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Top 50 B2B Marketing Case Studies of 2012

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BtoB Online's Top 50 Marketing Case Studies of 2012 is a collection of 50 in-depth case studies from diverse companies. The result is comprehensive insight into the issues facing today's b2b marketer. …

BtoB Online's Top 50 Marketing Case Studies of 2012 is a collection of 50 in-depth case studies from diverse companies. The result is comprehensive insight into the issues facing today's b2b marketer. By showcasing the experience of others, we hope to help readers arm readers with the crucial information they need to plan their own successful campaigns.

Top 50 Marketing Case Studies 2012 includes email case studies that explain how to stand out in a saturated marketing; lead generation stories that detail how to use video to increase leads, and social media stories that describe how to better connect with customers. In addition to the 19 email, lead gen and social media marketing case studies, Top 50 Marketing Case Studies 2012 contains over 30 case studies on direct marketing, event marketing, integrated marketing, video, and great b2b websites.

Packed with great info drawn straight from the experience of b2b marketers in the trenches, Top 50 Marketing Case Studies 2012 features case studies from companies such as Teradata, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Canon, Amex, IBM, Pitney Bowes and Motorola Solutions.

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  • 1. BtoB’sTop 50 MarketingCase StudiesReal-Life Success Stories to HelpB2B Marketers Connect, Convertand Boost ResponseBy the staff of BtoB magazine© 2012 Crain Communications Inc.
  • 2. ContentsChapter 1: EmailHow Teradata stands out in a saturated market .....................................................................7How First National Corp. hired the right ESP ............................................................................9How Wasp Barcode Technologies lifts open rates ................................................................11How F5 Networks uses voicemail to support email .............................................................13How Crestline uses analytics to its advantage........................................................................14How Constant Contact promotes webinars............................................................................16How Volvo Construction Equipment increases email opens.............................................18Chapter 2: Lead GenerationHow Pyramid Consulting manages leads................................................................................21How TDS gets sales, marketing on same page.....................................................................23How CDW generates sales-ready leads..................................................................................25How Cbeyond uses online video to increase leads .............................................................26How National Starch improves leads with trade show microsite......................................28How HP Extream’s traveling exhibit finds new revenue......................................................30Chapter 3: Social MediaHow GridGain Systems connects with customers................................................................33How Cisco heightens brand loyalty ..........................................................................................35How Sanbolic boosts leads.........................................................................................................37How Mongoose Metrics drives, traffic, leads .........................................................................39How AT&T blog leverages ‘internal ambassadors’................................................................41How Morgan Stanley manages Twitter to its advantage......................................................43Chapter 4: Direct MarketingHow AT&T boosts direct mail response rate ..........................................................................46How Ryson raises conversions, visibility..................................................................................48How VisualSonics improves its search ranking .....................................................................49How Aetna better targets small-business owners.................................................................51How Yoh Services raises its profile locally and nationally...................................................53Chapter5: EventsHow HP promotes event app.....................................................................................................56How Uniface user conference evolves....................................................................................58How Fresh Intermediate uses group-buying at trade show................................................60How KM Canada launched product at industry show .........................................................62How Canon introduces product in person .............................................................................64How 2X Software boosts webinar attendance.......................................................................66
  • 3. ContentsChapter 6: IntegratedHow AmEx helps rebrand SMBs...............................................................................................69How Nihon Kohden raises its profile .......................................................................................71How IBM’s ‘Watson’ produces big business...........................................................................73How Pitney Bowes highlights new mail technology .............................................................75How Thomson Reuters increased sales opportunities for Eikon ......................................76How Motorola Soluntions introduces its new brand.............................................................78Chapter 7: VideoHow Corning’s ‘Day Made of Glass’ went viral ......................................................................81How ScaleMatrix keeps bounce rate down............................................................................83How Opera got the word out about new product.................................................................84How Intergraph ramps up video strategy................................................................................86Chapter 8:10 Great B-to-B WebsitesAmerican Express OPEN Forum ..............................................................................................89Approva.net ...................................................................................................................................90Carnival Cruise Line’s GoCCL.com ..........................................................................................91Citrix Online’s GotoWebinar ......................................................................................................92Grainger...........................................................................................................................................93GrouponWorks.com......................................................................................................................94Heroku..............................................................................................................................................95Shopify.com.....................................................................................................................................96Siemens.com...................................................................................................................................97USxpress.com ................................................................................................................................98
  • 4. Chapter 1EMAIL
  • 5. 7BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #1Crowd ControlHow Teradata stands outin a saturated marketBy Karen J. BannanThe CRM market is a competitive one. Getting a CRM product noticed in such a toughmarket can be a challenge, especially since there are multiple stakeholders involved in apurchase decision. CRM software provider Teradata, which also sells analytics tools, data-base software and data appliances, used an integrated campaign to get customers’ atten-tion, said Erin Fagan, director of Marcom programs at the company.“We addressed the confusion straight on,” she said. “Our key message was that theCRM market is very cluttered, and we’re creating breakthrough CRM performance withour product.”The three-pronged campaign, launched last June, was created in conjunction withinteractive agency Tocquigny, Austin, Texas. It targeted VP- and director-level recipients at310 companies, and touched more than 3,000 contacts via e-mail, direct mail and salescalls. Approximately 10 days elapsed between each follow-up e-mail or direct mail piecesent to prospects.The first element in the campaign was an e-mail, Fagan said, using customer testimoni-als. “We used customer quotes, with them talking about their experience,” she said. “It wasa customer-led strategy to get people thinking about why they might need our product.” Inaddition, recipients were able to click through to download a white paper that discussedboth technical and business benefits. It was collateral that didn’t inspire a single opt-out,Fagan said.The second e-mail upped the ante, offering a free session with John Lovett, senior part-ner at Web analytics and optimization consulting firm Web Analytics Demystified. “A lot ofpeople think they can’t afford to hire a consultancy, so this was an important offering—something that really resonated,” Fagan said.The final e-mail and corresponding direct mail piece went out soon after. Both con-tained a hard call to action as well as an offer of a free iPad that was preloaded with e-brochures, sales tools, a Flash demo, white papers, and a podcast featuring Web AnalyticsDemystified’s Lovett.“The iPad was a tool, an educational tool that the prospects could use within their owncompanies,” Fagan said. “We wanted to put information into their hands that they couldshare with others [at their companies] who shared the decision-making process.”Anyone who didn’t respond to the e-mails or direct marketing piece got a final touch,too: a “last chance” letter sent via USPS reminding recipients of the free iPad offer and urg-
  • 6. 8 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESing them to schedule a meeting with the Web Analytics Demystified consultant. During thecampaign, when a prospect responded to one of the offers they were removed from otheroffers in the campaign cycle and received a follow-up phone call within 24 hours from asalesperson.To date, the campaign has received 355 responses, a 17% response rate. The audiencereached was about 60% IT people and 40% from the business side, Fagan said. In total, 301people downloaded the company’s white paper, and 55 in-person sales meetings were gen-erated. About 15 people requested the free consultation with Lovett. The iPads were hand-delivered to prospects.Since Teradata’s sales cycle is about 18 months, it’s too soon to say whether the cam-paign will result in identifiable revenue, however Fagan said she and her team were veryhappy with the results. “I call it associated revenue because you can never say one thing,one piece of marketing, was the main reason someone makes a purchase,” Fagan said.“We’re really pleased, however, with the number of meetings that the campaign gener-ated.”Originally published March 15, 2011
  • 7. 9BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #2Choose WiselyHow First National Corp.hired the right ESPBy Karen J. BannanIn 2008, leasing and finance company First National Capital Corp. decided to employan email service provider to help with its marketing program. Unfortunately, the company,which offers funding and debt syndication services to a variety of industries (including avi-ation, construction, manufacturing, retail, and energy) found its provider to be “expensiveand difficult to use,” according to Mike Curtis, First National Capital’s VP-marketing andsales operations.“We spent about $69,000 during the first year,” he said. “While I was impressed withthe benefits, I felt for that kind of spend there had to be other solutions out there. I wantedto do what we were doing more effectively and spend less money.”In the second quarter of 2009, Curtis decided to hire ESP Pinpointe—mostly, he said,because of reduced costs. But he quickly discovered Pinpointe provided more flexibilitythan his old system.For instance, since First National Capital has many different customer segments, Curtiswanted a way to segment the company’s contact database so targeted emails could be sent.Using Pinpointe, he’s been able to create segments of several hundred people just as easilyas several thousand, and he can create one-time segments without having to do too muchleg work. The switch also allowed First National Capital to be more “hands-on,” somethingthat’s important since the company’s marketing department is Curtis himself. “I can con-centrate on hyper-hyper-personalization and be very targeted and very specific,” he said.“I’m not stuck using templates or sending to specific, preformatted segments.The email program touches customers on average three to four times per quarter,including a quarterly email newsletter and other segment-specific offers and messages.Content is designed to build the company’s reputation as a thought leader and raise overallbrand awareness, Curtis said. All emails are personalized and come from individual salesrepresentatives as well as the corporate office.For example, a recent email went out to 11,000 people who own airplanes. “I pulled anarticle out of an aviation magazine about the fact that the federal government wants toeliminate the tax break and depreciation [related to owning a private jet]. We got a lot ofemails back thanking us for educating [our customers.]”The segmentation also lets Curtis send out email to clients based on past behavior. “Wesent a message out this week to people who bought planes three years ago,” he said. “Themessage was very targeted—”Regarding your Learjet 450 three-year anniversary.’ That
  • 8. 10 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESwent to 400 people. I sent out the email this morning, and we’re averaging a 21%-to-24%open rate so far on that one little campaign.”Curtis doesn’t rely exclusively on templates, sometimes opting for plain text messages.Another email, sent right before the July 4 holiday, was extremely simple; it contained clipart of a flag and text wishing recipients a “great Fourth of July.” That email generated fiveleads sent directly to sales reps, Curtis said.Since moving from its old marketing automation system to Pinpointe, Curtis has saveda lot of money, but the real benefits are the business results, he said. The company grew40% during 2009 while the rest of its industry was flat or losing revenue.“While it was more than just email, of course, it’s made me say, “Wow, that’s the realpower of email marketing.’ I can finally be more hands-on and communicate effectivelythe way my customers want to hear from us, and it shows in our sales.”Originally published July 28, 2011
  • 9. 11BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #3Pulling the TriggerHow Wasp Barcode Technologieslifts open ratesBy Karen J. BannanCustomers are more receptive to messaging when it resonates with their current situa-tions. A customer who just purchased a software package will be more interested in a setupguide than a longtime client who hasn’t made a similar purchase recently. In June 2010,Wasp Barcode Technologies decided to leverage this idea, creating and rolling out a cam-paign of nine timed emails aimed at new customers.The company—which sells barcode technology such as printers, labels and acces-sories—wanted to reach its existing small-business customers with more timely informa-tion and offers, said Brian Sutter, director-marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies.“Customer surveys indicated that time constraints were causing business owners to delayimplementing [our] MobileAsset software after a purchase,” he said. “The campaign wasconceived to improve the ‘onboarding process’ and encourage users to engage with thesoftware immediately after activation, to increase the likelihood that small-business own-ers would recommend the software to their peers.”The campaign took the form of nine triggered emails over a post-purchase; the emailswent out after a customer activated the software license. Once the product was activated,the data was passed from Wasp’s CRM system into the company’s MarketFirst email mar-keting system (from CDC Software) and the campaign automatically initiated. (“Let’s say[the customer] bought an entry-level product and upgrade within 60 days,” Sutter said.“Our system knows to move them to that upgraded product’s list.”)The first email—a message about the company’s free training—was sent 24 hours aftera customer activated the software, encouraging them to watch an online session or attend alive, one-hour Web training. “It really gets them started using the product,” Sutter said.The next email, which provides details about tutorials that can be downloaded, wentout three days after the first email was received. Emails three through nine were spaced 30days apart. Each tried to improve a user’s experience and satisfaction. For example, emailNo. 3 is an offer to buy an extended warranty. “Since people only have a 60-day window tobuy an extended warranty, we want them to know about it before time is up,” Sutter said.Emails four and five offer more how-tos and tips; email six offers accessory upselling; andemail seven offers a product upgrade. Email eight is a satisfaction survey.The series has a low opt-out level, Sutter said, adding that the activation campaign opt-outs are 60% lower than in other campaigns. Even more significant are the open rates,which have yielded a 105% lift over previous efforts. Another perk: 50% of new testimo-
  • 10. 12 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESnial leads have come directly from the email campaign, and click-throughs for complimen-tary products are averaging 25% higher than previous in campaigns.“A big reason for our success is that we’re sending relevant emails,” Sutter said. “We’renot sending training help for a product that a customer has not purchased or has purchaseda long time ago. By helping our customers get a return on investment, we are validatingour product and our service commitment, and really creating a relationship.”Originally published July 26, 2011
  • 11. 13BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #4Make the CallHow F5 Networks uses voicemailto support emailBy Karen J. BannanE-mail is a “huge” component of IT infrastructure provider F5 Networks’ marketingplan. The company, which sells hardware and services to data centers and service providernetworks, segments its database and generates a combined 11,000 to 12,000 leads permonth from the more than 50 marketing campaigns it runs at any time. And because itsprospects include both lower-level IT people as well as CIOs and VPs of IT, the company iswilling to test new strategies, said Jeanette Geary, senior marketing programs manager atF5 Networks.“CIOs or director level and above are not interested in an e-mail nurture program; theywant a peer-to-peer program or a direct touch,” she said. “They are not opposed to us send-ing e-mail, but how they are going to digest or learn is not going to be through e-mail.”So F5 Networks turned to Toronto-based guided voicemail provider Boxpilot to helpget its e-mail programs a more receptive audience, said Kirby Wadsworth, F5 Networks’VP-global marketing. “Basically, this lets us reach out and leave a message on an execu-tive’s voicemail that says, “You’re going to get an e-mail about something important, sowhen you get it, you might want to open it,’ ” he said.F5 Networks used Boxpilot at the end of 2010 for a campaign promoting a series of fourdisaster recovery guides. The guides highlighted F5 Networks disaster recovery solutionsincluding BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Link Controller and BIG-IP Local TrafficManager. F5 Networks sent out e-mails and on the same day Boxpilot’s call managers leftpre-recorded messages for prospects on the list. The process was more than just an autodi-aler because the Boxpilot call managers—live agents—called each company asking to betransferred to the correct person’s voicemail box. The process also allowed F5 Networks toclean its list because prospects who had left a company or had moved to a new departmentcould be removed from the list and a new contact name added. The campaign also includeda second follow-up call from telemarketing representatives.Overall, using Boxpilot to remind people to read their e-mail helped boost the responserate by 2%—no small achievement considering the cost of the F5 Networks’ products. Theextra personal touch definitely helps with awareness, Wadsworth said. “Even if the subjectmatter doesn’t pique the person’s interest, they get to know us and might have interest insomething else down the line,” he said.Originally published Jan. 17, 2011
  • 12. 14 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #5Testing, Testing…How Crestline uses analyticsto its advantageBy Karen J. BannanWhen Mark Murphy joined the marketing team at Crestline, a company that providesimprinted promotional products to businesses, he immediately jumped into a completeoverhaul of the company’s email marketing program. Murphy, who is Crestline’s e-com-merce marketing manager, said the move was part of a “complete revamping” of the com-pany’s interactive strategy, which also includes a new e-commerce platform.One of the biggest changes, Murphy said, had to do with the use of analytics. The com-pany in the past wasn’t taking advantage of data from previous campaigns, so he and histeam started looking at “years’ worth of data,” he said. In addition, the company startedpaying closer attention to what its competitors are doing.“We’re keeping an eye on the products that are offered [via email], and the timing ofthe emails as they relate to what we’re putting forth,” Murphy said. “We’re looking at, “Arethey putting out an offer six weeks before a key date and we’re putting it out five weeksbefore.’ We’re taking that data and our own data and using it to do an enormous amount oftesting and analysis.”Subject line testing has yielded some changes that are the easiest to make, he said,although the company is also testing various list segmentations, as well, sending specificsubject lines to individual segments. “Crestline has increasingly used A/B testing to opti-mize subject lines over the previous six months,” Murphy said.One recent test of multiple variants helped the company identify an email whose openrate was 15% higher than other versions. “This approach was confirmed through furthertesting, and then introduced to Crestline’s entire mailing list with similar and very positiveresults,” he said.Another winning strategy, Murphy said, is the company’s revamped email sign-upprocess. When Murphy came on board, the company had around 60,000 addresses on itslist. Hoping to boost that number, Crestline tossed its old form, which required visitors toenter “a lot” of information before they could be added to the email list. Today, visitors cansign up for emails via a prominent widget that appears throughout the site. The widgetrequires only an email address and first and last name.“Previously, signup was a series of complex steps,” Murphy said. “Now, it’s much,much easier, and our reach is greater because the signup has increased exposure through-out the site.” The list has grown more than 10% in less than six months, he said.Murphy said the team will also ontinue testing and tweaking content. “The scorched-
  • 13. 15BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESearth approach for everything—email, content, templates, everything—really worked,” hesaid. “We have changed the branding strategy completely, changed our templates; [we’ve]moved to more image-centric designs, copy is lighter and we’re seeing really good results.”Originally published June 9, 2011
  • 14. 16 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #6Blast AwayHow Constant Contact promotes webinarsBy Christopher HosfordThe tension between inbound marketing and outbound direct marketing can be a goodthing when they work together. Axicom Inc., a Westlake Village, Calif.-based technologyconsultancy focusing on networking, backup solutions and training, is doing just that withan aggressive email program in support of educational content.“Our services are based on providing infrastructure and general tech support,” saidMarketing Director Christa Nonnemaker. “We do a lot of managed services, remotely[making] sure servers and computers are running. What differentiates us from others isthat we provide education on the technology we know our customers are using.”This year Nonnemaker has leveraged the company’s use of Constant Contact—anemail service provider catering to small-to-midsize companies—to publicize a series ofwebinars on the use of Microsoft Office modules such as PowerPoint and Excel. It’s thiskind of basic education that’s complementary to the company’s overall tech support serv-ices by helping cement customer loyalty and encourage prospect interest, she said.“We sent out email blasts about the webinars, and used the Constant Contact eventmarketing module to have people register for it,” Nonnemaker said. “That, in turn, pro-duced an auto response via email.”Registrant emails were captured, and those were sent eight regularly scheduled tips onthe use of the Microsoft Office product being highlighted in that time frame. “We contacted[people] nine times for a month and a half,” said Nonnemaker.Axicom also sends out regular e-newsletters and focuses on strong subject lines.“The more provocative the subject line, the better response we get,” she said. “In thecomputer business, unfortunately, there are built-in opportunities for that, such as [circu-lating] virus scares. With subject lines that warn about possible significant problems, theopen rates are incredibly high.”Nonnemaker is exploring combining social media with email to drive prospects back tothe archived newsletters. Like many ESPs, Constant Contact offers the ability to embedpopular sharing icons, like Facebook and LinkedIn, in outbound emails.Kelly Flint, regional development director with Constant Contact, feels that Axicom isdoing a good job combining inbound and outbound marketing with informative content.“They’ve done something smart [with] the use of ‘help tickets,’ ” she said. “When cus-tomers have questions, they share them with all their other customers. For example, itmight take the form of ‘Top Five Questions That Are Asked About Your Business.’ That canbe great content for email marketing and social together.”Nonnemaker feels she can do more with social media in support of her other channels.
  • 15. 17BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES“I’m still grappling with the efficacy of social media as compared to email,” she said. ”Ireported in our September e-newsletter that while social media usage is up to 65%, it’sactually a young demographic who uses it. Our clients are in a different demographicentirely, with mostly men over age 45 as our primary clients. So while I use social media,I’m not ready to give up email. I still feel it’s very effective for us.”The ROI of Axicom’s content-supported email campaign is still a work in progress, butNonnemaker is encouraged.“I wouldn’t say it’s been incredibly influential on the bottom line, but it’s been good inbranding, in how people regard us,” she said. “Now, there’s an impression that we are aleader. We’re not just a bunch of computer guys who amble in and out. Our customers arestrong local businesses and our credibility is important.”Originally published Oct. 24, 2011
  • 16. 18 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEMAIL: CASE STUDY #7Personal TouchHow Volvo Construction Equipmentincreases email opensBy Karen J. BannanIn the early days of the Internet—B.F., before Facebook—there were social media sites.TechRepublic, a peer-to-peer networking site for information technology professionals wasone of them.“We were social networking before social networking was even a term,” DougLlewellyn, VP-CBS Interactive Business Technology, said in an exclusive interview withBtoB.TechRepublic debuted in 1999 to offer content and the opportunity for IT professionalsto interact online. A CBS Interactive company, TechRepublic on Sunday unveiled a newdesign for its website that encourages more interaction from users and offers new opportu-nities for b-to-b technology marketers.The new design enables users to share content more easily via Facebook and Twitter.Additionally, the new site provides a greater emphasis on interaction with TechRepubliccontent through voting, discussions and questions.With the new website design, user questions—and the answers and commentary sur-rounding them—are now captured on a single page. Users will find “at-a-glance” views ofthe most active discussions and questions throughout the site.“Users can find each other more easily, and they can ask and answer questions in amuch more efficient way,” Llewellyn said.In redesigning the site, TechRepublic gathered input from users. About 40 users gath-ered in 2009 for a meeting at TechRepublic’s editorial offices in part to provide input onhow to improve the site. About 60 users did the same last year.The new site also offers new advertising opportunities, such as the Tech Blueprint adprogram, which has been used previously on sibling CBS Interactive site ZDNet by promi-nent b-to-b marketers, such as Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp. and OracleCorp.With Tech Blueprint, TechRepublic said marketers can “own” a content category, withbrand advertising that surrounds relevant content, such as news, blog posts and whitepapers. Marketers using Tech Blueprint have their messages run across the top of the pageand down the sides, and they move along with users as they scroll down the page.HP Enterprise recently ran a six-month program on ZDNet using Tech Blueprint thatpromoted storage products. “I would consider it a 360-degree engagement with customers,because of the way the content was presented,” said Julie Price, advertising manager at HP
  • 17. 19BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEnterprise Business. “You were able to brand the page across the top and down the side.There was HP messaging everywhere. It was a true customer experience where every-where they looked they saw an HP message.”Price said the campaign performed well and delivered a 750% increase in click-throughs compared to previous executions. TechRepublic anticipates similar results whenthe Tech Blueprint launches on the newly revamped site.“TechRepublic offers marketers a unique environment because our users have told usthat they want to hear from vendors,” Llewellyn said in a statement announcing the siteredesign. “They care about the latest technologies being brought to market, and vendorinformation is a critical piece of helping them make decisions to get their jobs done.”Originally published Jan. 27, 2011
  • 18. Chapter 2LEAD GENERATION
  • 19. 21BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #1Keeping ScoreHow Pyramid Consulting manages leadsBy Jon VanZileAfter a decade of blistering growth, Pyramid Consulting reached a point that will befamiliar to many marketers: it was time to formalize and organize its lead-generation system.Pyramid provides global IT services and IT staff augmentation services. Headquarteredin Atlanta, in 2010 it was named one of Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies, but it did-n’t have a lead-management process in place, according to Randall McCroskey, PyramidVP-enterprise solutions.“Most lead generation was done through events, cold calling, referrals and network-ing,” McCroskey said.Pyramid decided on an email marketing strategy and brought in LeadLife Solutions,Atlanta, to help design the program. LeadLife is a marketing automation company thatoffers lead-generation solutions, including email programs.The goal of Pyramid’s program was to “establish a framework” for lead generation andincrease engagement rates with the company’s product line, as well as helping the salesdepartment score leads to determine which were hot and should be followed up immediately.The challenge was tackled from two angles: a content strategy and a simple lead-scor-ing system that operated in real time.The approach to content was built from the ground up, using material that was alreadyavailable to Pyramid’s marketing department or writing new content.“The strategy was to educate our audience on why they needed to engage Pyramid formobile technology services,” said Nancy Thompson, account executive at Pyramid Consult-ing. “The content was unique to the emails. Pyramid had some white papers and othersales collateral, but most content for this program was created from scratch.”As for qualifying leads, LeadLife helped design a system of email marketing metrics topaint a picture of a prospect’s behavior and interest.“[The program] tracks all [of a] prospect’s digital behavior, such as clicks, page views,time spent on pages, frequency of visits and form-fills,” said Lisa Cramer, president of Lead-Life Solutions. “For Pyramid, the scoring was used to measure each prospect’s engagement,which was a combination of clicks and page views. Based on their scores, they wereassigned a rating to indicate whether they were a hot, warm or cold lead.”One of the advantages to this system, McCroskey said, is that it operates in real time.“We are able to see behavior of accounts we are currently calling on, some of whichwere slow to respond to traditional methods of engaging,” he said. “Real-time notificationsallowed for warmer calls for the sales team, and the scoring and rating system helped usprioritize our time.”
  • 20. 22 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESUltimately, the program allowed Pyramid’s sales team to schedule more sales meetings,and it increased engagement rates in the company’s email marketing efforts 100% com-pared to previous email marketing campaigns.LeadLife’s Cramer said Pyramid’s success was due in part to observing a few bits of advice.“Start simple and build on your lead-management campaigns,” she said. “You don’tneed to have it all figured out at the outset. Also, use technology to fit your businessprocess, not the other way around. And finally, always measure what you do. Otherwise,you won’t know how to improve.”Originally published Jan. 9, 2012
  • 21. 23BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #2Mutual UnderstandingHow TDS gets sales, marketingon same pageBy Christopher HosfordTelephone and Data Systems, the Chicago-based telecommunications service company,knows what happens when sales and marketing aren’t aligned: Things deteriorate quickly.In 2004, the company instituted a process to better align sales and marketing. Over thepast several years, skeptical sales reps were not convinced of the program’s value until mar-keting, which spearheaded the initiative, tested its effectiveness by “going dark” with itssupporting program.“Sales would instantly drop 30% in that time period, and we’d quickly get calls fromsales asking, “How fast can we get that program up again,’ ” said Jennifer Stearns, formerlymanager-commercial promotions at TDS and now manager-marketing operations atAccenture.Stearns’ boss, Michele Falkner, supported her in her efforts to build a bridge betweenmarketing and sales.“Integrating sales and marketing is always a work in progress, something that everycompany is talking about,” said Falkner, manager-commercial marketing at TDS. “And it’salways a challenge because sales has to hit the street running while at the same time buy-ing in to what marketing is doing.“But there has to be buy-in at each stage of the process,” Falkner said.TDS worked with Nielsen Co. to develop prospect lists and tools, but realized its salesforce automation options were limited.“Consumer database marketing has lots of tools available and lists that already are seg-mented,” said Bill Macauley, director-product management at Nielsen Co. “For businessdata, it has to be customized for the client’s needs.”Developing prospect lists was key to the TDS effort. The company used precise market-area demographics in several Midwest states to assign equitable territories to an outsidesales force numbering 130.A direct mail campaign was augmented with tight sales buy-in; reps were required tomake at least three contacts a month with each prospect, and at least one of those neededto be in-person. Since this was initiated, the company has adjusted its contact quotas toreach decision-makers—it’s now up to an average of almost 10 efforts at contacting anyparticular decision-maker. Incentives feed the effort.TDS has devised metrics on how presentations convert to sales, so it focuses on face-to-face sessions rather than revenue.
  • 22. 24 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES“We know that if our salespeople get in the door, our close ratio is very high,” Falkner said.Prospects are rewarded with gifts such as iPads or GPS units as thank-yous for agreeingto see a rep and receiving a proposal. Meanwhile, the company developed an in-housesales force automation tool accessible by both sales and marketing.“My staff goes out on sales calls to understand the world of sales,” Falkner said. “Wecall them “blitz days,’ and the ultimate goal is for sales to be successful. But we’ll make itcompetitive. Marketing will make our own calls, challenging sales to make more calls thanus. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.”Sales aren’t the only ones with incentives and quotas. Marketing actively participatesin the sales process, and compensation is tied to metrics. It must directly contribute to atleast 20% of the company’s revenue.As the program has matured, Falkner said, marketing’s attributable influence actuallyaverages 30% to 40%, although in certain periods its direct influence on sales has rangedas high as 70%.“I hold everyone on our marketing team accountable to look at our ROI, detailing boththe cost of acquisition and the cost to get an appointment,” Falkner said. “Then we look atoverall marketing contribution to revenue.”To address prospects that need further nurturing, the company uses lead-scoring solu-tions from Eloqua and employs e-mail drip campaigns.Marketing and sales regularly sit down to discuss each others’ activities. From thesemeetings, marketing develops campaigns directly tailored to sales’ needs, such as helpingpush conversions in a particular stage of the funnel.In addition to boosting marketing’s contribution to revenue generation, the programkeeps close tabs on cost-per-customer-acquisition. Both sales and marketing are driven toreduce that by 5% to 10% for each program. But Falkner added that cost-per-acquisitioncan be a difficult number to pin down.“When we use lead nurturing, our costs are a lot less than when we use salespeoplecontacting prospects,” she said. “It’s a balance we have to watch, and use both effectively.”Originally published Jan. 17, 2011
  • 23. 25BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #3Get them on the phoneHow CDW generates sales-ready leadsBy Sean CallahanCDW Corp. is a b-to-b technology marketer. Its customers and prospects are early adopters,and the company engages in plenty of online marketing of all kinds. However, CDW is having asurprising amount of success marketing with a 135-year-old technology: the telephone.“Telemarketing is an area where we’ve placed a lot of time and attention the last yearor two,” said Mike Weir, CDW’s senior manager-data center solutions marketing. “It’sincreasingly important to us.”For its telemarketing program, CDW uses CNET Direct, a unit of CBS Interactive. CNETDirect, which is affiliated with CNET, TechRepublic and other tech-oriented websites, offersintegrated direct marketing programs and helps marketers in the U.S. as well as in Aus-tralia, China, France and elsewhere around the globe.CDW uses CNET Direct for a number of marketing communications programs that pro-mote the company’s virtualization, security, unified communications, cloud and otherofferings. CDW’s integrated program revolves around the TechRepublic site. The programuses banners that direct prospects to content such as videos, webinars and white papers.Telemarketing, however, is also a critical part of the program. “Telemarketing helpsbridge a gap,” Weir said.The gap he referred to is between the leads that are ready to be forwarded to CDW’ssales team and those that require more nurturing. CDW gauges prospects’ willingness tobuy through short online questionnaires that ask, for instance, about their budgets andtheir buying time frames.Prospects that have active budgets and are ready to buy relatively soon are passeddirectly to the CDW sales team. Prospects higher up in the sales funnel are given to CBSInteractive’s telemarketing squad.For CDW, CNET Direct over the past year or so has attempted to contact 16,000 leads.CNET telemarketers have contacted 30% of them. Of these completed contacts, 70% havebeen converted in some way; they have, for example, downloaded a white paper, regis-tered for a webinar or even been qualified as a sales-ready lead.Weir said having a third party make the calls has been very effective in havingprospects share information. He also said the program is selective. “We’re not bombardingthem with a bunch of calls,” he said.Weir said the telemarketing program has helped boost CDW’s sales-ready leads by asmuch as 12% in 12 months, which adds up to more than 1,000 additional leads going tothe sales staff on an annual basis.Originally published Nov. 8, 2011
  • 24. 26 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #4Fast-forward to successHow Cbeyond uses online videoto increase leadsBy Karen J. BannanCbeyond provides voice, data, mobile backup and cloud services to small companies.Two years ago, the company wanted to get its message out to a wider audience, so itplanned an integrated campaign that combined print placements and online display adver-tising—both of which contained links back to a microsite.The “Grow” campaign, rolled out in June 2009, showcased about 40 video testimonialsfrom Cbeyond customers talking about the benefits of using the company’s services. It ranuntil last December.“The videos help people connect on a more emotional level with what we’re doing,”said Shana Keith, Cbeyond’s director of public relations, who also handles interactive mar-keting efforts. “It shows how our customers are improving their own businesses using ourservices.”Cbeyond, with help from digital agency Arketi Group, Atlanta, decided to use videobecause the company wanted to put a face on its customer testimonials. “Prospects don’twant to read the written word,” Keith said. “They want quick communication with a faceon it.”The banner ads that supported the campaign appeared on various business sites,including Entrepreneur.com and Inc.com. Print ads appeared in Go magazine from AirTranAirways, a “lower-cost airline that small businesses seem to fly on,” Keith said.Once customers typed in the vanity URL (cbeyond.com/grow) they were taken to thesite where they could find videos of customers who were geographically close to them,Keith said. The site also had a small-business resource center, featuring a section aboutCbeyond’s products and services.In addition to the paid placement, Cbeyond also leveraged elements of the campaign inits social media efforts. “We consistently put videos on our blog, where they get a lot ofplay,” Keith said.The campaign produced significant, measurable results, Keith said. In 2008, before the“Grow” effort was implemented, Cbeyond’s marketing produced 50 trackable leads. In2009, the “Grow” campaign generated 1,100 leads; last year, it generated 2,700. The salesteam also uses the videos to educate themselves, as well as sales collateral when customersask for references, Keith said. “If our customer is looking at [Cbeyond product] VirtualReceptionist, we have a video about it so our salespeople can use it and, in effect, bring aproduct expert to the sale,” she said.
  • 25. 27BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSince seeing the power of video, Keith has made it a point to include video assetswhenever and wherever she can. For instance, she embeds video links in press releases asmultimedia content, uses them as Twitter fodder and includes links in direct marketingpieces, she said; and today, she’s using the “Grow” videos on a group of new local sites.Originally published May 3, 2011
  • 26. 28 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #5From Zero to 60How National Starch improves leadswith trade show micrositeBy Kate MaddoxNational Starch Food Innovation, a food ingredient manufacturer that is part of CornProducts International, has improved the quantity and quality of its leads through an inte-grated trade show microsite program it uses to drive traffic to events.National Starch launched its first trade show microsite in July 2009, a month after theInstitute for Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo conference in Anaheim, Calif.“The learning was, even in a good year, only a fraction of your customers and prospectswill attend,” said Marc Green, senior manager-marketing communications at NationalStarch Food Innovation and Corn Products International, noting that the 2009 IFT confer-ence—the food industry’s largest event—was held at the height of the recession.“How do you then present information to the people who didn’t attend? The internaldebate was [about] having a webinar, which is a lot more intense and requires moreresources, or a microsite?”National Starch decided to launch an event microsite, which featured content from theFood Expo conference—such as product announcements, video interviews with foodindustry executives and highlights from an award ceremony—at which National Starchwon an innovation award.It promoted the event microsite through an email campaign to its internal list of customersand prospects, which garnered an open rate of 16.0% and a click-through rate of 3.9%.But this was just the beginning of a successful program that National Starch has contin-ued to build on over the past two years.“We went from zero to 60,” Green said, pointing to the differences between the 2009campaign and the campaign for last year’s IFT Food Expo conference, which was held inJuly in Chicago.“We went from a one-page microsite and two email blasts to building a multipage sitewith a 10-week preshow campaign and a four-week postshow campaign,” Green said.Last year, National Starch used heavy email as well as social media, including Twitterand LinkedIn, to promote the event microsite and drive traffic to its booth at the show.Over the course of the 10-week campaign, an average of 12% of all emails wereopened, and 6% of its customer database clicked through to the microsite.Green said the success of the email campaign was due in part to writing compellingsubject lines and testing different subject lines among the target audience.Some of the subject lines used in the email campaign included “Cut development time.
  • 27. 29BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESImprove texture,” and “Improve your texture and your bottom line,” to promote foodingredient products that would be shown at the event.National Starch also sent out an email survey to its internal list two weeks before theIFT show.“We collected information on potential attendees and their issues, and trafficked it outto the sales force,” Green said.National Starch also used LinkedIn ads to promote engagement with its target audienceand drive traffic to its booth at the show.National Starch created LinkedIn ads with four-to-five-word headlines, such as “Newfood ideas at IFT,” followed by more detailed copy, such as “Want to improve or differentiateyour products? Then check out our booth at 4036,” with a link to the trade show microsite.All of these tactics resulted in increased traffic to the National Starch website in theweeks leading up to the event, and improved leads at the trade show.“It improved the quality of the interaction,” Green said.Originally published May 23
  • 28. 30 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESLEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #6Driving ResultsHow HP Extream’s traveling exhibitfinds new revenueBy Erin BibaIn yet another case of what to do with falling travel budgets, Extream, a division ofHewlett-Packard Co., an electronics and computer company, decided to save its clients andpartners the trouble of travel and instead brought the HP Extream booth to them.“With the economy the way it has been, a lot of people don’t have travel budgets,” saidTami Webster, HP Extream marketing manager, Americas. “When you have an event, evena small seminar at a hotel, it’s an inconvenience. So we decided to bring the tech and theevent right to their door.”Webster enlisted the assistance of event marketing company Pro Motion to nail down amarketing strategy for the coach.“When Tami came to us, we got into a conversation about putting the end in mindfirst,” said Steven Randazzo, president of Pro Motion. “What does this program need to do?We have to get the right people on the bus and show them the software. We thought aboutengagement and how long they were going to spend on the motor coach. How do we keepthem on? What are they going to be interested in?”Webster and her event team customized a bus, outfitting it with a living room, a meet-ing area, a plasma television and three demo stations to highlight HP products.“The software is very complex and has a lot of features,” Webster said. “We had testingdemos for each. We could have three people using them at one time.”Over the course of four weeks last April and May, HP Extream took the coach to 23cities, traveling 10,100 miles and demonstrating the software to 28 customers and 18prospects. The bus spent two to four hours at each site and, in the evenings, transportedclients to executive dinners. According to Webster, this helped the marketing and salesteam reach more high-level decision-makers in their client organizations then in the past.“We closed a deal in four months instead of nine,” said Webster of the significantlyreduced sales cycle experienced while using the traveling event. “All of the salespeople saidthey wanted to do this again, without hesitation. There was access to a wider variety ofpeople and it was no pressure—the environment was like sitting in a living room, and thecustomers were much more relaxed. They shared more information, and the environmentfacilitated the sales relationship.”“There are so many clients that are cutting budgets that the decision-makers can’t getout of their office,” Randazzo said. “HP is showing clients and prospects how importantthey are to them. It’s making the accessibility convenient for the decision-maker and shows
  • 29. 31BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESthe prospects and customers that HP cares.”In addition to creating accessibility to customers, Webster also suggested that the coachhad some benefits over traditional meetings. “At one stop, we had 30 people from onecompany come through the bus,” she said. “That would have taken months to set up—meeting upon meeting. But we had the users and decision-makers all at the same time.”HP Extream opened up nine new revenue opportunities. “Some are completely newand some are existing customers that we uncovered a new business opportunity with,”Webster said.The success, she said, means the team will be integrating the bus in its event mix inyears to come. “It was a hard sell internally when we first presented the idea because it’snew and a little different. But now that we’ve got a track record, we have been asked toinclude it in the budget again.”Randazzo agreed that the traveling coach is an effective addition to HP Extream’s mar-keting strategy. “This is part of an integrated outreach program,” he said. “They still doadvertising and trade shows, but they really saw the value of getting decision-makers tomake decisions quickly. They sold millions of dollars of product during this program.”Originally published Jan. 17, 2011
  • 30. Chapter 3SOCIAL MEDIA
  • 31. 33BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #1Tweets to SuccessHow GridGain Systems connectswith customersBy Karen BannanGridGain Systems provides a Java-based cloud application development platform thathelps developers turn software into software as a service. The first version of the applica-tion, developed as an open source project, debuted in 2007. Since then, company CEONikita Ivanov has traveled around the world to promote the product. “From the get-go, wewere cash-strapped,” he said. “So we’ve been doing cheap marketing: getting on a plane,on a train, in a car; speaking for two hours in front of the people who might use it; and thencoming home again.”Their best venues: Java user and application development conferences. “They let youget in front of the 20, 40 or 60 people who you know have come out to hear what you haveto say,” said Ivanov, who estimated that he’s done “dozens and dozens” of presentations inthe U.S. and Europe over the past few years. Still, the pace was getting to him and his 10other employees, so late last summer Ivanov decided that it was time to change his market-ing strategy.The company had already been focusing on Facebook; however, Ivanov said, that was-n’t working out for GridGain. “Many people on the technical side realize that there’s not ahuman being behind what you’re doing on Facebook,” he said. “It’s not interactive and, ifsomeone came to our Facebook page, they would have to wade through a gazillion posts tofind the technical information they were looking for,” he said.Consequently, Ivanov began exploring Twitter. Soon he realized that all his currentcustomers, as well as his competitors and peers, were already using the platform. Plus,Twitter had potential to be something that Facebook never did: a personal connection withcustomers and prospects. “Twitter really has a human touch to it because you can’t auto-mate writing 140 characters,” Ivanov said. “You’ve got to have a person listening to tweets,coming up with tweets to send out, choosing who to follow.”GridGain Systems started using Twitter as a marketing tool last August, with someoneat the company devoting 30 minutes per day to the platform. The staff also began bloggingand tweeting weekly to expand the company’s social networking presence. “All of the indi-vidual developers within the company are now tweeting,” Ivanov said. As a way of encour-aging their participation, he does not restrict subject matter. “As long as it’s an exchange ofideas and links, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.The new strategy is working, Ivanov said. “It’s very hard to get a developer to read along piece of material,” he said. “It’s much easier to get them hooked on a tweet about a
  • 32. 34 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESblog post or something interesting we’re doing with the technology.”The results, he said, are in the number of actual leads coming into the company. Whilehe wouldn’t disclose specific numbers, Ivanov said the increase has been “tangible.” Inaddition, GridGain has been able to increase the amount of Web traffic coming to the siteby 20%, he said.“Tweeting is humanizing our software,” he said. “Even for us, it’s been shocking at howwell this is working out.”Originally published March 1, 2011
  • 33. 35BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #2Social EngagementHow Cisco heightens brand loyaltyBy Kate MaddoxCisco Systems is deploying an integrated social strategy to interact with customers andprospects that is resulting in improved customer service, more engaged customers and loyalbrand advocates.“We look at four pillars within our integrated social strategy: listening, planning, engag-ing and measuring,” said Petra Neiger, senior manager of social media marketing at Cisco.Neiger manages the consulting arm of Cisco’s global social media organization, whichprovides strategic and tactical guidance on social media marketing to various teams withinthe company.For the listening component, “This is not about monthly and quarterlyreports,” she said. “We do real-time, active listening of social media channels to see whatpeople are saying about Cisco.”By monitoring conversations about the company on Facebook, Twitter, its own onlinecommunities and other social media channels, Cisco is able to uncover and resolve issues asthey come up.The planning component involves routing customer issues to the appropriate peoplewithin the company. For example, when customers of Tandberg, a video communicationscompany, voiced concerns on Tandberg’s Facebook page about Cisco’s acquisition of Tand-berg last year, Cisco’s social media monitoring team contacted the appropriate salespeopleat Tandberg to respond to the customers and reassure them about the acquisition.The sales reps were able to allay any concerns about the acquisition and what it wouldmean to Tandberg customers, and since that time, the user with the most negative com-ments removed them from the Tandberg Facebook page.For the engagement piece, Cisco uses a broad array of social tools to interact with cus-tomers and prospects.One effective program is “Cisco Channels Chat,” a regularly scheduled live videobroadcast featuring often hard-to-reach Cisco executives, who talk about industry topicsand answer questions from partners and customers via integration with Facebook, Twitterand other social media channels.The program, which has had eight broadcasts to date, has received more than 50,000live views and many more replays.Another effective approach Cisco uses to engage customers and partners is turningthem into brand ambassadors by using them to moderate and engage in social media con-versations.For example, Cisco has more than 280 ambassadors in its Cisco Networking Academyon Facebook, who help educate other users about Cisco products and industry issues.
  • 34. 36 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESThe last piece is measurement, and Cisco uses both quantitative and qualitative analy-sis to measure the effectiveness of its social media programs, Neiger said.On the quantitative side, it uses hard metrics such as page views on blogs, number ofvideos viewed and unique monthly visitors.On the qualitative side, Cisco measures company sentiment, industry sentiment andother areas on social media channels.Originally published Dec. 12, 2011
  • 35. 37BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #3Go Forth and MultiplyHow Sanbolic boosts leadsBy Karen J. BannanSanbolic Inc. provides businesses with distributed data management software for criti-cal enterprise workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure and cloud computing deploymentsthrough a network of value-added resellers. Like other companies that compete in thecloud and virtualization industry, it faces tough competition from industry behemoths. InSanbolic’s case, the company’s marketing budget is very much David-like, up against mar-keting campaigns with Goliath-like bank accounts behind them, said Momchil Michailov,the company’s CEO.Hoping to find a way to maximize its marketing spending, last October the companyanalyzed three years of its marketing activity—including trade show participation, blog-ging, LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook campaigns, search engine optimization, GoogleAdWords campaigns and display advertising—and found there “wasn’t anything to beproud of,” Michailov said.“For example, an average trade show might cost $15,000 to $30,000. We found we hada closing rate of 3% of leads. Our average cost-per-lead was out of this world,” Michailovsaid. “The market we play in is very convoluted, and it’s pretty clear if we go the typicalmarketing route, we’re going to get swamped.”The solution, Michailov said, was a new focus on thought leadership and providingpotential customers with information about virtualization, cloud computing and VDI. Thesales angle would be downplayed whenever possible, Michailov said. Social networkingwas the cornerstone of that strategy, he said.“We found that social media is a little like TV in the early ‘80s; there are all these chan-nels and a desperate need for content,” Michailov said. “Social media provides an outstand-ing delivery vehicle.”However, even within the social networking realm there were channels that workedbetter than others—CIOs, for example, are not going to Facebook to find their next cloudimplementation. So Sanbolic’s marketing team—comprised of consultants from WaldenTechnology Partners and Diligence Technology Advisors and the company’s own executiveboard—decided to drop its Facebook efforts completely. “Take [VMWare parent company]EMC. They are huge and they only have 20,000 people on their Facebook page,” he said.The company’s thought leadership comes in the form of blog posts, which are automat-ically tweeted via its half-dozen or so Twitter accounts. Since the Twitter accounts arelinked to “a whole bunch” of LinkedIn accounts, those tweets also populate LinkedIn. Thismeans that the company’s partners, customers, resellers and prospects are constantlyreceiving educational materials about VDI, virtualization and the private cloud, Michailov
  • 36. 38 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESsaid.Leads are tracked via a fairly extensive integration between the social channels andSalesforce.com. “All of our activity is directly linked to Salesforce so we can flag and tagwhere the leads come from: webinar, blog, search, a partner page, leads that come fromTwitter,” said Michailov, who said the company spent three months developing the custombackend to enable this. This information is used in conjunction with Google Analytics, soSanbolic can see where leads originated from.While the new social media focus has only been in place for a little over four months,Sanbolic has seen an “uptick” of leads coming in from social media, Michailov said. “It’sworking because, rather than brainwashing someone about how wonderful we are, we’resaying “here’s what you need to know about this industry. Now you can make your owndecisions,’ ” he said. “It’s really about credibility and trust.”Originally published June 21, 2011
  • 37. 39BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #4Traffic JamHow Mongoose Metrics drives, traffic, leadsBy Christopher HosfordLast year call-tracking company Mongoose Metrics launched a Twitter outreach cam-paign to raise awareness about the value of its services and technology. In the process, itpositioned itself ahead of competitors that were less active in social media in educatingprospective customers about the little-understood world of call tracking.“We started looking at Twitter in March 2010,” said Kathleen M. Colan, the company’sdirector-marketing and content. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we said, “Let’s take alook at this and see what all the buzz is about.’ ”Colan kicked off Mongoose’s Twitter effort with educational content focusing on thebenefits of the company’s call-tracking technology, which analyze how the volume andquality of inbound phone calls can be attributed to performance-based advertising cam-paigns, such as paid search.“As one of the first in our industry on Twitter, we did not set any real expectations orgoals to start,” Colan said. “However, as our Twitter presence grew and our competitorsfound their way to the medium, we quickly defined objectives for our Twitter campaignand then committed the necessary resources to achieve them.”Specific goals included increasing site traffic, conversions, number of followers,retweets, mentions and favorites, as well as an assessment of rising social influence asmeasured by Klout Inc.“While some social media gurus debate the use of these metrics, we found that incre-mental improvement of each of these [key performance indicators] provided an accuratebarometer of our success,” Colan said.Colan uses HootSuite to monitor up to 10 categories of information, including thephrase “call tracking,” to gain insight into what’s being said about Mongoose. And now thatthe competition is catching on to social, she said, the monitoring process shines a light onwhat competitors are talking about and who they are engaging with.Colan estimated that she spends about three hours each day monitoring Twitter, interact-ing with tweeters and participating in conversations using hashtags related to what the com-pany does, such as #measure, #SEO, #CRO (conversion rate optimization) #usguys and #PPC.And since the value of call tracking itself needs some explaining, Mongoose’s Twittercampaign relies heavily on offering white papers and research. Tweets invite followers tolink to such titles as “Five things you can do with call tracking to help your conversion rate.”The viral nature of social quickly became obvious to Mongoose. The influential websiteMobile Marketing Watch noticed the company’s mobile marketing white paper, retweetedit and asked permission to offer it on its own site.
  • 38. 40 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES“We’ve been getting leads from this since March,” Colan said.Another tactic Mongoose has used is appending UTM tags to tweeted offers, a processthat identifies which links traffic is coming from. “Say we put out that “Five things you cando’ white paper,” Colan said. “By connecting this information to our back-end marketingautomation software and CRM system, we’re able to quantify the results of specific tweets.”The program has paid off well for Mongoose after just a year. The company now con-sistently responds to customer inquiries and comments, and currently has almost 12,000followers.The power of retweeting has been very instructive. Through the end of December,Mongoose saw its own tweets retweeted 1,248 times, for a total retweet reach of 2.9 mil-lion eyeballs.Last month, Mongoose won first place in BtoB’s annual Social Media MarketingAwards for the best marketing use of Twitter.“Twitter is the public face of our brand,” Colan said. “There already is a conversion theregoing on about your business and, if you’re not taking part in it, you’re really missing out.Originally published June 13, 2011
  • 39. 41BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #5Humanizing the brandHow AT&T blog leverages‘internal ambassadors’By Jon VanzileTrish Nettleship, social media lead for AT&T Business Solutions, knew what she wantedto do—to better connect AT&T’s deep pool of internal expertise with the company’s b-to-bcustomers—but she wasn’t sure how best to do that.That is, until she came up with AT&T’s Networking Leaders Academy.The academy concept is a new type of social media outreach that’s popping upthroughout corporate America. For AT&T, the idea was simple: After recruiting internalthought leaders to write for the company’s Networking Exchange Blog, launched inDecember 2010, the company launched its Networking Leaders Academy in July.The goal of the Academy program: to encourage these internal ambassadors to promotetheir blog entries via their personal social channels.“It was about humanizing the brand,” Nettleship said. “We have a lot of expertise, and Iwanted to expose that to our potential clients. It’s about trust. It’s easier to trust individualsthan a brand.”Because the original Networking Exchange Blog was a relatively new project, the ideawas to keep the effort small and tightly focused. It focuses on only three specific b-to-bbusiness areas—cloud computing, security and mobility—and the company’s internal blog-gers were encouraged to promote their posts on their private social networks to the degreethat there was some overlap between these topics and their personal connections.Further, the project wasn’t a typically controlled corporate marketing effort. Accordingto Nettleship, transparency and even debate were important.“We’re a pretty risk-averse organization, but we wanted to encourage debate,” she said.“We’ve had a few posters with differing opinions, and we wanted to open up comments.”Nettleship said AT&T’s legal department initially was concerned about allowing thisdegree of openness, “But we’ve managed to keep it open,” she said. “We filter for spam andprofanity, but that’s about it. There have been a few comments I don’t like very much, butwe haven’t had any real problems yet. The point is to be open.”The program is also low-cost. Blogs themselves are basically free since AT&T doesn’tcompensate any of its internal participants for writing.“It’s 100% percent volunteer,” Nettleship said, which means she’s actually courtingtwo audiences at once: an internal one of potential experts who lend their names and timefor free and promote their efforts through their private networks, as well as an externalaudience of potential customers.
  • 40. 42 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESNettleship said noted that AT&T offers its bloggers education in personal networking andhow to build a personal brand. As a result, some of her bloggers have received speaking offers.“Our motto internally is: “Helping you become a better networker,’ ” she said.The program shies away from product-specific posts. Instead, the company focuses onits blogging ambassadors being expert in specific areas.“We’re not really looking for huge numbers on the blog,” Nettleship said. “We’re look-ing to focus very tightly on customer needs and thought leadership.”Nevertheless, the Networking Leaders Academy, just five months old, has had a bigimpact on the company’s Networking Exchange Blog.“Launching the Networking Leader’s Academy ambassador program was like flipping aswitch,” she said. “When we launched it, we didn’t expect much since it was the summer.But we saw an immediate increase in visitors and shares.”In all, Networking Exchange Blog traffic rose about 50% in the first five months of theinternal ambassador program compared with the previous months when the blog didn’thave benefit of the internal ambassador program.For companies that want to pursue internal ambassador programs, Nettleship has thefollowing advice:“Focus your effort, find a good mix of people who have expertise and are good net-workers, make sure whatever you’re doing is tied to your business objectives, and defi-nitely get executive buy-in,” she said.Originally published Dec. 14, 2011
  • 41. 43BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESSOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #6Preapproval requiredHow Morgan Stanley managesTwitter to its advantageBy Christopher HosfordThe relationship between the financial services industry and social media marketing isan uncertain one. Banks, asset management companies, brokerages and insurance compa-nies are heavily regulated, and financial services management generally has been reluctantto explore the Wild West of social.Those financial services companies that are venturing into social media are establishingclear guidelines on how they want to use the medium to avoid running into trouble. ForMorgan Stanley Smith Barney, that means viewing Twitter content as “static” content,requiring preapproval of a growing library of potential thought-leadership tweets andclosely monitoring its use by financial advisers.“We all know that social media is a global phenomenon, not just a passing trend,” saidLauren Boyman, director-social media at the brokerage and wealth-management com-pany, during a webinar last week titled “Social Networking: Embracing New Media at Mor-gan Stanley Smith Barney,” hosted by online publisher FierceFinance. “But financialservices have been slower to adopt it. As an industry, we have regulatory obstacles holdingus back, in addition to the real-time, fast-paced nature of social media.”Boyman said a solution for most financial services companies has been to talk aboutanything but their products and services.“Firms attempt to build brands by talking about social responsibility or sports sponsor-ships, for example,” she said. “As a result, sometimes there are even requests or questionsthat are just left idle, which is worse than not being on social at all.”Last June, Morgan Stanley launched a test with some 600 financial advisers to see howthey cope with social media content as static, as opposed to interactive, communications.That is, all so-called static postings on Twitter are considered to be like advertising andrequire preapproval.“I know it’s not ideal right now,” Boyman said. “It’s a very new communicationsmedium, so everyone is getting used to the tool.”Boyman said Morgan Stanley treats LinkedIn differently. Here, initial professionalbiographical overviews must be preapproved, but after that such scrutiny isn’t necessaryfor interactive communications with potential customers. However those off-the-cuff com-munications are captured and archived for future review, the same way Morgan Stanleymanages email, based on its reading of social media compliance guidelines for financialservices companies.
  • 42. 44 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESOther financial services companies, especially those with consumer-oriented products, aremore aggressive. Last month, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. wrapped up a $1 million Facebooksweepstakes giveaway encouraging customers to “like” its Chase Freedom credit card. Bank ofAmerica is hoping an aggressive Twitter outreach will help improve its poor public reputation.Also last month, American Express Co., whose AmEx OPEN portal provides services forsmall businesses, teamed with Google’s YouTube video-sharing site to launch a video con-test encouraging businesses to “tell their stories.” The campaign promotes AmEx’s OPENportal of small-business advice, and its Small Business Saturday promotion, encouragingshoppers to patronize local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.Listening to the social buzz is key to finding appropriate topics, said Chad Bockius, CEOof Socialware, a social consultancy and software company that focuses on the financialservices industry, who shared the webinar panel with Boyman.“For example, if someone is reading a lot about 529 plans, for educational investments,the more content you can put out the better on educational thought leadership,” Bockiussaid. “If 401[k] rollovers are a top topic, you may want to focus on that.”For Morgan Stanley, that means a gradually growing library of preapproved tweets,ready to be distributed as needed.“Providing our own thought leadership is a competitive advantage for financial advis-ers,” Boyman said. “Most aren’t even sending out their own unique content, even giventhe option.”Originally published Nov. 2, 2011
  • 43. Chapter 4DIRECT MARKETING
  • 44. 46 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESDIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #1Hi-Tech Snail MailHow AT&T boosts direct mail response rateBy Christopher HosfordAccording to a 2010 hotel guest index satisfaction study by J.D. Power and Associates,hotel guests rank wireless Internet service as the most important amenity they requirebefore checking in. AT&T Inc. recently aimed to impress that fact on hotel chain decision-makers with a campaign in support of the company’s WiFi solutions.The campaign, launched in November, was supported solely with that venerable ana-log standby, direct mail. It featured an emerging technology called “video in print,” how-ever, for a powerful cutting-edge feel.“I know that digital is the future, but I get a ton of e-mail in my inbox every day,” saidJennifer Young, lead manager-marketing communications at AT&T. “With our direct-mailcampaign, we wanted to break through the clutter with a high-impact piece that prospectswould appreciate and would pass along to colleagues.”AT&T’s campaign was well-suited for a direct-mail program for another reason: Thenumber of high-level decision-makers focused on implementing this type of product isextremely small. For AT&T’s campaign, the target list was no more than 75 individuals atmajor hotel chains nationwide, who needed to be reached with a compelling, dramaticmessage about buying propertywide WiFi systems or replacing existing systems with anAT&T alternative.“AT&T’s goal was to get a sales rep in front of these people,” said Laura Yarbrough,account supervisor with Rodgers Townsend/DDB, St. Louis, the Omnicom Group agencythat spearheaded the campaign. “The client was thinking postcard or letter, but didn’t havea budget or timeline. Strategically, we took a step back to think about the audience.”Also challenging Rodgers Townsend and AT&T was that these high-level decision-mak-ers are usually shielded from vendor overtures by a variety of gatekeepers. The mailed itemhad to be so dynamic that it would break through any initial resistance while going on tointerest the final recipient.The program became known as the Power Button campaign and consisted of twomailed elements. The first was of a real WiFi locator device, complete with a personalizedsticker attached saying, “Locating WiFi at [insert chain name here].” Sales reps followed upwith calls to check on the item’s receipt and request a meeting.A second item, targeted at nonresponders to the first mailing, was a custom dimen-sional piece consisting of a cardboard mockup of a netbooklike computer, but with a sur-prise: Instead of a working screen, it featured video-in-print technology that, whenopened, played a 2-minute video customized for each hotel brand.The production cost of each piece, including video, was about $700.
  • 45. 47BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESTo amplify the importance of the pieces, the items were sent via FedEx next-day deliv-ery and required the signature of the recipient. Each mock netbook was enclosed in a fancysleeve, adding to its exclusivity.“The video-in-print technology is quite new,” Young said. “I knew that if I got a FedExpackage with a cool video, I’d say, “This is great!’ ”Sales followed up by phone within two or three days of the mailings, and also used spe-cial e-mail messages in support. Multiple efforts to contact recipients were made.“Sales was engaged 100% of the way,” Young said. “We had weekly meetings about thecampaign and where we were in the process. Sales was aware of all drop dates and fol-lowed up in the most appropriate ways.”As a thank-you for agreeing to a meeting with sales, prospects received an actual net-book computer.ROI for the campaign was strong. The program not only greatly exceeded the typical2% response rate of most direct mail campaigns but also resulted in an actual face-to-facemeeting ratio of 9%—that is, seven meetings with key hotel decision-makers.“It blew the typical response rate out of the water,” Young said, adding that the cam-paign also dramatically raised the AT&T profile within the hospitality industry.“Without question, this campaign is on track to become our most successful program,”said Alex Calle, advertising manager at AT&T.The WiFi installation campaign will be adapted this year for other verticals, such asrestaurants, coffee chains, stadiums, arenas, colleges and big-box retailers.Originally published Jan. 17, 2011
  • 46. 48 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESDIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #2Keywords to SuccessHow Ryson raises conversions, visibilityBy Christopher HosfordIn January 2010, Ryson International, a Yorktown, Va.-based manufacturer of spiralconveyors, was doing well in its rankings for the term “spiral conveyor,” landing near thetop of Google’s search results. There was a problem, however, said Ken Rygh, the com-pany’s marketing manager. “The equipment we manufacture is called by many differentnames,” he said. “They are called anything from case elevators to lowerators to verticalincline conveyors. There’s no one word for all distributors.” And unfortunately, Ryson was-n’t doing as well on those other keyword phrases.Meanwhile, its universal search rankings were “OK,” but again, only with that one par-ticular keyword. “We had our videos posted on [b-to-b supplier search site]Kellysearch.com and other industrial catalogs, so we were getting some video to show upin universal search through association with them,” Rygh said.Hoping to boost its search rankings in both natural and universal search, Ryson in April2010 hired ProspectMX, a search marketing company based in Lancaster, Pa. The projectstarted with keyword research to see how Ryson customers and prospects were searchingfor products. ProspectMX tapped keyword research tools such as Wordtracker and GoogleAdWords as well as its own in-house solutions.Then, the company helped create authority pages (pages fully optimized for the key-word silos for which the website is trying to rank) within Ryson’s website that couldinclude relevant product keywords and also did on-page optimization. For example, one ofthe internal pages that ProspectMX optimized was Ryson’s Bucket Elevators link.Finally, the company executed a link-building campaign and started optimizingRyson’s social networking campaigns, which had been in place previously but had not beentaken full advantage of, Rygh said. Ryson’s executives did some guest blogging, releasedsome press releases and expanded the company’s presence on packaging industry directorysites.Originally published Feb. 14, 2011
  • 47. 49BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESDIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #3The Missing LinksHow VisualSonics improvesits search rankingBy Karen J. BannanGoogle’s organic search algorithms change frequently, but there’s one thing that’salways constant: Contextual inbound links help boost natural search rankings. The morelinks you have coming in from related sites, the better your ranking. Shailja Tewari, direc-tor of marketing at instrumentation manufacturer VisualSonics, said she had this in mindduring a recent site redesign.VisualSonics sells high-frequency ultrasound imaging equipment to researchers andprimary investigators at universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies andbiotech companies. The devices are used to peer inside small animals to cure diseases andassess the effectiveness and safety of medicines, among other things. Prospects find theVisualSonics site by searching for “very specific nomenclature,” Tewari said. “The principleinvestigator looking at cancer, for instance, has a very, very narrow focus,” she said. “Forhim to go to Google, he won’t be looking for “cancer imaging.’ He might be studying“hypoxia,’ so we need to place high in the rankings of those very specific terms.”This time last year, the company was ranking around the “45th placement” on Google’snatural search for many of the key terms that might bring a researcher to the VisualSonicssite. In response, Tewari’s team started working on building in-bound links with Toronto-based Search Engine People. At the same time, the site went through a redesign, segment-ing the content by research type and bringing in more keyword-specific terminology.Search Engine People, Tewari said, spent time visiting scientific forums and industrywebsites, “seeding” them with content and links back to the VisualSonics website. Contentcame directly from VisualSonics. “They post in response to other people’s questions or startnew threads,” she said. “One of my team members is responsible for working with them ona weekly basis. We try to incorporate and integrate all the [marketing] campaigns we’reworking on.” The team member is also responsible for making sure the brand’s reputationis positive, monitoring the sites and looking for any negative commentary, she said.Other inbound links come from guest blog posts, trade show participation (such as thecompany’s recent participation at the American Association for Cancer Research confer-ence) and technical documentation. Work with Search Engine People’s link-buildingprocess is ongoing, Tewari said, because inbound links must be relevant and recent. “Youneed to be constantly active on a site for those inbound links to count,” she said.A year later, the company’s website traffic is up 50%, and search rankings have movedup considerably. Tewari, who credits both the vendor and her own team for the success,
  • 48. 50 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESsaid VisualSonics now has natural search rankings for key terms that are on the first pageand, in many case, between the first and seventh spots.“At the end of the day, it’s a tool. It’s not something you can just outsource and forgetabout,” she said. “You need to be an active participant every step of the way.”Originally published April 12, 2011
  • 49. 51BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESDIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #4Database DetectiveHow Aetna better targetssmall-business ownersBy Christopher HosfordMarketing to the smallest of businesses can be dicey. Entrepreneurs tend to make busi-ness purchases the same way consumers do, which can hinder the crafting of messages tothem. Even getting true addresses for such enterprises can be tough, since many small-business owners operate from home or conduct business there despite having an officelocation.That was the challenge facing health insurance company Aetna Inc. in trying to targetsmall-business owners in need of health coverage for themselves and their employees.Because of the difficulty in distinguishing them apart from consumers, campaigns oftenresulted in redundant delivery of multiple direct mail pieces to the same location at thesame time.Apurva Varma, strategic marketing head at Aetna, wanted to better target sole propri-etorships with one to four employees, as well as small office/home office (SOHO) busi-nesses, with employees often from a single family.“The big challenge—to identify who does not have insurance coverage—is actually notobjectively possible within the small-business owner space,” Varma said. “So we’ve beentargeting all micro-business owners.”Varma wrestled with another issue: Aetna’s prospect lists typically are sorted by Stan-dard Industrial Classification (SIC) or years in business, but as these contacts get marketedto over and over again by many companies, saturation rises and profits drop.Varma figured he could do better. In 2009, Aetna turned to database marketing agencyMerkle, which cleansed and standardized basic data supplied by Dun & Bradstreet as wellas new list sources, teasing out business owners from the bulk of consumerlike prospects.The company did this by accounting for variations in addresses, as well as using an“analytically based fuzzy logic attribution,” examining possible links between homes andnearby businesses, said Sandeep Kharidhi, VP- analytics practice leader for Merkle’s insur-ance and wealth management practice.”Out of 10 million to 15 million contacts as a consideration set, we may have a base of 5million businesses, based on performance, a statistical propensity model and historicalcampaign performance,” Kharidhi said.Merkle removed duplications and those records projected to produce low value, andreturned the records to Aetna to better identify those micro-businesses that would bestrespond and convert.
  • 50. 52 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESFor its campaign last spring, the company relied primarily on direct mail, augmented bysearch keyword buys and online display ads via a handful of ad networks. The creativestressed affordability and financial security, historically important triggers for health insur-ance buyers. Aetna’s creative agency was TDO, Irvington, N.Y.No special small-business branding was employed.“The broad Aetna corporate brand was emphasized, not a separate line of messagesassociated with this campaign,” Varma said. He said the appropriate insurance product,whether individual or group, was recommended after a prospect contacted the company.The program’s ROI was strong. The available universe of prospects was nearly doubled,even as the targeting became more selective and saturation decreased. Aetna estimatedthat its more-careful targeting resulted in savings of more than $1 million annually, whilecost-per-acquisition was lowered by 10% to 25% across campaigns.In December, Aetna and Merkle were named top b-to-b award winners at the annualexpo and conference of the National Center for Database Marketing managed by the DirectMarketing Association. The pair were cited for their “innovative method of combiningbusiness and consumer data sources.”“We’re proud to be associated with Aetna in helping them solve the difficult challengein identifying small-business owners separately from individuals,” said Owen McCorry, VP-business development at Merkle, who accepted the award. “It’s a challenge faced by mostorganizations that market to both consumers and companies.”For the future, Varma said analytical tools such as those employed by Merkle couldhave benefits in other areas of the company, such as customer engagement, wellness pro-grams and the company’s pharmacy delivery business. And now, with a better handle onwho is a small-business owner and who isn’t, he hopes to craft a future campaign focusedstrictly on group health insurance policies.Originally published Feb. 14, 2011
  • 51. 53BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESDIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #5Going LocalHow Yoh Services raises itsprofile locally and nationallyBy Karen J. BannanPhiladelphia-based talent agency Yoh Services places professional temps or contractlaborers such as engineers, nurse practitioners and occupational health workers in jobsthroughout the U.S. As a result, the company needs to be seen both as a national and alocal workforce company. “It [requires] a high degree of trust to hire a firm,” said Joel Cap-perella, Yoh’s VP-marketing. “People like to work with companies that have a good pres-ence where they want to work.”Blogging has been a part of the company’s overall marketing strategy since 2009. Yohused blog posts to increase its significance as a thought leader in the industry. While thecompany’s corporate search rankings were solid, it was not showing up in Google’s localsearch rankings where Capperella wanted it to be, especially for local-focused search termsand phrases such as “microbiologist job in Raleigh” or “security engineer in Washington,D.C.,” even though the company has local pages that support those cities.“We needed to focus on improving our rankings for the [local] microsites that live offour main page and show our reach in a region,” Capperella said. “Each of our 30 offices hasits own page, and we want people to find them so they can apply for the jobs that are avail-able in those regions.”There was another problem as well: The blog wasn’t doing what it was designed to do,which was to connect candidates with Yoh’s local offices so they could be placed into openpositions. The biggest problem, Capperella said, was that prior to the first quarter of thisyear, Yoh’s blog content was focused on general topics related to staffing and employment.To facilitate a change, Yoh’s marketing team started producing blog assets that were morespecific to what was happening in a particular region. One recent blog post, for instance,focused on a new Philadelphia tax levied on people who are making money from blogs.“The local community was up in arms about that, so we took that macro story and bloggedabout it to boost our visibility for local Philadelphia employment and staffing search terms,”Capperella said.The local focus is made possible by segmentation. Yoh’s marketing staff of four, whichincludes Capperella, have broken the country down into five segments, and each teammember focuses on bringing local content. “Everyone on the team monitors [news feeds]for trends at the local and regional level, and writes content to support those news andtrend elements,” he said. Blog posts contain both industry-level keywords and phrases, aswell as those that will help the content do well on local searches.
  • 52. 54 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESThe strategy seems to be working. The blog is averaging about 5,000 unique visitorseach month—a double-digit increase from the beginning of the year. In addition, 40% ofthe people who click through to the blog download or click on an asset, Capperella said.“They click on an e-book and download it in exchange for their information,” heexplained. “Conversion rates from those clicking on offerings are 35%-40%.”Going forward, Capperella and his team are hoping to boost those rates even more byadding local paid search to the mix, pushing searchers directly to the local blog posts. Inaddition, Yoh’s marketing team is planning to roll out local Facebook pages for each of the30 local company offices, which will also help to improve local rankings, Capperella said.“Philosophically, local search should be important to everyone since it’s the first place peo-ple turn when they are looking for something in their own neighborhood, whether that’s ajob or a sandwich,” he said. “Now that our local-search foundation is in place, we canexpand our work and improve it even more.”Originally published Nov. 7, 2011
  • 53. Chapter 5EVENTS
  • 54. 56 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #1Mobile ConnectionHow HP promotes event appBy Charlotte WoolardHewlett-Packard Co. debuted a new mobile engagement strategy for events at theInterop IT conference and expo in May. The company introduced an event app called HPConnect and also promoted quick-response barcodes and text keywords that linked cus-tomers to everything from the app to white papers via their mobile devices.“We launched a full enterprise mobile ecosystem,” said Chad Summervill, who headsworldwide corporate mobile marketing at HP. “This is a new field. We’re innovating as wego, and what we’re doing is putting us on the path to the next generation of mobile-infusedevents.”The app will serve a broad array of events in which HP participates, providing boothand presentation details, access to social networks and a QR code scanner that allows usersto access a file by taking a picture of a bar code. The files can then be viewed on a mobiledevice or sent to a desktop computer.“We’re using mobile technology to give customers more information faster,” Sum-mervill said.HP promoted the app through email and its website before the event, but booth staffersalso wore badges with QR codes and text keywords that linked customers to the applica-tion. “We wanted to eliminate the friction and the difficulty of getting the app,” Sum-mervill said. He declined to share the number of downloads.HP Connect provides an unobtrusive way for the company to get information to eventattendees, and it is only part of a broader strategy that champions on-demand deliveryrather than unsolicited text messaging, Summervill said.The company has focused on integrating multiple mobile engagement points into itsevents. Customers may encounter QR codes and text keywords on signs in the booth, onscreens during presentations or as part of a conversation with a company representative.A few simple rules govern the development of mobile shortcuts at HP, Summervill said.First, before generating a QR code, weigh the risk of the exposure. Low-risk exposures—forexample easily adapted PowerPoint slides—can be generated from Web resources that pro-vide free codes but do not allow changes to the linked file. Vendors that provide a dynamiccode for a small fee should handle high-risk exposures, like print advertisements.HP always partners QR codes with text keywords or short URLs, Summervill said.Though the use of QR codes is growing, about 70% of the people who interact with the HPcues opt to send a text message rather than scan a code, he said.
  • 55. 57BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESThe linked material must clearly add value, he said. “If you don’t have a compelling callto action, no one is going to scan or text.” Presenters should supply information that carriesforward the conversation started through a session or keynote. And an audible mention ofthe mobile shortcut can accelerate interest.HP already has learned a few lessons about mobile engagement at events, Summervillsaid, but the flexibility of the platform and the ability to look at metrics in real time andchange things quickly can make adaptation relatively painless. In June, for example, afterdeploying its mobile strategy at HP Discover, the company realized bigger in-booth visualswould get better results—so a staffer ran out to the copy store to resize the signs.“[We can] be innovative and take risks without huge costs,” Summervill said.Originally published June 14, 2011
  • 56. 58 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #2Virtually ViralHow Uniface user conference evolvesBy Charlotte WoolardA blonde woman clad in a yellow tracksuit wielding a samurai sword takes measuredsteps onto the welcome screen of iCU2011. “Welcome to the second virtual Uniface userconference,” she says. Though she is not the “Kill Bill” star who made this particularensemble famous, the information technology audience watching likely recognizes thefounder of newspepper.com and techfluff.tv from her appearance in the Quentin Taran-tino-inspired ads for the event.“We made a series of viral videos,” says Zul-yaka Martis, marketing campaign managerfor the Uniface product division at software development company Compuware Corp. “Weused our developers, customers, people from the industry [and] analysts as actors.”The third installment in the series, which saw the Java Assassination Squad bolsteredby the Uniface style and poised to take over the world, drew more than 1,000 unique viewswithin the first month it was released, Martis said.It also highlighted an underlying strength in Compuware’s approach to its virtualevents, said Joerg Rathenberg, VP-marketing at Unisfair, an Intercall company that pro-vides virtual events solutions. Compuware customizes the virtual setting, incorporating thefaces of its employees throughout the experience. The crowd of people who stand bobbingin conversation behind the host on the welcome screen all work for Compuware. High-endvideo embedded in the booths and live video question-and-answer sessions at the end ofthe presentations increase engagement.Compuware didn’t get there right away. Like many marketers, the company is buildinginstitutional knowledge of virtual environments one event at a time, relying on customerfeedback and metrics to guide its evolution. “For a marketer, this is a goldfish bowl,”Rathenberg says. “It is a window into the world.”A little over a year ago, the Uniface division had never created a robust virtual environ-ment. It was releasing a new version of its rapid application development platform andreaching out to customers, but the economic crisis made a face-to-face event impractical.Martis and her team worked with Unisfair and leveraged a follow-the-sun strategy thatallowed the company to deliver a 4-hour event live in three different time zones on thesame day. They developed virtual exhibition and conference halls, a resource center whereattendees could download support materials and a networking lounge. Prerecorded pre-sentations concluded with real-time question-and-answer audio sessions, and an area ofthe conference also offered attendees the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Uniface
  • 57. 59BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESdevelopers. Almost 1,000 customers attended the event.The event focused on educating the existing customer base, which included companiesin Africa, Brazil, India and other countries that did not often make it to the in-personevents Compuware Uniface hosted primarily in Europe. As a result, the division made astrategic shift: For minor releases, it will host virtual events; for major ones, Martis is look-ing at hybrid events that combine face-to-face and virtual components.In May, Compuware’s Uniface produced iCU2011, focusing the virtual event on anemerging controversy that pits the popular Java programming language against the fourth-generation programming language it favors. The company invited a Forrester Researchanalyst to speak on the topic, expanding on one of his blog posts about the demise ofJava—something that Martis said had earned him at least one death threat.Martis stoked the flames of controversy a bit more, renting third-party lists. “Last year,we were focused on our customers, and we wanted to broaden it to prospects,” she said.“So we rented Java developer lists. It’s good for them to hear another story.”More than 500 people registered for the event, and Martis estimated that about 1,000actually attended, watching in groups in offices around the world.The company maintained the follow-the-sun format, but updated content to reflectcustomer feedback from a year earlier. It added the people who now stand in the back-ground, beefed up video offerings and converted the live question-and-answer sessionsfrom audio to video. “We noticed that people stayed on for the full 30 minutes to watch thevideo and the Q&A,” Martis said.Martis welcomes each lesson. “We look through the metrics at how we can improve fornext time and what are our learning points,” she said. “We know that we have new-busi-ness interest from Sri Lanka or Italy. We sit down with our salespeople to make sure we arefollowing up. We promoted a minor release, and we see an uptick in the number of peoplewho want to look at it or test it, which is great for our salespeople.”Originally published July 11, 2011
  • 58. 60 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #3Daily Meal DealsHow Fresh Intermediate usesgroup-buying at trade showBy Charlotte WoolardMobile app developer Fresh Intermedia faced a challenge when it brought itsOrderingApps service to the National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel Show in May.The 3-year-old company wanted to use the show as a vehicle to push into new markets,attracting restaurant chains with more than 10 locations to the customizable menu appservice it launched in January.But first the company needed to make the service visible to the sea of 1,900 exhibitorswho had staked out space across a more than 500,000-sq.-ft. show floor.“We had a 10-ft. booth, so we weren’t going to compete on real estate and signage,”said Richard Doyle, president of Fresh Intermedia. “We had to be innovative.”The company signed on to become one of 11 companies offering a discount couponthrough the b-to-b group-buying service Bizy, which partnered with the NRA show to offershow attendees exclusive discounts throughout the four-day event.The show marked the first time that group-buying made an appearance at a global b-to-b event like the NRA show, organizers said, and offered insight into how the platform,popular among consumers but relatively unexplored in b-to-b circles, can amplify a com-pany’s presence.Doyle crafted a deal that would lower the cost of developing the app and provide a freetesting phase but that would not strip the company of long-term revenue. Individuals whosigned on at the show paid $250 for the development of custom ordering apps to support asmany as three restaurant locations. That cost represented about one-third of the usual bill.The first two months of service were free, and clients could add locations for an additionalfee.The investment carried little risk, because Bizy received only a portion of revenues. Ifno companies took advantage of the deal, Fresh Intermedia would not lose money.NRA organizers announced the campaign in the days leading up to the show, and par-ticipants received floor markers that helped increase their visibility. Deals were available forpurchase online or at the booth, but attendees had to visit the booth to confirm their regis-tration. OrderingApps built customized demos in the booth.While it can be challenging for potential customers to make quick decisions, even overthe course of a week at a trade show, Doyle said the discount successfully generated new
  • 59. 61BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESbusiness.Seven chains signed on, meeting the company’s goals without overwhelming itsresources. The coupon also has helped generate post-show inquiries and given the com-pany connections to established distributors interested in promoting the service.“We needed to get credibility and get restaurants on board,” Doyle said. “But we could-n’t lose too much money on this. We don’t want to undermine our business model.”Doyle said the company would likely use the deal service again, with modified termsand a page on the website that lays out all of the details it shared in person at the show.Originally published Aug. 9, 2011
  • 60. 62 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #4Pressing CampaignHow KM Canada launched product atindustry showBy Karen J. BannanLast fall, Konica Minolta Canada (KM Canada) was preparing to introduce a new high-speed color digital press—the bizhub Press C8000—that would mark the company’s entryinto the offset printing market. The product would debut at the Canadian 2010 Print Worldtrade show, and KM Canada wanted to entice as many potential buyers as possible to comecheck out the new press in person.And although the company had done one-off emailing in the past, its marketingdepartment wanted a way to automate and integrate email with its other marketing chan-nels, such as direct mail and telemarketing, said Kelli McCarthy, channel marketing man-ager. KM Canada turned to marketing consultancy L Squared (L2) to implement a brandedautomated marketing portal.L2 worked with KM Canada to roll out the multichannel campaign last May. The firstelement of the campaign was an email that went out to about 6,000 people. The recipientlist was comprised of names from several sources, including the company’s own CRM data-base as well as rented lists, and they were segmented by region, salesperson and status,McCarthy said. The emails were personalized and included references to salespeople. Morethan 4,000 recipients received the messages and 1,200 bounced, McCarthy said. About1,500 actually opened the message. It employed elements of exclusivity, telling recipientsthey were getting in on the information before the general population.“We focused on the offset printing market and let them know that type of quality offsetprinting could be delivered at a much cheaper cost,” McCarthy said. “The message waspretty clear: “If you think only offset printing can deliver quality results, think again.’ ”The call to action took people to a personalized landing page (Bizhubpress.ca) wherethey could learn more about the product and download a free pass to Print World. In addi-tion, they were told that if they actually came to the KM booth they would get a free per-sonalized journal, which would be printed on the device in the booth. Finally, recipientswere offered the chance to enter and win one of the company’s lower-end printers if theyfilled out a survey.Many of KM Canada’s customers worked with field salespeople. So the company’s salesreps were sent emails asking them to sign in to the portal and opt in their own customersfor the emails, which contained the same call to action and links to the personalized land-
  • 61. 63BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESing page.Soon after, a direct mail postcard went out. There were four versions of the card—onefor those who had not opened the email; one for those who opened but did not clickthrough; one for those who opened, clicked through, but didn’t fill out the survey; and onefor those who went all the way through filling out the survey but didn’t agree to a demo orsales call. Subsequent touches included three follow-up emails to remind people about theevent and new-product launch.McCarthy said there was a strong response to KM Canada’s campaign. A total of 277people downloaded the free pass and came to the KM booth.“We saw a 3-to-1 increase in lead conversion using the email and multichannel touchpoints,” she said. “We found that those who came and purchased were the ones touched byboth central marketing’s messages and their own salespeople.”The campaign continues to “exceed” KM’s expectations. The unique landing page cre-ated for the product launch is still live, and it is regularly updated with new informationand case studies about those who have made purchases.“If you’re not using all the channels that are available to you, you’re missing the idea ofthe customer’s perfect touch,” McCarthy said.Originally published Sept. 27, 2011
  • 62. 64 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #5Face-to-Face FocusHow Canon introduces product in personBy Erin BibaWhen Canon Inc., a camera and office technologies company, had a new product lineto introduce, it decided that, despite the need for a scaled-down event in the stumblingeconomy, a face-to-face meeting was essential to the success of its new devices. So it inviteda “focus group” of 4,000 people to a highly specialized, targeted event.The company commissioned MC2, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., an exhibit and trade showbooth production company, to assist in creating a new type of face-to-face meeting for itsimageRUNNER Advance products, which are copiers and printers for home and office.Generally, Canon holds sessions, seminars and demos in separate rooms across a conven-tion space. In this case, however, the company decided to use a single space.“Although we ultimately decided to [produce] a more scaled-down event than we haddone in the past, this allowed us to be very focused in terms of the message we deliveredand the technology demonstrations we arranged,” said Dennis Amorosano, senior director-solutions marketing and business support at Canon USA. “In some ways, I think this focusproved to be very beneficial, as one of our core objectives in conducting the event was toget our selling activities for the new product line off to a fast start,” he said.In order to target a specific group of business partners, Canon developed a small, two-day event in Oct. 2009 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. In a single conference room itbuilt a central stage for keynote presentations and seminars—with seating for 650 people.The company placed 28 product demo stations in four zones around the room, allowingattendees to see the new products being sold in real-life office scenerios.“Because the stage was actively integrated in the rest of the floor plan, it made for anexcellent congregating point for guests,” Amorosano said. And the demonstration areasallowed the company’s customers to see how the new products could directly benefit them.“One of our goals was to drive these demonstrations in such a way as to tie each zone of theevent together,” he said. “By doing this, we could show customers how they could inte-grate our technology throughout their entire operation.”Though the launch event was smaller than others Canon had done in the past, thefocused nature of its event design made it highly successful. “Overall, we felt that this wasone of the better events we did,” Amorosano said. “The feedback we received from dealersand customers was excellent, and it was clear to us that attendees walked away with a clearunderstanding of our message.”And that, he said, would have been very difficult to achieve without the benefit of a
  • 63. 65BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESface-to-face event. “While technology today certainly gives us more flexibility in deliveringcontent, it is very difficult to replace the value that can be achieved through face-to-faceencounters,” Amoro-sano said. “It was important for us to meet with our dealer partners inperson so they could clearly understand Canon’s commitment to the market and the bene-fits we believed our new technology was capable of providing. Many value propositionsassociated with Canon’s technology need to be seen in order to be clearly understood. Try-ing to do this remotely would have been extremely challenging. The face-to-face approachwas the ideal way to deliver the message.”The greatest measure of success, Amorosano said, was the significant sales bump thecompany experienced after the event. “We wanted to use this event to stimulate sales atthe launch of our new products. The results we experienced during the fourth quarter ofthe year were terrific.”Originally published March 29, 2011
  • 64. 66 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESEVENTS: CASE STUDY #6Training GroundHow 2X Software boostswebinar attendanceBy Karen J. BannanOnce a month, virtual computing software developer 2X Software hosts an onlinetraining session for its partners and resellers—typically at 3 p.m. ET on the next-to-last Fri-day of the month.Topics vary, said Ryan Pope, product manager-Americas at 2X Software, but they areusually related to new-product and feature releases for the company’s virtual applicationservers, load balancers and thin clients (applications that have a graphical interface on onePC but run on a second server or workstation).“Every time we have a new release or feature addition, we make that the focus of thewebinar and go over the new features, ask for questions and show people the technologyas soon as it’s available,” he said. The session is run by the marketing staff as well as a fewmembers of the company’s senior support staff. Marketing handles the licensing and gen-eral questions, while the support staff handles the technical ones.The program, which has been around for about a year, is publicized via email in a part-ner newsletter. Until about three months ago, the emails went out and, if they were inter-ested in attending, people had to RSVP via email. Once they did, they were sent a secondemail containing a link that would bring them to the online session. After the webinarended, a thank-you email went out with links to additional documentation and the 2XSoftware partner portal.This month, hoping to simplify signups and boost attendance, 2X Software streamlinedthe signup process. The company now sends out the newsletter with a link embedded. Whena reader clicks on the link, it acts as an RSVP and they are taken to a landing page that has ashort signup form—attendees only have to provide an email address to attend an event.This small change reaped big benefits for the company. Almost immediately sign-upsincreased by “more than 100%,” Pope said. “It really drove improvement by letting peopleclick on a link rather than [them] having to go through two steps. We’re getting a lot morepartners involved in the trainings.”This is significant because Pope said the trainings were a big part of the reason the com-pany grew 20% in 2010. “We’re seeing the same growth this year, too,” he said. The webi-nars, which are split 50/50 between product demonstration and a Q&A period, help thecompany demonstrate how and when its products can be sold. And having existing prod-
  • 65. 67BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESucts in the mix, Pope said, is just as important as highlighting new ones. “People can asktechnical questions as well as how they can market the product to their own customers,”Pope said. “We position these Friday sessions as one of the benefits that our partners get.This type of support is really encouraging people to jump in and become our partners.”Originally published March 22, 2011
  • 66. Chapter 6INTEGRATED
  • 67. 69BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #1Small businessesget big helpHow AmEx helps rebrand SMBsBBYY MMAATTTTHHEEWW SSCCHHWWAARRTTZZLike many small-business owners, Elliot Schreier, CEO of Artyarns, had a tough timebudgeting for branding—never mind rebranding.The natural yarns manufacturer and wholesale distributor, with 10 employees, consid-ered the company’s website and logo to be the extent of its branding efforts.“It certainly wasn’t on the radar as something important for a small business like oursto be focused on, given the day-to-day challenges,” said Schreier, who founded Artyarnswith his wife, Iris, lead designer and fiber artist for the company, in 2004.However, Schreier’s attitude about branding as a marketing tool has changed dramati-cally after participating in Project RE:Brand, a marketing program by American ExpressOPEN, the small-business division of the financial services company.The program matched five design/ branding agencies with five small-business ownersto assess and revitalize their brand identities within a two-month period.The various agencies worked closely with small-business owners to improve theirbranding efforts in one of five areas of marketing communications each: impactful market-ing campaigns; designing a winning Web experience; effective advertising; redesigningpackaging; and luxury branding.The other small businesses participating in the program included Citra Solv, whichmarkets cleaning supplies; Finish Line Physical Therapy; the Museum of ContemporaryAfrican Diasporan Art; and Ventura Air Services, which charters luxury aircraft.Artyarns, picked for the effective advertising category, collaborated with brandingagency Officelab, New York, to completely make over Artyarns’ advertising strategy andsharpen its overall marketing message.Officelab developed creative for print and Web advertising campaigns for Artyarns totout the company’s hand-painted couture yarn and the rich fibers used to produce them.The agency also launched a microsite, Irisknits.com, so Mrs. Schreier—an expert inyarns—could engage with her audience.“It was creating a vehicle for Iris to be able to convey the aspirational aspects of ouryarn to the end-user in terms of her presenting her patterns, her ideas, in a way that is sep-arate from the website but is more interactive,” Elliot Schreier said.Artyans augmented the microsite with Facebook and Twitter. “From the very begin-ning of the program, it became pretty apparent how important branding was for a com-
  • 68. 70 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESpany—even of our size,” Schreier said. “The knowledge you gain from someone askingquestions about your company, and how you perceive yourself versus how your customersperceive you, is an important component” of marketing.Lesley Maia Horowitz, co-founder of Officelab, said the agency approached the projectas though Artyarns were a fashion brand. “We needed to start talking about [the company]in terms of luxury positioning of a fashion brand, instead of a yarn bracket,” she said.All Artyarns’ branding efforts were tied together with a new logo and a new tagline:“Before the art of knitting comes the art of yarn.”Dominic Sinesio, co-founder of Officelab, said the distinguishing characteristics of asmall business are often hiding in plain sight.“It’s to think abstractly and think about metaphors associated with your product andyour brand beyond your bottom line,” he said. “We had to help them articulate what valuethey were bringing to the table beyond a good quality yarn. That was a thought processthey hadn’t engaged in before because, as a small business, you’re often chasing the minu-tiae.”He added: “A big part of it is drawing out what’s really already there, and that’s whatkeeps [the brand] authentic.”Since completing the rebranding last July, Artyarns’ Facebook page has attracted 3,700“likes” while its Twitter account now has 500-plus followers, Schreier said.He said there has been double-digit percentage growth in sales since the brandingmakeover and a significant boost in traffic to the company’s online properties, although hewould not be more specific.“Their profile is so much larger now,” Maia Horowitz said. “They’re now part of the dia-logue around industry changers, which is not something they were before.”Video content from each of the rebranding campaigns is archived on AmEx’s OPENForum website, said Julie Fajgenbaum, VP at American Express OPEN, who added thatthere are currently no plans to renew Project RE:Brand.She said the program provided an opportunity for small businesses to tap into brandattributes. “It’s really changing the business owners’ mindsets to understand that everytouch point and every interaction is a reflection of their brand, and that is what really helpsget them future sales and lead-gen.”The videos on OPEN Forum are accompanied by “before and after” PDFs of the projectsand a brand assessment to help small businesses interested in rebranding.Schreier said he intends to sustain the branding budget. “That little bit [of budget] youput into it can gain you a lot more than some of the monies you’re putting elsewhere,” hesaid. “If it’s something you might not have budgeted for, it may be worthwhile to thinkabout cutting somewhere else.”Originally published March 14, 2011
  • 69. 71BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #2Get DefensiveHow Nihon Kohden raises its profileBy Mary E. MorrisonNihon Kohden, a Japanese manufacturer of electronic medical equipment, wanted toincrease market share in the U.S. for its patient monitoring solutions. Though the companyhad been in the U.S. market for several years, brand awareness was low, and its valueproposition was undifferentiated.To address those challenges, Nihon Kohden America worked with branding agencyRiechesBaird, Irvine, Calif., to introduce a new brand category, which it dubbed “defensivemonitoring,” and rolled out the Prefense Early Detection and Notification System, a mobilepatient monitoring system. The idea behind the defensive monitoring system is to continu-ously track the vital signs of patients at risk of adverse events, regardless of what unit theyare in at the hospital and intervene that, said Ray Baird, president of RiechesBaird.To generate market interest in Prefense, Nihon Kohden two years ago launched anintegrated campaign that includes print advertising and direct marketing. The direct mar-keting effort focuses both on sales outreach and on driving prospects to trade shows whereNihon Kohden has a presence, Baird said. The campaign first targeted nurses and care-givers, he said, and about a year ago added hospital executives. “[Hospital] executives willoften go to the nurses and say “What do you think about this [product]?’ ” Baird said. “Inthis case, because nurses are responsible for monitoring, it made sense to work bothangles.”The campaign, whose tagline is “Transforming patient care with technology,” focuseson selling a solution rather than a product, Baird said. The creative strategy, he said, hasbeen to have a conversation with hospital executives on the topics that concern them most:quality of care and economics.The headline of one ad featuring a photo of a 1973 Toyota Corolla asks: “What could a1973 Japanese import possibly teach you about your hospital’s performance?” The copygoes on to explain how the car changed the American automotive market and that some-thing similar is now happening in patient-monitoring technology. “There’s an inference tosay Japanese technology is so advanced and has had such an impact on American productsthat it’s only natural for this type of technology to make great advancements [in the U.S.]as it relates to patient monitoring,” Baird said. “There hasn’t been a whole lot of innovationin this field.”The campaign has helped Nihon Kohden gain acceptance at hospitals such as Vander-bilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Baird said. “The first sign of success is accept-ance at premiere hospitals, and the testimonials and the stories that the caregivers andusers of the product have early on,” he added.
  • 70. 72 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESPlus, the number of leads the company gets from trade shows has tripled, Baird said.“People [at trade shows] just couldn’t get enough of this product,” he said. “The amount ofactivity they have at their booth [now] compared to what they had three years ago is out-standing.”Originally published Jan. 17, 2011
  • 71. 73BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #3Game Show WinnerHow IBM’s ‘Watson’ produces big businessBy Christopher HosfordWhat does a TV game show have to do with promoting an intensely complex data ana-lytics engine developed by IBM Corp? In the case of IBM’s Watson project, plenty.IBM’s super data analytics engine, dubbed Watson, gained huge attention in February, andafterward, for being pitted again human competitors on TV’s “Jeopardy!” and winning. Butdemand generation for IBM technology was part of an entire program from the beginning.The campaign, said Jim Gargan, VP-demand programs for IBM Corp., was to highlightthe company’s breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and analytics, leverage its ongoing“Smarter Planet” campaign about solving community issues and reintroduce the IBMbrand to a younger generation without firsthand knowledge of the venerable software andservices company.“At the beginning, we set up a tone: This wasn’t about man versus machine but ratherabout the advancement of mankind,” Gargan said. “We wanted people to vote for Watson,not against him.”To that end, IBM and agency OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York, developed the theme,“Let’s go, humans!”IBM partnered with “Jeopardy!” to stage a special edition of the show at the company’sThomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., instead of Hollywood, Calif.,the normal site of the show. (Watson’s name, as well as that of the research center, honorsThomas J. Watson, the founder of 100-year-old IBM). IBM built a special stage set andinvited two former “Jeopardy!” champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, to competeagainst Watson.“We paid ‘Jeopardy!’ a bunch of money and bought an audience,” Gargan said of thebroadcast. “But the total audience was much bigger than we anticipated.”The event was supported by print advertising, TV spots on the NFL playoffs in advanceof the broadcast, 22 YouTube videos and specially organized “watch parties” on the nightsof the event. These attracted some 11,000 students on 60 campuses around the country,plus an abundance of IBMers as well.Meanwhile, Watson developed an enthusiastic following on “his” own Twitter andFacebook sites.The two-game show, broadcast Feb. 14-16, was one of “Jeopardy!’s” highest-rated,with 34.5 million viewers, and secured 1.3 billion impressions and $50 million in earnedmedia for IBM. The technology behind Watson garnered a cover story in The New YorkTimes magazine, was profiled on the PBS TV show “Nova” and was a subject on both “TheTonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Conan.”
  • 72. 74 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESAs a result, Gargan said, 70% of all impressions from the campaign were earned, notpaid for. The Watson campaign produced $260 million in pipeline business and $37 millionin business, Gargan said.“Even though the event took place on a game show, it was motivated by business andstrategic issues first,” said Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman-CEO of OgilvyOne World-wide. “IBM wanted to capture the world’s imagination with this invention and drive rele-vancy by demonstrating how IBM is making the world work better.“Thirdly, they wanted to sell stuff, things you can buy from IBM, like data analytics,”Fetherstonhaugh said.Prepping for the game also helped refine Watson’s analytical capabilities, Gargan said.For its “training,” the engine was paired against numerous former “Jeopardy!” champions,and wound up winning only 71% of its games.“When the actual “Jeopardy!” broadcast rolled out, there was genuine drama,” Gargansaid. “This wasn’t a lock for the finals.”The machine now is being used at Columbia University and the University of Baltimoreto refine medical diagnoses and to suggest treatments. Gargan said IBM feels its greatestsocial good can come in this area, but that the technology might be adapted to the financialservices, traffic control or call centers.Originally published Aug. 23, 2011
  • 73. 75BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #4A Personal TouchHow Pitney Bowes highlightsnew mail technologyBy Christopher HosfordMailing technology and services provider Pitney Bowes needed to fine a way to help itscustomers understand that its software and hardware deliver more than simply postal mail.In August, Pitney Bowes debuted a new campaign demonstrating that the company canhelp its customers deliver messages using their own customers’ preferred channels—including the Web, email and mobile texting—as well as via the Postal Service.“People who know Pitney Bowes know us from our 90-year legacy in the mailingspace,” said Dan Kohn, VP-corporate marketing at Pitney Bowes.The effort, dubbed “Personally,” was designed by Pitney Bowes’ agency, gyro, Cincin-nati, to show businesses how they can be more successful when they create stronger con-nections with their customers, no matter what channel is used. It features online displayads, radio, direct mail and events, Kohn said.The centerpiece of the campaign is rich media website PersonallyPB.com, where usersencounter one of nine videos.Kohn said visitors are directed to individual videos based on the vertical markets—suchas financial services, insurance, health care or small business—that they come from. Some-one in the financial services sector, for example, might see a banner on the website ofAmerican Banker and be instantly served the appropriate video. “The website and videosdeliver the proof,” Kohn said.The display campaign ran on 28 websites representing specific industries (such asAmericanBanker.com and Health Management Technology) and more broadly focusedbusiness sites (such as BusinessWeek.com, Entrepreneur.com and Newsweek.com). Someads were roll-overs, so a prospect could view the video while remaining on the site theystarted on. “In that case, as you roll over the video, it pops up and within the ad it will askyou which industry you are in and will serve the most relevant ad for you,” Kohn said.Originally published Oct. 18, 2011
  • 74. 76 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #5B-to-B Meets B-to-CHow Thomson Reuters increased salesopportunities for EikonBy Mary E. MorrisonBusiness publisher Thomson Reuters’ legal unit includes such divisions as West, a pub-lisher of Westlaw online legal research, as well as West LegalEdcenter, an online source forcontinuing legal education. Attorneys turn to West LegalEdcenter to obtain the continuingeducation credits required by their local governing bodies.The company sells its more than 7,000 programs in 35 practice areas individually throughcredit card purchases. But it is just as interested in the classic up-sell—converting as many ofthose single-course buyers into more lucrative annual subscription customers—which allowsaccess to a number of continuing education courses as well as the Westlaw database.Even with subscription customers, maintaining good relations is key because subscrip-tions eventually expire. To accomplish the initial sale, up-sells and retention, WestLegalEd-center has based its marketing campaign on email.“We need a certain number of credit card purchases but also subscriptions and renewedsubscriptions,” said Jonathan Petrino, marketing automation engineer at the company.“Our program that we’re developing now recommends specific content on our site to par-ticular groups of people based on their profiles. These are really one-off campaigns basedon personal profiles.”For the past two years, the company has worked with email service provider ResponsysInc. to determine the most profitable mix of single-course versus subscription customers,and through testing learn which types of offers and content each group responds to best.“There’s even a challenge with subscription customers; people sometimes sign up andpay but then don’t take the course,” said Mike Hotz, associate director-strategic services atResponsys. Reminders are important, he said, to notify attorneys that they can still taketheir course.“If they’ve signed up and paid for something, you want to make that attorney sees thevalue in it so he’ll return,” he said.Responsys set up triggered email reminders to attorneys, support staff and the firms’compliance people about renewal dates and key programs. Support staff, responsible forkeeping attorney schedules, are particularly important targets to reach out to and remindof looming deadlines, Hotz said.Offers are crucial, Hotz said, when targeting smaller law firms, for which continuingeducation courses can constitute a significant budget item. Also, earlier signups arerewarded with lower rates.
  • 75. 77BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESThe geographical and jurisdictional diversity of the legal profession makes well-timedtriggers key.“A big challenge is that every jurisdiction has a different date and time frame to getcontinuing credits done by,” Hotz said. “That means you can’t just send something everyTuesday, for example. This is really about life cycle marketing.”Petrino said the company also uses direct mail timed to prompt sales and renewalsbased on local deadlines. And it’s exploring social. But email remains at the marketing core,in particular with an understanding of recipient behavior determining future triggers.“We have about 12 automated campaigns in production right now,” Petrino said. “Aspeople pass through one, it affects how they pass through the second. That living data setplays itself out in real time.”Petrino said the company views its customers in two distinct ways—the credit cardbuyers, who may scramble to simply stay abreast of continuing education requirements,and “knowledge seekers,” who want to stay on top of legal changes, regulations and finan-cial reform.Because of the importance of this ever-changing data, Petrino only recently took on hisnew title—marketing automation engineer—to devote more time and energy to under-standing the information flowing back to the company.“The biggest challenge isn’t employing the right tools or systems; I don’t think we couldoutgrow what Responsys offers,” Petrino said. “But the issue really is how much time youhave to massage the data and understand it. We realized that, hey, we have all this infor-mation; so let’s get it right.”Petrino said that because email has been a central component of the company’s mar-keting outreach for a relatively short period, determining hard ROI numbers is difficult.Nevertheless, he’s certain its return is the highest of any of the company’s current market-ing channels. And there is a sense among management that the company is developingstronger brand relationships with its key customers.Hotz added that the future will focus on developing email content that creates agreater sense of urgency while continuing to develop more appropriate offers by segment.He’s also interested in reaching the influencers within law firms, such as librarians andcompliance officers.“Social also is something that West has had some success with, and have seen somesuccess anecdotally in driving revenue,” Hotz said.Originally published March 14, 2011
  • 76. 78 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESINTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #6‘Rise’ UpHow Motorola Soluntionsintroduces its new brandBy Kate MaddoxMotorola Solutions last week rolled out an integrated ad campaign called “Rise” tointroduce its new brand to the marketplace.On Jan. 4, Motorola Inc. split into two companies—Motorola Solutions, which pro-vides communications products and services to enterprise and government markets, andMotorola Mobility, which provides mobile phones and accessories for consumers.BBDO New York created the “Rise” campaign, which includes print and online. DesignKitchen, Chicago, developed the new website at www.motorolasolutions.com. The budgetwas undisclosed.“The campaign is based on our brand promise—we innovate to mobilize and connectpeople in the moments that matter,” said Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at MotorolaSolutions.A centerpiece of the campaign is a brand video, produced by BBDO New York, thatshows scenarios of public safety workers, retailers, industrial workers and transportationprofessionals in critical moments, such as fighting fires or responding to crimes.“The video is our manifesto brought to life—people all over the world can rise to what-ever the moment brings,” Conrado said.The video is available on Motorola’s website and is being used at events, internally andin customer meetings to showcase the new brand.Print ads aimed at vertical markets are running in publications including Chain StoreAge, InformationWeek, IndustryWeek, Logistics Management and Mobile Enterprise.The ads set up critical moments faced by each of these industries and show howMotorola Solutions can help people rise to the moment.For example, an ad aimed at the public safety industry shows a deserted street withcopy reading, “In a few seconds, a stolen vehicle will be turning down this street, the driverwill be identified as an armed fugitive wanted in three states and backup units will be onthe way. Your moment is coming. Are you prepared to rise?”An ad targeted at the retail industry shows the outside of a store at dawn, with copyreading, “In under an hour, Black Friday will dawn and the mad rush will begin. …Yourmoment is coming. Are you prepared to rise?”The ads all feature a large digital clock counting down the seconds until the criticalmoment arrives.Online ads are running on companion sites to the print publications, as well as on other
  • 77. 79BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESvertical industry sites.All of the ads drive users to the new Motorola Solutions website, which features morein-depth information about how Motorola can solve problems for specific industries.Originally published Jan, 10, 2011
  • 78. Chapter 7VIDEO
  • 79. 81BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESVIDEO: CASE STUDY #1Gorilla MarketingHow Corning’s ‘Day Madeof Glass’ went viralBy Kate MaddoxGlass manufacturer Corning and ad agency Doremus did not expect an online videocalled “A Day Made of Glass” to be a viral sensation, but as of last week the video hadreceived 12 million views on YouTube since being posted in February.“It’s a surprise breakout,” said John Mannion, director of client relations at DoremusSan Francisco, which created the video.The video is part of Corning’s overall “Possibilities Made Real” campaign, also createdby Doremus San Francisco, and it was originally designed as a sales tool for Corning to usein meetings with manufacturers.“This was originally created for Corning’s top executives to use as a conversation starterwith some of the biggest product design and R&D organizations on the planet,” Mannion said.The five-minute video showcases futuristic applications of Corning specialty glass bytaking viewers through a day in the life of a family that uses their appliances, cars and tech-nology products in advanced ways.For example, when Grandma calls on the smartphone in the morning, Dad puts thephone down on a glass counter, where the video image of Grandma is scanned into thecountertop and enlarged by the kids, who carry on a teleconference while eating breakfast.Mom gets in the car and uses Corning technology to navigate to work, finding alternateroutes and getting updates on appointments through a touch screen on the dashboard.All these products use specialty Corning glass, such as handheld display glass and auto-motive display glass.Following a preview of the video to about 200 Corning executives at a managementmeeting in January, and prior to an investor conference in early February, Corningreceived so many requests for the video that it decided to put it up on the company’s web-site and on its YouTube channel.Within a week the video had received more than 50,000 views; and it took off fromthere, registering millions of views within weeks.“Agencies know that, when you have a discussion with clients, you can’t “architect’ a viralvideo. You can’t guarantee that it will go viral. That is part of the mystique,” Mannion said.Doremus is doing its own analysis of the viral nature of the campaign, trying to figureout how and where viewers shared it. “We previewed it with a few hundred people whotend to be very chatty in terms of blogging and engaging in social media. That turned out tobe a strategic place to start, with all the technology in there that is appealing to people. It’s
  • 80. 82 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESnot that far out there, there is no voice-over, and you get to project yourself into it,” Man-nion said.The popularity of the “Day Made of Glass” video is rubbing off on other Corning adcampaigns, such as its recent “Gorilla Glass” effort debuted in January to promote a brandused in consumer electronics products.“The hits we’re getting on YouTube are helping the hits on “Gorilla Glass,’ ” Mannionsaid. “This fits into the overall corporate communications efforts to demonstrate new appli-cations of Corning glass and fiber optics that make these types of possibilities real.”Originally published April 22, 2011
  • 81. 83BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESVIDEO: CASE STUDY #2Up in the CloudsHow ScaleMatrix keepsbounce rate downBy Karen J. BannanA video—specifically a humorous video that educates potential customers about scala-ble private clouds—is keeping the bounce rate down on the ScaleMatrix site.The company, which debuted in 2010, provides a variety of cloud services, co-locationand training to small- and midsize businesses. As a newcomer, it has the challenge of notonly marketing itself but also the idea of the private cloud, which can be confusing. Itsredesigned website, launched Jan. 1, is a big part of the education process.Although the site is still a work in progress, the company posted an irreverent two-and-a-half minute cartoon in January. The video details the challenges IT personnel face whenrolling out a new product, and explains how 3Tera’s AppLogic product, which ScaleMatrixlicenses, can be used to lessen the burden of application rollouts.The video has been extremely well-received, said James Heller, director of marketing atScaleMatrix, keeping the site’s bounce rate “low” and getting site visitors to go deeper intothe navigation. “When you look at the average time on site, it’s on average longer than thevideo,” he said. “People are coming to the site and sticking around. Our analytics are show-ing that bounce rate has gone down.”The video is just the beginning of a larger video strategy, Heller said. Today, the com-pany has a YouTube channel and posts videos to Vimeo as well, he said. The biggest news,however, is that Heller is in the middle of building a 16-by-24-foot green screen studio inits data center that will be used to record “one new video per week,” he said.“We’ll tap our CEO, who sits on a cloud advisory board, as well as guest speakers fromrelated industries and companies,” Heller said. “We need to raise market awareness, andvideos are one of the best ways to get educational information out there.”Heller decided to create an in-house video studio as a way to retain creative control andfacilitate the fast turnaround his company will need to hit his one-video-per-week goal.The first in-house produced video should hit YouTube, Vimeo and the company’s web-site in later this month, and most will include humor, Heller said. “We’re going to do a lotof video with AppLogic-certified techs to raise market awareness, which is really importantwhen you’re going up against a company that owns the market,” he said.Originally published April 5, 2011
  • 82. 84 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESVIDEO: CASE STUDY #3Video Email SingsHow Opera got the wordout about new productBy Karen J. BannanDespite the fact that more than 100 million mobile phones run its Web browser, whenOpera Software’s executives went to the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009, they got asinking feeling, said Sean D’Arcy, the company’s director of marketing. The company wasmissing out on the next big Internet trend: getting its browsers on televisions.“We went and saw all these TVs running [what’s now] Yahoo Connected TV, and wesaid, “Oh, no! We’ve missed out on the opportunity.’ On the basis of that, we developedtechnology where we can run full widgets on TVs,” he said. Still, with many of the majortelevision and set-top box OEM companies already working on connected televisions, thecompany was facing a big challenge getting the word out about Opera for Connected TVs—its flexible, open toolkit to help cable, satellite and other television service providers addWeb connectivity to televisions—and claiming some market share.This is why during the fourth quarter of 2009 the company, which “doesn’t do a lot ofpush marketing” to begin with, according to D’Arcy, internally put together a PR campaignand a related e-mail campaign. The PR campaign was directed at industry magazines andtrade publications targeted to cable companies, set-top box manufacturers, TV OEMs andTV middleware vendors. Meanwhile, the e-mail campaign was designed to go out to a tar-geted, in-house list of 30,000 names, which was comprised of middle-managers and C-level executives in North America and Europe who worked at set-top box and set-top TVcompanies and television carriers and operators. Opera also created a special landingpage—opera.com/tv—to support the e-mail that would show the potential for Web brows-ing on TVs.The e-mail, D’Arcy said, was very concise. “The body of the e-mail had essentially whatlooked like embedded video and an image of a white paper—the whole e-mail was quiteimage-based, actually,” he said. “It was very short on copy. It basically had a call-to-actionthat said click through to go to the landing page and our cool tagline: The revolution will betelevised.”Once people came to the landing page they were asked to qualify themselves by fillingout a contact form with their title, full name, e-mail, company, website and country. Then,they could download a white paper that included detailed information about the Opera TVproduct. The landing page also had a video that showed what benefits potential customersmight see by offering to them the option to browse the Web while watching television. Thepage also included product sheets and information.Since the e-mail copy was so sparse, D’Arcy implemented A/B testing for the subjectlines, sending out e-mails to one group with a subject line that said, “Web and widgets for
  • 83. 85BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESconnected TV: Get the white paper and video,” and another that said, “White paper andvideo: Experience Web and widgets for connected TVs.” The second option garnered a 24%open rate, while the first option came close with a 23% open rate. Click-through was3.92% for the second version and 3.23% for the first—surprising since the body of the e-mail did not change from sample to sample.The most important metric, however, was conversion. Opera got about 100 qualified leadsfrom the e-mail campaign, D’Arcy said. “It wasn’t rocket science,” he said. “We knew that ifyou put video in the subject line it would have a strong effect either way. We were right.”Originally published Feb. 15, 2011
  • 84. 86 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESVIDEO: CASE STUDY #4Reel ImprovementHow Intergraph ramps up video strategyBy Karen J. BannanWith a budget that’s less than 1% of the company’s revenue, Intergraph Corp.’s mar-keting department has a lot to accomplish with limited resources.The company, which used to be a hardware provider in the 1960s, sells engineeringand geospatial software that helps design and construction customers turn complex datainto visualizations. It has two divisions, Process, Power & Marine (PP&M) and Security,Government & Infrastructure (SG&I).The company’s customers, according to Patrick Holcomb, exec VP-business develop-ment and marketing at Intergraph, are “conservative.” They like to see proven resultsbefore acting, and don’t like a lot of flash—more of a “just-the-facts” approach, he said.“Our marketing challenge is to provide good information and increase awareness of ourproducts without being over the top,” he said. Additionally, sales cycles for the companycan stretch to as long as three years since the complexity of the projects the company’s soft-ware enables has increased recently. “It used to be our products were specific to certaincountries. Now, we’re looking at global execution of the products as well as an increasingproject size,” he said. “A few years ago, $500 million was big; now, we define big as $25 bil-lion.” Another wrinkle is that there are three distinct targets for the company’s marketingmessage: decision-makers, influencers and users. The decision-makers are difficult to get intouch with electronically, so Intergraph is relying on the latter two groups to push aware-ness up the sales chain.In 2008, Intergraph had a website, and that was the extent of its interactive marketing.“We had no YouTube, no Facebook, no LinkedIn, RSS feed or Twitter,” Holcomb said. “Wedidn’t think our ultra-conservative customer base would be looking at any of those spaces.If you searched “Intergraph’ on YouTube, there were two videos. One was a partner’s andone was from our competitor.”However, after careful analysis and research, the company decided that it needed avideo strategy “The three most popular and commonly accepted sources of information onthe Web are Google, YouTube and Wikipedia,” Holcomb said. “Our decision to increasevideo has resulted in increased search engine optimization, so that’s the first reason:increasing our presence on two of the most popular Web research tools—Google (or searchengines in general) and YouTube.” In March 2009 Intergraph introduced its first YouTubechannel. A blog debuted in September 2009, and last May the company added online testdrives, microsites and an interactive e-document series, all of which were supported by theYouTube videos, Holcomb said, which were “planted” wherever Intergraph could find addi-tional “synergies.”
  • 85. 87BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESThe videos are between three and four minutes long, and are linked directly to amicrosite where you can get more information about Intergraph’s software as well as prod-uct demos, a list of upcoming webinars and downloadable white papers. Topics of thevideos include a discussion of how to use your software more effectively as well as cus-tomer case studies and product overviews.The company wanted to get as many videos up as possible, setting an aggressive goal toadd videos based on a 2008 Forrester report, “Video and Image Optimization,” that saidvideos are 53 times more likely to show up in search engine results than nonvideo content,Holcomb said. In 2009, Intergraph added 13 videos, which resulted in 17,600 views. Lastyear, the company managed to accumulate 35 videos that received more than 54,000 views.Cross-channel promotion has made the biggest impact when it comes to increasingviews, Holcomb said. For instance, Intergraph publicizes the videos alongside webinars andpolling questions from the webinars to pique interest. “We’ve made a special effort to link[YouTube] videos and e-mail videos. We also embedded the videos on our own website andpromoted them on the blog. We marketed our marketing,” he said. “We’re surprisedbecause video is really the gift that keeps on giving.”Originally published March 8, 2011
  • 86. Chapter 810 GREAT B-to-BWEBSITESBy Karen J. BannanOriginally published Sept. 19, 2011
  • 87. 89BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesAmerican Express OPEN ForumThe American Express OPEN Forum debuted in 2007 and went through a fairly signifi-cant redesign in 2009 before its latest overhaul this spring. One of the lessons the companylearned over the past four years: “We can’t wait 18 months to make fundamental changesto the site,” said Scott Roen, VP-digital marketing and innovation at OPEN Forum. “Wenow use the agile development process, which allows us to roll out new features and func-tions on an ongoing basis.” The company is updating the site every month or so, rolling outnew elements.The OPEN Forum also updated the social aspect of its site. The company saw a signifi-cant amount of traffic coming from social networks with people sharing stories and linksvia Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. So the OPEN team made it easier toshare content on the site. “People can log in via Facebook and Twitter and comment on ourarticles,” Roen said. Share buttons for Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Twitterand email are now prominently displayed at the top of each article as well. Since trafficfrom mobile was also picking up, OPEN Forum is now optimized for mobile and tablets,with the company introducing an iPhone app last year and planning to launch an Androidapp later this year.The site’s design changed, going for a “cleaner and fresher” look that’s still familiarenough so frequent and longtime visitors feel comfortable. Navigation also got an over-haul. Since many of the site’s visitors came through what Roen called “the side door,”OPEN Forum needed a way to get people deeper into the site. The left-side navigation wasremoved, and visitors are always just a click away from the home page. They can also nav-igate by topic or interest using top navigation.“They may have come in for a specific article and we want them to be able to go deeperrather than have to [only] navigate the seven categories we had [highlighted] today,” Roensaid. A new feature, called Crash Courses, was also introduced. Billed as “a new way tolearn,” the courses are free online tutorials that help people learn in a social manner.“OPENForum.com lures people to the site with large amounts of business-focused con-tent. This is a good strategy for b-to-b sites in general: Focus on giving visitors contentthey’ll find useful in their daily lives, not just product pitches,” said Ben Sargent, senioranalyst at Common Sense Advisory. “From a global perspective, the site clearly displayscountry-specific options right at the top of the page. Also, when you click on those options,most of the names of the countries are displayed in-language.”
  • 88. 90 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesApprova.netLast year, software company Approva Corp. expanded its product line so it could woo afinancial audience. Its website, said Michael Evans, VP-marketing, needed to reflect thenew product and the new focus, so his team—in conjuction with its Web developer, ABrand New Way—overhauled the site. According to Evans, the previous version of the sitewas “good, but very traditional.”“We had very static pages that were text-heavy,” he said. “Plus, we didn’t use thatmany graphics and probably overly focused on capabilities rather than what we could dofor customers.”The redesign, which happened during the first quarter of 2010, focused on making thesite more interactive and visually appealing. Approva used the site’s previous Web metricsto see the overall click stream—how people moved through the site and where they werespending the most time. Those who come to the revamped site can choose their path basedon their title and department or navigate by product or solution.Although the redesigned site has a uniform branding, every section has its own look.“We wanted people to feel, as they went page to page, that they were having a new experi-ence,” Evans said. Social media is now a bigger part of the site, with a Twitter feed featuredin many sections, and heavy use of social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ topush new sections and microsites that the company creates. The blog is featured on thehome page.Demand automation, including Eloqua and Salesforce.com, has also been integrated sothe site can be used for lead nurturing as well as promotion. Since the relaunch, traffic hasincreased 200% and time on site is up 30% to 40%. The real benefit, however, is in salesleads, which are up 60% since the site launched, Evans said. The redesign continues thisyear as the company switches over from Flash to HTML 5, and optimizes for tablets andmobile devices, Evans said.“This site has a clean interface design—the colors and typography in particular,” saidJennifer Cardello, user experience specialist at Nielsen Norman Group. “In addition, theuse of known third-party logos and quotes help enforce reputation.”
  • 89. 91BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesCarnival Cruise Line’s GoCCL.comFor a site that started out as a simple booking engine, GoCCL.com is making a bigsplash with its latest top-to-bottom redesign. The cruise line’s biggest problem preredesign,said Jordan Corredera, director-general manage at Carnival Online, was discoverability.Everything—including content, tools and product information—was hidden behind a pass-word-protected content wall. This meant new-to-the-company travel agents encountered“virtually unusable content and functionality,” said Walter Anasagasti, the company’s e-channel manager. “People didn’t realize all the tools we had on the site. We redesigned thehome page so even an anonymous user could browse and get a good taste of the features,training resources and marketing materials the site has to offer.” At the same time, the siteneeded a branding update so it would be in line with the rest of the company’s marketingmaterials.The in-house design team created what is essentially a new site—new features were tobe rolled out as they were created, which allowed for more fluid and ongoing site updates.Along the way, changes were vetted by a select group of the company’s “top eight to 12travel agents”, who came into a testing lab and tried out the new links as well as wentthrough the motions of using the booking engine, which was also revamped. Those agentsthen provided feedback on the design as well as some of the new features, including ascrolling Carnival News link and a link to BizBuilder, Carnival’s marketing materials, whichhave been aggregated in one place. “The underlying ida was the desire to encourage andfacilitate self-service so the agents could service a reservation, modify booking and findrates without having to reach out to us,” Corredera said. Today, GoCCL.com has a portalfeel, with navigation that makes it simple to find booking tools, marketing materials andtraining resources. Time on site has improved by 21% since the site relaunched, andbounce rate is down by 16%. In addition, the use of the site’s many features is up by 30%.“The online booking has been streamlined, and site functionality helps travel agentsfind exactly what they need to complete a sale,” said Bill Rice, president, Web MarketingAssociation. “The extensive custom collateral creation helps end users upsell and becomemore competitive.”
  • 90. 92 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesCitrix Online’s GotoWebinarCitrix Online provides several different online meeting products including GoToMeet-ing, GoToWebinar and GoToTraining. Last year, just as the company was launching GoTo-Training, those in charge of marketing realized they needed to make it easier for people tofind exactly the product they were looking for, said Katie Davis, VP-Web and CRM at CitrixOnline. “We’d have people clicking between the different products, and there was no wayto compare them; that was why we needed to completely rethink the design,” she said.Other goals included improved searchability and boosting to the number of free trials.Attaining those goals started with usability testing, Davis said, which was handled in-house. Those professionals, in conjunction with staffers from marketing, editorial, engi-neering and line of business, helped design a new site that would make it easier to find andunderstand which of the company’s services was the right fit for a particular customer.“The usability testing told us we needed lots of screen shots, videos and demos so if some-thing wasn’t clear people could watch it and understand what they needed to,” she said.“We also pulled in customer stories and made case studies searchable by vertical.”In addition, the site was designed to be cleaner and less dense, Davis said. “We’re usingplain English, and we removed paragraphs of texts, using more bullets and keywords as aresult of the usability testing,” she said. Since making the changes, the site has seen a 45%increase in its organic search rankings and is seeing “a higher volume” of visits. Even better,the company is seeing a 59% improvement in the number of people who come to the siteand go on to a free trial.“Citrix is doing a great job sprinkling video throughout the site that clearly and suc-cinctly explains what the company does and how it benefits users,” said Jennifer Cardello,user experience specialist, Nielsen Normal Group. “The free trial is very smart in that itincreases the likelihood that someone is going to choose their service. Third-party endorse-ments help boost trust,”
  • 91. 93BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesGraingerWhen more than 25% of your company’s revenue comes from online sales, any sitechanges you make have got to be executed carefully. Still, this summer Paul Miller, VP-U.S.e-commerce at Grainger Inc., realized that the company had to make changes when itcame to Web self-service and troubleshooting.“We had the ability to help solve problems, but our website [help] was weak,” he said.“When people run into problems on the site, why make them work hard to get ananswer?”That’s why this summer his team implemented a series of site improvements designedto boost customer service and ease of use. For example, the site now has click-to-call andclick-to-chat links so people can get answers to their questions without having to pick up aphone on their end. In addition, the site now has what Grainger calls an “account ribbon,”a personalized navigation toolbar that gives them comprehensive information about theiraccounts, including past purchases, order tracking and budgeting data. “Once someonesigns in, all of that information is sitting at the top of every page,” Miller said.The site’s order management and product display was already strong, and it remains thetop content draw when people visit the site. The search engine, for instance, allows searchby keyword or part number, product category, brand and “Grainger Recommendations,”which are displayed at the bottom of the home page. Every product is displayed with a pho-tograph, and extensive details—including price, country of origin, weight, shipping time andmanufacturer’s model number. Customers are also able to use Grainger’s fast ordering tab,typing in a desired quantity and item number to get what they want. Finally, Grainger alsooffers an e-procurement option—located under the Services menu—that integrates cus-tomer buying platforms. The changes and additions are designed to help Grainger boost itswebsite sales to 40% of its total business over the next few years, Miller said.“Grainger is delivering e-commerce functionality using modern techniques of interac-tion design with clear payback. This is a good example of blurring the lines of b-to-b and b-to-c,” said Paul Eisen, principal user experience architect at TandemSeven. “Richfunctionality such as comparison charts and user-controlled page sizes and views are com-plemented with consumer-friendly faceted search.”
  • 92. 94 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesGrouponWorks.comHyper-local deal-of-the-day site Groupon caters to consumers, but the first market itneeds to sell to is very definitely b-to-b: the millions of small and midsize businesses thatuse the service to attract and keep new customers. GrouponWorks.com was set up as a por-tal to reach those millions of potential local partners that would become the “bread andbutter of the business,” said Kristi Klemm, b-to-b marketing manager at Groupon. “Wewere initially trying to put up everything that a small-to-midsize business might be lookingfor if they requested an advertising packet from us,” she said. The site, which uses lots ofwhite space and minimal text, was tight and simple without “traditional “marketingspeak’or anything you might find on a traditional b-to-b site.”Since the site’s debut at the end of 2009, the simplistic, clean design hasn’t changedmuch, but there have been some significant additions to navigation and content, Klemmsaid. One of the most important: a Groupon Merchant Services page, which went up lastfall. Accessible via the site’s main navigation, the new area is designed to help potentialclients find information about getting started, she said. “It’s a way to convince people howeasy it is to work with us,” Klemm said. Another big change is the extensive use of pressclips, case studies and quotes from current Groupon customers. “We’ve sourced a massiveamount of press to supplement our case studies, which can sometimes seem biased,”Klemm said. “Every one was chosen to show how Groupon works. It’s not just to add toour legitimacy. It’s to boost the amount of rich information available.” A final addition tothe site, a link to Groupon Now!, introduces the company’s latest service offering usingvideo to explain its premise.“The interfaces are simplified, with a lot of the garbage you might find on a site like thisstripped out,” said Jennifer Cardello, user experience specialist, Nielsen Norman Group.“They also do a great job using social proof—showing the many outlets that have coveredtheir service as well as the case studies, success stories and customer quotes. Strong use ofwell-produced video.”
  • 93. 95BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesHerokuCloud application platform provider Heroku’s website caters almost exclusively todevelopers, which is why the original site contained almost nothing but code. “At the time,90% of people coming to the site might have said, “What’s this?’ and left; but the 10% whoknew what it was were the people we were trying to attract,” said James Lindenbaum,founder of Heroku. The current site is a little less code-rich, but its focus is still the same:providing developers with the tools and knowledge they need to do their jobs. It’s one ofthe reasons, Lindenbaum said, that the site’s development is handled by the same peoplewho build Heroku’s products.The current redesign bowed in May and coincided with the announcement of a newproduct platform that expanded on its previous functionality by “a huge amount.” Linden-baum wanted to provide documentation and information about those new features but,with fewer than 10 pages to work with, that was a challenge. “Developers are about mini-malism, so we needed to increase the information density without necessarily adding moretext or content,” he said. “We wanted to leave the same amount of breathing room.”The design tackled this with a number of menu options presenting tight, image-richfunctionality. For instance, the main hero graphic contains simple, widget-based naviga-tion elements that use verb-based menus, such as Forget Servers, Run Anything, SeeEverything, Trust and Manage; there are more traditional navigation elements as welllocated at the top of the page. There’s also a relaunched “How It Works” interactive dia-gram built using HTML 5. “We wanted to give people a lot of options for navigation,” Lin-denbaum said. “They can click around the [“How It Works”] diagram or, if they want amore guided tour, they can click across the tabbed menu.” Everything is also one clickaway from the home page and designed to push people to the more technical sections ofthe site, he said.Since May, page views per visit are up 24%, while the bounce rate is down 20%. Whilepage views could be up due to demand from the new product launch, the reduced bouncerate shows people are sticking around for more information. “Marketing is definitely beingdriven by the product, and it shows to our customers,” Lindenbaum said.“Heroku designed its site specifically for its tech-savvy audience, so it’s got lots of whitespace, large type and rich product details that let people explore based on their own inter-ests,” said Kelly Franznick, CEO at Blink. “It’s completely free of Flash, a plus for this audi-ence.”
  • 94. 96 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesShopify.comOnline ecommerce engine Shopify’s old site design had one main focus—getting peopleto sign up. Before this month, that process took about four minutes from start to finish. Thenewest iteration of the website has the same goal, with one main difference: Making thesign-up process easier and faster, under a minute. “The new sign-up has three elements:What do you want your URL to be; what’s your email; and what’s your password? Thatnew sign-up will be accessible from wherever you are on the site,” said Daniel Weinand,the company’s chief design officer.From a design standpoint, the site’s new look is more modern, with a black and whitemotif, a big change from the greener, busier format of the previous layout. “The green isstill part of our branding, but we wanted to make more judicious use of it,” Weinand said.The sign-up form is right on the main home page, as well as on every content page.Since most of the site’s visitors find Shopify by searching for the company name, thedesign team decided it still needed to explain what the service does, but more efficiently. Tothat end, the site explains, step-by-step, what Shopify does and how users can create astore. This meant changing up the presentation mode, swapping “lots of text” for videosand focusing on simple, action-driven navigation.A few things haven’t changed, though. For example, the use of current customer logosand reviews remain, Weinand said. “The video and logos are really important to give ourvisitors confidence in our product. We have an eclectic mix of clients; we want to show wehave large manufacturers like GE and smaller companies like [photographer] Annie Lei-bovitz to show we have the power to scale with a business.” The pricing model has alsostayed the same; it’s visible, transparent and available right from the home page, exceptnow it’s simply “Pricing’ instead of “Pricing and sign-up.’ “There won’t be any questionwhere to click. The new design makes for very little eye movement,” Weinand said.“The site tells people what they can do there—create an online store—right from thestart,” said Kelly Franznick, CEO at Blink. “Pricing is visible and easy to find. It has nicecredibility from excerpts and customer comments, and there are no drop-down menus, soyou can get where you need to go quickly.”
  • 95. 97BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesSiemens.comBefore last January, there was quite a bit of duplication on Siemens Corp.’s site. “Wehad information in more places than it needed to be,” said Josh Kidd, the company’s digitalmarketing manager. The company consolidated its website, making it easier for people tonavigate because “trips were shorter,” he said.The company has also shifted its focus to social networking. Last September, Siemensadded extensive social sharing and commenting functionality to the five main video ele-ments that populate the main page. This has two real functions, Kidd said: “It allows ourmessage to be spread in different locations and allows other people to do it for us,” he said.It also helps the company determine what original content is working and what is lessinteresting to users. Videos with the most shares—each video shows how many timessomeone has shared it in total as well as via individual social networking sites such as Twit-ter and Facebook—are the ones that are most interesting to visitors.More recently, Siemens changed its navigation, which had been structured accordingto the company’s internal business units. “The site used to look like our org chart; it wasdone by sector,” Kidd said. “We found that our internal terminology didn’t translate as wellto our end users, so we overhauled it completely.” The new navigation is so simple to usethat fewer people are having to search the site, Kidd said. “As of [July], search has droppedby 33%. People are finding things using the navigation,” he said. Siemens is also makingsure that people are happy with its site with the addition of a page feedback option at thebottom of all the U.S.-based pages. “It’s very simplistic. “Was this information helpful—yesor no—and, if not, what were you looking for?’ It helps us make changes and tweaks on anongoing basis.”“Siemens.com represents thoughtful, efficient, graceful design from top to bottom. Itshome page fits in one screen—nothing below the fold,” said Ben Sargent, senior analyst atCommon Sense Advisory. “It also has what we call ‘social distribution’ for the pages withthe block of logos under ‘Share this page.’ Most b-to-b sites have been slow on the uptakewith social distribution. This is critical for SEO, which is quickly becoming ‘SMO’ [SocialMedia Optimization].”
  • 96. 98 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES10 Great B-to-B WebitesUSxpress.comTruckload services provider U.S. Xpress wanted its website visitors to get to content asquickly as they get their freight, so Dale Langley, the company’s CIO, set a mandate: “Sitevisitors shouldn’t have to perform more than three clicks to get an answer to their ques-tion,” he said. In addition, they should be able to navigate around the site very quickly, hesaid, always having a way to get back to where they started in one click. These mandatesare especially important because about 30% of its customers are new to U.S. Xpress.The company’s design team took prompts from big-name e-commerce players such asAmazon.com as well as some of its competitors. It also surveyed its top customers, askingfor suggestions. Each of these elements was discussed at length during more than 50 meet-ings executives held to work on the site’s design and branding. The results led to some bigchanges. For instance, since the company has so many services and “subbusinesses,” it was-n’t uncommon for four different visitors to search the site and get to the same place in fourseparate ways. “Because of this, we realized the site had to be simple and secure,” he said.“We needed to articulate our core capabilities, our services and the innovations we’vebrought to the industry; and the old site wasn’t doing a good job at any of that.”The team spent a lot of time discussing how to get people into the site and how to getthem the information they needed quickly. Now, those looking for transport services cansearch by industry, get an instant rate quote, track their shipments and navigate based ontheir individual transportation challenges. In addition, video, photography and uniquecontent that’s updated daily helps U.S. Xpress disseminate information as well as rebrandthe company. Strong social integration helps site visitors evangelize for the site and thecompany.The work is paying off. Since the site redesign, daily visits have gone up 40%; pageviews are up 100% year over year.“Online tracking and pricing is a strong feature,” said Bill Rice, president of Web Mar-keting Association. “I like the fact that the site features dynamic content that changes basedon geography and keywords. This heightens the site’s relevancy and enhances user experi-ence.”