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Tell us about your organization.
At CrownPeak, we’ve been in business for nine years, doing Web content management for online marketing. We make it very easy for online marketers to edit, manage, and work with Web content wherever it lives—mostly on the site, but it’s now spreading out to social media, microsites, and landing pages. We have a software suite that helps online marketers manage all that content through workflow and publish it out to all those different mechanisms. We also provide analytics tools to help measure the effectiveness of that content.
How’d you turn to Demandbase for lead generation?
A couple of years ago we were looking at list-building. We were intrigued by Demandbase, a fairly young company, and its concept of “an iTunes for building lists.” Because of what we do, it’s a very focused audience that we go after—directors and vice presidents at midsize and large organizations. Looking at building lists for lead generation programs is how we got turned on to Demandbase. Instead of lists coming in through a service like Hoovers, Demandbase is an online service and something we could do ad hoc as our own lead-gen programs and cold-calling efforts needed to be supplemented. One of the nice things with Demandbase is that it gives a lot of extra information—including lead-grading. It works great.
What was the next move?
A little over a year ago, Demandbase offered its Stream product [an on-screen ticker that identifies Web-site visitors in real time]. We signed on and now use it to do two things—primarily in marketing with real-time logic to see who’s coming to the Web site and to detect if an active lead needs to be passed off to sales; and, two, to supplement information we might not have in our marketing CRM database. We can supplement [customer records] in Salesforce.com and build the quality of our marketing database over time.
What have the results been?
We’ve seen a big improvement in the quality of our opt-in—we’re having much-more-relevant conversations with people because we know who they are. Where Demandbase really helps is with our organic-traffic acquisition. Ultimately what I’m trying to do is raise my unpaid traffic and decrease my paid traffic so that I drive down my costs…and I can drive a lot more leads through the organization for a lot less money. In the last six months, I’ve been able to drive down my cost-per-lead by 16 percent.
The quality of my database has gone up exponentially with the ability to supplement over time. Also, because the leads themselves are so inexpensive, I can acquire many, many more names. They’re softer leads, but at some point I can engage them in conversation. It would definitely be difficult to do what I’m doing without Demandbase. I’d be using multiple vendors whereas Demandbase provides a well-rounded service that I haven’t seen from another single vendor.
SIDEBAR: 5 FAST FACTS
- How old is the implementation?
We began using Demandbase’s list product two years ago. We then signed on for Stream and Professional in the spring of 2008.
- Who was involved in the decision process?
Mostly me, with my team as support.
- What’s been your best CRM idea?
In social media and acquiring [leads], I’ve learned that it’s quality over quantity. When you acquire a marketing database that you nurture and work [to improve], the results are much more pronounced. When you’re focusing on the quality of data and conversing in a manner that’s relevant to the business, you see much better results.
- Biggest surprise about Demandbase?
How quickly they’ve iterated. I’m a [software-as-a-service] company as well, and I wish I could iterate my product as fast as [they do]. They’ve done an amazing job in terms of adding new things and coming up to speed. Demandbase going beyond [being] a list company and [going] much more into the relationship space has been a big surprise—definitely a pleasant one.
- Biggest mistake you’ve made recently?
We have learned that lead nurturing and working customers in a marketing database should not be a sales function—it should be a marketing function. The mistake we made was turning over leads that were too soft to sales—ones that needed to have a conversation and have relevant content delivered to them. That should be a marketing function, not a sales function.
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