Solutions-focused marketing campaigns with cut-through

Best-of-breed execution that goes beyond product-centric communications that deliver leads and offer other technology opportunities for the client.

The Challenge

Staples Technology Solutions wanted to help their customers to gain a deeper insight into the benefits of Unified Communications and Collaboration via the Cloud and discuss the best practices for achieving such outcomes.  They wanted to deliver a cut-through IT migration campaign that resonated with a specific target audience: IT Decision Makers. Global resources from the IT vendor were available for use, but such assets were vendor-centric. Staples Technology Solutions aimed for a bestof-breed execution that went beyond product-centric communications; they wanted to deliver a true solutions-focused, integrated sales and marketing campaign to generate leads quality sales leads. The client wanted a campaign that would also deliver leads that offer other technology opportunities. And, in the spirit of IT, the client wanted lightning-fast delivery: campaign execution from conception to completion and lead generation within the quarter.

“I need an agency that understands solutions marketing”
“Messaging and content of Global Assets provided by my vendors are too product centric”
“I need for more metric-centric campaigns and reporting”


The Solution

  • Understanding the pain points of IT Decision Makers
  • End-to-end campaign management to ensure close loop campaign and sales lead opportunities are maximized
  • Solutions-focused campaign strategy & execution with measurable ROI


How we made it happen…

Key to the success of this project was understanding the pain points of IT Decision Makers and developing appropriate messaging. It was by truly understanding what drives IT Managers and the pain points they encounter, that a cut-through campaign message was forged.

For most established organisations, a hybrid IT infrastructure both on premise and cloud infrastructure was the reality. However, the messaging of other IT solution providers predominantly discussed fully-cloud based solutions.  Moreover, while IT managers understood the pros and cons of migrating to the cloud, there was no significant driver for them to take the leap.  IT Decision Makers were left to ask: “What is the best mix of on-premise and cloud infrastructure for my business?”

Herein lay the foundation of the campaign messaging: marketing communications content was subsequently developed to address the associated pain points. We needed a message that appealed to them, but also something that Staples had a competitive advantage: In this case it was productivity and minimising costs.

In order to get approvals from both client and MDF vendor, a campaign summary detailing ROI and other metrics was developed with details of the target audience, proposed marketing vehicles, sales engagement initiatives and timelines.  Metrics such as forecasted reach, number of sales qualified leads, estimated funnel, number of win and forecasted revenue were formalised to set expectations for all stakeholders, as well as a provide a reference point for postcampaign analysis.

Upon final approvals, content and creative for a 365-day connected communication program was produced. A business’s customers don’t just cease to exist just because they’re in-between marketing campaigns. So, it’s important that a business maintains 365-day connected communications to keep top of mind with their customers and prospects:

  1. Smart email marketing communications to generate awareness and reach;
  2. Telemarketing to establish connection with prospects and to understand their specific pain points and business disruptors; 3
  3. Workshop-style events to enable face-to-face opportunities and engage with prospects as well as to open doors for future business;
  4. Sales engagement programs (such as power hour, sales team cheat-sheets;
  5. Mobile-friendly landing page to provide more information to prospects and facilitate lead capture;
  6. Online LinkedIn advertising to strategically target prospects; and
  7. Social media brand-building to amplify campaign reach while also serving to build credibility to customer-facing sales/technical representatives.

The levels of engagement of customers by traditional integrated marketing agencies typically increase during campaigns, with little or no engagement between campaigns. There’s little activity between campaigns. Events have been used as one of the primary vehicles of IT marketing executions. But seminars have traditionally been seen to be dry, often consisting of a deathby-PowerPoint presentation merely listing product specifications. On top of this, event attendee no-shows were typically at 50%.

To maximise interest and engagement, an interactive workshop style event was deployed. Known as the Customer Engagement Workshop and developed by Lead Harvest, this event experience has proven to consistently provide excellent customer feedback with its minimal use of PowerPoint, more demos, more opportunities for the audience to ask questions and provide feedback. To learn more about our Lead Harvest Customer Engagement IT Workshop, please contact us.

An innovative approach harnessing marketing technologies was used to help deliver best-of-breed campaign and a seamless event experience for attendees.  It’s the details that count, such as attendees receiving an SMS and email right after the event, thanking them of their attendance as well as links to the event content and how to get in touch with presenters and sales representatives – not 2 weeks later when momentum has fallen.

Lead Harvest also worked to produce the event content – focusing on addressing how Staples Technology Solutions and Microsoft address pain points. Problem/ Solution/Benefit messaging methodology was adopted – rather than merely listing the product specifications.

To ensure a close-loop campaign, Lead Harvest worked with client’s CRM team to ensure the leads from the campaign were uploaded to the client’s CRM tool to allow for the effective measurement and subsequent reporting of campaign effectiveness.

The Results

The engagement workshop was heralded a success by both customers and Staples management: “Very informative and well structure session. Great presenter, venue & food” and “Very interested in the application that has been mentioned”:

  • Overall event feedback of 4.69 out of 5
  • 60% decision makers in attendance
  • 180% attainment lead attendance with forecast of 130% sales funnel attainment