- September 8, 2016
- Branding, Demand Generation, International Marketing, Marketing and Sales Enablement, Marketing ROI, Sales and Marketing Alignment
Tech Marketer Talks: Silver Peak Drives Demand and Brand Awareness through Global Integrated Marketing
Louise Crawford is Senior Director of Worldwide Demand at Silver Peak. She oversees all global demand initiatives for direct channels including campaign development, events, worldwide customer communications and international operations. She supports sales and global expansion across North America, EMEA and APAC.
Silver Peak is the leader in building software-defined WANs (SD-WANs). The company enables enterprises and service providers to flexibly and securely connect users to applications via the most cost-effective and highest-performing WAN connectivity available. With Silver Peak’s solutions, customers can augment or replace MPLS networks with secure broadband connectivity, leveraging existing WAN investments while dramatically reducing WAN costs and complexity. Customers benefit from unprecedented levels of visibility, control and security over all traffic traversing the WAN, while at the same time improving application and network performance.
What have been some of your key challenges in marketing?
We needed to increase demand and brand mindshare for Silver Peak solutions in the SD-WAN space. To do this we first had to cut through all the noise, evaluate everything holistically and get focused on the right strategies, platforms, programs and partners that would work for our company specifically. That meant investing specifically in those where we could effectively build our brand and provide a consistent message for buyers. From there we needed to move them through the journey with relevant content and deliver sales-ready leads to our sales teams.
What types of marketing solutions did you invest in and why?
We needed a set of integrated solutions and platforms that would drive demand and build awareness with our target audience at the same time. Given TechTarget’s understanding of the SD-WAN market and its strong engagement with that audience, we chose to invest in content syndication using Silver Peak content as well as editorial sponsorships to get topically aligned with buyers researching in our space. We believe it’s really important to follow conversations, more than a random demographic. During that time we also gained a better understanding about the relationship between role, timing and format preferences our audience has and are able to take that into consideration as we build ongoing content across buying stages.
Through TechTarget’s Keyword Takeovers and Essential Guides, we established share of voice and market authority on SD-WAN topics as prospects were researching and could also continuously follow the conversation where ever it was happening. By taking an integrated and more holistic approach, we have increased the quality of our leads and are helping to build a strong pipeline for sales.
Can you talk about your MarTech stack and how it works?
We’ve taken two approaches with respect to our MarTech stack. Our sales organization is growing at a very fast pace and we need to support that growth by producing as many high- quality MQLs as possible to help create pipeline opportunities. At the same time we need to be more strategic as we continue to evolve our Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy.
We have one technology stack for ABM programs and another technology and program stack designed around generating as many highly-qualified MQLs as possible. Some of the approaches we use for high volume MQLs are also used for our ABM marketing tactics. We have found that leveraging these programs across the board delivers greater efficiency, higher quality MQLs and can help move us into larger deal sizes.
Our goal is to continuously provide our sales teams with as much contextual information as possible about prospects before they engage with them. TechTarget enables us to do that with all the activity data they provide. Their Priority Engine™ intent data tool provides intelligence on people who are in-market researching and fits with the precise demographic and customer profile we need to target. We view Priority Engine as another key element in our marketing stack, especially as our ABM continues to evolve.
How do you stay aligned with sales to ensure your integrated marketing is effective?
Like everything else, our sales and marketing teams need to work together so alignment amongst our teams is critical. We spend a lot of time with sales ensuring our marketing programs are supporting their goals. We meet with them on kick-off calls and monthly meetings as well as with our regional sales managers to ensure everything we are doing with our programs is focused and aligned to their needs. On an ongoing basis, we test, measure and get feedback from sales to understand what’s working, what’s not, so we address it and adjust quickly.
What types of things are you measuring in your marketing?
Operationally we look at the different approaches it takes to acquire net new leads and the multiple touch points needed to qualify as an MQL. We measure the influence our programs are having on these outputs. We look at first touch and multi-touch attribution to determine what programs are effective at different stages of the buying cycle. We also evaluate the number of MQLs being accepted and rejected and factor that into our lead scoring and optimization efforts. Of the MQLs sales accepts, we track which ones convert to pipeline opportunities and business that closes.
Can you share any feedback you are getting from sales?
We are getting very positive feedback from sales. They are having more focused conversations and able to engage more effectively because they know what prospects are researching and they know how to better align Silver Peak solutions with specific pain points. As a result we are seeing higher quality leads and our sales teams are able to have more relevant conversations.
Since implementing more integrated marketing solutions, we have seen more prospects from TechTarget progressing through our nurture streams and a 20% uplift in the amount of leads that come into the system that accelerate into MQLs.
What was your experience working with your TechTarget team?
I look for the things that differentiate us from our competition. I’ve worked with TechTarget for more than 12 years and they help us put space between us and our competitors. We work together as a team to determine the ideal combination of activity that will give us the most traction for both awareness and demand generation. They are very proactive in sharing things we should consider focusing on based on their expertise. At the outset, we partnered with TechTarget because of their integrated solutions that are topically focused and the ability to leverage the close relationship they have with their audience.