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Case Study: How One Company's Content Marketing Improved Qualified Lead Generation, Boosted Revenue 38%

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Company: Intellitactics, Inc.
Contact: Pam Casale, chief marketing officer
Location: Reston, VA
Industry: Software
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 90

Quick Read

When Reston, VA-based Intellitactics, a provider of security incident and events management (SIEM) solutions, wanted to increase lead generation, it had to confront today's reality: Prior to contacting any vendor, prospects are relying on the Internet to research major purchases.

To work its way into that early-research stage, the company first focused on creating a library of vendor-neutral information, then used that content as bait to attract potential prospects.

It also used Manticore Technology's automation platform to track which recipients were interested in which content, and employed a scoring methodology to pinpoint precisely when those prospects would be prime for a sales call; only then was the lead given to Sales.


That combination of timing and insight has resulted in a 33% higher lead conversion rate and 38% increase in revenue year over year.

Challenge

Intellitactics specializes in security incident and event management (SIEM) products that help companies achieve cost-effective regulatory compliance, mitigate risk by automating security operations, and accelerate incident resolution to ensure the availability of critical business services.

In April 2008, the company unveiled Intellitactics SAFE, a new suite of security appliances designed to assist in log management and compliance and decrease the number of security- and compliance-related incidents.

With a significantly lower price point than previous lines, Intellitactics SAFE had the potential for broader market appeal, but the company now needed to get the word out to a larger audience and generate new leads without exponentially increasing marketing costs.

The pressure to attract new leads was further coming from the company's then recent transition from a purely direct sales approach to a fusion of direct and third-party sales, compelling Intellitactics to also make good on its commitments to new partners.

Concurrently, it was determined to increase lead quality, not just volume, to help partners as well as internal sales improve productivity and usher a higher percentage of leads into the active sales cycle.

Campaign

Because of its lower price point, the Intellitactics SAFE line not only appealed to a larger market segment but also shortened the sales cycle. To maximize its opportunity, Intellitactics determined that it needed to engage prospects earlier in the process.

It's no secret that more and more companies have been turning to the Internet to research and evaluate products on their own and gather insight and recommendations from other users before contacting vendors of interest.

"They're like anonymous buyers halfway through the traditional definition of a sales cycle," noted Intellitactics chief marketing officer Pam Casale, who realized the opportunity that lay in educating and building a connection with prospects during that initial stage.

Accordingly, Intellitactics took a whole new approach to content, said Casale. To differentiate its solutions from those of the other 22 companies also occupying the space, the company enlisted the help of noted experts in the security field to develop fact-intensive whitepapers, podcasts, and other content designed to assist prospects in educating themselves on SIEM issues and solutions in general, with the hope that prospects would then be predisposed to trying the Intellitactics product.

"We chose the path of knowledge-sharing," explained Casale. "Our content wasn't fluffy, and it wasn't heavy-handed.... Our differentiation was in getting prospects to understand the product and what they would do with it after the purchase was made...the problems they were going to anticipate, and how to solve those problems regardless of whether they were using us or another solution."

The company then used Manticore Technology's automation platform to build targeted email outreach campaigns that contacted prospects every six to nine weeks and alerted them to the availability of a specific piece of content. (Prospect included leads previously put on hold because they had not yet been ready to buy, as well as those newly brought in via search engines and AdWords marketing, tradeshows and events, select list purchases, etc.)

The Manticore platform went on to track and score recipients according to response and behavior to those communications. When a prospect reached the appropriate point value predetermined to signify a qualified lead, only then was that prospect flagged and passed on to either the sales team or one of Intellitactics's sales partners.

In addition to passing along only qualified leads, this system provided the company's sales representatives with insight into prospect behavior, including which information prospects had potentially read, thus allowing for more intelligent and informed initial contact and the ability to accelerate the sales cycle.

Results

  • Intellitactics has realized a 171% year-over-year increase in qualified leads through this program.
  • Furthermore, the conversion rate for qualified leads that move from opportunities into the active sales cycle has increased year over year from 42% to 75% and continues to trend upward.
  • Revenue increased 38% between 2007 and 2008—an achievement Casale said is particularly noteworthy considering the Intellitactics SAFE line's much-lower price.

Lessons Learned

Offer content of value as a means of demonstrating your own

Intellitactics was able to get its brand in front of potential prospects and plant the seed of trust early in the decision-making process by providing the types of information those customers were seeking out themselves: unbiased content intended to educate and inform about SIEM solutions in general.

"People are skeptical when a whitepaper is about a product instead of a process," said Casale. "I'm betting we got points from prospects for providing information in a vendor-neutral way."

Conserve your sales resources for when the moment is ripe

Tracking prospect behavior and allocating point values provided an objective means for identifying a qualified lead and enabled Sales to focus its efforts on only the most promising of candidates.

This system also equipped Sales with the insight to make strong first impressions and to streamline the sales process by understanding specific prospect needs before the conversation was even initiated.

Invest in technology if it will lead to a competitive edge that spells profits

In today's economy especially, nobody wants to spend more than necessary, but the Intellitactics example illustrates how smart investments can more than make up for their costs.

Using Manticore's automation platform, Intellitactics not only brought in a much higher number of leads but also ensured that those leads were active before passing them along to sales. That, in turn, led to a 200% increase in the sales team's phone connection rates, a condensed sales cycle (Intellitactics reports an approximate 30% decrease in length), and a satisfied sales team, to boot.

The company has also been able to reduce its marketing spend 25% as a result of this program and was able to achieve breakeven ROI on the technology just two months after implementation.

Have you found a clever way to decrease marketing spend and still boost sales? Tell us about it. Email CaseStudies@MarketingProfs.com

Related Links

Intellitactics learned that providing unbiased content for prospects can be a great way to generate qualified leads. Check out Bringing New Color to the Gray World of Whitepapers in the MarketingProfs Library to discover ways you can improve your whitepapers to increase their effectiveness. Premium Plus Members may also enjoy viewing How to Make Your B-to-B Website a Lead Generation Machine in the MarketingProfs Seminar Library. We hope these resources help you optimize your lead-generation efforts.


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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via kims@marketingprofs.com.

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