Over the last year at Mediacurrent, we’ve had a major shift in how we implement, strategize, and work with marketing campaigns. This has translated to a significant increase in website visitors, leads, and viable sales opportunities.
Fragmented Marketing Analytics
Before partnering with Pardot, a Salesforce Company, the marketing campaigns at Mediacurrent were moderately successful, but we had no formal process in place for attracting and following-up with leads in a timely manner. To manage our leads we were using Excel and shared documents that were organized by color coding, so members of the marketing and sales teams could all have access to the same information. This manual process was time consuming and didn't provide enough solid data to further Mediacurrent's marketing efforts.
Our team believed in inbound marketing—the practice of using remarkable content to attract visitors, convert them to leads, and close sales—but needed to create a scalable, repeatable process for our strategy.
Challenges and Solutions
1. Formalizing our Content Strategy – Mediacurrent uses inbound marketing to build trust, foster relationships, and drive credibility within the open-source software community. In order to achieve our long-term goals, Mediacurrent needed to produce and present the right educational resources to the appropriate audience exactly when they needed it. We took the first few weeks to define our buyer personas, audit our content, and reorganize everything around the questions, concerns, and interests of our target personas. This process showed us where we had gaps in our content strategy, and what content direction we should pursue going forward.
2. Lead Grading and Scoring – After defining our content strategy and buyer personas, we created a system of lead grading and scoring to help fastrack leads that match our personas to focus on our most promising leads. Attributes such as title, industry, and revenue contribute to a lead's grade. For example, we compare the list of buyer persona attributes to the details about a lead. Once they match an attribute their grade gets bumped up a letter grade.
Lead scoring is a numerical value that corresponds to activities a visitor does on our website, such as download content or hit key pages on the website. A lead may get an extra 30 points for downloading content compared to point values for just reading a regular blog post. You can read more about our lead scoring structure in our blog post.
Finally, we faced the challenge of figuring out how and when a lead should be assigned to sales. Leads that received a grade of "A" automatically were turned over to be followed up with. Similarly, leads that reached a score of 100 were be contacted. Leads that had potential but didn’t quite reach the 100-point marker are nurtured until they reached the target score or they reached out to us directly.
Because of our new marketing automation tracking capabilities, we could now follow their behavior on our website—with full details of the pages they were visiting as they performed their due diligence: learning more about our company.
After integrating Marketing Automation into our Drupal website we laid out a plan and successfully hit the following milestones:
Milestone 1: Integrated Pardot (forms, landing pages, and tracking code) with our Drupal website.
Milestone 2: Synced Pardot with Salesforce. We switched our CRM to Salesforce because we needed more data about a lead and to close the loop between marketing and sales efforts.
Milestone 3: Defined our content and buyer persona strategy.
Milestone 4: Completed the Pardot Quick Start Training.
Milestone 5: Developed a grading and scoring system for leads.
Milestone 6: Added new forms and content to the Mediacurrent website to catch leads, and setup automatic lead assignment in Pardot.
Milestone 7: Audited all call-to-actions on the website while offering similar resources readers would be interested in (resulted in 129% year-over-year growth in content conversions).
Milestone 8: Created reports within Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Pardot’s lifecycle reporting about lead generation, cost per lead, and sales follow-up activity.
In the last 12 months, we have experienced wildly successful campaigns and now have a much clearer idea of where our marketing budget is being allocated. We are also able to see the time and resources that went into each and every lead at a granular level.
Since implementing Pardot, defining our content strategy, and creating a lead scoring/grading model Mediacurrent has experienced:
- 53% increase in organic searching through a computer, which meant more whitepaper and eBook downloads
- 40% increase in our regular e-mail subscribers
- 23% increase in leads assigned to the sales team
- 129% year-over-year growth in content conversions
- Closing on 55% of our viable leads
As a Marketing Director, it's important for me to clearly inform the executive team of our progress, and whether we are on track to meet our traffic and lead goals with the appropriate data, numbers, and graphs. Weekly reports are sent out with data that not only justifies our marketing strategies, but also proves our growth as a company. Our weekly report is comprised of high level overview of activity, engagement trends, and a mix of Pardot and Salesforce reports showing leads and conversions. Using this approach, we are able to show actual numbers and speak to the logic behind our inbound strategy.