Two years ago, Commvault, a data protection and information management solution, was at the height of sales and marketing alignment.
Then, the CMO quit.
On the edge of a marketing revolution, the marketing team had no CMO, no sales and marketing alignment, and no executive support. Things looked bleak.
Flash forward to May 2016. Commvault, a Kapost customer, has a new CMO and recently accepted the SiriusDecisions’ Return on Integration award at this year’s summit. Recognized for their best-practices and data-driven approach to digital content marketing, the award “is a testament to our commitment to leveraging the power of data to have meaningful conversations with potential customers,” said Commvault’s CMO, Chris Powell.
We attended Commvault’s keynote at the SiriusDecisions Summit to find out: how did they do it?
It Starts with the Journey
When Tony Lombardo, Director of Digital Marketing and Technology, first joined Commvault to manage the website, the team was producing a ton of content—but without a strategy. The website, it seemed, was where content went to die. To get a grasp on current performance, Tony conducted a content audit.
Tony learned that none of their existing content actually engaged their audience. It was product-centric and didn’t serve the buyer. Secondly, he quickly realized that content was created in silos without a documented strategy, leading to inconsistencies. In fact, their content assets conveyed many, completely different messages—including on the website.
The team at Commvault knew they needed to fix this.
“Soon it made sense that of course they [buyers] weren’t a lead after they downloaded a white paper. They weren’t ready to buy, they just wanted some content,” said Dawn. “What if we created a path with our content that led the buyer/buying team down the buyer’s journey? Would that generate sales? Shorten the sales cycle?”
The buyer’s journey is NOT linear!
To begin building that path, they held a content summit. Bringing together content creators from every team and outside speakers from partner companies, including Kapost, they worked to build one holistic view of the Commvault story to develop their content strategy and squash the content chaos.
“We knew we wanted our content to tell a story, be connected, and provide value to the buyer,” Dawn said during her keynote.
Once the team honed in on their “one story,” the next step was to align content to the buyer’s journey by focusing on four key stages:
- Decision Making
Awareness and Accreditation
The first phase outlined was the awareness phase, when buyers are just getting to know your brand. According to Dawn, a crucial piece of this phase is distributing content in relevant and highly visible places. She equated the strategy to online dating.
“You wouldn’t create a profile and put it on a website and expect people to find it. But you would put it on a dating site where people are looking for dates. Same with content. Where are your buyers looking for content?”
Key takeaway: You can’t gate everything. Give the reader a chance to get to know and love you. Then gate and move the prospect to lead status.
Then, once they found out where buyers were consuming content and information, they established credibility and trust by providing them with highly valuable information that helped them solve a problem.
Education/Evaluation and Decision Making
The next two phases to consider were the education/evaluation and decision making phases. With creditability established, the team could give their audience shorter, snackable content to share within their own networks. Then, they rolled out the gated content—case studies, analyst reports, etc.—to help their interested buyers get buy-in internally.
With these four phases outlined, the Commvault team reviewed the data to strategically align content to each one.
$750K Marketing-Influenced Revenue
With larger goals and a smaller budget for 2015, the team knew they had to spend less on digital marketing while delivering better results. They turned to the data.
“When we looked at our marketing data, and specifically what our audiences were consuming, we could see that they were searching for content that would help them solve their specific business problems,” said Dawn in a press release.
“During this marketing revolution, we were trying to figure out how this translates to our business. The stakeholders weren’t interested in the hits to the website,” said Chris. “Marketing was considered a necessary evil but we wanted to be relevant and then ultimately essential to the business. So we had to change the conversation.”
Above industry average email open and CTR rates helped the team decipher which content was resonating best with their audience. They discovered that 98% of their website visitors were known, which unlocked a huge opportunity.
“We took a look at all of our content and mapped that our to the buyer’s journey—retroactively,” said Tony.
And it worked.
“The first time we figured out this was working, a pharmaceuticals company was in the process of buying. The deal was for one product but the content they were consuming was for something completely different. By working together, we determined that there was another business unit looking at another product. By combining both deals together it increased the deal size by $750k—directly influenced by marketing!” said Dawn.
Average deal size and close rates started trending up, and Commvault could prove marketing activities were driving revenue.
“Data is at the center of our smarter marketing strategy, and is the key ingredient to understanding the needs of our audiences across all stages of the buyers’ journey,” said Chris.
Final Thoughts: “If your company doesn’t have a data scientist, hire one now! They can determine meaningful difference in the data.”—Chris Powell, CMO