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Email Marketing Award Winners 2007

Email Marketing Award Winner
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Email Marketing Award Winner
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Best Non-Email Opt-in Messaging:
Silver B-to-B
IFS Radio Network - Podcast

Brand/Client Side Team:
Steve Andrew, Charles Rathmann, Elaine Wimberly, Paul Bundy

MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
Brilliant strategy here -- this company's end customers, manufacturing execs, are not in the podcast listening demographic. However, the marketers discovered that the biggest sales influencers -- the consultants who manufacturers rely on -- often love podcasts. A great idea was born -- why not influence the influencers via the media they prefer?

From Their Nomination Form:
IFS is a strong global company with more than $300 million in revenue, but its presence in North America is still ramping up. That means it is difficult to compete budget-wise with our giant competitors, SAP and Oracle. To make our dollars go as far as we can, we conduct extensive outreach to a group we call influencers, consultants who are involved in multiple ERP selection and implementation projects every year. These consultants are difficult to reach as they are seldom on the office -- so telemarketing and direct mail are poor choices. The podcast is produced entirely in-house using ACID Music Studio and makes excellent use of the intellect of IFS' thought leaders. Each episode includes a 5- minute news update that positions IFS as leaders in service-oriented architecture-based enterprise apps by touching on significant wins, commenting on competitor news and highlighting recent awards. We then take a deeper dive into a specific business or technology topic by interviewing our senior staff -- essentially turning current technology and business white papers into stimulating audio content.

We use the podcast to promote the white papers -- and, in fact, the podcast segments and the white papers are produced simultaneously, based on the same interview. We operate under the simple formula of getting really smart people to say things that our target audience will find fascinating. More than 100 prospects in IFS' target audience of influencers listen to the online podcast each month, and others have heard the podcast on CDs sent in the mail. That's roughly a 10% conversion rate given the initial target list of 1,000 key influencers. Moreover, the IP address of more than a dozen active IFS prospects have popped up in the podcast user list statistics. And in an industry with long sales cycles, a number of touch points are required over the months to bring an interested prospect to the negotiation table. Each of these touch-points is tracked, so we know that on average various marketing efforts including the podcast touch a prospect more than a dozen times before a sale concludes.