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BMI Research

BMI Research Delivers Complete Customer Engagement with Marketo

Global coverage, total analysis and insight across 24 industries and 200 global markets. That is how BMI Research part of Fitch Group, a global leader in financial information services, summarizes its business. The company’s forecasts, data and analyses are used by multinationals, governments and financial institutions to guide critical strategic, tactical and investment decisions.

The company’s marketing strategy is predominantly focused on lead generation: a classic funnel approach of identifying leads, scoring them and passing these across in a timely manner to the BMI Research sales team for follow up.

Marketo is a linchpin of that strategy. The marketing platform is used to track visitor activity on the website, which emails they open and read, the content they consume giving a complete view of their interaction with BMI Research. The company then nurtures them based on its knowledge of their activities.

“As a subscription business we focus a lot on renewals” explains John Ewing, chief marketing and technology officer, BMI Research. “Our aim is to cross-sell and up-sell, ensuring customers come back and renew their accounts year on year.”


  • Identify, distribute and track content most relevant to audiences
  • Personalize campaigns to optimize campaign return on investment
  • Score customers and increase renewal rate for subscription-based services

As a data provider, BMI Research is not short of content. The task is to broadcast only the relevant content to audiences, using the Google display network, social media and search engine optimization to drive people to the site. Ewing and his team then monitor what content is being consumed: is it being over-indexed, for example? “We might run a campaign featuring the top 10 most popular articles downloaded from the site, to determine which topics our leads are interested in,” he says.

Real-time personalization has a key role to play here. Ewing continues, “If someone comes to the site and we don’t know who they are, but we do know they work for a pharmaceutical company, we can make sure our pharma content is the first thing that they see. We are aiming to personalize all eight of our key industry hubs.” Real-time personalization is also used geographically, to promote events taking place locally to the prospects.

Marketo has also helped build a bridge to the sales team. The quick win internally has been to engage the sales organization throughout the process to ensure their buy in. One solution set up in Marketo was to identify the top 1,500 prospects, and ensure sales received an email whenever one of those visited the website. Sales saw the entire profile of the prospect.

“The sales teams loved it,” says Ewing. “They never appreciated how many people visited the site, nor what their profile was. Our typical sales process is up to six months, but we closed a large sale within two weeks of turning that on.”

Total customer engagement

When the lead reaches a certain score, it is handed across to sales. At this point, Marketo is used to continue the conversation: building out activity-based campaigns, cross-selling other BMI Research content to them and getting back into the renewal cycle. “The key part of the renewal cycle is looking at ‘at risk’ customers,” says Ewing. “We have a scoring model for individuals who have not logged in for months, and adopt a range of strategies to prompt their renewal. Interestingly, companies with less than five active users regularly are less likely to renew than those with more than five active users.”

The priority metric for measuring the success of each campaign is the Marketing influenced revenue: for every deal closed, the team need to identify whether Marketing was involved. “Marketo is highly visible within the organization and the Marketing team is now highly visible within the organization. I am immensely proud that the Marketing team is now invited to Sales stand-up meetings to explain how we are driving leads. I now have the Sales team talking to me about lead scoring modules—this is a huge structural change within the company.”

Analytics has also been democratized in BMI Research. A few years back, data scientists were called upon to perform advanced analytics, regression modelling and other data modelling. With the Marketo platform, the Marketing team can perform their own self-service analytics, ensuring decisions are made more quickly, based on a complete, timely view of the data.

Ewing is also looking forward to exploring Marketo’s LaunchPoint, which offers BMI Research access to hundreds of applications that complement and integrate into Marketo’s customer engagement platform. “Marketo LaunchPoint opens the door to content analysis tools, regression modelling and other solutions which we can integrate into our core marketing strategy. We don’t need to build our own separate single customer view or marketing database. It’s a true ecosystem of marketing applications.”