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. 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.

Published in: Business, News & Politics

Top 50 B2B Marketing Case Studies of 2012

  1. 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. 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. 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 ...................................................................................................................................90Carnival Cruise Line’s ..........................................................................................91Citrix Online’s GotoWebinar ......... ................................................................................................................................98
  4. 4. Chapter 1EMAIL
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 18. Chapter 2LEAD GENERATION
  19. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 and 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 ( 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 30. Chapter 3SOCIAL MEDIA
  31. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 36. 38 BtoB’S TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIESsaid.Leads are tracked via a fairly extensive integration between the social channels “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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 43. Chapter 4DIRECT MARKETING
  44. 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. 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. 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] 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 53. Chapter 5EVENTS
  54. 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. 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