A Case Study

GroupRevMax launched with its full feature set in late 2015 and being Inncrewin’s own product, we needed to get a digital marketing strategy going for the product. Following is a case study of what and how we did it to serve as a template for other campaigns.

Choose a Customer Segment

Before starting any digital marketing, it’s important to identify the customers that you will be targeting using digital marketing. In the case of GroupRevMax, we are a B2B SaaS product or Hotels, so our audience was going to be hoteliers. That works for a segment, but to gain more value for money, we wanted to narrow it down further. To do that, we had to analyze two things, who the product helps within the hotels and who the decision makers are. In our case, the product helped sales be more efficient and generate more revenue, so our target was sales & revenue leaders in hotels. Analyzing decision makers, we found that IT leaders of hotels were approvers and even introducers of software products to hotels, so we added them too.

Choose Mediums

Once the customer segment is nailed down, we needed to decide on the mediums of communication. Digital marketing gurus will talk about Omni-channel marketing and how the need for two-way communication in all channels your customers use and they would be right. However, given our limited budget, we needed to narrow our focus down to something we could afford and manage, as is the case for most startups. Here are the different mediums we considered.

Social Media

Social Media allows companies to not only reach new customers, but also keep them engaged easily. By clicking the equivalent of Like/Follow, people interested in your company can get information the company wishes to share with them. For this reason, this is one of the most important aspects of marketing.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn seemed ideal for our marketing because of its ability to narrow down the audience by a job function and we chose it as one of our primary media.

Twitter

We evaluated twitter as a possibility, but the lack of professional segmentation meant we will not be able to segment the market the way we wanted it. Hence we decided against twitter. This doesn’t mean we didn’t have a twitter page since it’s sometimes necessary for example when we attend trade shows and their primary medium is twitter.

Facebook/Instagram

Once again, the lack of segmentation by profession meant we were not going to spend money on these media.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has one of the highest ROI in digital marketing when executed well. Also, this is another form of marketing that enables companies to keep the customer engaged through trickle emails that send information that is of interest to the customer. However, email marketing should be preceded by other forms of marketing that build a list of subscribers. Companies typically give away something valuable (a white paper, ebook, etc.) to generate interest and to get people to sign up. Either way, the first step is to get a list. If you intent to buy a list, be advised that the people on the list haven’t subscribed to emails from you and your spam rating will increase significantly sending to these lists. If you really want to “buy” a list, we recommend using an industry newsletter or association and sending the email to them under their branding.

In the case of GroupRevMax, we generated emails through our direct phone sales campaign. We also used industry lists to give away an e-book that generated more subscribers. The key thing to note here though is that we only started any sort of email marketing after some time into our marketing campaign.

Display Advertising

Display advertising involves the most mumbo jumbo for most startups with networks, exchanges, publishers, programmatic, ABM and what not. We won’t go too deep into different options in digital marketing due to its complexity and will instead focus on what we chose for GroupRevMax.

We had a need to focus on hotels and even filter out certain large chains, so we decided use Account Based Marketing (ABM). This is another vast area with many options and providers, but the basic idea is to target a fixed set of accounts or companies that you have already identified, and possibly similar companies identified through analytics.

We also had a remarketing campaign for people who already visited our websites. Barring these two, we chose to give everything else in display advertising a miss.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing works great if you can find the right keywords that make sense for your budget. In our case, it didn’t make sense since we were selling something that’s relatively a new concept and no one was really searching for it. Also, some of the related keywords were very generic and could have meant many different things, so we chose not to do SEM.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization can be categorized into page/site level optimization and external factors. Making sure the pages are optimized for the keywords that you are targeting is fairly easy. If you can’t figure it out from the internet, you can easily find inexpensive providers. External factors like relevant backlinks are harder to obtain and cost more money and effort. In the case of GroupRevMax, we did the page level SEO ourselves (obviously), but we didn’t focus a lot on back links.

Implement & Measure

Once we had some of things running per our budget, we measure and optimize several things on a weekly/monthly basis. Getting advertising right for your target audience is one thing and actually getting people to do something you want on your website is another. Here comes the other aspect of digital marketing where you do A/B testing with different landing pages and measure for conversion.