The marketing challenge and brand insight
Cisco were receiving poor quality sales leads from their lead generation campaigns, which were failing to convert. Although we were targeting the right people with the right products and solutions, and receiving high volumes of data at a low cost per lead from a number of publishers, the campaigns weren’t delivering actual sales results.
The problem was that the prospects themselves weren’t engaged or informed, and consequently weren’t ready to be turned into customers when Cisco came around to contacting them. Quite simply, despite being identified as viable leads, these prospects were unaware of what specific solutions Cisco could offer them, or the potential benefits. As a result, conversion rates (and sales) were very low.
So when Cisco’s new mobility offering was ready to launch, we saw it as a perfect opportunity to supercharge the approach through a new strategic partnership, generating high quality, sales qualified leads from our prospect data.
Rather than working with multiple publishers to generate volume, we decided to focus our efforts on developing a single strategic partnership where we could work together to increase the quality of the leads, both by better targeting and better engaging our prospects.
IDG’s market reach, audience profile and potential to deliver made them the ideal partner for Cisco. We approached them and proposed a fully transparent collaborative partnership that would see the two organisations completely sharing and aligning resources in a way rarely seen in this industry. We started by discarding the traditional divisions of ‘client’ and ‘publisher’, and set up a special cross-discipline task force, with a set of high KPIs to meet. This partnership would offer a unique opportunity to break down the usual constraints and barriers, and come together as a fully integrated team, focused on delivering great results.
The idea behind this bespoke solution was to make sure we were driving engagement, as well as qualifying leads. To do this we needed full transparency across the team, enabling seamless sharing of our collective knowledge and expertise. Our new collaborative approach enabled us to invent and implement innovative ways to deliver quality leads, by fully engaging and informing our target audience.
Making it a reality
Sharing regular insights, conversion data, feedback on quality and internal process concerns were essential to the partnership and allowed us to identify areas where each party could improve processes and methodology.
Previously we focussed on delivering BANT leads via telemarketing which qualified the user with the below criteria:
- Budget available
- Purchase authority
- Relevant projects
- Project timescale
We needed to find a solution which delivered qualified leads whilst increasing content to maximise engagement with the target audience. Tying in with the mobility theme, we created a new interactive layer to IDG’s existing ‘i-zone’ mobile app, to host relevant mobility content within a Cisco-branded online zone, while collecting prospect data. Once a user had engaged with this content they were then contacted by IDG’s call centre for further qualification. Only those which met the BANT qualification were classified as accepted and payable, and prioritised for follow-up by Cisco.
After this initial stage of qualification, IDG continued their engagement with more Cisco-related content. A second asset, relevant to their buying stage, was delivered to keep the user engaged while Cisco followed up the lead. This dual approach not only increased the volume of prospect data, but also helped to support the brand KPIs of consideration, by engaging and informing the prospects whilst preparing them for sale.
Throughout the campaign, we continued to collaborate with input from all parties. We regularly shared internal sales information, empowering IDG to fine tune their market focus, and prioritise the targeting, keeping our approach fluid and agile throughout the campaign period.
The campaign achieved impressive results and significant return on investment. Our new partnership and content rich approach delivered, via the branded i-zone, a 133% increase in market-qualified leads (MQLs) delivered to Cisco for follow up.
We saw the biggest increase in the conversion of these leads to the pipeline revenue, with a 3800% increase in sales-qualified lead (SQL) revenue in comparison to standard and TM BANT qualified campaigns.
This approach was such a success that it has now been adopted globally and being rolled out across regions as Cisco’s best practise approach to an “always present” campaign.