In today’s world, operating as a B2B company means, we need to ensure that we are serving our audience the right information at the right time. With long sales cycles, multiple decision makers in each account and more knowledgeable buyers, B2B marketing teams need to serve the correct content to the client based on where they are in the buying cycle. Clients no longer wait for the business to come to them and push products, but rather educate themselves about what is out there in the market to help solve their problems. Our greatest challenge is understanding what it is they are looking for and making sure we are talking to them about it.
As a company, we are fairly new on our automation journey and because of this, we are still trying to understand how to achieve this for our market. Unfortunately, many of the email nurture campaigns we have executed through Eloqua in the past have not yielded the results we were hoping for. A large amount of work is being put into creating complicated and specific journeys that are turning out little to no MQLs, never mind marketing influenced opportunities.
We realized we needed to try something different. We were clearly not reaching the right people at the right time nor were we serving up the correct information to them. To try and rectify these issues, we decided to focus on our segmentation and be specific about who we wanted to target as well as try using multiple touch points to reach our clients, rather than just emails. We felt that by using an omnichannel campaign we would be able to achieve our goals as a marketing team.
We wanted to increase engagement and move clients through the marketing funnel until they were marketing qualified where we could pass over accurate and probable leads to our sales team.
The multitouch campaign consisted of a simplified three mail nurture sent from Eloqua, a webinar to come in January 2020 with invites to be sent out on Eloqua, targeted LinkedIn ads and finally the use of a call down company (a company that will individually call engaged contacts to discuss our companies offerings).
We started by uploading a list into Eloqua that was pulled off our CRM platform which included all clients from our top 300 accounts who had pipeline with us over a certain amount of spend. We then added filters to the segment on Eloqua to only include the correct job titles and locations. We focused on C-suite individuals with a particular interest in CIO’s as well as technology managers as we were trying to ensure we were speaking to decision makers within the technology space. The conversations we wanted to have were higher level – about making the entire business more efficient and thus wanted to engage with people who were interested in this. They were sent three mails over the course of three weeks. We used the same filters on LinkedIn and activated several sponsored posts at the same time as the emails, specifically one Ad every two weeks or so. The call to action for the ad was an in-platform Linked In form where users could submit their details to be contacted. Lastly, a call down company was used to telephonically contact individuals who engaged with the emails or LinkedIn.
The last component of the campaign will be in January 2020, where we are holding a webinar with a digi-brunch (brunch delivered to individuals place of work so they have food while they listen to the webinar in the comfort of their own offices) for specific individuals identified by our sales team as well as particularly engaged individuals from the email nurture and LinkedIn. We used Eloqua as a tool to integrate all aspects of the campaign. The segment, three mails and landing pages and forms were used in the email nurture as well as the webinar invite, and Eloqua Insight was used to pull engagement reports to be used by the call down company.
While the campaign is still ongoing, our average open rate on the nurture mails was 30% and clickthrough rate of 1.14% which is significantly better than our previous campaigns. We also have several individuals with lead scores just below MQL level so they will be invited to the Digi-brunch and we are hoping to push them to MQL through that.
There were several aspects of our campaign that were not successful. We received a negative response from the individuals who were called by the call down company as some of them were already clients of ours, they didn’t like being called by an external company. We also had issues with LinkedIn. We chose to launch this campaign in November due to there being a significant international conference being held at the end of November on the same topic which we wanted to utilize. However, due to increased advertising during the festive season, bid prices soared and our cost to click became very expensive. Because of this, we were forced to pause the LinkedIn campaign until January when it becomes more cost effective.
Course material used:
- Advanced Segmentation
- Advanced editing and form processing
- CRM Integrations
- Fundamentals of the campaign canvas
What would we change:
Based on the aspects of the campaign that did not work, we would change several things going into our next omnichannel campaign.
We now know that LinkedIn bid prices would increase dramatically over December and thus would avoid starting campaigns around that time. We would also add a LinkedIn connection node into our campaign canvas and use an Eloqua landing page as a redirect for information instead of using an embedded form in LinkedIn as the embedded form was one of the reasons our posts costs increased.
We would also use the call down company specifically for net new clients we get from LinkedIn, rather than for all engaged contacts across LinkedIn and the Eloqua mails, and feed any potential opportunities into the nurture. Since current clients don’t want to be called by a company that is not us, we would make sure that the salespeople are following up telephonically with their clients and leave the net new contacts to the call down company.
We used this campaign as a proof of concept for using multiple forms of media in an integrated way to target the same audience. While some forms worked better than others, we were able to take learnings away from this campaign for the next one. As mentioned previously, we are still quite immature in our automation journey so by trying different things and different touch points we are slowly getting ourselves to a point where we will be able to make informed decisions and create valuable MQLs for our sales team.