SUMMARY: Print media has been a tough business, even for respected trade names. Those challenges were hitting home at Crain's Business Insurance, a business insurance trade publication. At the same time, there was also an opportunity with the growing importance of content marketing.
We often write case studies and how-to instructions on the topic of marketing automation. This case study covers how Crain's implemented automation for the first time, and goes into detail through the entire process from vendor selection to lead scoring.
Read on to find out what the team did, and see the impressive results across a number of metrics.
What we tried to do in the lead scoring was make sure it was flexible enough so that we could create almost a unique approach for each advertiser as they came in.
So, we could ask them [to] give us the background. What would someone that would be a good fit, an ideal customer, look like from a job title, from a job role, from a purchase influence? [This was] collected from our subscription forms and registration forms.
Then, let's map that to how engaged they are with relevant content so when we do a program for a customer, that will have the contextual relevance of somebody who is interested in a construction risk service, we can map that against certain people who download that white paper or register for that webinar, have been highly engaged with our construction risk content, and others have not been engaged at all.
And, we provide that with the lead program so that it's not just a list of names that downloaded a white paper. It's a list of names that have been sorted based on how engaged those people are with related content and then filtered again based on traditional demographics so that account executives and marketing managers rate low and operations people would rate more highly.
We have a lot of names that come in through things like trade show exchanges. So, we go to a trade show, we get the attendees list, and not all of those names are registered to use the site.
As a B2B information provider, we'll give a small amount of information away completely unrestricted [on the website]. So, if you come to BusinessInsurance.com, there's some information, you can read one article a day without registering. You can see certain articles, certain information without registering.
But, if you start to look like you're engaging in more than one article, we're going to ask for some limited amount of information, and it could be as small as just an email address or it could be filling out a complete background and signing up for newsletters. But, all of that information is being collected in our marketing automation database.
We have a large number of email addresses that we have in-house. We have a smaller number of registered online users, and then the smallest is the actual print database. We have a combination model of both paid and controlled, so some of our readers are paying us an annual subscription fee for complete site access, others are controlled subscribers. It's a hybrid model.
It's thinking holistically about how a marketing automation program fits into the overall marketing approach.
[This] isn't a tool to enable a batch-and-blast or drip marketing, it's really thinking about how we want to communicate with the customers and whether those customers are our advertisers and whether it’s our advertising something for each of our readers.
Coming up with what we really want to communicate, and then how do we use the tool to help achieve that.
It's been said that if you don't have a well-thought-out marketing approach to begin with, marketing automation just helps you use a poor approach faster. So, thinking about the process external to the tool and optimizing that first, and that drives into cross-training people so that they understand their role.
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