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Awards case study: Adobe and Fenergo win ‘Best use of marketing automation’

Irish fintech Fenergo needed to digitally optimise its customers’ journeys, orchestrate better demand generation, take control of and expand its customer/prospect data, deliver true web personalisation and, ultimately, power a multi-million-dollar sales success – all in the middle of a global pandemic.

In the ‘pivot to digital’, more financial institutions than ever were seeking education, expertise, and guidance around digital transformation, making it critical for Fenergo to demonstrate its value, showcasing exactly why it was the right support partner in this new digital-first world. Yet, how could it do this unless it was truly digital itself?

Fenergo initiated its now highly-successful ‘D2020’ programme, powered by Adobe’s Marketo, to nurture relationships, launch a new digital platform, complement outbound sales and marketing efforts, and act as a central digital hub. This enabled customer journeys and generated highly lucrative automatic-qualified leads (AQLs), thus rapidly accelerating conversion times.

In addition, Fenergo overhauled its entire demand generation portfolio to incorporate multi-stage profiling and intuitive content mapping, for the first time.

The only thing more immediate than Fenergo’s digital transformation were the results that followed:

  • Revenue increased by 22%.
  • AQLs rose by 44%.
  • New opportunities rose by 42%.
  • Early-stage pipeline accelerated by 51%.
  • Lead engagement increased by 91%.

About the client company

Founded during the peak of the 2008 nancial crisis, Fenergo is a Dublin start-up turned major global fintech player. Counting UBS, HSBC, State Street, and Royal Bank of Canada among its customers, Fenergo helps banks and financial institutions adapt to the digital era and modernise their business, from perfecting their customer experience, to use of client data, to ensuring airtight compliance – Fenergo provides complete, best-in-class client lifecycle management.

Fenergo CEO Marc Murphy actually mortgaged his house to launch this new breed of financial services brand, such was his conviction that Fenergo had a critical role to play in the recovery and subsequent growth of the financial sector. His confidence was well placed – over 10 years and an $80 million funding round later, the fintech powerhouse is now valued at almost $2 billion.

Specific issues or challenges to be addressed

Fenergo’s three key challenges were:

  1. To roll out new demand generation programmes powered by Marketo that would enable Fenergo to digitally nurture relationships with its hugely diverse audience of prospects and customers, by delivering highly-personalised, persona-based content at scale via an automated process.
  2. To launch a new website to complement outbound sales and marketing efforts, which would serve as a digital hub for sharing useful information and thought leadership content with prospects and customers, while also collecting relevant data to drive further conversions – all in a GDPR-friendly way.
  3. To secure strong AQLs to speed up the sales cycle and accelerate deal closure. Fenergo focuses on driving AQLs, rather than MQLs, which are better suited to long-lead sales processes and deliver results straightaway, benefiting both Fenergo and the FSI clients it supports.

The target audience

Fenergo’s target sector is the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector. Its core personas are chief and lead technology, digital transformation, innovation, information technology, compliance and regulatory officers. With such variation, each persona has hugely different informational needs and appetites.

For example, while a compliance officer craves information that is technical and cut-and-dry, a chief transformation officer prefers snackable, multi-media outreach. The challenge of engaging with such a diverse audience is the curation, personalisation, and distribution of such a wealth of content, delivering it at just the right moment and stage of the journey, for maximum impact.

While its target audience may be diverse, Fenergo recognises that personal interactions – such a desk drops and videos from its CE – resonate best, adding another layer of complexity to the team’s approach.

In terms of strategy, Fenergo recognised robust data and automation had to be at the heart of its demand generation programmes and new website, to ensure every interaction with its audience was optimal and resonated.

The martech solution

In the middle of the pandemic, Fenergo initiated its priority digital programme, focusing heavily on its primary corporate platforms, in particular and its global nurture programme, powered by Marketo.

Marketo represents the central orchestrator for all Fenergo’s digital marketing activities, driving its always-on, integrated, omnichannel experience, while simultaneously ensuring each part of the tech stack is fully optimised (including Salesforce, DiscoverOrg, Bombora, On24, Okto, Joomla, Wistia and WordPress).

Fenergo relaunched its entire corporate presence, using Marketo’s web personalisation capabilities to deliver a new, data-driven customer journey experience that would enable the fintech to nurture relationships with prospects and customers effectively for maximum impact. The team combined web personalisation with progressive profiling in order to build out essential datasets.

They also elevated its approach by integrating Marketo with revenue BI analytics to deliver a 360-view of buyer and client proles, allowing the team to track and optimise every single step of the journey.


The first step in the Marketo transition was to ensure the technology was optimised for Fenergo’s specific needs. Fenergo is a committed Marketo user, subscribing to its entire enterprise suite, including web personalisation, revenue BI analytics, digital orchestration and EDM.

With help from integration specialists Digital PI and strategic agency Blueprint Partners, Fenergo reset and reconfigured its Marketo instance, from both a demand generation and web personalisation perspective.

This was a paradigm shift for the entire marketing function, and took place in very challenging times, representing a switch in web agencies, format, nurture programmes, while integrating new and enhanced digital capabilities for the very first time.

Thankfully, the Fenergo team previously worked with BluePrint (UK) a mapping and alignment project, meaning their unique insights helped Fenergo to better understand its personalisation and nurture requirements from the start.

Working with new digital agency Perpetual Digital (Ireland) and Marketo (global), the Fenergo team built an entirely new vision for their digital presence over a three-month period, delivering and testing iterations at every stage of the process, while also ensuring they continued optimising the legacy site.

The project took four months (end to end) to bring to fruition, with continuing enhancements taking place throughout and after. The showcase represented a complete relaunch of Fenergo’s entire corporate platform during the summer of 2020, just in time for its busiest period of the year.

Impact on the business

With the launch of its new corporate platform and demand generation programmes, powered by Marketo, Fenergo’s marketing team can better define personas and segments, automating the process of targeting this diverse audience with a huge array of highly-personalised communications that address prospects’ needs and pain points at every stage of the customer journey, quickly turning them into AQLs.

Fenergo has successfully introduced progressive profiling, delivered intuitive content and page mapping alongside hyper retargeting and display syndication all in the past 12 months.

ROI and budgeting

This critical change resulted in the following impact during the last 12 months:

  • Nurture engagement skyrocketed by 91% due to enhanced web personalisation.
  • Pipeline entry accelerated by 51%.
  • New opportunities increased by 42%.
  • AQLs rose by 44%, thanks to truly optimised customer journeys and personalised content being delivered at scale.
  • Overall deal cycles shortened from 24 to 18 months for demand generation lead opportunities requiring an RFP.
  • Revenue increased by 22% during the period.*

These achievements demonstrate the success of Fenergo’s digital strategy and D2020, the tireless work of its marketing function and the positive impact it’s had on customer experience.

*This 22% increase relates to the calendar period January 2020 to 31 December 2020. Fenergo operates a fiscal year from 1 April to 31 March. This calendar period incorporates Q4 of the prior fiscal year for closed deals.

“D2020 was truly transformational program. It was our key pivot to digital. We completely overhauled our entire presence (from top to bottom), placing our customers and prospects at the very centre of everything we do. Legacy thinking and systems were left behind, while customer centricity and buying journey mapping became the status quo. With the power of Marketo, Fenergo seamlessly integrated into every channel and delivered true personalisation for the very first time.”

Conor Coughlan, CMO, Fenergo.

B2B Marketing Martech Awards 2021

This submission won the award for ‘Best use of marketing automation’ at the B2B Marketing Martech Awards 2021.

Check out all the winners here!

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