David Kirkpatrick

B2B Marketing: Focused top-of-the-funnel campaign fills day-long workshop in target market

Marketing and Sales alignment is always a hot topic. When the two business functions are working together marketing efforts are more effective and Sales’ job becomes easier.

At the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco this week, Michelle Mogelsen Levy, Associate Vice President Marketing Programs, ECI Telecom, presented a case study on a successful quick-hit, top-of-the-funnel effort that had the side benefit of getting already close Marketing and Sales teams into even closer alignment.

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Sales’ challenge for Marketing

Sales at ECI Telecom came to the marketing team and asked for support to penetrate a brand new geographic market in a very limited time frame – under 30 days – and fill the top of the funnel with high-quality leads.

The resulting effort was a proprietary workshop in Sweden, a new market Sales was targeting. Marketing’s challenge was finding a way to get relevant prospects to the event with an eye on being cost-conscious. And the goal was to register 20 participants for the eight-hour workshop.

The strategy was an inbound effort combining Sales leveraging its connections through email and social media with Facebook posts and other outreach, and Marketing taking advantage of the existing database along with reaching out to anonymous web visitors from Sweden. Turning unknown website visitors into known visitors was a key goal in the effort.

ECI Telecom went out and found a vendor that was able to provide a tool that allowed for segmenting Web traffic and delivering relevant messages to those visitors, and allowed for real-time intelligence on site visitors and behavior.

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Tactics to execute the strategy

To execute the strategy of segmenting and reaching out to website traffic the marketing team used a four-step process:

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Step #1. Analyze inbound site traffic

Going back six months, the company looked at trending traffic from the target market (Sweden) and trending engagements in the form of clickthroughs and conversions

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Step #2. Define the target audience

The audience was defined by region, website behavior and organization. These definitions helped Marketing create relevant messages for those visitors.

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Step #3. Create relevant calls-to-action

First marketing created calls-to-action for driving registration for the 8-hour workshop for two prospect groups – utility and telecom. Then, because the target market was Sweden, the next task was to create these calls-to-action in the local language.

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Step #4. Engage and convert

With all the pieces in place, Marketing used the tool to engage with website visitors by segmenting based on the definitions in Step #2, and responding with the relevant calls-to-action to drive conversion (defined as registering for the workshop).

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Results of the effort

From analyzing six months of Web traffic, ECI Telecom knew that it averaged 90 visitors per month from Sweden before the effort.  That number rose to 160 over the 25-day campaign.

Prior to the effort there were no engagements or conversions in the buying funnel from Sweden. The “engaging with Swedish Web visitors” campaign created seven clickthroughs and two conversions. This number might say “small,” but keep in mind that for a complex, B2B product, two leads signing up to attend an eight-hour workshop is very valuable.

Here are the overall effort metrics:

  • Increased incremental traffic from target market by 60%
  • Clickthrough rate increased 430%
  • Conversion increased 2900% with 29% signing up for proprietary event

Marketing surpassed the ultimate goal of 20 workshop participants by registering 27 attendees. Two came from the engage with Swedish Web visitors effort, and the rest could be sourced back to the outreach effort from Sales or prospects who were already in the Marketing database.

The campaign was considered a success, and it actually helped Marketing and Sales get into closer alignment because Sales saw the impact of the effort that Marketing was able to pull together on very short notice.

Levy says Sales was actually promoting Marketing internally, following the successful campaign.

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Related Resources:

Insightera – ECI Telecom’s real-time targeted engagement tool vendor

How and When to Use Content in the B2B Sales Process

B2B Summit 2011: 5 takeaways on social media, lead generation, building a customer-centric approach, and more

Fostering Sales-Marketing Alignment: A 5-Step Lead Management Process

Getting Sales and Marketing into the Same Room: Marketing automation implementation spurs successful integration process

Marketing Metrics: Aligning ROI goals across the enterprise

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B2B Marketing