A Marketing Case Study
LEADS SKYROCKET 7,900% THANKS TO INTEGRATED MARKETING
A company struggling with leads quickly discovered the world was its oyster when it placed responsibility for lead generation into the hands of highly-skilled marketers.
Rand Group scooped up a 7,900% increase in leads in a matter of months after its newly acquired marketing team revamped the website and embedded it with carefully crafted targeted materials.
“Leads shot through the roof the moment the new website launched,” said Rand Group President and CEO Ron Rand. “And best of all, they continued to climb.”
Website Drums in Leads like Energizer Bunny
The graph above illustrates just how stupendous the jump was. Overnight, leads shot up 4,566%. Throughout the next 13 months various marketing tools continued to drive in leads so that by October 2014 more than 2,300 leads had come in, where the previous 12 months leads sat around 50.
“People have this misperception that marketing is fluff. It clearly isn’t,” said George Brown, who was brought in along with his team from Vancouver to lead the tactical transition. Now Senior Vice-President with Rand Group, Brown proved to be the revenue whisperer – that colleague that persistently beat the marketing drum despite naysayers who claimed marketing was a money pit.
“Business owners don’t realize how much business they’re missing until they get a strong grasp of the size of the pipeline,” Brown says. “When we got working on this, Rand Group quickly saw its pipeline was less like a gathering line and more like a distribution line!”
Building a Lead Magnet
Websites are far more than a modern-day version of shop window.
The aim is to get in front of buyers who were already looking for what the company offers. In other words: reposition the website so that it becomes outward facing. When people see the website as useful, they engage with it, and when that happens, the sales team has more people to work with.
It’s Not About You
Taking stock of the existing website was the first order. When the team analyzed the website for lead generation, the results were nil. Zero leads had come directly from the website – a clear yet common sign of corporate ignorance when it comes to the purpose of websites.
To make the website client-facing, rather than company-facing, an easily identifiable menu structure was created to direct the potential lead to precise products and/or services, recognizing that when busy executives look for solutions to problems – they want quick easily digestible answers.
The design needed to be professional, approachable, with sufficient flexibility to add new products as they came online without the need for a major restructuring. And it needed to provide more product information, expanded service offerings, with a responsive design and direct navigation.
Every Pearl is Unique
Rand Group’s marketing team understands that when it comes to leads, it’s a one-on-one conversation to get that click. There is no “one-size-fits-all.” So the strategy involved creating a suite of marketing products that would appeal to a wide range of individuals.
– The team determined that Rand Group had sufficient credibility to distinguish itself in thought leadership, and the best way to do this was through a blog section. Insights postings were populated with articles written by members of the leadership team, and key employees – each then promoted as authors, complete with photographs. This also served to ensure fresh, relevant content for the site – again designed to draw in readers, and increase the number of leads. Pages were search engine optimized, and wherever possible, included downloadable products and links to internal web pages.
Lead Conversion Triggers
Numerous products were developed that would assist in attracting online engagements – from whitepapers that required a form completion before receipt, to “ask an expert” placements on the bottom of each page triggering an email, to online quizzes. In every case, the potential lead was directed to provide varying levels of data that would later be analyzed to determine lead qualification.
The marketing mantra was that every page – regardless of the page type – had at least one CTA (call to action), plus one product packaged in such a way as to maximize potential clicks.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Many companies use websites, but few actually make appropriate use of search engine optimization. Rand Group’s marketing team conducted deep keyword research to determine what words and phrases were most used by those searching for certain products and services, with a focus on identifying keywords that reflected the intent of the searcher. The keywords were inserted into page content, and then each page carefully built to improve Google rankings and increase organic searches.
So many companies talk about SEO, and then leave the recommendations on the shelf. This would be a case where the work would be done on each and every page, with each and every product and offer tied to the website. The result was a mass of metrics that helped funnel information to predetermined sales channels. Leads were sorted and assessed, as to qualification.
Online Advertising (Pay-Per-Click – PPC)
Another critical strategy was the incorporation of PPC. Rand Group made extensive use of Google AdWords, resulting in targeted ad placements for potential leads across North America. Suddenly the world of possibility was getting much bigger.
Emails can be automated in response to visitor engagement, such as when prospects download a whitepaper. Several outgoing emails were written to push prospects through the buying stages, and were crafted in accordance with a prospect’s profile (CFO, CEO, etc.), and other relevant demographics.
Timed strategically, these drip marketing campaigns kept Rand Group top of mind, and gave visitors numerous opportunities to take action.
Additionally, an often-overlooked piece of real estate in email marketing is the space beneath the signature sent by every person within an organization. Adding the same professionally developed CTA to every email in the system instantly broadens the drip campaign exponentially.
In Business, There are No Accidents
You are what you put into practice, and Rand Group’s new method of lead generation placed the company in a new category.
Using this systematic, automated and documented approach allowed Rand Group to monitor progress and impact throughout the first critical months of the website’s launch. Rand Group could easily discern where its money went, and whether it was working.
And by all accounts – it was working.
Proof Lies in Results
The leads and the accompanying rise in revenue was precisely the ROI the CEO was looking for. Only 16 months earlier, Rand Group’s leads had been trickling in like water over a dried-up riverbed.
It was a paradigm shift that has stuck.
“I was counting on this being a good decision, but even so, it was still hard to imagine that it would achieve such results,” Rand said. “Our salespeople had been almost exclusively reliant on word of mouth prior to this decision, and now we regularly receive good quality leads from throughout the Southern U.S., from companies who previously never knew we existed.”
In today’s market, marketing is not a luxury. It is a vital part of lead generation. Without proper marketing, business stagnates. It’s all about finding not only new clients, but also the right clients.
At a time when nearly everyone is engaged in making decisions with their dollars through the anonymity of the internet, marketing is the business’s voice to that reader, that listener, that visitor that you want. Marketing reaches out before your sales person makes the personal connection.
Marketing is about graphics, design, crisply written content, and so much more. It is about creating a means for your company to communicate with your potential customer before the sales conversation even starts.
Every business wants qualified leads. The addition of carefully and fully managed marketing tools means you can identify qualified leads who are eager to listen to your call, eager to meet you face-to-face. Talking to a qualified lead gives your sales people confidence. It mentally moves them from a place of “selling”, to a place of “helping”. You now are truly providing a B2B service to those in need. And this approach in turn provides a perfect feedback loop. Now your clients are confident they made the right decision too.
Marketing brings your business to life.