Fast growing Monetate
's Blair Lyon, VP of Marketing, has been getting an increasing number of inquiries on the company's customer acquisition strategy, which does not rely on traditional methods. There's a secret to Monetate's marketing success, and it's all about content.
Monetate's content marketing platform represents industry best practices, resulting in a dramatic increase in lead conversions. "Since launching the content program a little less than a year ago, there's been a thousand percent higher lead flow than we had previously," reports Lyon. "In terms of the buzz metrics, which includes brand awareness through things like retweeting and sharing, it's well over 600% higher than before we started the program."
Monetate gives away content in exchange for loyalty among B2B customers. "One of the things that drew me to working here was the chance to explore this non-interruptive form of advertising," explains Lyon. "We develop content that answers questions and has a high educational value." Not only does Monetate operate two blogs, but under the Resources tab of its website, it offers video, case studies, white papers and eBooks, all of which fall within the purview of the marketing team.
When Lyon arrived at Monetate after founding his own interactive ad agency TMX, much of the company's blog content referred directly back to Monetate. But no more. "Eighty plus percent doesn't talk about Monetate at all." The conversation is shifted away from Monetate and toward the customer.
Lyon sees content as a way to enter the customer's circle of trust. If a CMO, CIO or IT Director finds great information on the Monetate blog, the company will be top of mind when it's time to make purchasing decisions.
"We identify different types of buyers. In our case, there are 8 distinct persona types we want to influence. The next overlay is the sales process," says Lyon, who creates a taxonomy of sales targets. Awareness, research, evaluation and final contracts each have their own sublevels, leading to a total of 8 categories. "We do a lot of A/B testing," says Lyon, whose team will pull articles or change headlines depending on the metrics.
There are a total of 11 full time people on Monetate's marketing team, three of whom are tasked specifically with content marketing. "We have a director of content marketing, a managing editor, and a senior editor." Compared to the cost of running ads in the Wall Street Journal, what amounts to easily several hundred thousand dollars in annual salaries pales by comparison, given the results.
Lyon points to the way information is packaged, and puts a lot of stock in infographics, which are shared and reposted for months after they're released.
He adds that the various ways to package information work well in combination. "I don't think any single program works in a vacuum." An infographic may go out with a press release, video, webinar, or white paper. "We present a well rounded story with a lot of content elements. We're always thinking about packaging and repurposing as many ways as possible."
The Conshohocken-based firm, which provides cloud-based technology for ecommerce marketers, experienced nearly 300% revenue growth in 2011 and continues to expand rapidly. Monetate CEO and founder, David Brussin, was just named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 for the Greater Philadelphia region.
Source: Blair Lyon, Monetate
Writer: Sue Spolan