When Barco called us back in 2019 asking if we could help them generate more Marketing Qualified Leads for the EMEA region through online channels, we immediately got enthusiastic. While setting up the first one-off performance-driven campaigns on social media, we couldn't help but notice numerous opportunities that fit in perfectly with Barco's long-term marketing approach. These opportunities allowed us to not only optimize the inflow of new prospects, but also push them further down the marketing funnel. In a close collaboration with Barco, we took their online marketing to the next level.
Barco is a global technology company that develops visualization and collaboration solutions, focusing on three core markets: entertainment, enterprise and healthcare. You can now admire their state-of-the-art projectors in the Planetarium of Brussels. You can tell Barco reaches for the stars!
As you can imagine, the decision making process for many of their products is long and complex, because there are many stakeholders involved. That's why a long-term approach was necessary with multiple touchpoints, tailor-made messages and more guidance. In consultation with Barco, we decided to go for an always-on marketing approach, where we created a logical marketing funnel that taps into every phase of the decision making process with the right triggers and messages for each buyer persona. By becoming more relevant, we aimed for a higher engagement rate.
To set this up, we sat together with Barco’s internal stakeholders (Field Marketing Manager, Journey Manager, Customer Service Manager …) to take a deep dive into Nexxis, a video-over-IP platform for integrated digital operating rooms, and Clickshare, a wireless presentation and conferencing technology. In that way, we gained useful insights in the decision journey on the one hand and were able to create a tactical always-on communication plan on the other hand.
In each phase, we selected relevant landing pages to push towards the audiences. If needed, we optimized existing landing pages or created new ones - both in terms of content and UX design.
Based on two important insights, we went all out for full-funnel campaigns. The first insight showed us that we needed to create multiple touchpoints and provide more product information in order to generate more leads. That’s why we decided to add microconversions (white paper downloads, price request, spec sheets …) in each phase of the customer journey. The second insight was found in Google Analytics: because of the social campaigns for Clickshare there was an increase in search volume for this solution, which in its turn had a positive impact on e.g. the Google Ads for Clickshare. So, the numbers showed us that different channels supported and reinforced each other. It would have been a missed opportunity not to opt for a cross-channel approach. Some examples of channels we used in order to reach the target audiences were LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Outbrain, Spiceworks and Google ads. On top of that, we made an appeal to programmatic buying to get more exposure.
So, the core of Barco’s strategy was lead generation through content in an always-on approach. The content we used was based on the needs and problems the prospect was facing at that moment. Per phase, we detected what type of audience was relevant to include. In the upper funnel, we segmented on the basis of interests and/or jobs and focussed on generating awareness. In the lower funnel, we retargeted interested website visitors and focussed on improving performance. So, the deeper down the funnel, the more we could narrow down the audiences - making them hyperrelevant. Slowly but surely, we guided them towards a conversion.
“We noticed that users need multiple touchpoints before making a conversion. By offering content that is relevant for them at that point, we could guide them to the next phase of the decision making process. Working in phases by first creating a broad audience through content marketing and then retargeting these audiences with conversion-oriented messages, ensured more cost-effective leads.”
Online Marketeer at Duke & Grace
To keep track of the results and improve our collaboration, we created an extensive KPI dashboard in Google Data Studio. This way, we both could follow-up on the main metrics for Behaviour (time on site, video views ...) and Conversions (white paper downloads, booked demos ...), and its evolution over time. These metrics showed that the always-on approach clearly paid off. The deeper in the funnel, the more engagement there is with the assets and ads. For example, we saw an increase of 65% in Click-Through-Rate between the ads in the (generic) upper funnel campaigns and the (specific retargeting) lower funnel campaigns. Same story with the onsite behaviour and leads: the more we go towards the decision making, the higher the conversion rates are and the higher the quality of the users. Interactions with the microconversions (white paper downloads, price request, spec sheets …) have more than doubled towards the lower funnel campaigns. By focussing on users who already showed interest in the Barco solutions we were able to generate more leads for less budget, compared to the previous non-funnel approaches. On LinkedIn, for example, the Cost per Lead for Clickshare decreased by 63%.
Another benefit of our always-on approach is that we are able to continuously optimize and tweak the campaigns which leads to better results. For example, the Cost per Lead had decreased by 64% between the campaign in the first quarter and the third quarter. We regularly added new assets, paused the least performing assets and shifted budgets between platforms, audiences and markets. We also experimented with the language of the ad. At first, we rolled out the campaigns solely in English. But, thanks to A/B testing, it became clear that a native language approach delivered far better results in most countries. At this moment, the always-on campaigns run in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish). By tackling the campaigns in a trial & error approach, we could quickly test new hypotheses, gather insights and draw conclusions based on the data. Besides, we also continuously shared learnings and insights across the various Barco projects and campaigns, which is an advantage in moving forward quickly, being innovative and getting inspired.
“Since we’ve adopted this always-on approach, we see that our Marketing Qualified Leads keep coming in and the inflow of new prospects is continuously fed. We really see the difference with other segments that do not (yet) apply this approach of campaigning!”
EMEA Field Marketing Director at Barco
Several assets in the always-on campaigns contained gated content or forms that were already collecting lead data. In other words, there was a huge opportunity to follow up on these leads, based on their content consumption, website behaviour and customer needs. Besides, as we already stated in the 15th edition of our trend report, collecting first-party data is the new gold. So, it was only a matter of time to move on to the next step: nurturing and automation. Together, we’re working on automated email nurture flows to identify prospects faster and bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
The initial goal was to attract the target group and fill the marketing funnel with the help of always-on campaigns. Once this approach worked effectively, the goal shifted towards pushing those Marketing Qualified Leads further down the funnel to Sales Qualified Leads and eventually customers. Now, Barco is ready to receive their new customers with open arms. Are you?