Being shortlisted for marketing awards would suggest you’re doing something right. And when it’s for content marketing backed up by a white paper aimed specifically at distribution network marketeers, then channel marketing managers and directors can be excused for sitting up and taking notice.
Explained in our own content marketing
The content marketing concept and the white paper have been specifically developed for crucial frontline marketing that maximises marketing asset values and returns.
For full service advertising and marketing companies, promotion is the name of the game. It’s a skill set that is, by definition, second nature to them. So when it comes to promoting themselves, they should be past masters. A ‘good result’ can become an ‘exceptional response’ at the brush of a few keys; ‘Not doing badly’ can easily escalate to ‘market-leading’.
But what if you divorce the hype from the reality? What if you put yourselves out to a jury of your peers? They will soon see through the puff and imagery and judge you for what you are and what you are actually achieving.
This particular advertising and marketing company? We Are Acuity. The jury? The judging panel at the 2016 UK Agency Awards.
Best practice in distributed marketing
It wasn’t simply for what they’ve achieved for their clients that they’ve submitted their entry and been shortlisted. It was all about what they achieved for themselves using their own skill sets and knowledge of the market. In short, their approach to best practice in the "distributed marketing" or "marketign asset management" marketplace.
But this shortlisted entry is not just about creativity pure and simple. It’s more about what goes on behind the scenes: the methodology, the reasoning, the overall aim. So the emphasis is very much on We Are Acuity’s development of a particularly effective inbound marketing programme for its current and, obviously, future clients, all spearheaded by a white paper that was used as the first-level lure to generate response.
Using our own Inbound Marketing Strategy
The award criteria are not airy fairy: they even include the costs of the campaign elements. These covered developing the strategy and the go-to-market plan based around the white paper; a new enquiry-encouraging We Are Acuity website focusing on this novel approach; an email programme to the initial target list plus blogs right across all relevant social media. All set up in We Are Acuity’s HubSpot marketing automation system.
The white paper explained to We Are Acuity’s target audience of Channel Marketing Managers and Directors how to improve their engagement of their distribution channel to complement their national marketing programme. The most effective results naturally come through using the specially-developed and comprehensive marketing toolkit for lead generation and the all-important customer qualification process.
The Inbound Marketing white paper has evolved out of We Are Acuity’s more than 30 years’ experience under various guises in dealership and network marketing, from below the line campaigns for the models themselves via accounts with manufacturers to extensive hand-holding and direction-moulding for distributors at all levels. Showroom graphics, direct marketing campaigns, interactive multi-media showroom presentations; We Are Acuity has grown up and matured right across the board as a full-service agency using its bespoke marketing toolkit to maximum effect.
Focussed on two persona; Max and Lottie
The whole approach is based around two distinct personae. Max is the principal persona, a Marketing Director whose goal is to MAXimise his return on marketing investment. His main challenge is to empower and engage the channel network to develop relationships with customers and prospects locally.
Lottie, on the other hand, is the lead-supporting persona, a Marketing Manager whose goal is to make marketing easier, cheaper and more effective for the channel. Her main challenge is to capitalise on the channel network’s marketing spend and amplify national campaigns, utilising the network’s local knowledge and expertise. She has a LOT(tie) on her plate.
(You may find the names cringe making, to say the least, but using ‘real’ people can actually make a huge difference to the response generated.)
Lottie is frustrated, managing lots of low priority, but urgent, channel marketing decisions and constantly repeating herself to people in the network who don’t understand marketing.
We Are Acuity’s solution for Lottie and Max is a service based around marketing asset management systems – using We Are Acuity’s skills and experience as a full service marketing agency to maximise asset values.
Keywords; "Local Marketing" "Marketing Asset Management"
We Are Acuity implemented the Hubspot marketing system in the Spring of 2016, following the development of an Inbound Marketing strategy with an external marketing consultant. We Are Acuity’s new website focused on the challenging issues faced by their target personae, a real prospect focus rather than an agency focus, and a content strategy based on the keywords ‘Local Marketing’ and ‘Marketing Asset Management’.
The website and white paper visuals use a ‘Better Together’ theme and emotional imagery to evoke a greater feeling of empathy and engagement from Max and Lottie. The White Paper is purely educational, with original and useful content that helps Max and Lottie with their marketing through their dealer and franchise networks.
Whitepaper about use of your "Marketing Toolkit"
This is all part of a long-form content strategy where content is researched all in one go. For example, three blogs and many further Linkedin posts have been based on the content from this white paper and help generate traffic online. This is an effective re-use of the paper (or simply maximising the asset value, as they would say).
Through this approach, the We Are Acuity sales and marketing team is now more effective in presenting the We Are Acuity proposition in all its agency pitches and sales meetings. As part of the programme the new website, positioning and engagement approach has already started to qualify prospects and nurture them into the sales process. The call to action and landing page have been successful in improving the conversion from views on the website into form submissions and contacts, held in the integrated CRM database. As an example, initial emails to a database of 406 active contacts, using the white paper as the key approach element, had an open rate of 17%, out of which some 8% (eight new contacts) were generated. The total cost? Just £4,600 plus 100 hours of internal resource.
2016 UK Agency Awards
The jury at the 2016 UK Agency Awards will deliver its verdict on Thursday 15th September. We Are Acuity rests its case, m'lud.