Panasonic Systems Communications Company Europe (PSCEU) is the European arm of the global B2B division of Panasonic Corporation with revenues of more than €500 million. The company’s goal is to improve the working lives of business professionals and help their organisations efficiency and performance. The company’s products help organisations capture, compute and communicate all sorts of information: image, voice and textual data. Products include PBX telephone switches, document printers, professional cameras, projectors, large visual displays and rugged mobile PCs. With around 370 staff, engineering design expertise, global project management capability and a large European partner network, the company offers unrivalled capability in its markets.
The Marketing team has a large and complex operation to run: over 460 constantly changing products, thousands of pieces of collateral and 63,000 pages on 72 websites in 22 languages - one of the largest B2B websites in Europe. Panasonic Europe merged its different B2B companies into PSCEU in 2012. The goal was to integrate all the different customer databases, make it easier to do business with and target its sales organisations on larger accounts, while maintaining its run rate business with the channel.
“We wanted to change our sales strategy to target larger customers without losing any of the run rate business in our channel,” said Stephen Yeo, European Marketing Director for Panasonic System Communications Company Europe. “We also wanted to increase our market penetration and cross sell opportunities and gain greater efficiency from our marketing investments as a whole with closer integration between the sales and marketing teams.”
In 2012, Yeo and his team evaluated ten vendors against specific requirements and selected Marketo as its marketing automation platform of choice based on its superior and rich functionality, and Marketo’s insight into the company’s marketing requirements.
“We needed a powerful marketing automation system that could drive higher return on investment, support our expansion into new markets and enable our marketing team to do more with less,” said Yeo. “We selected Marketo not just because of all the things the platform can do, but because Marketo have a very deep sector expertise in marketing as a discipline. They understand marketing and marketers’ needs. They’re not just an IT application vendor. In addition, we wanted a Marketing automation tool that was easy enough for an average Marketing Manager to understand and use. We did not want to have to demand the support of the IT Department.”
The company integrated Marketo with its existing Salesforce CRM solution, importing more than 55,000 contacts and training 50 staff. Marketo went live in April 2013 across 25 countries in Europe.
In the 18 months since implementing Marketo in April 2013, the share of total new Sales pipeline that comes from Marketing campaigns has grown from under 10 per cent to 26 per cent. In addition, the volume of marketing campaigns has grown five-fold to over 100 per month without any increase in Marketing staff or budget. That is roughly one campaign every 2 hours from a field marketing staff of 25. All campaigns are run purely from the marketing team without any assistance from other departments or consulting organisations. In addition, the contacts in the CRM system has doubled in size from 55,000 to 110,000, largely through the collection of users data through marketing activities such as events and inbound web form.
“Marketo gives us insight into the buying patterns and online behaviour of our prospects,” added Yeo. “With today’s buyers having made 70 per cent of the purchasing decision before they ever speak with a sales person, we now have much greater visibility into a prospect’s online behaviour, and the lead scoring gives us greater cross sell opportunities. Our sales teams are able to frame conversations with prospects in a much more focused way. It’s changing the way we engage with our customers. Marketo gives us a competitive advantage and I believe marketing automation will become bigger and more strategic than CRM. We simply would not have been able to implement or succeed with our new sales strategy without it.”
Moving forwards, Panasonic plans to create a partner portal for its 26,000 channel contacts with full workflow and marketing automation to deliver greater lead visibility and engagement. As a result of its success in Europe, Marketo is now being deployed across Panasonic’s North American B2B business.