Staples Technology Solutions had just gone through a significant rebrand; new and exciting messaging was coming through localised go-to-market messaging in addition to Global Corporate brand imperative. However, the marketing programs were not being employed collaboratively, and the full ROI benefits were not being realised. In addition, Staples Technology Solutions recognised that their customers didn’t just cease to exist just because they were in-between marketing campaigns; they wanted a lead generation plan that is “always on” communication with customers.
365-day communications campaign that delivered both cut-through and thought leadership to ensure top-of-mind-awareness for the Staples brand while also delivering ROI via qualified lead generation.
The foundation to this activity was to create content that was interesting and of value to the target audience: hiring and attracting key Millennial talent.
The key marketing tactics included:
- Partnership with key partners and professional association
- A drawcard, standout guest speaker
- Digital marketing footprint to build branding and awareness
- Telemarketing to support cut-through as well as generate leads
- PR to amplify message
- Social Connections via LinkedIn and opportunities for future nurture
- Blogs for credibility and thought leadership
- Workplace Innovation Index Survey to engage the target audience over a period of several weeks
- Release of findings via White Paper to incentivise campaign participation
By delivering a campaign across several months, Staples was able to optimise cut-through and significant mindshare across the target audience.
How we made it happen
Key to the success of this project was to localise content to ensure alignment of messaging into strong, consolidated customer value proposition and messaging that resonated with the target audience. Three key themes were locked:
- Disruptive Technology
- Office of the Future
- Do More with Technology
An always-on, 365-day connected social media campaign was leveraged to communicate with the target audiences which encouraged discussion about the key themes. A schedule of informative blogs posted in order to open conversations about content being presented at the event, and start the conversation. Blogs about leadership and strategy relating to the topic written for the Executive Sponsor of the campaign; a personal tone was adopted and provided a soft introduction that would later translate into a face-to-face meeting where the Executive Sponsor would host the event. To amplify the blog content, the blogs were posted on their corporate website, as well as the execution of sponsored (paid) posts and teasers on LinkedIn groups.
The 2016 Workplace Innovation Index was developed to understand the needs of the target audience, but also to provide valuable data for great event content. Instead of creating an event and building content around it, Lead Harvest took the approach of gathering content from the target audience which would lay foundation to the physical event agenda and what was presented. The collective answers of the survey was analysed, presented, and used as the centrepiece of discussion at the event. This was proved highly successful as evidenced by a highly charged Q&A reverse panel with great audience feedback.
In addition, the findings of the survey were published as a white paper and offered to event attendees post event – this provided Staples Technology Solutions for further opportunities to speak to attendees and possible face-to-face meetings.
Social media content and advertising were also leveraged extensively. Additionally, highly targeted LinkedIn advertising helped to reaffirm the go-to-market messaging and helped to maintain top of mind awareness to the target audiences. Of the leads that where garnered from online sources, high value opportunities that were identified were sent high value door openers and backed up by telemarketing activity to further qualify details and IT requirements.
In line with the premise 365-day connected communications, there were no standalone marketing communication pieces. Rather, each marketing vehicle was used as an equally important cog of one wheel. Each campaign track rolled organically to the next campaign track, nurturing customers toward the ultimate goal of sales conversion, while maintaining awareness. For example, completing the 2016 Workplace Innovation Index, key accounts were invited to hear about the findings at a flagship event at CentrePoint Tower. Conversely, those who had registered to attend the event were encouraged to fill out the survey, in order to maximise engagement during the lead-up of the campaign. In addition, key target contacts who were not responsive to follow-up meeting requests were sent high-value direct mail pieces. These two-part “door openers” gave sales teams a reason for calling prospects, and novel way of breaking the ice and initiating meetings – helping to close the loop between sales and marketing.
Connection requests via LinkedIn were automated –setting the foundation for future communications to develop professional relationships and facilitating nurture opportunities.
In addition, an interlock with the business’s sales leaders helped to lock in milestones and sales expectations such as lead delivery frequency and quality. A more coherent, closed-loop process was achieved with sales and marketing teams aligned.
Rather than delivering a large number of leads at one time, it was decided to trickle leads over several quarters. This ensured that each qualified lead got the required time and attention of the sales team for follow-up, and reduced the risk of leads being lost in the “sales abyss”. Moreover, a long-term telemarketing planning schedule allowed for marketing leads to be nurtured until such time, where appropriate, they would convert to a sales qualified lead.
Throughout the course of this project, Lead Harvest met with sales and marketing leaders weekly. This helped to ensure that the campaign remained relevant, dynamic and successful.
The campaign was a huge success in terms of metrics attainment and feedback from sponsors and event attendees. There was a full-house at the event with a C-Suite audience.
- 220% attainment event attendance
- Average 4.9 out of 5 rating of approval at the event
- 142% attainment of target reach via social media organic posts
- 73% lead connection rate of contacts reached by sales team via high-value door openers
- 100% achievement of Marketing Development Funds (MDF)