Top 3 Inbound Marketing Automation Case Studies

2012 was definitely an interesting year for Inbound Marketing. Some companies adopting Inbound Marketing techniques got extraordinary results. At the same time, high ROI of numerous Inbound Marketing campaigns created extensive demand for sophisticated Marketing Automation tools. 2013 looks even more promising and we are looking forward to finding out what it brings. In the meantime, let’s have a look at top three marketing studies of the last year.

Case study#1. Firefish Software

In his case study on Firefish Software offering recruitment software, David Kirkpatrick of MarketingSherpa showed that Inbound Marketing tools brought about a 190% increase in lead generation.

Firefish Software had a relatively small advertising budget, it also had strong competition. Using its its limited budget on Inbound Marketing activities proved a huge success – the company posted great content on channels easily available to the potential client such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it also set up a blog with regular posts and webinars. The website itself was modified, and so was the mailing. A portion of the budget was invested in SEO, but the company never purchased search engine adverts.

Firefish Software decided to put the emphasis on education and not sales, and rightly so. Over a year, the number of leads increased by 190%, the number of page visits by 335% and MQL to SQL conversion rose by 150%. What is more, 94% of customers decided to repurchase when their contract was finished.

This case study proves how important it is for an Inbound Marketing campaign to be long-term and coherent. It also shows that off the chart results can be achieved without massive budgets and virtually no paid advertising.

Case study#2. Barack Obama’s campaign

The Guardian called Barack Obama’s campaign followed by his reelection The Holy Grail of Digital Campaigning. Although it may sound revolutionary, Obama’s team did no more than explore the potential of Marketing Automation to the full. What really helped Obama become reelected was The Dashboard – online registration platform for volunteers willing to support the candidate’s campaign. In order to register, volunteer ZIP code and a valid email address were required. After registration, everyone could access the portal and at first glance, it actually looked like any other social platform giving access to news, political and election events and discussion forums. In fact, at that particular time, Obama’s team was doing all they could to gather information about registered users which later helped them craft personalized message to groups of users.

Following registration, every email address was recorded in a database. As The Dashboard grew, every piece of information about a given user was added to the database, including online activity pattern, social media activity pattern and offline activities such as phone calls, donations and completed volunteer tasks. This way, Obama’s team could quickly contact people they thought could help develop the campaign simultaneously eliminating redundant communication (i.e. encouraging volunteers who have already made a donation to contribute). The Dashboard also incorporated elements of psychological mechanisms to motivate volunteer groups to action through instilling a sense of competition between groups. Thus, using Marketing Automation tools could have largely contributed to Obama’s success.

Case study#3. Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com organized a UK campaign based on the idea of “Getting Found” introduced by Hubspot. The idea behind the project was to become visible to those actively looking for the kind of services the company offers and to provide top quality content to the audience. Saleforce’s key focus area was the intersection of search, social and content.

First of all, the company came up with 5-6 profiles users they were trying to target. At a later stage, these were assigned to different stages of purchase cycle and company size in order to optimize all produced content. Salesforce also picked themes holding their content together to maintain quality. The next stage was topic selection and instilling a sense of engagement in the project on Chatter – their own collaboration tool. Budgeting (resources) and metrics were also taken into consideration. In order to measure the effectiveness of their activity, Salesforce designed a dashboard with all the metrics they needed to monitor.

What is so great about Salesforce’s campaign is that at all stage of campaign planning and development, they always had their target persona profiles in mind. The results were staggering: Salesforce’s traffic was up by 80% YoY and their traffic from social sites reached an unbelievable 2500%. What is more, their eBook was downloaded over 10,000 times, which generated 10,000 leads in total.

The data speaks for itself – Inbound Marketing strategies generate leads, traffic and build brand awareness. Have you noticed any changes since switching to Inbound Marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Dorota is currently advising clients how to create and manage effective advertising campaigns in accordance with the principles of Inbound Marketing. She offers training sessions and provides consulting and audit services for businesses of all sizes. To date, Dorota has worked with over 60 professionals, private entrepreneurs and top 500 companies. She has also been responsible for the online presence of over 40 businesses (white label).

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