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Targeting opportunities to ensure marketing and sales success

This article appears in the issue April 2017 [Volume 26, Issue 4]


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Large and small companies alike are increasingly relying on knowledge management to develop better automated marketing campaigns. Knowledge management is essential to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people with the right frequency.

If the message is wrong, such as recommending the wrong products to the wrong people—like baby products to people without infants, it will be ignored. If, on the other hand, the messages are directed to the right recipients but are sent too frequently, they (and future ones from the company) become spam in the mind of the target customer.

Dominion Systems, a firm that provides software and payroll solutions statewide in Michigan, found that its primary marketing challenge was to connect its prospects and customers to the right message in terms of sending them to the appropriate landing page, says Chelsie Cauthon, the company’s marketing lead.

Marketers often talk about a customer’s sales journey. As it turns out, Dominion Systems encountered its own journey in terms of finding the right marketing automation solution. While its first software choice provided better knowledge management, it failed to meet all of Dominion Systems’ needs, so the company switched to a different solution.

“With a small marketing team, we were running into a challenge—we would send out one email to thousands of people, and we had to handle inbound marketing as well,” Cauthon says.

Addressing all the needs

The initial marketing automation software enabled the company to develop a database for prospects, log inbound marketing communications, capture clicks on the Dominion Systems site, and understand those and other steps prospects were taking before engaging in an initial purchase conversation.

“It allowed our team to get off any cold calling,” Cauthon says. Her team could concentrate on inbound sales communications from customers because the outbound marketing was now automated.

However, Cauthon found that the software didn’t meet all of Dominion Systems’ needs as the company grew. The application didn’t integrate well with the Salesforce software Dominion Systems was using.

So, the company evaluated a couple of other options and chose Pardot because it provided superior efficiencies for Dominion Systems, according to Cauthon. “Pardot lets us create direct email campaigns and one-off email campaigns for our sales team,” she says. “We can customize the emails for different situations. Pardot also allows us to streamline the marketing for our webinars and our workflows.”

When a prospect responds to an email regarding a webinar or finds out about it through another means such as social media or Internet research (e.g., a business looking for payroll help), he or she is directed to a short registration form. Pardot captures all the relevant information as well as sending out a confirmation email.

“It allows us to market like a much larger company,” Cauthon says.

In the future, Cauthon expects Dominion will expand its use of Pardot’s functionality, adding lead scoring capabilities, which are designed to indicate which leads are the most likely to produce positive results.

Identifying opportunities

Houston Wire & Cable Company (HWC) is one of the largest distributors of electrical wire and cable in the United States. The company needed effective marketing automation to leverage information better.

“We needed a better way to track customer behavior,” says Christian Sokoll, the company’s VP of national business development. “Customers were buying certain types of products, but not others. We needed to find out where there were gaps and opportunities and where our salespeople should focus their time.”

Two years ago, Houston Cable & Wireless chose DrivenBI’s SRK for Salesforce solution. The cloud-based application took virtually no time to install, so it was immediately available to marketers and salespeople throughout the company, according to Sokoll.

Better real-time analysis was needed to determine the most productive activities for the company’s direct sales force. “SRK enabled them to be more focused on their sales calls,” Sokoll says. “It provides our direct sales team with customers’ history of products, locations, history of salespeople’s performance, area campaigns, etc.”

Real-time results

“It is easy to train users on,” adds Kathleen Douglas, DrivenBI executive VP of global sales. “They were able to manipulate the data within a few hours.”

DrivenBI also works well with Excel, which Houston Wire & Cable still counts on for some quick marketing reports, according to Sokoll and Douglas.

The KPIs and thresholds DrivenBI provides offer real-time results and notifications that are pushed out so that the right people can take action on data being updated around customers and products, Sokoll adds. Although he declines to provide specific figures, he says that DrivenBI has been an instrumental component of increased company sales.

In the future, Houston Wire & Cable expects to expand the use of SRK to other departments across the company so that they, too, can enjoy better focus and better efficiency with time devoted to different projects, Sokoll says.

Marketing automation is a field that continues to evolve as companies acquire more and more knowledge through a growing number of data sources. As the data continues to grow and the analysis of the data becomes ever more critical in the sales process, expect knowledge management to drive more of the marketing automation decisions that companies make in the future.


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