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CEB Case Study: Reaching Executives in Transition with LinkedIn Sponsored InMails

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CEB, the leading member-based advisory company aimed to gain new members for the organization’s unique mix of peer perspectives and research-based operational solutions. CEB partnered with LinkedIn …

CEB, the leading member-based advisory company aimed to gain new members for the organization’s unique mix of peer perspectives and research-based operational solutions. CEB partnered with LinkedIn and realized that the solution rested in the way that professionals use LinkedIn. They agreed that Sponsored InMails were the perfect vehicle for communicating with these executives about the benefits of CEB membership. Read the full story to learn more and see more success stories at marketing.linkedin.com/success-stories

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  • 1. Marketing SolutionsChallengeReach highly-placed executivesTarget executives during career transitionsDeliver relevant, personalized marketingmessagesHighlight the value of CEB thought leadershipSolutionLinkedIn Sponsored InMailsWhy LinkedIn?Executives self-identify as job changers orleaders in transitionTargeting capabilities allow focus on keysegments such as HR or sales professionalsInMails are trusted communications and candeliver in-depth messagesResultsInMail open rate is four times the averageClickthrough rate is twice the averageCEB (www.executiveboard.com), the leading member-basedadvisory company, markets its research in human resources,information technology, and corporate innovation to ararified group of highly senior executives. To gain newmembers for the organization’s unique mix of peerperspectives and research-based operational solutions, CEBfaces a unique marketing challenge, explains Rory Channer,Managing Director of Marketing for CEB.“These are very busy people, and they can be hard to reach,”Channer says. “This requires us to deliver high-impactmarketing, but it needs to be cost-effective.” CEB’s marketingorganization is relatively new, and has focused on using newtools, such as digital and social media marketing, to reach outto potential members. However, the problem of gettingthrough to highly influential executives remained – inparticular, how to convince executives to check out some ofthe compelling thought-leadership materials that CEB offers.CEB Case StudyCEB reaches executivesin transition with LinkedInSponsored InMails
  • 2. Copyright © 2013 LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail, are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation inthe United States and/or other countries. All other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 10-LCS-140-G 0413The title of CEB’s InMail specifically addressed executivechallenges: “How will you ensure long-term success inyour new role?” The InMail went on to congratulate theLinkedIn member on his or her professional shift, invitedthem to try out CEB’s Leadership Transition Service, andoffered a free white paper on the hallmarks of successfulleadership transitions.High open rates – and thankful recipientsThe InMail campaign generated open rates that were fourtimes the rate of CEB’s typical online marketing campaigns,and twice the typical clickthrough rate. “The performance ofthe campaign was astounding,” Channer says. “But it wasn’tjust about open rates and clickthroughs. People told us theywere thankful that we reached out to them at this moment oftransition in their careers. They quickly engaged with us, andwanted to see how we could help them.”Using LinkedIn’s targeting to reach executives at the momentwhen the CEB pitch would be most relevant is the key to thiscampaign’s success, Channer says. “LinkedIn not only givesus access to senior executives, it gives us the speed to go tomarket with messaging while it’s relevant to our target market,”he says. “We also get LinkedIn’s counsel on the best way tolaunch an innovative and highly targeted campaign.”CEB’s LinkedIn Sponsored InMailVisit marketing.linkedin.com to learn how other marketers have successfully met their marketing objectives.Leveraging the power of LinkedInprofile dataChanner and his marketing colleagues knew that a definingmoment for connecting with an executive about CEB servicesis during a period of transition – that is, when an executivehas changed companies, been promoted, or addedsignificant new responsibilities. “This is the moment when wecan help them,” Channer says. “Our research shows that 50percent of executives struggle during the first year oftransition, and the support we provide can help themsucceed. But the conundrum is that at these moments, they’retoo busy to talk to us.”Channer shared this marketing challenge with LinkedIn andtogether they realized that the solution rested in the way thatprofessionals use LinkedIn. “When people change theircompany or their title, they update this information onLinkedIn,” Channer explains. Using LinkedIn targetingcapabilities, CEB could send messages directly to leadersduring an in-flux time in their careers. “We decided totarget a sub-segment of executives in human resources andsales, because they have high turnover rates in theirdepartments and because they are experienced with thesekinds of transitions.”Channer and LinkedIn agreed that Sponsored InMails werethe perfect vehicle for communicating with these executivesabout the benefits of CEB membership. Since InMails arrivedirectly in LinkedIn members’ email inboxes, they provide apowerful incentive for recipients to explore the messages.And since members can only receive one Sponsored InMailevery 60 days, their impact is greater and they are moreeffective at cutting through message clutter.“LinkedIn not only gives us access to senior executives, itgives us the speed to go to market with messaging whileit’s relevant to our prospects. We also get LinkedIn’scounsel on the best way to launch an innovative andhighly targeted campaign.”Rory ChannerManaging Director of MarketingCEB