The July release of our 2017 Inbound Marketing Excellence Report, which ranks Microsoft partner companies on the quality of their digital marketing, is fast approaching. In the lead up to the report, we took a look at last year’s results to see which Microsoft partners have done especially well and shot up our rankings for 2017.
RedPixie, one of Europe’s largest cloud providers, ranked 89th in 2016’s report (which is impressive in itself, given we analysed a pool of over 25,000 partners last year). This year, they’ve done even better, shooting up the report to a much higher position.
We spoke with Mitchell Feldman, Chief Digital Officer at RedPixie to find out the secret to their inbound marketing success and how they’ve structured their marketing in 2017.
So, this year RedPixie have made a huge jump in the Top 50 report– congratulations! Is there anything that your marketing team has done differently from last year?
Mitchell: In the past, we historically spoke a lot about what we do and why we do it; there had never really been a focus on the customer. Now we’ve completely pivoted, and the focus is less on us, more on the customer.
To make sure we got the right message, we had to understand a number of things: what the customers are looking for, their pain points, and what they expected the language of a partner to be. We completely rewrote how we spoke to our customers, and we were mindful that most, if not all our customers were doing research before they even engaged with us. We wanted to ensure that they could get as much as information as they needed to authenticate us and satisfy themselves that we were the right partner for them before they engaged with us.
This year, has there been any particular focus or any areas you’ve given more attention to in your marketing strategy?
Mitchell: Historically, while the company had had a marketing effort, it was largely based on what the marketing team wanted, rather than the needs of the company and the customer.
Now, however, we are very much subscribed to what we call ‘smarketing’ – joining up sales and marketing. This ‘smarketing’ was a company initative with stakeholder interviews, reviewing work that we had won (and lost), and understanding why we had won it, and really getting 360 feedback from everyone in the business.
Our mantra was to build an eco-system, which assumes that if the customer isn’t coming to us, we will go to where they are. I wholeheartedly believe that telemarketing as it traditionally was is dead. It certainly gave off the wrong persona of us as a business, so we wanted to create a mechanism that allowed us to self-generate leads. We realised things like SEO and communicating the vibrancy of the business through social was very much the way forward.
Another significant thing we’ve done this year is to verticalise. As most of our customers are in financial services and insurance, we made a brave decision to only focus on these people. So rather than doing what we did before, which I suppose was just ‘spray and pray’, we’re much more laser focused. We know we have over 250 addressable customers and because of that, our marketing has become much more targeted and effective.
Social selling is now sewn into the DNA of RedPixie and all of our sales team are measured from a sales perspective on their SSI (Social Selling Index), which we’ve done for the past six months as part of the teams’ KPIs. Everyone uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to create and share content and establish relationships with prospects both known and unknown. We call this ‘digitally schmoozing’.
In my opinion, marketing is much more than lead creation, and in fact, the primary focus for us as a business is to use our marketing prowess to help underpin opportunities we are currently working on. That said we get approximately 15 leads per week from our website and 50% of those come from our social media audience.
Has there been anything that RedPixie have done this year that you’re particularly proud of?
Mitchell: Ensuring that we have a platform that allows us to have a single pane of glass to help us understand the customer journey from a data perspective. When a customer does eventually enquire, we can see their entire journey, whether it’s through reading a blog, or social posting, right through to when they enquire, which is the nurturing process.
So, we’ve created a series of whitepapers, which are almost a ‘honey pot’, which we populate into our marketing channels. Everything is gated, and we’re sending prospects on that nurture journey from research to enquiry. Since we started doing this, we have seen not only better quality opportunities, we’ve also seen a higher spend per customer.
We’ve moved away from that ‘commodity’ place, and rather than buying us on the price, customers are buying on the quality of our services. It’s a much deeper and more pragmatic engagement that’s aligned to the way we work.
Another thing we launched this year is PixieTV, our YouTube channel. It’s currently very embryonic, and we’re still learning. It’s no secret that video is king, and that’s why we’ve started to invest in it. We’re sharing our knowledge, ‘opening our kimono’ if you like, and giving away a little more. Rather than being ‘cloak and dagger’ about what we’re doing, we’re highly transparent and we’re not afraid to share our thoughts and opinions.
I mean, seven years ago, when we moved into the Cloud, people thought we were crazy! Once it became mainstream, we prevailed as expert leaders. We’re going on a similar journey with PixieTV: I think when it comes to business leader videos, it’s still quite immature, and a lot of them are high level. That said, we want PixieTV videos to be informational, change the way people are thinking, and how they can deliver business cases to the C-suite
For RedPixie what do you find brings in the most leads? And of all your marketing channels, what elements bring in the biggest ROI?
Mitchell: LinkedIn is the ‘Northern Star’ of all the social channels we invest in. The journey goes from the private individual profile to company profile, to website, to the nurture journey. That will grow as our reach grows, and now we’ve hit that tipping point and a critical mass of 10k followers, it’s starting to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some of our social activities have reached over 4M users in one post!
It’s a lot of hard work. We’re fixated on the consistency of the brand across all the channels, even down to making sure everyone has the same profiles.
We’re not afraid to give our opinions and say why. We’ve become subject matter expects, we’re open with our views, and we’re now much more accessible for different audiences. As a result of this pivot, we’ve given birth to our first million dollar baby – a lead from social media that has become a $1M customer.
A big thank you to Mitchell for sharing RedPixie’s digital marketing journey with us, and congratulations to the team for making such a huge improvement. To learn more about how you can improve your digital marketing, read our marketing blogs, or contact us today.