Traditional event-driven marketing was increasing brand awareness, but limited follow-up, generic messaging, and campaigns that didn’t align with school budget cycles prevented marketers from uncovering qualified opportunities.
Hero K12 software helps schools track all types of behavior and implement programs that shift the focus from punishing negative behavior to rewarding good conduct. School administrators, however, don’t typically budget for a product like Hero because they’ve never seen anything like it before. To address this challenge, Bryan Landaburu, Head of Marketing, needed to shift the company’s marketing programs from driving brand awareness to educating administrators on the value that Hero’s positive behavior initiatives deliver. Bryan had to move quickly to implement this marketing program shift because school budget cycles were rapidly approaching. Fortunately, he found Marketo, and 10 days after purchase he launched a campaign that exceeded all expectations.
- Transform marketing from strengthening brand awareness to generating revenue
- Deliver 20% more qualified opportunities to the sales team
- Acquire 53% of total new Hero customers through marketing activities
Educating the educators
Bryan’s team was doing a great job of increasing brand awareness at educational events. However, these events were typically held when schools are closed—for example during the summer. And as with any customer, initial interest waned over time. Post-event email blasts weren’t effective because they hit inboxes when educators were on vacation and they didn’t provide personalized content at key stages of the purchase cycle. Marketing programs weren’t aligned with school budget cycles, so the campaigns weren’t creating enough sales opportunities. Plus, there was no visibility into what stage of the sales cycle any individual lead was is in at any given time.
"Hero is an innovation that can only be sold over time through a sequence of valuable, lightweight interactions. It’s our job to communicate how the product can change the school culture. That takes a series of communications that present the right messages at exactly the right time based on the interests and buying lifecycle of each school.”
An impressive report card
Bryan tackled these challenges by focusing on high-value content that educated school leaders on how Hero reduced the time spent handling negative behaviors, giving administrators more time to focus on quality education. The vehicle for communicating that message and content was Marketo’s Engagement Marketing Platform.
The schedule was extremely tight. Marketing needed to engage administrators before schools started planning budgets for the next year. So Hero’s small team of marketers got to work, and just 10 days after the Marketo purchase, they launched a program focusing on the number one problem every school faces: tardiness. The campaign encompassed three email messages going to 110,000 schools. Each message directed recipients to web content and ultimately to conversion forms.
“We're measured on marketing-qualified opportunities delivered to the sales team,” Bryan says. “And this single program generated 200% more opportunities than all event efforts combined in the first quarter of last year. We exceeded our targets in every area. Our open-to-clickthrough rate was 22.5% and we had a 201% lift in website traffic. Now we’re building on that initial success and constantly improving our results.”