The Problem

Recently under new ownership, a legacy enterprise software company found itself with zero marketing team and little-to-no marketing infrastructure. Facing a category with a twelve-to-eighteen-month sales cycle, the company knew they needed to jump on marketing activities quickly to begin fueling their sales pipeline with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)…but needed to do so in a way that let them frugally test and measure the efficacy of new tactics.

The Approach

“Execute & Measure” is at the core of any PlanBeyond marketing fundamentals project. We took this approach to heart to start getting MQLs flowing in.

Funnel & Measurement

The backbone of any channel marketing program is process and measurement. We first focused on defining each stage of their sales and marketing funnel to determine exactly what it would take to move prospects towards demos and trials. We then implemented an automated solution to measure the marketing source of MQLs entering their pipeline and developed Salesforce reports to easily monitor how well the company was doing at qualifying and nurturing prospects.

Contact Database Assessment & Cleaning

Having been in business for over fifteen years, the company was sitting on a robust contact database. We knew this could serve as a fantastic resource to use for email and content marketing…provided the contact information was still valid. We scrubbed the database to find email addresses and clean it of obsolete information. This yielded a database with nearly 10,000 targeted contacts we could market to.

Focused Content Materials

Sitting on a contact database goldmine, we knew we could cost-effectively market to these contacts with high-quality content. Leveraging the expertise of the company’s developers and industry experts through 1:1 interviews, we were able to build an arsenal of case studies, white papers and best-practice-based blog posts. By promoting these pieces through email marketing and social media, we were able to nurture leads and begin building awareness and legitimacy for the company amongst a targeted prospect base.

Backing Into Paid Media

Research we performed on web search volume showed us that search volume was so low for our client’s unique space that targeting that space alone would not bring in significant MQL volume. As a result, we adjusted our paid search strategy. By targeting individuals who were looking for software that our client’s product supported, we knew we could reach prospective customers indirectly.

With a slow-and-steady mix of paid media and content, we knew we had the right foundational tactics in place to start building MQL growth.

The Results

After six months of executing this approach, we started seeing marked improvements in MQL volume.

MQL Growth

We grew MQLs by 95% relative to the same quarter in the prior year.

Preserving MQL-To-Demo Conversions

While building the number of MQLs coming in, we preserved the percent that we qualified as fitting our customer profile and that proceeded to the demo stage. In essence, we not only grew the number of MQLs coming in we but we also ensured that they were strong, legitimate prospects.

Did You Know...

In long sales cycle industries, content marketing is a frugal-yet-effective tactic to stay top-of-mind with your prospects. You’ll never know exactly when the moment will come that they need your product or service. Offering valuable information well before this moment hits increases the likelihood of them thinking of you when that need arises.

Just be sure you take the time to know who your customer is. In the B2B space, this means learning about their professional goals, KPI’s and challenges, a process that can be done with 1:1 interviews or surveys. After all, if you’re going to take the time and energy to create content, you’ll want to know ahead of time that it will resonate with your prospective customers.


Ready to go from brand-first to customer-first?