Anda di halaman 1dari 97

BtoBs

Top 50 Marketing
Case Studies
Real-Life Success Stories to Help
B2B Marketers Connect, Convert
and Boost Response
By the staff of BtoB magazine

2012 Crain Communications Inc.

Contents
Chapter 1: Email
How Teradata stands out in a saturated market .....................................................................7
How First National Corp. hired the right ESP ............................................................................9
How Wasp Barcode Technologies lifts open rates ................................................................11
How F5 Networks uses voicemail to support email .............................................................13
How Crestline uses analytics to its advantage........................................................................14
How Constant Contact promotes webinars............................................................................16
How Volvo Construction Equipment increases email opens .............................................18
Chapter 2: Lead Generation
How Pyramid Consulting manages leads................................................................................21
How TDS gets sales, marketing on same page.....................................................................23
How CDW generates sales-ready leads ..................................................................................25
How Cbeyond uses online video to increase leads .............................................................26
How National Starch improves leads with trade show microsite ......................................28
How HP Extreams traveling exhibit finds new revenue......................................................30
Chapter 3: Social Media
How GridGain Systems connects with customers................................................................33
How Cisco heightens brand loyalty ..........................................................................................35
How Sanbolic boosts leads .........................................................................................................37
How Mongoose Metrics drives, traffic, leads .........................................................................39
How AT&T blog leverages internal ambassadors ................................................................41
How Morgan Stanley manages Twitter to its advantage......................................................43
Chapter 4: Direct Marketing
How AT&T boosts direct mail response rate ..........................................................................46
How Ryson raises conversions, visibility..................................................................................48
How VisualSonics improves its search ranking .....................................................................49
How Aetna better targets small-business owners.................................................................51
How Yoh Services raises its profile locally and nationally...................................................53
Chapter5: Events
How HP promotes event app.....................................................................................................56
How Uniface user conference evolves....................................................................................58
How Fresh Intermediate uses group-buying at trade show................................................60
How KM Canada launched product at industry show .........................................................62
How Canon introduces product in person .............................................................................64
How 2X Software boosts webinar attendance.......................................................................66

Contents
Chapter 6: Integrated
How AmEx helps rebrand SMBs ...............................................................................................69
How Nihon Kohden raises its profile .......................................................................................71
How IBMs Watson produces big business...........................................................................73
How Pitney Bowes highlights new mail technology .............................................................75
How Thomson Reuters increased sales opportunities for Eikon ......................................76
How Motorola Soluntions introduces its new brand.............................................................78
Chapter 7: Video
How Cornings Day Made of Glass went viral ......................................................................81
How ScaleMatrix keeps bounce rate down............................................................................83
How Opera got the word out about new product.................................................................84
How Intergraph ramps up video strategy................................................................................86
Chapter 8:10 Great B-to-B Websites
American Express OPEN Forum ..............................................................................................89
Approva.net ...................................................................................................................................90
Carnival Cruise Lines GoCCL.com ..........................................................................................91
Citrix Onlines GotoWebinar ......................................................................................................92
Grainger ...........................................................................................................................................93
GrouponWorks.com......................................................................................................................94
Heroku..............................................................................................................................................95
Shopify.com.....................................................................................................................................96
Siemens.com...................................................................................................................................97
USxpress.com ................................................................................................................................98

Chapter 1

EMAIL

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #1

Crowd Control
How Teradata stands out
in a saturated market
By Karen J. Bannan
The CRM market is a competitive one. Getting a CRM product noticed in such a tough
market can be a challenge, especially since there are multiple stakeholders involved in a
purchase decision. CRM software provider Teradata, which also sells analytics tools, database software and data appliances, used an integrated campaign to get customers attention, said Erin Fagan, director of Marcom programs at the company.
We addressed the confusion straight on, she said. Our key message was that the
CRM market is very cluttered, and were creating breakthrough CRM performance with
our product.
The three-pronged campaign, launched last June, was created in conjunction with
interactive agency Tocquigny, Austin, Texas. It targeted VP- and director-level recipients at
310 companies, and touched more than 3,000 contacts via e-mail, direct mail and sales
calls. Approximately 10 days elapsed between each follow-up e-mail or direct mail piece
sent to prospects.
The first element in the campaign was an e-mail, Fagan said, using customer testimonials. We used customer quotes, with them talking about their experience, she said. It was
a customer-led strategy to get people thinking about why they might need our product. In
addition, recipients were able to click through to download a white paper that discussed
both technical and business benefits. It was collateral that didnt inspire a single opt-out,
Fagan said.
The second e-mail upped the ante, offering a free session with John Lovett, senior partner at Web analytics and optimization consulting firm Web Analytics Demystified. A lot of
people think they cant 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 contained a hard call to action as well as an offer of a free iPad that was preloaded with ebrochures, sales tools, a Flash demo, white papers, and a podcast featuring Web Analytics
Demystifieds Lovett.
The iPad was a tool, an educational tool that the prospects could use within their own
companies, Fagan said. We wanted to put information into their hands that they could
share with others [at their companies] who shared the decision-making process.
Anyone who didnt 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-

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

ing them to schedule a meeting with the Web Analytics Demystified consultant. During the
campaign, when a prospect responded to one of the offers they were removed from other
offers in the campaign cycle and received a follow-up phone call within 24 hours from a
salesperson.
To date, the campaign has received 355 responses, a 17% response rate. The audience
reached was about 60% IT people and 40% from the business side, Fagan said. In total, 301
people downloaded the companys white paper, and 55 in-person sales meetings were generated. About 15 people requested the free consultation with Lovett. The iPads were handdelivered to prospects.
Since Teradatas sales cycle is about 18 months, its too soon to say whether the campaign will result in identifiable revenue, however Fagan said she and her team were very
happy 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.
Were really pleased, however, with the number of meetings that the campaign generated.
Originally published March 15, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #2

Choose Wisely
How First National Corp.
hired the right ESP
By Karen J. Bannan
In 2008, leasing and finance company First National Capital Corp. decided to employ
an 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 aviation, construction, manufacturing, retail, and energy) found its provider to be expensive
and difficult to use, according to Mike Curtis, First National Capitals VP-marketing and
sales operations.
We spent about $69,000 during the first year, he said. While I was impressed with
the benefits, I felt for that kind of spend there had to be other solutions out there. I wanted
to do what we were doing more effectively and spend less money.
In the second quarter of 2009, Curtis decided to hire ESP Pinpointemostly, he said,
because of reduced costs. But he quickly discovered Pinpointe provided more flexibility
than his old system.
For instance, since First National Capital has many different customer segments, Curtis
wanted a way to segment the companys contact database so targeted emails could be sent.
Using Pinpointe, hes been able to create segments of several hundred people just as easily
as several thousand, and he can create one-time segments without having to do too much
leg work. The switch also allowed First National Capital to be more hands-on, something
thats important since the companys marketing department is Curtis himself. I can concentrate on hyper-hyper-personalization and be very targeted and very specific, he said.
Im 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 companys reputation as a thought leader and raise overall
brand awareness, Curtis said. All emails are personalized and come from individual sales
representatives as well as the corporate office.
For example, a recent email went out to 11,000 people who own airplanes. I pulled an
article out of an aviation magazine about the fact that the federal government wants to
eliminate the tax break and depreciation [related to owning a private jet]. We got a lot of
emails back thanking us for educating [our customers.]
The segmentation also lets Curtis send out email to clients based on past behavior. We
sent a message out this week to people who bought planes three years ago, he said. The
message was very targetedRegarding your Learjet 450 three-year anniversary. That

10

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

went to 400 people. I sent out the email this morning, and were averaging a 21%-to-24%
open rate so far on that one little campaign.
Curtis doesnt rely exclusively on templates, sometimes opting for plain text messages.
Another email, sent right before the July 4 holiday, was extremely simple; it contained clip
art of a flag and text wishing recipients a great Fourth of July. That email generated five
leads sent directly to sales reps, Curtis said.
Since moving from its old marketing automation system to Pinpointe, Curtis has saved
a lot of money, but the real benefits are the business results, he said. The company grew
40% during 2009 while the rest of its industry was flat or losing revenue.
While it was more than just email, of course, its made me say, Wow, thats the real
power of email marketing. I can finally be more hands-on and communicate effectively
the way my customers want to hear from us, and it shows in our sales.
Originally published July 28, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #3

Pulling the Trigger


How Wasp Barcode Technologies
lifts open rates
By Karen J. Bannan
Customers are more receptive to messaging when it resonates with their current situations. A customer who just purchased a software package will be more interested in a setup
guide than a longtime client who hasnt made a similar purchase recently. In June 2010,
Wasp Barcode Technologies decided to leverage this idea, creating and rolling out a campaign of nine timed emails aimed at new customers.
The companywhich sells barcode technology such as printers, labels and accessorieswanted to reach its existing small-business customers with more timely information and offers, said Brian Sutter, director-marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies.
Customer surveys indicated that time constraints were causing business owners to delay
implementing [our] MobileAsset software after a purchase, he said. The campaign was
conceived to improve the onboarding process and encourage users to engage with the
software immediately after activation, to increase the likelihood that small-business owners would recommend the software to their peers.
The campaign took the form of nine triggered emails over a post-purchase; the emails
went out after a customer activated the software license. Once the product was activated,
the data was passed from Wasps CRM system into the companys MarketFirst email marketing system (from CDC Software) and the campaign automatically initiated. (Lets say
[the customer] bought an entry-level product and upgrade within 60 days, Sutter said.
Our system knows to move them to that upgraded products list.)
The first emaila message about the companys free trainingwas sent 24 hours after
a customer activated the software, encouraging them to watch an online session or attend a
live, 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, went
out three days after the first email was received. Emails three through nine were spaced 30
days apart. Each tried to improve a users experience and satisfaction. For example, email
No. 3 is an offer to buy an extended warranty. Since people only have a 60-day window to
buy 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; and
email 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 optouts 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-

11

12

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

nial leads have come directly from the email campaign, and click-throughs for complimentary products are averaging 25% higher than previous in campaigns.
A big reason for our success is that were sending relevant emails, Sutter said. Were
not sending training help for a product that a customer has not purchased or has purchased
a long time ago. By helping our customers get a return on investment, we are validating
our product and our service commitment, and really creating a relationship.
Originally published July 26, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #4

Make the Call


How F5 Networks uses voicemail
to support email
By Karen J. Bannan
E-mail is a huge component of IT infrastructure provider F5 Networks marketing
plan. The company, which sells hardware and services to data centers and service provider
networks, segments its database and generates a combined 11,000 to 12,000 leads per
month from the more than 50 marketing campaigns it runs at any time. And because its
prospects include both lower-level IT people as well as CIOs and VPs of IT, the company is
willing to test new strategies, said Jeanette Geary, senior marketing programs manager at
F5 Networks.
CIOs or director level and above are not interested in an e-mail nurture program; they
want a peer-to-peer program or a direct touch, she said. They are not opposed to us sending 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 help
get 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 executives voicemail that says, Youre going to get an e-mail about something important, so
when 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 four
disaster recovery guides. The guides highlighted F5 Networks disaster recovery solutions
including BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Link Controller and BIG-IP Local Traffic
Manager. F5 Networks sent out e-mails and on the same day Boxpilots call managers left
pre-recorded messages for prospects on the list. The process was more than just an autodialer because the Boxpilot call managerslive agentscalled each company asking to be
transferred to the correct persons voicemail box. The process also allowed F5 Networks to
clean its list because prospects who had left a company or had moved to a new department
could be removed from the list and a new contact name added. The campaign also included
a second follow-up call from telemarketing representatives.
Overall, using Boxpilot to remind people to read their e-mail helped boost the response
rate by 2%no small achievement considering the cost of the F5 Networks products. The
extra personal touch definitely helps with awareness, Wadsworth said. Even if the subject
matter doesnt pique the persons interest, they get to know us and might have interest in
something else down the line, he said.
Originally published Jan. 17, 2011

13

14

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #5

Testing, Testing
How Crestline uses analytics
to its advantage
By Karen J. Bannan
When Mark Murphy joined the marketing team at Crestline, a company that provides
imprinted promotional products to businesses, he immediately jumped into a complete
overhaul of the companys email marketing program. Murphy, who is Crestlines e-commerce marketing manager, said the move was part of a complete revamping of the companys 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 company in the past wasnt taking advantage of data from previous campaigns, so he and his
team started looking at years worth of data, he said. In addition, the company started
paying closer attention to what its competitors are doing.
Were keeping an eye on the products that are offered [via email], and the timing of
the emails as they relate to what were putting forth, Murphy said. Were looking at, Are
they putting out an offer six weeks before a key date and were putting it out five weeks
before. Were taking that data and our own data and using it to do an enormous amount of
testing 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 specific
subject lines to individual segments. Crestline has increasingly used A/B testing to optimize subject lines over the previous six months, Murphy said.
One recent test of multiple variants helped the company identify an email whose open
rate was 15% higher than other versions. This approach was confirmed through further
testing, and then introduced to Crestlines entire mailing list with similar and very positive
results, he said.
Another winning strategy, Murphy said, is the companys revamped email sign-up
process. When Murphy came on board, the company had around 60,000 addresses on its
list. Hoping to boost that number, Crestline tossed its old form, which required visitors to
enter a lot of information before they could be added to the email list. Today, visitors can
sign up for emails via a prominent widget that appears throughout the site. The widget
requires only an email address and first and last name.
Previously, signup was a series of complex steps, Murphy said. Now, its much,
much easier, and our reach is greater because the signup has increased exposure throughout 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-

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

earth approach for everythingemail, content, templates, everythingreally worked, he


said. We have changed the branding strategy completely, changed our templates; [weve]
moved to more image-centric designs, copy is lighter and were seeing really good results.
Originally published June 9, 2011

15

16

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #6

Blast Away
How Constant Contact promotes webinars
By Christopher Hosford
The tension between inbound marketing and outbound direct marketing can be a good
thing when they work together. Axicom Inc., a Westlake Village, Calif.-based technology
consultancy focusing on networking, backup solutions and training, is doing just that with
an aggressive email program in support of educational content.
Our services are based on providing infrastructure and general tech support, said
Marketing Director Christa Nonnemaker. We do a lot of managed services, remotely
[making] sure servers and computers are running. What differentiates us from others is
that we provide education on the technology we know our customers are using.
This year Nonnemaker has leveraged the companys use of Constant Contactan
email service provider catering to small-to-midsize companiesto publicize a series of
webinars on the use of Microsoft Office modules such as PowerPoint and Excel. Its this
kind of basic education thats complementary to the companys overall tech support services by helping cement customer loyalty and encourage prospect interest, she said.
We sent out email blasts about the webinars, and used the Constant Contact event
marketing module to have people register for it, Nonnemaker said. That, in turn, produced an auto response via email.
Registrant emails were captured, and those were sent eight regularly scheduled tips on
the 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 the
computer business, unfortunately, there are built-in opportunities for that, such as [circulating] virus scares. With subject lines that warn about possible significant problems, the
open rates are incredibly high.
Nonnemaker is exploring combining social media with email to drive prospects back to
the archived newsletters. Like many ESPs, Constant Contact offers the ability to embed
popular sharing icons, like Facebook and LinkedIn, in outbound emails.
Kelly Flint, regional development director with Constant Contact, feels that Axicom is
doing a good job combining inbound and outbound marketing with informative content.
Theyve done something smart [with] the use of help tickets, she said. When customers have questions, they share them with all their other customers. For example, it
might take the form of Top Five Questions That Are Asked About Your Business. That can
be great content for email marketing and social together.
Nonnemaker feels she can do more with social media in support of her other channels.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Im still grappling with the efficacy of social media as compared to email, she said. I
reported in our September e-newsletter that while social media usage is up to 65%, its
actually a young demographic who uses it. Our clients are in a different demographic
entirely, with mostly men over age 45 as our primary clients. So while I use social media,
Im not ready to give up email. I still feel its very effective for us.
The ROI of Axicoms content-supported email campaign is still a work in progress, but
Nonnemaker is encouraged.
I wouldnt say its been incredibly influential on the bottom line, but its been good in
branding, in how people regard us, she said. Now, theres an impression that we are a
leader. Were not just a bunch of computer guys who amble in and out. Our customers are
strong local businesses and our credibility is important.
Originally published Oct. 24, 2011

17

18

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EMAIL: CASE STUDY #7

Personal Touch
How Volvo Construction Equipment
increases email opens
By Karen J. Bannan
In the early days of the InternetB.F., before Facebookthere were social media sites.
TechRepublic, a peer-to-peer networking site for information technology professionals was
one of them.
We were social networking before social networking was even a term, Doug
Llewellyn, VP-CBS Interactive Business Technology, said in an exclusive interview with
BtoB.
TechRepublic debuted in 1999 to offer content and the opportunity for IT professionals
to interact online. A CBS Interactive company, TechRepublic on Sunday unveiled a new
design for its website that encourages more interaction from users and offers new opportunities 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 TechRepublic
content through voting, discussions and questions.
With the new website design, user questionsand the answers and commentary surrounding themare now captured on a single page. Users will find at-a-glance views of
the most active discussions and questions throughout the site.
Users can find each other more easily, and they can ask and answer questions in a
much more efficient way, Llewellyn said.
In redesigning the site, TechRepublic gathered input from users. About 40 users gathered in 2009 for a meeting at TechRepublics editorial offices in part to provide input on
how 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 ad
program, which has been used previously on sibling CBS Interactive site ZDNet by prominent b-to-b marketers, such as Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp. and Oracle
Corp.
With Tech Blueprint, TechRepublic said marketers can own a content category, with
brand advertising that surrounds relevant content, such as news, blog posts and white
papers. Marketers using Tech Blueprint have their messages run across the top of the page
and 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 that
promoted 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

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Enterprise 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 everywhere they looked they saw an HP message.
Price said the campaign performed well and delivered a 750% increase in clickthroughs compared to previous executions. TechRepublic anticipates similar results when
the Tech Blueprint launches on the newly revamped site.
TechRepublic offers marketers a unique environment because our users have told us
that they want to hear from vendors, Llewellyn said in a statement announcing the site
redesign. They care about the latest technologies being brought to market, and vendor
information is a critical piece of helping them make decisions to get their jobs done.
Originally published Jan. 27, 2011

19

Chapter 2

LEAD GENERATION

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #1

Keeping Score
How Pyramid Consulting manages leads
By Jon VanZile
After a decade of blistering growth, Pyramid Consulting reached a point that will be
familiar to many marketers: it was time to formalize and organize its lead-generation system.
Pyramid provides global IT services and IT staff augmentation services. Headquartered
in Atlanta, in 2010 it was named one of Inc.s 5,000 fastest-growing companies, but it didnt have a lead-management process in place, according to Randall McCroskey, Pyramid
VP-enterprise solutions.
Most lead generation was done through events, cold calling, referrals and networking, 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 that
offers lead-generation solutions, including email programs.
The goal of Pyramids program was to establish a framework for lead generation and
increase engagement rates with the companys product line, as well as helping the sales
department 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-scoring system that operated in real time.
The approach to content was built from the ground up, using material that was already
available to Pyramids marketing department or writing new content.
The strategy was to educate our audience on why they needed to engage Pyramid for
mobile technology services, said Nancy Thompson, account executive at Pyramid Consulting. The content was unique to the emails. Pyramid had some white papers and other
sales collateral, but most content for this program was created from scratch.
As for qualifying leads, LeadLife helped design a system of email marketing metrics to
paint a picture of a prospects behavior and interest.
[The program] tracks all [of a] prospects digital behavior, such as clicks, page views,
time spent on pages, frequency of visits and form-fills, said Lisa Cramer, president of LeadLife Solutions. For Pyramid, the scoring was used to measure each prospects engagement,
which was a combination of clicks and page views. Based on their scores, they were
assigned 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 which
were slow to respond to traditional methods of engaging, he said. Real-time notifications
allowed for warmer calls for the sales team, and the scoring and rating system helped us
prioritize our time.

21

22

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Ultimately, the program allowed Pyramids sales team to schedule more sales meetings,
and it increased engagement rates in the companys email marketing efforts 100% compared to previous email marketing campaigns.
LeadLifes Cramer said Pyramids success was due in part to observing a few bits of advice.
Start simple and build on your lead-management campaigns, she said. You dont
need to have it all figured out at the outset. Also, use technology to fit your business
process, not the other way around. And finally, always measure what you do. Otherwise,
you wont know how to improve.
Originally published Jan. 9, 2012

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #2

Mutual Understanding
How TDS gets sales, marketing
on same page
By Christopher Hosford
Telephone and Data Systems, the Chicago-based telecommunications service company,
knows what happens when sales and marketing arent aligned: Things deteriorate quickly.
In 2004, the company instituted a process to better align sales and marketing. Over the
past several years, skeptical sales reps were not convinced of the programs value until marketing, which spearheaded the initiative, tested its effectiveness by going dark with its
supporting program.
Sales would instantly drop 30% in that time period, and wed quickly get calls from
sales asking, How fast can we get that program up again, said Jennifer Stearns, formerly
manager-commercial promotions at TDS and now manager-marketing operations at
Accenture.
Stearns boss, Michele Falkner, supported her in her efforts to build a bridge between
marketing and sales.
Integrating sales and marketing is always a work in progress, something that every
company is talking about, said Falkner, manager-commercial marketing at TDS. And its
always a challenge because sales has to hit the street running while at the same time buying 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 sales
force automation options were limited.
Consumer database marketing has lots of tools available and lists that already are segmented, said Bill Macauley, director-product management at Nielsen Co. For business
data, it has to be customized for the clients needs.
Developing prospect lists was key to the TDS effort. The company used precise marketarea demographics in several Midwest states to assign equitable territories to an outside
sales force numbering 130.
A direct mail campaign was augmented with tight sales buy-in; reps were required to
make at least three contacts a month with each prospect, and at least one of those needed
to be in-person. Since this was initiated, the company has adjusted its contact quotas to
reach decision-makersits now up to an average of almost 10 efforts at contacting any
particular decision-maker. Incentives feed the effort.
TDS has devised metrics on how presentations convert to sales, so it focuses on face-toface sessions rather than revenue.

23

24

BtoBS 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 agreeing
to see a rep and receiving a proposal. Meanwhile, the company developed an in-house
sales force automation tool accessible by both sales and marketing.
My staff goes out on sales calls to understand the world of sales, Falkner said. We
call them blitz days, and the ultimate goal is for sales to be successful. But well make it
competitive. Marketing will make our own calls, challenging sales to make more calls than
us. Were putting our money where our mouth is.
Sales arent the only ones with incentives and quotas. Marketing actively participates
in the sales process, and compensation is tied to metrics. It must directly contribute to at
least 20% of the companys revenue.
As the program has matured, Falkner said, marketings attributable influence actually
averages 30% to 40%, although in certain periods its direct influence on sales has ranged
as high as 70%.
I hold everyone on our marketing team accountable to look at our ROI, detailing both
the cost of acquisition and the cost to get an appointment, Falkner said. Then we look at
overall marketing contribution to revenue.
To address prospects that need further nurturing, the company uses lead-scoring solutions from Eloqua and employs e-mail drip campaigns.
Marketing and sales regularly sit down to discuss each others activities. From these
meetings, marketing develops campaigns directly tailored to sales needs, such as helping
push conversions in a particular stage of the funnel.
In addition to boosting marketings contribution to revenue generation, the program
keeps close tabs on cost-per-customer-acquisition. Both sales and marketing are driven to
reduce that by 5% to 10% for each program. But Falkner added that cost-per-acquisition
can be a difficult number to pin down.
When we use lead nurturing, our costs are a lot less than when we use salespeople
contacting prospects, she said. Its a balance we have to watch, and use both effectively.
Originally published Jan. 17, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #3

Get them on the phone


How CDW generates sales-ready leads
By Sean Callahan
CDW 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 a
surprising amount of success marketing with a 135-year-old technology: the telephone.
Telemarketing is an area where weve placed a lot of time and attention the last year
or two, said Mike Weir, CDWs senior manager-data center solutions marketing. Its
increasingly important to us.
For its telemarketing program, CDW uses CNET Direct, a unit of CBS Interactive. CNET
Direct, which is affiliated with CNET, TechRepublic and other tech-oriented websites, offers
integrated direct marketing programs and helps marketers in the U.S. as well as in Australia, China, France and elsewhere around the globe.
CDW uses CNET Direct for a number of marketing communications programs that promote the companys virtualization, security, unified communications, cloud and other
offerings. CDWs integrated program revolves around the TechRepublic site. The program
uses banners that direct prospects to content such as videos, webinars and white papers.
Telemarketing, however, is also a critical part of the program. Telemarketing helps
bridge a gap, Weir said.
The gap he referred to is between the leads that are ready to be forwarded to CDWs
sales team and those that require more nurturing. CDW gauges prospects willingness to
buy through short online questionnaires that ask, for instance, about their budgets and
their buying time frames.
Prospects that have active budgets and are ready to buy relatively soon are passed
directly to the CDW sales team. Prospects higher up in the sales funnel are given to CBS
Interactives 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% have
been converted in some way; they have, for example, downloaded a white paper, registered 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 having
prospects share information. He also said the program is selective. Were not bombarding
them with a bunch of calls, he said.
Weir said the telemarketing program has helped boost CDWs sales-ready leads by as
much as 12% in 12 months, which adds up to more than 1,000 additional leads going to
the sales staff on an annual basis.
Originally published Nov. 8, 2011

25

26

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #4

Fast-forward to success
How Cbeyond uses online video
to increase leads
By Karen J. Bannan
Cbeyond 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 it
planned an integrated campaign that combined print placements and online display advertisingboth of which contained links back to a microsite.
The Grow campaign, rolled out in June 2009, showcased about 40 video testimonials
from Cbeyond customers talking about the benefits of using the companys services. It ran
until last December.
The videos help people connect on a more emotional level with what were doing,
said Shana Keith, Cbeyonds director of public relations, who also handles interactive marketing efforts. It shows how our customers are improving their own businesses using our
services.
Cbeyond, with help from digital agency Arketi Group, Atlanta, decided to use video
because the company wanted to put a face on its customer testimonials. Prospects dont
want to read the written word, Keith said. They want quick communication with a face
on it.
The banner ads that supported the campaign appeared on various business sites,
including Entrepreneur.com and Inc.com. Print ads appeared in Go magazine from AirTran
Airways, a lower-cost airline that small businesses seem to fly on, Keith said.
Once customers typed in the vanity URL (cbeyond.com/grow) they were taken to the
site 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 about
Cbeyonds products and services.
In addition to the paid placement, Cbeyond also leveraged elements of the campaign in
its social media efforts. We consistently put videos on our blog, where they get a lot of
play, Keith said.
The campaign produced significant, measurable results, Keith said. In 2008, before the
Grow effort was implemented, Cbeyonds marketing produced 50 trackable leads. In
2009, the Grow campaign generated 1,100 leads; last year, it generated 2,700. The sales
team also uses the videos to educate themselves, as well as sales collateral when customers
ask for references, Keith said. If our customer is looking at [Cbeyond product] Virtual
Receptionist, we have a video about it so our salespeople can use it and, in effect, bring a
product expert to the sale, she said.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Since seeing the power of video, Keith has made it a point to include video assets
whenever and wherever she can. For instance, she embeds video links in press releases as
multimedia content, uses them as Twitter fodder and includes links in direct marketing
pieces, she said; and today, shes using the Grow videos on a group of new local sites.
Originally published May 3, 2011

27

28

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #5

From Zero to 60
How National Starch improves leads
with trade show microsite
By Kate Maddox
National Starch Food Innovation, a food ingredient manufacturer that is part of Corn
Products International, has improved the quantity and quality of its leads through an integrated 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 the
Institute 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 prospects
will attend, said Marc Green, senior manager-marketing communications at National
Starch Food Innovation and Corn Products International, noting that the 2009 IFT conferencethe food industrys largest eventwas held at the height of the recession.
How do you then present information to the people who didnt attend? The internal
debate was [about] having a webinar, which is a lot more intense and requires more
resources, or a microsite?
National Starch decided to launch an event microsite, which featured content from the
Food Expo conferencesuch as product announcements, video interviews with food
industry executives and highlights from an award ceremonyat which National Starch
won an innovation award.
It promoted the event microsite through an email campaign to its internal list of customers
and 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 continued to build on over the past two years.
We went from zero to 60, Green said, pointing to the differences between the 2009
campaign and the campaign for last years IFT Food Expo conference, which was held in
July in Chicago.
We went from a one-page microsite and two email blasts to building a multipage site
with 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 Twitter
and 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 were
opened, 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 compelling
subject lines and testing different subject lines among the target audience.
Some of the subject lines used in the email campaign included Cut development time.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Improve texture, and Improve your texture and your bottom line, to promote food
ingredient products that would be shown at the event.
National Starch also sent out an email survey to its internal list two weeks before the
IFT show.
We collected information on potential attendees and their issues, and trafficked it out
to the sales force, Green said.
National Starch also used LinkedIn ads to promote engagement with its target audience
and drive traffic to its booth at the show.
National Starch created LinkedIn ads with four-to-five-word headlines, such as New
food ideas at IFT, followed by more detailed copy, such as Want to improve or differentiate
your 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 the
weeks 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

29

30

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

LEAD GENERATION: CASE STUDY #6

Driving Results
How HP Extreams traveling exhibit
finds new revenue
By Erin Biba
In yet another case of what to do with falling travel budgets, Extream, a division of
Hewlett-Packard Co., an electronics and computer company, decided to save its clients and
partners 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 dont have travel budgets, said
Tami Webster, HP Extream marketing manager, Americas. When you have an event, even
a small seminar at a hotel, its an inconvenience. So we decided to bring the tech and the
event right to their door.
Webster enlisted the assistance of event marketing company Pro Motion to nail down a
marketing strategy for the coach.
When Tami came to us, we got into a conversation about putting the end in mind
first, 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 about
engagement and how long they were going to spend on the motor coach. How do we keep
them on? What are they going to be interested in?
Webster and her event team customized a bus, outfitting it with a living room, a meeting 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 testing
demos 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 23
cities, traveling 10,100 miles and demonstrating the software to 28 customers and 18
prospects. The bus spent two to four hours at each site and, in the evenings, transported
clients to executive dinners. According to Webster, this helped the marketing and sales
team 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 significantly
reduced sales cycle experienced while using the traveling event. All of the salespeople said
they wanted to do this again, without hesitation. There was access to a wider variety of
people and it was no pressurethe environment was like sitting in a living room, and the
customers were much more relaxed. They shared more information, and the environment
facilitated the sales relationship.
There are so many clients that are cutting budgets that the decision-makers cant get
out of their office, Randazzo said. HP is showing clients and prospects how important
they are to them. Its making the accessibility convenient for the decision-maker and shows

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

the prospects and customers that HP cares.


In addition to creating accessibility to customers, Webster also suggested that the coach
had some benefits over traditional meetings. At one stop, we had 30 people from one
company 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 new
and 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 in
years to come. It was a hard sell internally when we first presented the idea because its
new and a little different. But now that weve got a track record, we have been asked to
include it in the budget again.
Randazzo agreed that the traveling coach is an effective addition to HP Extreams marketing strategy. This is part of an integrated outreach program, he said. They still do
advertising and trade shows, but they really saw the value of getting decision-makers to
make decisions quickly. They sold millions of dollars of product during this program.
Originally published Jan. 17, 2011

31

Chapter 3

SOCIAL MEDIA

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #1

Tweets to Success
How GridGain Systems connects
with customers
By Karen Bannan
GridGain Systems provides a Java-based cloud application development platform that
helps developers turn software into software as a service. The first version of the application, developed as an open source project, debuted in 2007. Since then, company CEO
Nikita Ivanov has traveled around the world to promote the product. From the get-go, we
were cash-strapped, he said. So weve 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 then
coming home again.
Their best venues: Java user and application development conferences. They let you
get in front of the 20, 40 or 60 people who you know have come out to hear what you have
to say, said Ivanov, who estimated that hes done dozens and dozens of presentations in
the U.S. and Europe over the past few years. Still, the pace was getting to him and his 10
other employees, so late last summer Ivanov decided that it was time to change his marketing strategy.
The company had already been focusing on Facebook; however, Ivanov said, that wasnt working out for GridGain. Many people on the technical side realize that theres not a
human being behind what youre doing on Facebook, he said. Its not interactive and, if
someone came to our Facebook page, they would have to wade through a gazillion posts to
find the technical information they were looking for, he said.
Consequently, Ivanov began exploring Twitter. Soon he realized that all his current
customers, 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 with
customers and prospects. Twitter really has a human touch to it because you cant automate writing 140 characters, Ivanov said. Youve 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 someone
at the company devoting 30 minutes per day to the platform. The staff also began blogging
and tweeting weekly to expand the companys social networking presence. All of the individual developers within the company are now tweeting, Ivanov said. As a way of encouraging their participation, he does not restrict subject matter. As long as its an exchange of
ideas and links, thats what were looking for, he said.
The new strategy is working, Ivanov said. Its very hard to get a developer to read a
long piece of material, he said. Its much easier to get them hooked on a tweet about a

33

34

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

blog post or something interesting were doing with the technology.


The results, he said, are in the number of actual leads coming into the company. While
he wouldnt disclose specific numbers, Ivanov said the increase has been tangible. In
addition, GridGain has been able to increase the amount of Web traffic coming to the site
by 20%, he said.
Tweeting is humanizing our software, he said. Even for us, its been shocking at how
well this is working out.
Originally published March 1, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #2

Social Engagement
How Cisco heightens brand loyalty
By Kate Maddox
Cisco Systems is deploying an integrated social strategy to interact with customers and
prospects that is resulting in improved customer service, more engaged customers and loyal
brand advocates.
We look at four pillars within our integrated social strategy: listening, planning, engaging and measuring, said Petra Neiger, senior manager of social media marketing at Cisco.
Neiger manages the consulting arm of Ciscos global social media organization, which
provides strategic and tactical guidance on social media marketing to various teams within
the company.For the listening component, This is not about monthly and quarterly
reports, she said. We do real-time, active listening of social media channels to see what
people are saying about Cisco.
By monitoring conversations about the company on Facebook, Twitter, its own online
communities and other social media channels, Cisco is able to uncover and resolve issues as
they come up.
The planning component involves routing customer issues to the appropriate people
within the company. For example, when customers of Tandberg, a video communications
company, voiced concerns on Tandbergs Facebook page about Ciscos acquisition of Tandberg last year, Ciscos social media monitoring team contacted the appropriate salespeople
at 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 would
mean to Tandberg customers, and since that time, the user with the most negative comments removed them from the Tandberg Facebook page.
For the engagement piece, Cisco uses a broad array of social tools to interact with customers and prospects.
One effective program is Cisco Channels Chat, a regularly scheduled live video
broadcast featuring often hard-to-reach Cisco executives, who talk about industry topics
and answer questions from partners and customers via integration with Facebook, Twitter
and other social media channels.
The program, which has had eight broadcasts to date, has received more than 50,000
live views and many more replays.
Another effective approach Cisco uses to engage customers and partners is turning
them into brand ambassadors by using them to moderate and engage in social media conversations.
For example, Cisco has more than 280 ambassadors in its Cisco Networking Academy
on Facebook, who help educate other users about Cisco products and industry issues.

35

36

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The last piece is measurement, and Cisco uses both quantitative and qualitative analysis 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 of
videos viewed and unique monthly visitors.
On the qualitative side, Cisco measures company sentiment, industry sentiment and
other areas on social media channels.
Originally published Dec. 12, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #3

Go Forth and Multiply


How Sanbolic boosts leads
By Karen J. Bannan
Sanbolic Inc. provides businesses with distributed data management software for critical enterprise workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure and cloud computing deployments
through a network of value-added resellers. Like other companies that compete in the
cloud and virtualization industry, it faces tough competition from industry behemoths. In
Sanbolics case, the companys marketing budget is very much David-like, up against marketing campaigns with Goliath-like bank accounts behind them, said Momchil Michailov,
the companys CEO.
Hoping to find a way to maximize its marketing spending, last October the company
analyzed three years of its marketing activityincluding trade show participation, blogging, LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook campaigns, search engine optimization, Google
AdWords campaigns and display advertisingand found there wasnt anything to be
proud of, Michailov said.
For example, an average trade show might cost $15,000 to $30,000. We found we had
a closing rate of 3% of leads. Our average cost-per-lead was out of this world, Michailov
said. The market we play in is very convoluted, and its pretty clear if we go the typical
marketing route, were going to get swamped.
The solution, Michailov said, was a new focus on thought leadership and providing
potential customers with information about virtualization, cloud computing and VDI. The
sales angle would be downplayed whenever possible, Michailov said. Social networking
was 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 channels and a desperate need for content, Michailov said. Social media provides an outstanding delivery vehicle.
However, even within the social networking realm there were channels that worked
better than othersCIOs, for example, are not going to Facebook to find their next cloud
implementation. So Sanbolics marketing teamcomprised of consultants from Walden
Technology Partners and Diligence Technology Advisors and the companys own executive
boarddecided 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 companys thought leadership comes in the form of blog posts, which are automatically tweeted via its half-dozen or so Twitter accounts. Since the Twitter accounts are
linked to a whole bunch of LinkedIn accounts, those tweets also populate LinkedIn. This
means that the companys partners, customers, resellers and prospects are constantly
receiving educational materials about VDI, virtualization and the private cloud, Michailov

37

38

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

said.
Leads are tracked via a fairly extensive integration between the social channels and
Salesforce.com. All of our activity is directly linked to Salesforce so we can flag and tag
where the leads come from: webinar, blog, search, a partner page, leads that come from
Twitter, said Michailov, who said the company spent three months developing the custom
backend to enable this. This information is used in conjunction with Google Analytics, so
Sanbolic 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. Its
working because, rather than brainwashing someone about how wonderful we are, were
saying heres what you need to know about this industry. Now you can make your own
decisions, he said. Its really about credibility and trust.
Originally published June 21, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #4

Traffic Jam
How Mongoose Metrics drives, traffic, leads
By Christopher Hosford
Last year call-tracking company Mongoose Metrics launched a Twitter outreach campaign to raise awareness about the value of its services and technology. In the process, it
positioned itself ahead of competitors that were less active in social media in educating
prospective customers about the little-understood world of call tracking.
We started looking at Twitter in March 2010, said Kathleen M. Colan, the companys
director-marketing and content. We didnt know what to expect, but we said, Lets take a
look at this and see what all the buzz is about.
Colan kicked off Mongooses Twitter effort with educational content focusing on the
benefits of the companys call-tracking technology, which analyze how the volume and
quality of inbound phone calls can be attributed to performance-based advertising campaigns, such as paid search.
As one of the first in our industry on Twitter, we did not set any real expectations or
goals to start, Colan said. However, as our Twitter presence grew and our competitors
found their way to the medium, we quickly defined objectives for our Twitter campaign
and 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 as
measured by Klout Inc.
While some social media gurus debate the use of these metrics, we found that incremental improvement of each of these [key performance indicators] provided an accurate
barometer of our success, Colan said.
Colan uses HootSuite to monitor up to 10 categories of information, including the
phrase call tracking, to gain insight into whats being said about Mongoose. And now that
the competition is catching on to social, she said, the monitoring process shines a light on
what competitors are talking about and who they are engaging with.
Colan estimated that she spends about three hours each day monitoring Twitter, interacting with tweeters and participating in conversations using hashtags related to what the company does, such as #measure, #SEO, #CRO (conversion rate optimization) #usguys and #PPC.
And since the value of call tracking itself needs some explaining, Mongooses Twitter
campaign relies heavily on offering white papers and research. Tweets invite followers to
link 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 website
Mobile Marketing Watch noticed the companys mobile marketing white paper, retweeted
it and asked permission to offer it on its own site.

39

40

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Weve been getting leads from this since March, Colan said.
Another tactic Mongoose has used is appending UTM tags to tweeted offers, a process
that identifies which links traffic is coming from. Say we put out that Five things you can
do white paper, Colan said. By connecting this information to our back-end marketing
automation software and CRM system, were able to quantify the results of specific tweets.
The program has paid off well for Mongoose after just a year. The company now consistently responds to customer inquiries and comments, and currently has almost 12,000
followers.
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 million eyeballs.
Last month, Mongoose won first place in BtoBs annual Social Media Marketing
Awards for the best marketing use of Twitter.
Twitter is the public face of our brand, Colan said. There already is a conversion there
going on about your business and, if youre not taking part in it, youre really missing out.
Originally published June 13, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #5

Humanizing the brand


How AT&T blog leverages
internal ambassadors
By Jon Vanzile
Trish Nettleship, social media lead for AT&T Business Solutions, knew what she wanted
to doto better connect AT&Ts deep pool of internal expertise with the companys b-to-b
customersbut she wasnt sure how best to do that.
That is, until she came up with AT&Ts Networking Leaders Academy.
The academy concept is a new type of social media outreach thats popping up
throughout corporate America. For AT&T, the idea was simple: After recruiting internal
thought leaders to write for the companys Networking Exchange Blog, launched in
December 2010, the company launched its Networking Leaders Academy in July.
The goal of the Academy program: to encourage these internal ambassadors to promote
their blog entries via their personal social channels.
It was about humanizing the brand, Nettleship said. We have a lot of expertise, and I
wanted to expose that to our potential clients. Its about trust. Its easier to trust individuals
than a brand.
Because the original Networking Exchange Blog was a relatively new project, the idea
was to keep the effort small and tightly focused. It focuses on only three specific b-to-b
business areascloud computing, security and mobilityand the companys internal bloggers were encouraged to promote their posts on their private social networks to the degree
that there was some overlap between these topics and their personal connections.
Further, the project wasnt a typically controlled corporate marketing effort. According
to Nettleship, transparency and even debate were important.
Were a pretty risk-averse organization, but we wanted to encourage debate, she said.
Weve had a few posters with differing opinions, and we wanted to open up comments.
Nettleship said AT&Ts legal department initially was concerned about allowing this
degree of openness, But weve managed to keep it open, she said. We filter for spam and
profanity, but thats about it. There have been a few comments I dont like very much, but
we havent 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 doesnt
compensate any of its internal participants for writing.
Its 100% percent volunteer, Nettleship said, which means shes actually courting
two audiences at once: an internal one of potential experts who lend their names and time
for free and promote their efforts through their private networks, as well as an external
audience of potential customers.

41

42

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Nettleship said noted that AT&T offers its bloggers education in personal networking and
how 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 on
its blogging ambassadors being expert in specific areas.
Were not really looking for huge numbers on the blog, Nettleship said. Were looking to focus very tightly on customer needs and thought leadership.
Nevertheless, the Networking Leaders Academy, just five months old, has had a big
impact on the companys Networking Exchange Blog.
Launching the Networking Leaders Academy ambassador program was like flipping a
switch, she said. When we launched it, we didnt 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 the
internal ambassador program compared with the previous months when the blog didnt
have benefit of the internal ambassador program.
For companies that want to pursue internal ambassador programs, Nettleship has the
following advice:
Focus your effort, find a good mix of people who have expertise and are good networkers, make sure whatever youre doing is tied to your business objectives, and definitely get executive buy-in, she said.
Originally published Dec. 14, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

SOCIAL MEDIA: CASE STUDY #6

Preapproval required
How Morgan Stanley manages
Twitter to its advantage
By Christopher Hosford
The relationship between the financial services industry and social media marketing is
an uncertain one. Banks, asset management companies, brokerages and insurance companies are heavily regulated, and financial services management generally has been reluctant
to explore the Wild West of social.
Those financial services companies that are venturing into social media are establishing
clear guidelines on how they want to use the medium to avoid running into trouble. For
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, that means viewing Twitter content as static content,
requiring preapproval of a growing library of potential thought-leadership tweets and
closely monitoring its use by financial advisers.
We all know that social media is a global phenomenon, not just a passing trend, said
Lauren Boyman, director-social media at the brokerage and wealth-management company, during a webinar last week titled Social Networking: Embracing New Media at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, hosted by online publisher FierceFinance. But financial
services have been slower to adopt it. As an industry, we have regulatory obstacles holding
us 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 about
anything but their products and services.
Firms attempt to build brands by talking about social responsibility or sports sponsorships, for example, she said. As a result, sometimes there are even requests or questions
that 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 how
they 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 and
require preapproval.
I know its not ideal right now, Boyman said. Its a very new communications
medium, so everyone is getting used to the tool.
Boyman said Morgan Stanley treats LinkedIn differently. Here, initial professional
biographical overviews must be preapproved, but after that such scrutiny isnt necessary
for interactive communications with potential customers. However those off-the-cuff communications are captured and archived for future review, the same way Morgan Stanley
manages email, based on its reading of social media compliance guidelines for financial
services companies.

43

44

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Other financial services companies, especially those with consumer-oriented products, are
more aggressive. Last month, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. wrapped up a $1 million Facebook
sweepstakes giveaway encouraging customers to like its Chase Freedom credit card. Bank of
America 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 for
small businesses, teamed with Googles YouTube video-sharing site to launch a video contest encouraging businesses to tell their stories. The campaign promotes AmExs OPEN
portal of small-business advice, and its Small Business Saturday promotion, encouraging
shoppers to patronize local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Listening to the social buzz is key to finding appropriate topics, said Chad Bockius, CEO
of Socialware, a social consultancy and software company that focuses on the financial
services 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, Bockius
said. 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 advisers, Boyman said. Most arent even sending out their own unique content, even given
the option.
Originally published Nov. 2, 2011

Chapter 4

DIRECT MARKETING

46

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

DIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #1

Hi-Tech Snail Mail


How AT&T boosts direct mail response rate
By Christopher Hosford
According 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 require
before checking in. AT&T Inc. recently aimed to impress that fact on hotel chain decisionmakers with a campaign in support of the companys WiFi solutions.
The campaign, launched in November, was supported solely with that venerable analog standby, direct mail. It featured an emerging technology called video in print, however, 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, said
Jennifer Young, lead manager-marketing communications at AT&T. With our direct-mail
campaign, we wanted to break through the clutter with a high-impact piece that prospects
would appreciate and would pass along to colleagues.
AT&Ts campaign was well-suited for a direct-mail program for another reason: The
number of high-level decision-makers focused on implementing this type of product is
extremely small. For AT&Ts campaign, the target list was no more than 75 individuals at
major hotel chains nationwide, who needed to be reached with a compelling, dramatic
message about buying propertywide WiFi systems or replacing existing systems with an
AT&T alternative.
AT&Ts 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 agency
that spearheaded the campaign. The client was thinking postcard or letter, but didnt have
a 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-makers are usually shielded from vendor overtures by a variety of gatekeepers. The mailed item
had to be so dynamic that it would break through any initial resistance while going on to
interest the final recipient.
The program became known as the Power Button campaign and consisted of two
mailed elements. The first was of a real WiFi locator device, complete with a personalized
sticker attached saying, Locating WiFi at [insert chain name here]. Sales reps followed up
with calls to check on the items receipt and request a meeting.
A second item, targeted at nonresponders to the first mailing, was a custom dimensional piece consisting of a cardboard mockup of a netbooklike computer, but with a surprise: Instead of a working screen, it featured video-in-print technology that, when
opened, played a 2-minute video customized for each hotel brand.
The production cost of each piece, including video, was about $700.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

To amplify the importance of the pieces, the items were sent via FedEx next-day delivery and required the signature of the recipient. Each mock netbook was enclosed in a fancy
sleeve, adding to its exclusivity.
The video-in-print technology is quite new, Young said. I knew that if I got a FedEx
package with a cool video, Id say, This is great!
Sales followed up by phone within two or three days of the mailings, and also used special 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 the
campaign and where we were in the process. Sales was aware of all drop dates and followed up in the most appropriate ways.
As a thank-you for agreeing to a meeting with sales, prospects received an actual netbook computer.
ROI for the campaign was strong. The program not only greatly exceeded the typical
2% response rate of most direct mail campaigns but also resulted in an actual face-to-face
meeting 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 campaign 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 as
restaurants, coffee chains, stadiums, arenas, colleges and big-box retailers.
Originally published Jan. 17, 2011

47

48

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

DIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #2

Keywords to Success
How Ryson raises conversions, visibility
By Christopher Hosford
In January 2010, Ryson International, a Yorktown, Va.-based manufacturer of spiral
conveyors, was doing well in its rankings for the term spiral conveyor, landing near the
top of Googles search results. There was a problem, however, said Ken Rygh, the companys marketing manager. The equipment we manufacture is called by many different
names, he said. They are called anything from case elevators to lowerators to vertical
incline conveyors. Theres no one word for all distributors. And unfortunately, Ryson wasnt doing as well on those other keyword phrases.
Meanwhile, its universal search rankings were OK, but again, only with that one particular keyword. We had our videos posted on [b-to-b supplier search site]
Kellysearch.com and other industrial catalogs, so we were getting some video to show up
in universal search through association with them, Rygh said.
Hoping to boost its search rankings in both natural and universal search, Ryson in April
2010 hired ProspectMX, a search marketing company based in Lancaster, Pa. The project
started with keyword research to see how Ryson customers and prospects were searching
for products. ProspectMX tapped keyword research tools such as Wordtracker and Google
AdWords as well as its own in-house solutions.
Then, the company helped create authority pages (pages fully optimized for the keyword silos for which the website is trying to rank) within Rysons website that could
include relevant product keywords and also did on-page optimization. For example, one of
the internal pages that ProspectMX optimized was Rysons Bucket Elevators link.
Finally, the company executed a link-building campaign and started optimizing
Rysons social networking campaigns, which had been in place previously but had not been
taken full advantage of, Rygh said. Rysons executives did some guest blogging, released
some press releases and expanded the companys presence on packaging industry directory
sites.
Originally published Feb. 14, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

DIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #3

The Missing Links


How VisualSonics improves
its search ranking
By Karen J. Bannan
Googles organic search algorithms change frequently, but theres one thing thats
always constant: Contextual inbound links help boost natural search rankings. The more
links you have coming in from related sites, the better your ranking. Shailja Tewari, director of marketing at instrumentation manufacturer VisualSonics, said she had this in mind
during a recent site redesign.
VisualSonics sells high-frequency ultrasound imaging equipment to researchers and
primary investigators at universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and
biotech companies. The devices are used to peer inside small animals to cure diseases and
assess the effectiveness and safety of medicines, among other things. Prospects find the
VisualSonics site by searching for very specific nomenclature, Tewari said. The principle
investigator looking at cancer, for instance, has a very, very narrow focus, she said. For
him to go to Google, he wont 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 Googles
natural search for many of the key terms that might bring a researcher to the VisualSonics
site. In response, Tewaris team started working on building in-bound links with Torontobased Search Engine People. At the same time, the site went through a redesign, segmenting the content by research type and bringing in more keyword-specific terminology.
Search Engine People, Tewari said, spent time visiting scientific forums and industry
websites, seeding them with content and links back to the VisualSonics website. Content
came directly from VisualSonics. They post in response to other peoples questions or start
new threads, she said. One of my team members is responsible for working with them on
a weekly basis. We try to incorporate and integrate all the [marketing] campaigns were
working on. The team member is also responsible for making sure the brands reputation
is 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 the
companys recent participation at the American Association for Cancer Research conference) and technical documentation. Work with Search Engine Peoples link-building
process is ongoing, Tewari said, because inbound links must be relevant and recent. You
need to be constantly active on a site for those inbound links to count, she said.
A year later, the companys website traffic is up 50%, and search rankings have moved
up considerably. Tewari, who credits both the vendor and her own team for the success,

49

50

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

said VisualSonics now has natural search rankings for key terms that are on the first page
and, in many case, between the first and seventh spots.
At the end of the day, its a tool. Its not something you can just outsource and forget
about, she said. You need to be an active participant every step of the way.
Originally published April 12, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

DIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #4

Database Detective
How Aetna better targets
small-business owners
By Christopher Hosford
Marketing to the smallest of businesses can be dicey. Entrepreneurs tend to make business purchases the same way consumers do, which can hinder the crafting of messages to
them. Even getting true addresses for such enterprises can be tough, since many smallbusiness owners operate from home or conduct business there despite having an office
location.
That was the challenge facing health insurance company Aetna Inc. in trying to target
small-business owners in need of health coverage for themselves and their employees.
Because of the difficulty in distinguishing them apart from consumers, campaigns often
resulted in redundant delivery of multiple direct mail pieces to the same location at the
same time.
Apurva Varma, strategic marketing head at Aetna, wanted to better target sole proprietorships with one to four employees, as well as small office/home office (SOHO) businesses, with employees often from a single family.
The big challengeto identify who does not have insurance coverageis actually not
objectively possible within the small-business owner space, Varma said. So weve been
targeting all micro-business owners.
Varma wrestled with another issue: Aetnas prospect lists typically are sorted by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or years in business, but as these contacts get marketed
to 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 agency
Merkle, which cleansed and standardized basic data supplied by Dun & Bradstreet as well
as 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 and
nearby businesses, said Sandeep Kharidhi, VP- analytics practice leader for Merkles insurance and wealth management practice.
Out of 10 million to 15 million contacts as a consideration set, we may have a base of 5
million businesses, based on performance, a statistical propensity model and historical
campaign performance, Kharidhi said.
Merkle removed duplications and those records projected to produce low value, and
returned the records to Aetna to better identify those micro-businesses that would best
respond and convert.

51

52

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

For its campaign last spring, the company relied primarily on direct mail, augmented by
search keyword buys and online display ads via a handful of ad networks. The creative
stressed affordability and financial security, historically important triggers for health insurance buyers. Aetnas 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 messages
associated with this campaign, Varma said. He said the appropriate insurance product,
whether individual or group, was recommended after a prospect contacted the company.
The programs ROI was strong. The available universe of prospects was nearly doubled,
even as the targeting became more selective and saturation decreased. Aetna estimated
that its more-careful targeting resulted in savings of more than $1 million annually, while
cost-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 annual
expo and conference of the National Center for Database Marketing managed by the Direct
Marketing Association. The pair were cited for their innovative method of combining
business and consumer data sources.
Were proud to be associated with Aetna in helping them solve the difficult challenge
in identifying small-business owners separately from individuals, said Owen McCorry, VPbusiness development at Merkle, who accepted the award. Its a challenge faced by most
organizations that market to both consumers and companies.
For the future, Varma said analytical tools such as those employed by Merkle could
have benefits in other areas of the company, such as customer engagement, wellness programs and the companys pharmacy delivery business. And now, with a better handle on
who is a small-business owner and who isnt, he hopes to craft a future campaign focused
strictly on group health insurance policies.
Originally published Feb. 14, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

DIRECT MARKETING: CASE STUDY #5

Going Local
How Yoh Services raises its
profile locally and nationally
By Karen J. Bannan
Philadelphia-based talent agency Yoh Services places professional temps or contract
laborers such as engineers, nurse practitioners and occupational health workers in jobs
throughout the U.S. As a result, the company needs to be seen both as a national and a
local workforce company. It [requires] a high degree of trust to hire a firm, said Joel Capperella, Yohs VP-marketing. People like to work with companies that have a good presence where they want to work.
Blogging has been a part of the companys overall marketing strategy since 2009. Yoh
used blog posts to increase its significance as a thought leader in the industry. While the
companys corporate search rankings were solid, it was not showing up in Googles local
search rankings where Capperella wanted it to be, especially for local-focused search terms
and 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 off
our main page and show our reach in a region, Capperella said. Each of our 30 offices has
its own page, and we want people to find them so they can apply for the jobs that are available in those regions.
There was another problem as well: The blog wasnt doing what it was designed to do,
which was to connect candidates with Yohs local offices so they could be placed into open
positions. The biggest problem, Capperella said, was that prior to the first quarter of this
year, Yohs blog content was focused on general topics related to staffing and employment.
To facilitate a change, Yohs marketing team started producing blog assets that were more
specific 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 blogged
about it to boost our visibility for local Philadelphia employment and staffing search terms,
Capperella said.
The local focus is made possible by segmentation. Yohs marketing staff of four, which
includes Capperella, have broken the country down into five segments, and each team
member 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 and
trend elements, he said. Blog posts contain both industry-level keywords and phrases, as
well as those that will help the content do well on local searches.

53

54

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The strategy seems to be working. The blog is averaging about 5,000 unique visitors
each montha double-digit increase from the beginning of the year. In addition, 40% of
the 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, he
explained. Conversion rates from those clicking on offerings are 35%-40%.
Going forward, Capperella and his team are hoping to boost those rates even more by
adding local paid search to the mix, pushing searchers directly to the local blog posts. In
addition, Yohs marketing team is planning to roll out local Facebook pages for each of the
30 local company offices, which will also help to improve local rankings, Capperella said.
Philosophically, local search should be important to everyone since its the first place people turn when they are looking for something in their own neighborhood, whether thats a
job or a sandwich, he said. Now that our local-search foundation is in place, we can
expand our work and improve it even more.
Originally published Nov. 7, 2011

Chapter 5

EVENTS

56

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #1

Mobile Connection
How HP promotes event app
By Charlotte Woolard
Hewlett-Packard Co. debuted a new mobile engagement strategy for events at the
Interop IT conference and expo in May. The company introduced an event app called HP
Connect and also promoted quick-response barcodes and text keywords that linked customers to everything from the app to white papers via their mobile devices.
We launched a full enterprise mobile ecosystem, said Chad Summervill, who heads
worldwide corporate mobile marketing at HP. This is a new field. Were innovating as we
go, and what were doing is putting us on the path to the next generation of mobile-infused
events.
The app will serve a broad array of events in which HP participates, providing booth
and presentation details, access to social networks and a QR code scanner that allows users
to access a file by taking a picture of a bar code. The files can then be viewed on a mobile
device or sent to a desktop computer.
Were using mobile technology to give customers more information faster, Summervill said.
HP promoted the app through email and its website before the event, but booth staffers
also wore badges with QR codes and text keywords that linked customers to the application. We wanted to eliminate the friction and the difficulty of getting the app, Summervill said. He declined to share the number of downloads.
HP Connect provides an unobtrusive way for the company to get information to event
attendees, and it is only part of a broader strategy that champions on-demand delivery
rather than unsolicited text messaging, Summervill said.
The company has focused on integrating multiple mobile engagement points into its
events. Customers may encounter QR codes and text keywords on signs in the booth, on
screens 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 exposuresfor
example easily adapted PowerPoint slidescan be generated from Web resources that provide free codes but do not allow changes to the linked file. Vendors that provide a dynamic
code 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 HP
cues opt to send a text message rather than scan a code, he said.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The linked material must clearly add value, he said. If you dont have a compelling call
to action, no one is going to scan or text. Presenters should supply information that carries
forward the conversation started through a session or keynote. And an audible mention of
the mobile shortcut can accelerate interest.
HP already has learned a few lessons about mobile engagement at events, Summervill
said, but the flexibility of the platform and the ability to look at metrics in real time and
change things quickly can make adaptation relatively painless. In June, for example, after
deploying its mobile strategy at HP Discover, the company realized bigger in-booth visuals
would get better resultsso 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

57

58

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #2

Virtually Viral
How Uniface user conference evolves
By Charlotte Woolard
A blonde woman clad in a yellow tracksuit wielding a samurai sword takes measured
steps onto the welcome screen of iCU2011. Welcome to the second virtual Uniface user
conference, she says. Though she is not the Kill Bill star who made this particular
ensemble famous, the information technology audience watching likely recognizes the
founder of newspepper.com and techfluff.tv from her appearance in the Quentin Tarantino-inspired ads for the event.
We made a series of viral videos, says Zul-yaka Martis, marketing campaign manager
for the Uniface product division at software development company Compuware Corp. We
used our developers, customers, people from the industry [and] analysts as actors.
The third installment in the series, which saw the Java Assassination Squad bolstered
by the Uniface style and poised to take over the world, drew more than 1,000 unique views
within the first month it was released, Martis said.
It also highlighted an underlying strength in Compuwares approach to its virtual
events, said Joerg Rathenberg, VP-marketing at Unisfair, an Intercall company that provides virtual events solutions. Compuware customizes the virtual setting, incorporating the
faces of its employees throughout the experience. The crowd of people who stand bobbing
in conversation behind the host on the welcome screen all work for Compuware. High-end
video embedded in the booths and live video question-and-answer sessions at the end of
the presentations increase engagement.
Compuware didnt get there right away. Like many marketers, the company is building
institutional knowledge of virtual environments one event at a time, relying on customer
feedback and metrics to guide its evolution. For a marketer, this is a goldfish bowl,
Rathenberg says. It is a window into the world.
A little over a year ago, the Uniface division had never created a robust virtual environment. It was releasing a new version of its rapid application development platform and
reaching out to customers, but the economic crisis made a face-to-face event impractical.
Martis and her team worked with Unisfair and leveraged a follow-the-sun strategy that
allowed the company to deliver a 4-hour event live in three different time zones on the
same day. They developed virtual exhibition and conference halls, a resource center where
attendees could download support materials and a networking lounge. Prerecorded presentations concluded with real-time question-and-answer audio sessions, and an area of
the conference also offered attendees the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Uniface

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

developers. Almost 1,000 customers attended the event.


The event focused on educating the existing customer base, which included companies
in Africa, Brazil, India and other countries that did not often make it to the in-person
events Compuware Uniface hosted primarily in Europe. As a result, the division made a
strategic shift: For minor releases, it will host virtual events; for major ones, Martis is looking at hybrid events that combine face-to-face and virtual components.
In May, Compuwares Uniface produced iCU2011, focusing the virtual event on an
emerging controversy that pits the popular Java programming language against the fourthgeneration programming language it favors. The company invited a Forrester Research
analyst to speak on the topic, expanding on one of his blog posts about the demise of
Javasomething that Martis said had earned him at least one death threat.
Martis stoked the flames of controversy a bit more, renting third-party lists. Last year,
we were focused on our customers, and we wanted to broaden it to prospects, she said.
So we rented Java developer lists. Its good for them to hear another story.
More than 500 people registered for the event, and Martis estimated that about 1,000
actually attended, watching in groups in offices around the world.
The company maintained the follow-the-sun format, but updated content to reflect
customer feedback from a year earlier. It added the people who now stand in the background, beefed up video offerings and converted the live question-and-answer sessions
from audio to video. We noticed that people stayed on for the full 30 minutes to watch the
video and the Q&A, Martis said.
Martis welcomes each lesson. We look through the metrics at how we can improve for
next time and what are our learning points, she said. We know that we have new-business interest from Sri Lanka or Italy. We sit down with our salespeople to make sure we are
following up. We promoted a minor release, and we see an uptick in the number of people
who want to look at it or test it, which is great for our salespeople.
Originally published July 11, 2011

59

60

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #3

Daily Meal Deals


How Fresh Intermediate uses
group-buying at trade show
By Charlotte Woolard
Mobile app developer Fresh Intermedia faced a challenge when it brought its
OrderingApps service to the National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel Show in May.
The 3-year-old company wanted to use the show as a vehicle to push into new markets,
attracting restaurant chains with more than 10 locations to the customizable menu app
service it launched in January.
But first the company needed to make the service visible to the sea of 1,900 exhibitors
who had staked out space across a more than 500,000-sq.-ft. show floor.
We had a 10-ft. booth, so we werent going to compete on real estate and signage,
said Richard Doyle, president of Fresh Intermedia. We had to be innovative.
The company signed on to become one of 11 companies offering a discount coupon
through the b-to-b group-buying service Bizy, which partnered with the NRA show to offer
show attendees exclusive discounts throughout the four-day event.
The show marked the first time that group-buying made an appearance at a global bto-b event like the NRA show, organizers said, and offered insight into how the platform,
popular among consumers but relatively unexplored in b-to-b circles, can amplify a companys presence.
Doyle crafted a deal that would lower the cost of developing the app and provide a free
testing phase but that would not strip the company of long-term revenue. Individuals who
signed on at the show paid $250 for the development of custom ordering apps to support as
many as three restaurant locations. That cost represented about one-third of the usual bill.
The first two months of service were free, and clients could add locations for an additional
fee.
The investment carried little risk, because Bizy received only a portion of revenues. If
no companies took advantage of the deal, Fresh Intermedia would not lose money.
NRA organizers announced the campaign in the days leading up to the show, and participants received floor markers that helped increase their visibility. Deals were available for
purchase online or at the booth, but attendees had to visit the booth to confirm their registration. OrderingApps built customized demos in the booth.
While it can be challenging for potential customers to make quick decisions, even over
the course of a week at a trade show, Doyle said the discount successfully generated new

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

business.
Seven chains signed on, meeting the companys goals without overwhelming its
resources. The coupon also has helped generate post-show inquiries and given the company connections to established distributors interested in promoting the service.
We needed to get credibility and get restaurants on board, Doyle said. But we couldnt lose too much money on this. We dont want to undermine our business model.
Doyle said the company would likely use the deal service again, with modified terms
and a page on the website that lays out all of the details it shared in person at the show.
Originally published Aug. 9, 2011

61

62

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #4

Pressing Campaign
How KM Canada launched product at
industry show
By Karen J. Bannan
Last fall, Konica Minolta Canada (KM Canada) was preparing to introduce a new highspeed color digital pressthe bizhub Press C8000that would mark the companys entry
into the offset printing market. The product would debut at the Canadian 2010 Print World
trade show, and KM Canada wanted to entice as many potential buyers as possible to come
check out the new press in person.
And although the company had done one-off emailing in the past, its marketing
department wanted a way to automate and integrate email with its other marketing channels, such as direct mail and telemarketing, said Kelli McCarthy, channel marketing manager. KM Canada turned to marketing consultancy L Squared (L2) to implement a branded
automated marketing portal.
L2 worked with KM Canada to roll out the multichannel campaign last May. The first
element of the campaign was an email that went out to about 6,000 people. The recipient
list was comprised of names from several sources, including the companys own CRM database as well as rented lists, and they were segmented by region, salesperson and status,
McCarthy said. The emails were personalized and included references to salespeople. More
than 4,000 recipients received the messages and 1,200 bounced, McCarthy said. About
1,500 actually opened the message. It employed elements of exclusivity, telling recipients
they were getting in on the information before the general population.
We focused on the offset printing market and let them know that type of quality offset
printing could be delivered at a much cheaper cost, McCarthy said. The message was
pretty clear: If you think only offset printing can deliver quality results, think again.
The call to action took people to a personalized landing page (Bizhubpress.ca) where
they could learn more about the product and download a free pass to Print World. In addition, they were told that if they actually came to the KM booth they would get a free personalized journal, which would be printed on the device in the booth. Finally, recipients
were offered the chance to enter and win one of the companys lower-end printers if they
filled out a survey.
Many of KM Canadas customers worked with field salespeople. So the companys sales
reps were sent emails asking them to sign in to the portal and opt in their own customers
for the emails, which contained the same call to action and links to the personalized land-

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

ing page.
Soon after, a direct mail postcard went out. There were four versions of the cardone
for those who had not opened the email; one for those who opened but did not click
through; one for those who opened, clicked through, but didnt fill out the survey; and one
for those who went all the way through filling out the survey but didnt agree to a demo or
sales call. Subsequent touches included three follow-up emails to remind people about the
event and new-product launch.
McCarthy said there was a strong response to KM Canadas campaign. A total of 277
people downloaded the free pass and came to the KM booth.
We saw a 3-to-1 increase in lead conversion using the email and multichannel touch
points, she said. We found that those who came and purchased were the ones touched by
both central marketings messages and their own salespeople.
The campaign continues to exceed KMs expectations. The unique landing page created for the product launch is still live, and it is regularly updated with new information
and case studies about those who have made purchases.
If youre not using all the channels that are available to you, youre missing the idea of
the customers perfect touch, McCarthy said.
Originally published Sept. 27, 2011

63

64

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #5

Face-to-Face Focus
How Canon introduces product in person
By Erin Biba
When Canon Inc., a camera and office technologies company, had a new product line
to introduce, it decided that, despite the need for a scaled-down event in the stumbling
economy, a face-to-face meeting was essential to the success of its new devices. So it invited
a focus group of 4,000 people to a highly specialized, targeted event.
The company commissioned MC2, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., an exhibit and trade show
booth production company, to assist in creating a new type of face-to-face meeting for its
imageRUNNER Advance products, which are copiers and printers for home and office.
Generally, Canon holds sessions, seminars and demos in separate rooms across a convention space. In this case, however, the company decided to use a single space.
Although we ultimately decided to [produce] a more scaled-down event than we had
done in the past, this allowed us to be very focused in terms of the message we delivered
and the technology demonstrations we arranged, said Dennis Amorosano, senior directorsolutions marketing and business support at Canon USA. In some ways, I think this focus
proved to be very beneficial, as one of our core objectives in conducting the event was to
get our selling activities for the new product line off to a fast start, he said.
In order to target a specific group of business partners, Canon developed a small, twoday event in Oct. 2009 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. In a single conference room it
built a central stage for keynote presentations and seminarswith seating for 650 people.
The company placed 28 product demo stations in four zones around the room, allowing
attendees to see the new products being sold in real-life office scenerios.
Because the stage was actively integrated in the rest of the floor plan, it made for an
excellent congregating point for guests, Amorosano said. And the demonstration areas
allowed the companys customers to see how the new products could directly benefit them.
One of our goals was to drive these demonstrations in such a way as to tie each zone of the
event together, he said. By doing this, we could show customers how they could integrate our technology throughout their entire operation.
Though the launch event was smaller than others Canon had done in the past, the
focused nature of its event design made it highly successful. Overall, we felt that this was
one of the better events we did, Amorosano said. The feedback we received from dealers
and customers was excellent, and it was clear to us that attendees walked away with a clear
understanding of our message.
And that, he said, would have been very difficult to achieve without the benefit of a

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

face-to-face event. While technology today certainly gives us more flexibility in delivering
content, it is very difficult to replace the value that can be achieved through face-to-face
encounters, Amoro-sano said. It was important for us to meet with our dealer partners in
person so they could clearly understand Canons commitment to the market and the benefits we believed our new technology was capable of providing. Many value propositions
associated with Canons technology need to be seen in order to be clearly understood. Trying to do this remotely would have been extremely challenging. The face-to-face approach
was the ideal way to deliver the message.
The greatest measure of success, Amorosano said, was the significant sales bump the
company experienced after the event. We wanted to use this event to stimulate sales at
the launch of our new products. The results we experienced during the fourth quarter of
the year were terrific.
Originally published March 29, 2011

65

66

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

EVENTS: CASE STUDY #6

Training Ground
How 2X Software boosts
webinar attendance
By Karen J. Bannan
Once a month, virtual computing software developer 2X Software hosts an online
training session for its partners and resellerstypically at 3 p.m. ET on the next-to-last Friday of the month.
Topics vary, said Ryan Pope, product manager-Americas at 2X Software, but they are
usually related to new-product and feature releases for the companys virtual application
servers, load balancers and thin clients (applications that have a graphical interface on one
PC but run on a second server or workstation).
Every time we have a new release or feature addition, we make that the focus of the
webinar and go over the new features, ask for questions and show people the technology
as soon as its available, he said. The session is run by the marketing staff as well as a few
members of the companys senior support staff. Marketing handles the licensing and general questions, while the support staff handles the technical ones.
The program, which has been around for about a year, is publicized via email in a partner newsletter. Until about three months ago, the emails went out and, if they were interested in attending, people had to RSVP via email. Once they did, they were sent a second
email containing a link that would bring them to the online session. After the webinar
ended, a thank-you email went out with links to additional documentation and the 2X
Software partner portal.
This month, hoping to simplify signups and boost attendance, 2X Software streamlined
the signup process. The company now sends out the newsletter with a link embedded. When
a reader clicks on the link, it acts as an RSVP and they are taken to a landing page that has a
short signup formattendees only have to provide an email address to attend an event.
This small change reaped big benefits for the company. Almost immediately sign-ups
increased by more than 100%, Pope said. It really drove improvement by letting people
click on a link rather than [them] having to go through two steps. Were getting a lot more
partners involved in the trainings.
This is significant because Pope said the trainings were a big part of the reason the company grew 20% in 2010. Were seeing the same growth this year, too, he said. The webinars, which are split 50/50 between product demonstration and a Q&A period, help the
company demonstrate how and when its products can be sold. And having existing prod-

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

ucts in the mix, Pope said, is just as important as highlighting new ones. People can ask
technical questions as well as how they can market the product to their own customers,
Pope said. We position these Friday sessions as one of the benefits that our partners get.
This type of support is really encouraging people to jump in and become our partners.
Originally published March 22, 2011

67

Chapter 6

INTEGRATED

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #1

Small businesses
get big help
How AmEx helps rebrand SMBs
BY MATTHEW SCHWARTZ

Like many small-business owners, Elliot Schreier, CEO of Artyarns, had a tough time
budgeting for brandingnever mind rebranding.
The natural yarns manufacturer and wholesale distributor, with 10 employees, considered the companys website and logo to be the extent of its branding efforts.
It certainly wasnt on the radar as something important for a small business like ours
to be focused on, given the day-to-day challenges, said Schreier, who founded Artyarns
with his wife, Iris, lead designer and fiber artist for the company, in 2004.
However, Schreiers attitude about branding as a marketing tool has changed dramatically after participating in Project RE:Brand, a marketing program by American Express
OPEN, the small-business division of the financial services company.
The program matched five design/ branding agencies with five small-business owners
to assess and revitalize their brand identities within a two-month period.
The various agencies worked closely with small-business owners to improve their
branding efforts in one of five areas of marketing communications each: impactful marketing campaigns; designing a winning Web experience; effective advertising; redesigning
packaging; and luxury branding.
The other small businesses participating in the program included Citra Solv, which
markets cleaning supplies; Finish Line Physical Therapy; the Museum of Contemporary
African Diasporan Art; and Ventura Air Services, which charters luxury aircraft.
Artyarns, picked for the effective advertising category, collaborated with branding
agency Officelab, New York, to completely make over Artyarns advertising strategy and
sharpen its overall marketing message.
Officelab developed creative for print and Web advertising campaigns for Artyarns to
tout the companys hand-painted couture yarn and the rich fibers used to produce them.
The agency also launched a microsite, Irisknits.com, so Mrs. Schreieran expert in
yarnscould engage with her audience.
It was creating a vehicle for Iris to be able to convey the aspirational aspects of our
yarn to the end-user in terms of her presenting her patterns, her ideas, in a way that is separate from the website but is more interactive, Elliot Schreier said.
Artyans augmented the microsite with Facebook and Twitter. From the very beginning of the program, it became pretty apparent how important branding was for a com-

69

70

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

panyeven of our size, Schreier said. The knowledge you gain from someone asking
questions about your company, and how you perceive yourself versus how your customers
perceive you, is an important component of marketing.
Lesley Maia Horowitz, co-founder of Officelab, said the agency approached the project
as though Artyarns were a fashion brand. We needed to start talking about [the company]
in terms of luxury positioning of a fashion brand, instead of a yarn bracket, she said.
All Artyarns branding efforts were tied together with a new logo and a new tagline:
Before the art of knitting comes the art of yarn.
Dominic Sinesio, co-founder of Officelab, said the distinguishing characteristics of a
small business are often hiding in plain sight.
Its to think abstractly and think about metaphors associated with your product and
your brand beyond your bottom line, he said. We had to help them articulate what value
they were bringing to the table beyond a good quality yarn. That was a thought process
they hadnt engaged in before because, as a small business, youre often chasing the minutiae.
He added: A big part of it is drawing out whats really already there, and thats what
keeps [the brand] authentic.
Since completing the rebranding last July, Artyarns Facebook page has attracted 3,700
likes while its Twitter account now has 500-plus followers, Schreier said.
He said there has been double-digit percentage growth in sales since the branding
makeover and a significant boost in traffic to the companys online properties, although he
would not be more specific.
Their profile is so much larger now, Maia Horowitz said. Theyre now part of the dialogue around industry changers, which is not something they were before.
Video content from each of the rebranding campaigns is archived on AmExs OPEN
Forum website, said Julie Fajgenbaum, VP at American Express OPEN, who added that
there are currently no plans to renew Project RE:Brand.
She said the program provided an opportunity for small businesses to tap into brand
attributes. Its really changing the business owners mindsets to understand that every
touch point and every interaction is a reflection of their brand, and that is what really helps
get them future sales and lead-gen.
The videos on OPEN Forum are accompanied by before and after PDFs of the projects
and a brand assessment to help small businesses interested in rebranding.
Schreier said he intends to sustain the branding budget. That little bit [of budget] you
put into it can gain you a lot more than some of the monies youre putting elsewhere, he
said. If its something you might not have budgeted for, it may be worthwhile to think
about cutting somewhere else.
Originally published March 14, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #2

Get Defensive
How Nihon Kohden raises its profile
By Mary E. Morrison
Nihon Kohden, a Japanese manufacturer of electronic medical equipment, wanted to
increase market share in the U.S. for its patient monitoring solutions. Though the company
had been in the U.S. market for several years, brand awareness was low, and its value
proposition was undifferentiated.
To address those challenges, Nihon Kohden America worked with branding agency
RiechesBaird, Irvine, Calif., to introduce a new brand category, which it dubbed defensive
monitoring, and rolled out the Prefense Early Detection and Notification System, a mobile
patient monitoring system. The idea behind the defensive monitoring system is to continuously track the vital signs of patients at risk of adverse events, regardless of what unit they
are in at the hospital and intervene that, said Ray Baird, president of RiechesBaird.
To generate market interest in Prefense, Nihon Kohden two years ago launched an
integrated campaign that includes print advertising and direct marketing. The direct marketing effort focuses both on sales outreach and on driving prospects to trade shows where
Nihon Kohden has a presence, Baird said. The campaign first targeted nurses and caregivers, he said, and about a year ago added hospital executives. [Hospital] executives will
often go to the nurses and say What do you think about this [product]? Baird said. In
this case, because nurses are responsible for monitoring, it made sense to work both
angles.
The campaign, whose tagline is Transforming patient care with technology, focuses
on selling a solution rather than a product, Baird said. The creative strategy, he said, has
been to have a conversation with hospital executives on the topics that concern them most:
quality of care and economics.
The headline of one ad featuring a photo of a 1973 Toyota Corolla asks: What could a
1973 Japanese import possibly teach you about your hospitals performance? The copy
goes on to explain how the car changed the American automotive market and that something similar is now happening in patient-monitoring technology. Theres an inference to
say Japanese technology is so advanced and has had such an impact on American products
that its only natural for this type of technology to make great advancements [in the U.S.]
as it relates to patient monitoring, Baird said. There hasnt been a whole lot of innovation
in this field.
The campaign has helped Nihon Kohden gain acceptance at hospitals such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Baird said. The first sign of success is acceptance at premiere hospitals, and the testimonials and the stories that the caregivers and
users of the product have early on, he added.

71

72

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

Plus, the number of leads the company gets from trade shows has tripled, Baird said.
People [at trade shows] just couldnt get enough of this product, he said. The amount of
activity they have at their booth [now] compared to what they had three years ago is outstanding.
Originally published Jan. 17, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #3

Game Show Winner


How IBMs Watson produces big business
By Christopher Hosford
What does a TV game show have to do with promoting an intensely complex data analytics engine developed by IBM Corp? In the case of IBMs Watson project, plenty.
IBMs super data analytics engine, dubbed Watson, gained huge attention in February, and
afterward, for being pitted again human competitors on TVs Jeopardy! and winning. But
demand generation for IBM technology was part of an entire program from the beginning.
The campaign, said Jim Gargan, VP-demand programs for IBM Corp., was to highlight
the companys breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and analytics, leverage its ongoing
Smarter Planet campaign about solving community issues and reintroduce the IBM
brand to a younger generation without firsthand knowledge of the venerable software and
services company.
At the beginning, we set up a tone: This wasnt about man versus machine but rather
about the advancement of mankind, Gargan said. We wanted people to vote for Watson,
not against him.
To that end, IBM and agency OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York, developed the theme,
Lets go, humans!
IBM partnered with Jeopardy! to stage a special edition of the show at the companys
Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., instead of Hollywood, Calif.,
the normal site of the show. (Watsons name, as well as that of the research center, honors
Thomas J. Watson, the founder of 100-year-old IBM). IBM built a special stage set and
invited two former Jeopardy! champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, to compete
against Watson.
We paid Jeopardy! a bunch of money and bought an audience, Gargan said of the
broadcast. But the total audience was much bigger than we anticipated.
The event was supported by print advertising, TV spots on the NFL playoffs in advance
of the broadcast, 22 YouTube videos and specially organized watch parties on the nights
of the event. These attracted some 11,000 students on 60 campuses around the country,
plus an abundance of IBMers as well.
Meanwhile, Watson developed an enthusiastic following on his own Twitter and
Facebook sites.
The two-game show, broadcast Feb. 14-16, was one of Jeopardy!s highest-rated,
with 34.5 million viewers, and secured 1.3 billion impressions and $50 million in earned
media for IBM. The technology behind Watson garnered a cover story in The New York
Times magazine, was profiled on the PBS TV show Nova and was a subject on both The
Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Conan.

73

74

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

As a result, Gargan said, 70% of all impressions from the campaign were earned, not
paid for. The Watson campaign produced $260 million in pipeline business and $37 million
in business, Gargan said.
Even though the event took place on a game show, it was motivated by business and
strategic issues first, said Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman-CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide. IBM wanted to capture the worlds imagination with this invention and drive relevancy by demonstrating how IBM is making the world work better.
Thirdly, they wanted to sell stuff, things you can buy from IBM, like data analytics,
Fetherstonhaugh said.
Prepping for the game also helped refine Watsons analytical capabilities, Gargan said.
For its training, the engine was paired against numerous former Jeopardy! champions,
and wound up winning only 71% of its games.
When the actual Jeopardy! broadcast rolled out, there was genuine drama, Gargan
said. This wasnt a lock for the finals.
The machine now is being used at Columbia University and the University of Baltimore
to refine medical diagnoses and to suggest treatments. Gargan said IBM feels its greatest
social good can come in this area, but that the technology might be adapted to the financial
services, traffic control or call centers.
Originally published Aug. 23, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #4

A Personal Touch
How Pitney Bowes highlights
new mail technology
By Christopher Hosford
Mailing technology and services provider Pitney Bowes needed to fine a way to help its
customers understand that its software and hardware deliver more than simply postal mail.
In August, Pitney Bowes debuted a new campaign demonstrating that the company can
help its customers deliver messages using their own customers preferred channels
including the Web, email and mobile textingas well as via the Postal Service.
People who know Pitney Bowes know us from our 90-year legacy in the mailing
space, said Dan Kohn, VP-corporate marketing at Pitney Bowes.
The effort, dubbed Personally, was designed by Pitney Bowes agency, gyro, Cincinnati, to show businesses how they can be more successful when they create stronger connections with their customers, no matter what channel is used. It features online display
ads, radio, direct mail and events, Kohn said.
The centerpiece of the campaign is rich media website PersonallyPB.com, where users
encounter one of nine videos.
Kohn said visitors are directed to individual videos based on the vertical marketssuch
as financial services, insurance, health care or small businessthat they come from. Someone in the financial services sector, for example, might see a banner on the website of
American Banker and be instantly served the appropriate video. The website and videos
deliver the proof, Kohn said.
The display campaign ran on 28 websites representing specific industries (such as
AmericanBanker.com and Health Management Technology) and more broadly focused
business sites (such as BusinessWeek.com, Entrepreneur.com and Newsweek.com). Some
ads were roll-overs, so a prospect could view the video while remaining on the site they
started on. In that case, as you roll over the video, it pops up and within the ad it will ask
you which industry you are in and will serve the most relevant ad for you, Kohn said.
Originally published Oct. 18, 2011

75

76

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #5

B-to-B Meets B-to-C


How Thomson Reuters increased sales
opportunities for Eikon
By Mary E. Morrison
Business publisher Thomson Reuters legal unit includes such divisions as West, a publisher of Westlaw online legal research, as well as West LegalEdcenter, an online source for
continuing legal education. Attorneys turn to West LegalEdcenter to obtain the continuing
education credits required by their local governing bodies.
The company sells its more than 7,000 programs in 35 practice areas individually through
credit card purchases. But it is just as interested in the classic up-sellconverting as many of
those single-course buyers into more lucrative annual subscription customerswhich allows
access to a number of continuing education courses as well as the Westlaw database.
Even with subscription customers, maintaining good relations is key because subscriptions eventually expire. To accomplish the initial sale, up-sells and retention, WestLegalEdcenter has based its marketing campaign on email.
We need a certain number of credit card purchases but also subscriptions and renewed
subscriptions, said Jonathan Petrino, marketing automation engineer at the company.
Our program that were developing now recommends specific content on our site to particular groups of people based on their profiles. These are really one-off campaigns based
on personal profiles.
For the past two years, the company has worked with email service provider Responsys
Inc. to determine the most profitable mix of single-course versus subscription customers,
and through testing learn which types of offers and content each group responds to best.
Theres even a challenge with subscription customers; people sometimes sign up and
pay but then dont take the course, said Mike Hotz, associate director-strategic services at
Responsys. Reminders are important, he said, to notify attorneys that they can still take
their course.
If theyve signed up and paid for something, you want to make that attorney sees the
value in it so hell return, he said.
Responsys set up triggered email reminders to attorneys, support staff and the firms
compliance people about renewal dates and key programs. Support staff, responsible for
keeping attorney schedules, are particularly important targets to reach out to and remind
of looming deadlines, Hotz said.
Offers are crucial, Hotz said, when targeting smaller law firms, for which continuing
education courses can constitute a significant budget item. Also, earlier signups are
rewarded with lower rates.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The geographical and jurisdictional diversity of the legal profession makes well-timed
triggers key.
A big challenge is that every jurisdiction has a different date and time frame to get
continuing credits done by, Hotz said. That means you cant just send something every
Tuesday, for example. This is really about life cycle marketing.
Petrino said the company also uses direct mail timed to prompt sales and renewals
based on local deadlines. And its exploring social. But email remains at the marketing core,
in particular with an understanding of recipient behavior determining future triggers.
We have about 12 automated campaigns in production right now, Petrino said. As
people pass through one, it affects how they pass through the second. That living data set
plays itself out in real time.
Petrino said the company views its customers in two distinct waysthe credit card
buyers, who may scramble to simply stay abreast of continuing education requirements,
and knowledge seekers, who want to stay on top of legal changes, regulations and financial reform.
Because of the importance of this ever-changing data, Petrino only recently took on his
new titlemarketing automation engineerto devote more time and energy to understanding the information flowing back to the company.
The biggest challenge isnt employing the right tools or systems; I dont think we could
outgrow what Responsys offers, Petrino said. But the issue really is how much time you
have to massage the data and understand it. We realized that, hey, we have all this information; so lets get it right.
Petrino said that because email has been a central component of the companys marketing outreach for a relatively short period, determining hard ROI numbers is difficult.
Nevertheless, hes certain its return is the highest of any of the companys current marketing channels. And there is a sense among management that the company is developing
stronger brand relationships with its key customers.
Hotz added that the future will focus on developing email content that creates a
greater sense of urgency while continuing to develop more appropriate offers by segment.
Hes also interested in reaching the influencers within law firms, such as librarians and
compliance officers.
Social also is something that West has had some success with, and have seen some
success anecdotally in driving revenue, Hotz said.
Originally published March 14, 2011

77

78

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

INTEGRATED: CASE STUDY #6

Rise Up
How Motorola Soluntions
introduces its new brand
By Kate Maddox
Motorola Solutions last week rolled out an integrated ad campaign called Rise to
introduce its new brand to the marketplace.
On Jan. 4, Motorola Inc. split into two companiesMotorola Solutions, which provides communications products and services to enterprise and government markets, and
Motorola Mobility, which provides mobile phones and accessories for consumers.
BBDO New York created the Rise campaign, which includes print and online. Design
Kitchen, Chicago, developed the new website at www.motorolasolutions.com. The budget
was undisclosed.
The campaign is based on our brand promisewe innovate to mobilize and connect
people in the moments that matter, said Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at Motorola
Solutions.
A centerpiece of the campaign is a brand video, produced by BBDO New York, that
shows scenarios of public safety workers, retailers, industrial workers and transportation
professionals in critical moments, such as fighting fires or responding to crimes.
The video is our manifesto brought to lifepeople all over the world can rise to whatever the moment brings, Conrado said.
The video is available on Motorolas website and is being used at events, internally and
in customer meetings to showcase the new brand.
Print ads aimed at vertical markets are running in publications including Chain Store
Age, InformationWeek, IndustryWeek, Logistics Management and Mobile Enterprise.
The ads set up critical moments faced by each of these industries and show how
Motorola Solutions can help people rise to the moment.
For example, an ad aimed at the public safety industry shows a deserted street with
copy reading, In a few seconds, a stolen vehicle will be turning down this street, the driver
will be identified as an armed fugitive wanted in three states and backup units will be on
the way. Your moment is coming. Are you prepared to rise?
An ad targeted at the retail industry shows the outside of a store at dawn, with copy
reading, In under an hour, Black Friday will dawn and the mad rush will begin. Your
moment is coming. Are you prepared to rise?
The ads all feature a large digital clock counting down the seconds until the critical
moment arrives.
Online ads are running on companion sites to the print publications, as well as on other

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

vertical industry sites.


All of the ads drive users to the new Motorola Solutions website, which features more
in-depth information about how Motorola can solve problems for specific industries.
Originally published Jan, 10, 2011

79

Chapter 7

VIDEO

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

VIDEO: CASE STUDY #1

Gorilla Marketing
How Cornings Day Made
of Glass went viral
By Kate Maddox
Glass manufacturer Corning and ad agency Doremus did not expect an online video
called A Day Made of Glass to be a viral sensation, but as of last week the video had
received 12 million views on YouTube since being posted in February.
Its a surprise breakout, said John Mannion, director of client relations at Doremus
San Francisco, which created the video.
The video is part of Cornings overall Possibilities Made Real campaign, also created
by Doremus San Francisco, and it was originally designed as a sales tool for Corning to use
in meetings with manufacturers.
This was originally created for Cornings top executives to use as a conversation starter
with some of the biggest product design and R&D organizations on the planet, Mannion said.
The five-minute video showcases futuristic applications of Corning specialty glass by
taking viewers through a day in the life of a family that uses their appliances, cars and technology products in advanced ways.
For example, when Grandma calls on the smartphone in the morning, Dad puts the
phone down on a glass counter, where the video image of Grandma is scanned into the
countertop and enlarged by the kids, who carry on a teleconference while eating breakfast.
Mom gets in the car and uses Corning technology to navigate to work, finding alternate
routes and getting updates on appointments through a touch screen on the dashboard.
All these products use specialty Corning glass, such as handheld display glass and automotive display glass.
Following a preview of the video to about 200 Corning executives at a management
meeting in January, and prior to an investor conference in early February, Corning
received so many requests for the video that it decided to put it up on the companys website and on its YouTube channel.
Within a week the video had received more than 50,000 views; and it took off from
there, registering millions of views within weeks.
Agencies know that, when you have a discussion with clients, you cant architect a viral
video. You cant guarantee that it will go viral. That is part of the mystique, Mannion said.
Doremus is doing its own analysis of the viral nature of the campaign, trying to figure
out how and where viewers shared it. We previewed it with a few hundred people who
tend to be very chatty in terms of blogging and engaging in social media. That turned out to
be a strategic place to start, with all the technology in there that is appealing to people. Its

81

82

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

not that far out there, there is no voice-over, and you get to project yourself into it, Mannion said.
The popularity of the Day Made of Glass video is rubbing off on other Corning ad
campaigns, such as its recent Gorilla Glass effort debuted in January to promote a brand
used in consumer electronics products.
The hits were getting on YouTube are helping the hits on Gorilla Glass, Mannion
said. This fits into the overall corporate communications efforts to demonstrate new applications of Corning glass and fiber optics that make these types of possibilities real.
Originally published April 22, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

VIDEO: CASE STUDY #2

Up in the Clouds
How ScaleMatrix keeps
bounce rate down
By Karen J. Bannan
A videospecifically a humorous video that educates potential customers about scalable private cloudsis keeping the bounce rate down on the ScaleMatrix site.
The company, which debuted in 2010, provides a variety of cloud services, co-location
and training to small- and midsize businesses. As a newcomer, it has the challenge of not
only marketing itself but also the idea of the private cloud, which can be confusing. Its
redesigned website, launched Jan. 1, is a big part of the education process.
Although the site is still a work in progress, the company posted an irreverent two-anda-half minute cartoon in January. The video details the challenges IT personnel face when
rolling out a new product, and explains how 3Teras AppLogic product, which ScaleMatrix
licenses, can be used to lessen the burden of application rollouts.
The video has been extremely well-received, said James Heller, director of marketing at
ScaleMatrix, keeping the sites bounce rate low and getting site visitors to go deeper into
the navigation. When you look at the average time on site, its on average longer than the
video, he said. People are coming to the site and sticking around. Our analytics are showing that bounce rate has gone down.
The video is just the beginning of a larger video strategy, Heller said. Today, the company has a YouTube channel and posts videos to Vimeo as well, he said. The biggest news,
however, is that Heller is in the middle of building a 16-by-24-foot green screen studio in
its data center that will be used to record one new video per week, he said.
Well tap our CEO, who sits on a cloud advisory board, as well as guest speakers from
related industries and companies, Heller said. We need to raise market awareness, and
videos are one of the best ways to get educational information out there.
Heller decided to create an in-house video studio as a way to retain creative control and
facilitate the fast turnaround his company will need to hit his one-video-per-week goal.
The first in-house produced video should hit YouTube, Vimeo and the companys website in later this month, and most will include humor, Heller said. Were going to do a lot
of video with AppLogic-certified techs to raise market awareness, which is really important
when youre going up against a company that owns the market, he said.
Originally published April 5, 2011

83

84

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

VIDEO: CASE STUDY #3

Video Email Sings


How Opera got the word
out about new product
By Karen J. Bannan
Despite the fact that more than 100 million mobile phones run its Web browser, when
Opera Softwares executives went to the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009, they got a
sinking feeling, said Sean DArcy, the companys director of marketing. The company was
missing out on the next big Internet trend: getting its browsers on televisions.
We went and saw all these TVs running [whats now] Yahoo Connected TV, and we
said, Oh, no! Weve missed out on the opportunity. On the basis of that, we developed
technology where we can run full widgets on TVs, he said. Still, with many of the major
television and set-top box OEM companies already working on connected televisions, the
company was facing a big challenge getting the word out about Opera for Connected TVs
its flexible, open toolkit to help cable, satellite and other television service providers add
Web connectivity to televisionsand claiming some market share.
This is why during the fourth quarter of 2009 the company, which doesnt do a lot of
push marketing to begin with, according to DArcy, internally put together a PR campaign
and a related e-mail campaign. The PR campaign was directed at industry magazines and
trade publications targeted to cable companies, set-top box manufacturers, TV OEMs and
TV middleware vendors. Meanwhile, the e-mail campaign was designed to go out to a targeted, in-house list of 30,000 names, which was comprised of middle-managers and Clevel executives in North America and Europe who worked at set-top box and set-top TV
companies and television carriers and operators. Opera also created a special landing
pageopera.com/tvto support the e-mail that would show the potential for Web browsing on TVs.
The e-mail, DArcy said, was very concise. The body of the e-mail had essentially what
looked like embedded video and an image of a white paperthe whole e-mail was quite
image-based, actually, he said. It was very short on copy. It basically had a call-to-action
that said click through to go to the landing page and our cool tagline: The revolution will be
televised.
Once people came to the landing page they were asked to qualify themselves by filling
out a contact form with their title, full name, e-mail, company, website and country. Then,
they could download a white paper that included detailed information about the Opera TV
product. The landing page also had a video that showed what benefits potential customers
might see by offering to them the option to browse the Web while watching television. The
page also included product sheets and information.
Since the e-mail copy was so sparse, DArcy implemented A/B testing for the subject
lines, sending out e-mails to one group with a subject line that said, Web and widgets for

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

connected TV: Get the white paper and video, and another that said, White paper and
video: Experience Web and widgets for connected TVs. The second option garnered a 24%
open rate, while the first option came close with a 23% open rate. Click-through was
3.92% for the second version and 3.23% for the firstsurprising since the body of the email did not change from sample to sample.
The most important metric, however, was conversion. Opera got about 100 qualified leads
from the e-mail campaign, DArcy said. It wasnt rocket science, he said. We knew that if
you put video in the subject line it would have a strong effect either way. We were right.
Originally published Feb. 15, 2011

85

86

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

VIDEO: CASE STUDY #4

Reel Improvement
How Intergraph ramps up video strategy
By Karen J. Bannan
With a budget thats less than 1% of the companys revenue, Intergraph Corp.s marketing department has a lot to accomplish with limited resources.
The company, which used to be a hardware provider in the 1960s, sells engineering
and geospatial software that helps design and construction customers turn complex data
into visualizations. It has two divisions, Process, Power & Marine (PP&M) and Security,
Government & Infrastructure (SG&I).
The companys customers, according to Patrick Holcomb, exec VP-business development and marketing at Intergraph, are conservative. They like to see proven results
before acting, and dont like a lot of flashmore of a just-the-facts approach, he said.
Our marketing challenge is to provide good information and increase awareness of our
products without being over the top, he said. Additionally, sales cycles for the company
can stretch to as long as three years since the complexity of the projects the companys software enables has increased recently. It used to be our products were specific to certain
countries. Now, were looking at global execution of the products as well as an increasing
project size, he said. A few years ago, $500 million was big; now, we define big as $25 billion. Another wrinkle is that there are three distinct targets for the companys marketing
message: decision-makers, influencers and users. The decision-makers are difficult to get in
touch with electronically, so Intergraph is relying on the latter two groups to push awareness up the sales chain.
In 2008, Intergraph had a website, and that was the extent of its interactive marketing.
We had no YouTube, no Facebook, no LinkedIn, RSS feed or Twitter, Holcomb said. We
didnt think our ultra-conservative customer base would be looking at any of those spaces.
If you searched Intergraph on YouTube, there were two videos. One was a partners and
one was from our competitor.
However, after careful analysis and research, the company decided that it needed a
video strategy The three most popular and commonly accepted sources of information on
the Web are Google, YouTube and Wikipedia, Holcomb said. Our decision to increase
video has resulted in increased search engine optimization, so thats the first reason:
increasing our presence on two of the most popular Web research toolsGoogle (or search
engines in general) and YouTube. In March 2009 Intergraph introduced its first YouTube
channel. A blog debuted in September 2009, and last May the company added online test
drives, microsites and an interactive e-document series, all of which were supported by the
YouTube videos, Holcomb said, which were planted wherever Intergraph could find additional synergies.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The videos are between three and four minutes long, and are linked directly to a
microsite where you can get more information about Intergraphs software as well as product demos, a list of upcoming webinars and downloadable white papers. Topics of the
videos include a discussion of how to use your software more effectively as well as customer case studies and product overviews.
The company wanted to get as many videos up as possible, setting an aggressive goal to
add videos based on a 2008 Forrester report, Video and Image Optimization, that said
videos are 53 times more likely to show up in search engine results than nonvideo content,
Holcomb said. In 2009, Intergraph added 13 videos, which resulted in 17,600 views. Last
year, the company managed to accumulate 35 videos that received more than 54,000 views.
Cross-channel promotion has made the biggest impact when it comes to increasing
views, Holcomb said. For instance, Intergraph publicizes the videos alongside webinars and
polling questions from the webinars to pique interest. Weve made a special effort to link
[YouTube] videos and e-mail videos. We also embedded the videos on our own website and
promoted them on the blog. We marketed our marketing, he said. Were surprised
because video is really the gift that keeps on giving.
Originally published March 8, 2011

87

Chapter 8

10 GREAT B-to-B
WEBSITES
By Karen J. Bannan
Originally published Sept. 19, 2011

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


American Express OPEN Forum
The American Express OPEN Forum debuted in 2007 and went through a fairly significant redesign in 2009 before its latest overhaul this spring. One of the lessons the company
learned over the past four years: We cant wait 18 months to make fundamental changes
to the site, said Scott Roen, VP-digital marketing and innovation at OPEN Forum. We
now use the agile development process, which allows us to roll out new features and functions on an ongoing basis. The company is updating the site every month or so, rolling out
new elements.
The OPEN Forum also updated the social aspect of its site. The company saw a significant amount of traffic coming from social networks with people sharing stories and links
via Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. So the OPEN team made it easier to
share content on the site. People can log in via Facebook and Twitter and comment on our
articles, Roen said. Share buttons for Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Twitter
and email are now prominently displayed at the top of each article as well. Since traffic
from mobile was also picking up, OPEN Forum is now optimized for mobile and tablets,
with the company introducing an iPhone app last year and planning to launch an Android
app later this year.
The sites design changed, going for a cleaner and fresher look thats still familiar
enough so frequent and longtime visitors feel comfortable. Navigation also got an overhaul. Since many of the sites visitors came through what Roen called the side door,
OPEN Forum needed a way to get people deeper into the site. The left-side navigation was
removed, and visitors are always just a click away from the home page. They can also navigate by topic or interest using top navigation.
They may have come in for a specific article and we want them to be able to go deeper
rather than have to [only] navigate the seven categories we had [highlighted] today, Roen
said. A new feature, called Crash Courses, was also introduced. Billed as a new way to
learn, the courses are free online tutorials that help people learn in a social manner.
OPENForum.com lures people to the site with large amounts of business-focused content. This is a good strategy for b-to-b sites in general: Focus on giving visitors content
theyll find useful in their daily lives, not just product pitches, said Ben Sargent, senior
analyst at Common Sense Advisory. From a global perspective, the site clearly displays
country-specific options right at the top of the page. Also, when you click on those options,
most of the names of the countries are displayed in-language.

89

90

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Approva.net
Last year, software company Approva Corp. expanded its product line so it could woo a
financial audience. Its website, said Michael Evans, VP-marketing, needed to reflect the
new product and the new focus, so his teamin conjuction with its Web developer, A
Brand New Wayoverhauled the site. According to Evans, the previous version of the site
was good, but very traditional.
We had very static pages that were text-heavy, he said. Plus, we didnt use that
many graphics and probably overly focused on capabilities rather than what we could do
for customers.
The redesign, which happened during the first quarter of 2010, focused on making the
site more interactive and visually appealing. Approva used the sites previous Web metrics
to see the overall click streamhow people moved through the site and where they were
spending the most time. Those who come to the revamped site can choose their path based
on their title and department or navigate by product or solution.
Although the redesigned site has a uniform branding, every section has its own look.
We wanted people to feel, as they went page to page, that they were having a new experience, Evans said. Social media is now a bigger part of the site, with a Twitter feed featured
in many sections, and heavy use of social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to
push new sections and microsites that the company creates. The blog is featured on the
home page.
Demand automation, including Eloqua and Salesforce.com, has also been integrated so
the site can be used for lead nurturing as well as promotion. Since the relaunch, traffic has
increased 200% and time on site is up 30% to 40%. The real benefit, however, is in sales
leads, which are up 60% since the site launched, Evans said. The redesign continues this
year as the company switches over from Flash to HTML 5, and optimizes for tablets and
mobile devices, Evans said.
This site has a clean interface designthe colors and typography in particular, said
Jennifer Cardello, user experience specialist at Nielsen Norman Group. In addition, the
use of known third-party logos and quotes help enforce reputation.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Carnival Cruise Lines GoCCL.com
For a site that started out as a simple booking engine, GoCCL.com is making a big
splash with its latest top-to-bottom redesign. The cruise lines biggest problem preredesign,
said Jordan Corredera, director-general manage at Carnival Online, was discoverability.
Everythingincluding content, tools and product informationwas hidden behind a password-protected content wall. This meant new-to-the-company travel agents encountered
virtually unusable content and functionality, said Walter Anasagasti, the companys echannel manager. People didnt realize all the tools we had on the site. We redesigned the
home page so even an anonymous user could browse and get a good taste of the features,
training resources and marketing materials the site has to offer. At the same time, the site
needed a branding update so it would be in line with the rest of the companys marketing
materials.
The in-house design team created what is essentially a new sitenew features were to
be rolled out as they were created, which allowed for more fluid and ongoing site updates.
Along the way, changes were vetted by a select group of the companys top eight to 12
travel agents, who came into a testing lab and tried out the new links as well as went
through the motions of using the booking engine, which was also revamped. Those agents
then provided feedback on the design as well as some of the new features, including a
scrolling Carnival News link and a link to BizBuilder, Carnivals marketing materials, which
have been aggregated in one place. The underlying ida was the desire to encourage and
facilitate self-service so the agents could service a reservation, modify booking and find
rates without having to reach out to us, Corredera said. Today, GoCCL.com has a portal
feel, with navigation that makes it simple to find booking tools, marketing materials and
training resources. Time on site has improved by 21% since the site relaunched, and
bounce rate is down by 16%. In addition, the use of the sites many features is up by 30%.
The online booking has been streamlined, and site functionality helps travel agents
find exactly what they need to complete a sale, said Bill Rice, president, Web Marketing
Association. The extensive custom collateral creation helps end users upsell and become
more competitive.

91

92

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Citrix Onlines GotoWebinar
Citrix Online provides several different online meeting products including GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and GoToTraining. Last year, just as the company was launching GoToTraining, those in charge of marketing realized they needed to make it easier for people to
find exactly the product they were looking for, said Katie Davis, VP-Web and CRM at Citrix
Online. Wed have people clicking between the different products, and there was no way
to compare them; that was why we needed to completely rethink the design, she said.
Other goals included improved searchability and boosting to the number of free trials.
Attaining those goals started with usability testing, Davis said, which was handled inhouse. Those professionals, in conjunction with staffers from marketing, editorial, engineering and line of business, helped design a new site that would make it easier to find and
understand which of the companys services was the right fit for a particular customer.
The usability testing told us we needed lots of screen shots, videos and demos so if something wasnt clear people could watch it and understand what they needed to, she said.
We also pulled in customer stories and made case studies searchable by vertical.
In addition, the site was designed to be cleaner and less dense, Davis said. Were using
plain English, and we removed paragraphs of texts, using more bullets and keywords as a
result of the usability testing, she said. Since making the changes, the site has seen a 45%
increase in its organic search rankings and is seeing a higher volume of visits. Even better,
the company is seeing a 59% improvement in the number of people who come to the site
and go on to a free trial.
Citrix is doing a great job sprinkling video throughout the site that clearly and succinctly explains what the company does and how it benefits users, said Jennifer Cardello,
user experience specialist, Nielsen Normal Group. The free trial is very smart in that it
increases the likelihood that someone is going to choose their service. Third-party endorsements help boost trust,

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Grainger
When more than 25% of your companys revenue comes from online sales, any site
changes you make have got to be executed carefully. Still, this summer Paul Miller, VP-U.S.
e-commerce at Grainger Inc., realized that the company had to make changes when it
came to Web self-service and troubleshooting.
We had the ability to help solve problems, but our website [help] was weak, he said.
When people run into problems on the site, why make them work hard to get an
answer?
Thats why this summer his team implemented a series of site improvements designed
to boost customer service and ease of use. For example, the site now has click-to-call and
click-to-chat links so people can get answers to their questions without having to pick up a
phone on their end. In addition, the site now has what Grainger calls an account ribbon,
a personalized navigation toolbar that gives them comprehensive information about their
accounts, including past purchases, order tracking and budgeting data. Once someone
signs in, all of that information is sitting at the top of every page, Miller said.
The sites order management and product display was already strong, and it remains the
top content draw when people visit the site. The search engine, for instance, allows search
by keyword or part number, product category, brand and Grainger Recommendations,
which are displayed at the bottom of the home page. Every product is displayed with a photograph, and extensive detailsincluding price, country of origin, weight, shipping time and
manufacturers model number. Customers are also able to use Graingers fast ordering tab,
typing in a desired quantity and item number to get what they want. Finally, Grainger also
offers an e-procurement optionlocated under the Services menuthat integrates customer buying platforms. The changes and additions are designed to help Grainger boost its
website sales to 40% of its total business over the next few years, Miller said.
Grainger is delivering e-commerce functionality using modern techniques of interaction design with clear payback. This is a good example of blurring the lines of b-to-b and bto-c, said Paul Eisen, principal user experience architect at TandemSeven. Rich
functionality such as comparison charts and user-controlled page sizes and views are complemented with consumer-friendly faceted search.

93

94

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


GrouponWorks.com
Hyper-local deal-of-the-day site Groupon caters to consumers, but the first market it
needs to sell to is very definitely b-to-b: the millions of small and midsize businesses that
use the service to attract and keep new customers. GrouponWorks.com was set up as a portal to reach those millions of potential local partners that would become the bread and
butter of the business, said Kristi Klemm, b-to-b marketing manager at Groupon. We
were initially trying to put up everything that a small-to-midsize business might be looking
for if they requested an advertising packet from us, she said. The site, which uses lots of
white space and minimal text, was tight and simple without traditional marketingspeak
or anything you might find on a traditional b-to-b site.
Since the sites debut at the end of 2009, the simplistic, clean design hasnt changed
much, but there have been some significant additions to navigation and content, Klemm
said. One of the most important: a Groupon Merchant Services page, which went up last
fall. Accessible via the sites main navigation, the new area is designed to help potential
clients find information about getting started, she said. Its a way to convince people how
easy it is to work with us, Klemm said. Another big change is the extensive use of press
clips, case studies and quotes from current Groupon customers. Weve sourced a massive
amount of press to supplement our case studies, which can sometimes seem biased,
Klemm said. Every one was chosen to show how Groupon works. Its not just to add to
our legitimacy. Its to boost the amount of rich information available. A final addition to
the site, a link to Groupon Now!, introduces the companys latest service offering using
video to explain its premise.
The interfaces are simplified, with a lot of the garbage you might find on a site like this
stripped out, said Jennifer Cardello, user experience specialist, Nielsen Norman Group.
They also do a great job using social proofshowing the many outlets that have covered
their service as well as the case studies, success stories and customer quotes. Strong use of
well-produced video.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Heroku
Cloud application platform provider Herokus website caters almost exclusively to
developers, which is why the original site contained almost nothing but code. At the time,
90% of people coming to the site might have said, Whats this? and left; but the 10% who
knew what it was were the people we were trying to attract, said James Lindenbaum,
founder of Heroku. The current site is a little less code-rich, but its focus is still the same:
providing developers with the tools and knowledge they need to do their jobs. Its one of
the reasons, Lindenbaum said, that the sites development is handled by the same people
who build Herokus products.
The current redesign bowed in May and coincided with the announcement of a new
product platform that expanded on its previous functionality by a huge amount. Lindenbaum wanted to provide documentation and information about those new features but,
with fewer than 10 pages to work with, that was a challenge. Developers are about minimalism, so we needed to increase the information density without necessarily adding more
text or content, he said. We wanted to leave the same amount of breathing room.
The design tackled this with a number of menu options presenting tight, image-rich
functionality. For instance, the main hero graphic contains simple, widget-based navigation elements that use verb-based menus, such as Forget Servers, Run Anything, See
Everything, Trust and Manage; there are more traditional navigation elements as well
located at the top of the page. Theres also a relaunched How It Works interactive diagram built using HTML 5. We wanted to give people a lot of options for navigation, Lindenbaum said. They can click around the [How It Works] diagram or, if they want a
more guided tour, they can click across the tabbed menu. Everything is also one click
away from the home page and designed to push people to the more technical sections of
the site, he said.
Since May, page views per visit are up 24%, while the bounce rate is down 20%. While
page views could be up due to demand from the new product launch, the reduced bounce
rate shows people are sticking around for more information. Marketing is definitely being
driven by the product, and it shows to our customers, Lindenbaum said.
Heroku designed its site specifically for its tech-savvy audience, so its got lots of white
space, large type and rich product details that let people explore based on their own interests, said Kelly Franznick, CEO at Blink. Its completely free of Flash, a plus for this audience.

95

96

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Shopify.com
Online ecommerce engine Shopifys old site design had one main focusgetting people
to sign up. Before this month, that process took about four minutes from start to finish. The
newest iteration of the website has the same goal, with one main difference: Making the
sign-up process easier and faster, under a minute. The new sign-up has three elements:
What do you want your URL to be; whats your email; and whats your password? That
new sign-up will be accessible from wherever you are on the site, said Daniel Weinand,
the companys chief design officer.
From a design standpoint, the sites new look is more modern, with a black and white
motif, a big change from the greener, busier format of the previous layout. The green is
still part of our branding, but we wanted to make more judicious use of it, Weinand said.
The sign-up form is right on the main home page, as well as on every content page.
Since most of the sites visitors find Shopify by searching for the company name, the
design team decided it still needed to explain what the service does, but more efficiently. To
that end, the site explains, step-by-step, what Shopify does and how users can create a
store. This meant changing up the presentation mode, swapping lots of text for videos
and focusing on simple, action-driven navigation.
A few things havent changed, though. For example, the use of current customer logos
and reviews remain, Weinand said. The video and logos are really important to give our
visitors confidence in our product. We have an eclectic mix of clients; we want to show we
have large manufacturers like GE and smaller companies like [photographer] Annie Leibovitz to show we have the power to scale with a business. The pricing model has also
stayed the same; its visible, transparent and available right from the home page, except
now its simply Pricing instead of Pricing and sign-up. There wont be any question
where to click. The new design makes for very little eye movement, Weinand said.
The site tells people what they can do therecreate an online storeright from the
start, said Kelly Franznick, CEO at Blink. Pricing is visible and easy to find. It has nice
credibility from excerpts and customer comments, and there are no drop-down menus, so
you can get where you need to go quickly.

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


Siemens.com
Before last January, there was quite a bit of duplication on Siemens Corp.s site. We
had information in more places than it needed to be, said Josh Kidd, the companys digital
marketing manager. The company consolidated its website, making it easier for people to
navigate because trips were shorter, he said.
The company has also shifted its focus to social networking. Last September, Siemens
added extensive social sharing and commenting functionality to the five main video elements that populate the main page. This has two real functions, Kidd said: It allows our
message to be spread in different locations and allows other people to do it for us, he said.
It also helps the company determine what original content is working and what is less
interesting to users. Videos with the most shareseach video shows how many times
someone has shared it in total as well as via individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebookare the ones that are most interesting to visitors.
More recently, Siemens changed its navigation, which had been structured according
to the companys internal business units. The site used to look like our org chart; it was
done by sector, Kidd said. We found that our internal terminology didnt translate as well
to our end users, so we overhauled it completely. The new navigation is so simple to use
that fewer people are having to search the site, Kidd said. As of [July], search has dropped
by 33%. People are finding things using the navigation, he said. Siemens is also making
sure that people are happy with its site with the addition of a page feedback option at the
bottom of all the U.S.-based pages. Its very simplistic. Was this information helpfulyes
or noand, if not, what were you looking for? It helps us make changes and tweaks on an
ongoing basis.
Siemens.com represents thoughtful, efficient, graceful design from top to bottom. Its
home page fits in one screennothing below the fold, said Ben Sargent, senior analyst at
Common Sense Advisory. It also has what we call social distribution for the pages with
the block of logos under Share this page. Most b-to-b sites have been slow on the uptake
with social distribution. This is critical for SEO, which is quickly becoming SMO [Social
Media Optimization].

97

98

BtoBS TOP 50 MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10 Great B-to-B Webites


USxpress.com
Truckload services provider U.S. Xpress wanted its website visitors to get to content as
quickly as they get their freight, so Dale Langley, the companys CIO, set a mandate: Site
visitors shouldnt have to perform more than three clicks to get an answer to their question, he said. In addition, they should be able to navigate around the site very quickly, he
said, always having a way to get back to where they started in one click. These mandates
are especially important because about 30% of its customers are new to U.S. Xpress.
The companys design team took prompts from big-name e-commerce players such as
Amazon.com as well as some of its competitors. It also surveyed its top customers, asking
for suggestions. Each of these elements was discussed at length during more than 50 meetings executives held to work on the sites design and branding. The results led to some big
changes. For instance, since the company has so many services and subbusinesses, it wasnt uncommon for four different visitors to search the site and get to the same place in four
separate ways. Because of this, we realized the site had to be simple and secure, he said.
We needed to articulate our core capabilities, our services and the innovations weve
brought to the industry; and the old site wasnt doing a good job at any of that.
The team spent a lot of time discussing how to get people into the site and how to get
them the information they needed quickly. Now, those looking for transport services can
search by industry, get an instant rate quote, track their shipments and navigate based on
their individual transportation challenges. In addition, video, photography and unique
content thats updated daily helps U.S. Xpress disseminate information as well as rebrand
the company. Strong social integration helps site visitors evangelize for the site and the
company.
The work is paying off. Since the site redesign, daily visits have gone up 40%; page
views are up 100% year over year.
Online tracking and pricing is a strong feature, said Bill Rice, president of Web Marketing Association. I like the fact that the site features dynamic content that changes based
on geography and keywords. This heightens the sites relevancy and enhances user experience.