Building A Lead Gen Engine for 3X MQL Growth

The Problem

After completing a Series D funding round, a data and analytics company was in a position to scale their customer acquisition efforts following several years developing their hardware and technology infrastructure. While excited to build out their internal team, the company couldn’t afford to wait any longer to jumpstart their lead gen activities. They needed a way to build out a scalable, effective lead generation program that could demonstrate immediate qualified lead volume growth, all while ensuring that it was built for easy transitioning to any new hire.

The Approach

Be speedy, be exact, and get results was our mantra during this project. We developed and executed on a plan that used well-proven, fast-acting channels to drive measurable results, all while building a marketing operations backend that would allow for proper tracking, reporting, and visibility.

Competitive Audit Our client was working in a fairly nascent category with a few key competitors. We started with a competitive audit to determine the breadth and maturity of marketing channels being used by competitors, understand the customer journey, and build initial intelligence around how best to structure lead acquisition channels. This positioned us to understand the category and pinpoint the lowest-hanging fruit where our client could achieve quick wins.

Google & LinkedIn Ads Set Up & Optimization Paid ads in LinkedIn & Google are often the fastest way to drive immediate growth. But, the wrong targeting and set up can result in low-quality leads. As a result, we knew we wanted to get these programs in place, but needed to do so in a way that ensured performance visibility. We started by re-architecting both platforms, a process that would make it easier to track how targeting different audiences (LinkedIn) and keyword types (Google) could result in more leads. We additionally developed a variety of ads with nuanced messaging and value propositions to understand what best resonated. After the initial launch, we continued to optimize both platforms to improve click-thru rates, cost-per-clicks, and quality scores.

Landing Page Development & Optimization Dedicated landing pages help improve lead conversions by offering a more personalized site experience, something especially true when doing targeted digital advertising. Since paid ads were such a large part of this lead gen program we knew landing pages had to be on the to-do list. We built pages that followed known best practices—clear value props, customer testimonials, top-of-page forms, etc.—and continued to review performance and make updates to build page conversions.

SEO Quick Wins Identification While getting to a #1 searching ranking often takes time and a dedicated content and PR strategy, there are frequently ways to improve a website to help move its pages onto page one of relevant Google searches. We did an SEO quick wins assessments, exploring everything from title tags and meta descriptions to page load speeds, to identify easy-yet-effective ways to improve the company’s organic Google presence.

Marketing Operations Audit & Implementation As leads began to stream in, we needed to make sure the right information was being collected to know how well our marketing activities and spend we behaving. We first performed an audit of the company’s marketing operations infrastructure, spanning everything from how marketing activities were being tracked to assessing the strength of their customer database. After identifying several opportunities for better performance visibility—marketing attribution, lead scoring, life stage definitions, website and content engagement tracking, etc.—we evaluated their existing systems’ capabilities to track this information and then programmed and automated the ability to collect it.

Marketing Automation Set Up Knowing that it could take time for individuals visiting the business’s website to proactively request information, we wanted to make sure to keep these prospects “warm.” That meant reviewing opportunities throughout the customer journey to keep prospects engaged, developing emails with targeted, value-rich information prospects would appreciate, and then programming marketing automation tools so that information would reach prospects at the right time. We also included A/B tests along the way to make sure we always had a way to optimize automation activities.

Marketing-Sales Software Integrations With marketing tools set up to record and track a variety of information, we knew the sales team also needed access to this vital lead information to help them close deals. As a result, we worked to integrate the organization’s marketing and sales software solutions to ensure useful information was in sales team members’ hands when they needed it.

Documentation, Onboarding, & Training Our client’s long-term goal was to build out their internal demand generation and product marketing teams. As a result, the project included extensive documentation, weekly change logs with metrics, and formal training materials to ensure a seamless knowledge transfer that would allow the new team to harness past learnings for future optimizations. Further, PlanBeyond supported the screening and interviewing candidates as well as the training and onboarding of new hires.

The Results

Over a three-month period, we implemented this plan to drive the following results:

3X Qualified Lead Volume Within one month of implementing the first round of lead gen marketing activities, our efforts resulted in doubling the week-over-week lead volume. With additional program optimizations, lead volume grew by 3X. Further, the middle-and-bottom of the sales funnel grew too, indicating that we weren’t just driving more leads but that we were driving high quality leads.

Lead Acquisition Cost Benchmarking With effective tracking in place, we were able to pinpoint a standard $/lead metric. This gave the team a tangible benchmark by which to assess the value, or lack thereof, of future marketing activities.

Marketing Performance Visibility By syncing the entire lead gen ecosystem together, from implementing tracking tags within advertising activities to building a robust contacts database and syncing marketing and sales software together, the company now had full visibility over their marketing activity performance, including spend efficiencies, lead quality, and marketing channel efficacy.

Director of Marketing & Operations Onboarded In 3 Weeks By developing transparent documentation throughout the project and taking a lead on training, we were able to ramp up the new head of marketing and operations in just 3 weeks. Additionally, by recording and documenting the training, the client had leave-behind materials they could easily turn to when subsequent questions arose.

Did You Know...

In fast-growing businesses, it can be all too easy for systems and tracking to get out-of-whack as new team members come on board and bring their own unique way of doing things to the organization. A time-tested way to make sure the entire team is aligned is developing a Marketing Operations Cheat Sheet. By codifying how activities are to be implemented, tagged, tested, and measured, you’ll ensure an efficient, streamlined operation that ensures crystal clear performance visibility at all times.

Ready To Cost-Effectively Drive More Leads To Your Business?