.
SmarkLabs designed a promotion strategy around the webcast series that involved three core channels; Email marketing, outbound sales emails, and social media.
200% increase in sales qualified leads
16% increase in total pipeline
Liberty Technology Advisors is a leading ERP and management consultant advisory firm. Expertise includes change management, process engineering, software implementation, vendor selection, and project management. LTA works closely with clients to ensure critical IT applications provide maximum business impact and alignment with organizational objectives.
CodeScience is an industry leader in helping SaaS businesses develop apps and thrive on the Salesforce AppExchange. Founded in 2008 as one of the first Product Development Organizations for Salesforce, CodeScience has built over 100+ apps for clients including SpringCM, Lattice Engines, and MailChimp.
CodeScience came to SmarkLabs seeking a partner to help them craft a strategy to increase the company’s volume of qualified leads. Like many marketing teams, CodeScience’s team was stretched thin managing multiple marketing initiatives and needed expertise and services to stay focused on the objective goals of marketing.
The new, full-funnel marketing engine of CodeScience focuses on integrated and measurable Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns targeting key customer tiers and tactical website upgrades that focused on Conversion-Rate Optimization (CRO). CodeScience is engaging prospects with more targeted outreach and segmented campaigns, utilizing messaging across channels from marketing, SDR and sales team for a unified buyer’s journey.
The joint effort between CodeScience and SmarkLabs led to a 35 percent increase in website traffic, and most importantly, a 280 percent increase in inbound lead acquisition. Within the first three months of the partnership, CodeScience boosted its conversion rate by 66 percent.
- 39% decrease in quarterly cost per conversion
- 196% increase in quarterly new lead acquisition
Bluebird Homecare (Bluebird), a Nashville-based homecare provider operating in the Midwest and Southeast, sought more ROI from their marketing spend. The company wanted to generate more leads for its regional locations, as well as nurture existing referral relationships with local healthcare organizations in those markets. Connecting through the burgeoning Nashville healthcare scene, Bluebird Homecare CEO Stuart Brunson, partnered with SmarkLabs to build and execute a client acquisition strategy.
SmarkLabs created and implemented a marketing strategy that connected with, nurtured and converted consumer and business prospects. A core component of strategy targeted at consumers was paid advertising through Google AdWords and augmented with Facebook remarketing. SmarkLabs set up campaigns based on each Bluebird location, implementing A/B testing by region of different AdWords bid strategies. After measuring and analyzing results, SmarkLabs then recommended the strategy creating maximum opportunity.
The agency also provided training on utilizing the HubSpot CRM and portal. A closed-loop reporting solution built by SmarkLabs in HubSpot allows Bluebird regional directors to mark whether leads are qualified or unqualified, allowing for further reporting and insights into the quality of leads generated. Custom workflows used location and page-visit logic to automatically assign new leads to the correct owner.
To monitor and gauge success and areas for improvement, SmarkLabs also built a custom Databox dashboard compiling KPIs and results, overall and segmented by location. This updates regularly and allows the client to keep track of investment and returns in real-time.
Aligned with SmarkLabs, Bluebird was able to expand its services and increase operating locations less than a year after beginning the partnership, opening three additional offices with more planned expansion ahead.
Some noteworthy statistics on paid advertising successes:
- 89% increase in site traffic
- 196% increase in new contact acquisition
- 252% increase in client prospect leads generated
- 13% decrease in average cost per click
- 39% decrease in cost per conversion
Based on AdWords success, Brunson will expand paid efforts and budget to generate leads in new Bluebird locations.
Reveille provides a software platform that sits alongside your existing CSP, ECM or EIM, to track and improve collaboration across the enterprise. Reveille came to SmarkLabs with the need for a series of videos that could help explain a whole host of marketing concepts – who they are, what they do, and most importantly, why an enterprise level company probably needs a service like Reveille. The main challenge came from communicating highly technical solutions to a business decision committee, with an urgent need to get a solution in place within budget.
SmarkLabs and Reveille explored many different topics to help explain the core of their business while attempting to make it approachable and exciting. The solution included a unique content production approach that would have videos aligned with marketing goals and prospect questions, hosted throughout their site to add value to their other resources. The first project was an overall explainer video to help prospects understand the value of adding a solution such as Reveille. This helped them have a sales enabler to engage new prospects when they visit the homepage.
Because of the somewhat complex nature of Reveille’s business, metaphors became very important. One useful way of explaining the relationship between Reveille and an ECM such as Dynatrace, AppDynamics, or Domo is through security. Your overall CSP might function like someone outside of a house who can alert the fire department if they see a house on fire. But Reveille, which can live inside of your environment, functions like a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher, catching a problem early and potentially preventing the fire altogether. By actually animating this scenario, SmarkLabs was able to provide a visual aid for prospects to remember when going through the sales process.
One way that Reveille’s sales reps like to describe what the software does is that you ask it specific questions and you get back specific answers – this can be found in their tagline, Actionable Insights. Together with their team, we came up with the idea of showing how Reveille functions very similarly to everyone’s new favorite toy – the in-home assistant. By comparing Reveille to a Google Home or Amazon Alexa, we were able to show that Reveille’s capabilities are broad and far-reaching, but manageable and usable through its interface.
SmarkLabs produced a total of 6 videos that helped educate visitors to Reveille’s website. This eliminated 70+% of marketing budget waste that dramatically lowered lead and customer acquisition costs.
Want to see how your business’ website or social channels can benefit from targeted videos for prospects in different stages of the marketing funnel? Contact us to learn how we can help tell your company’s story strategically through video.