Elevation Awards case study: How DISQO won Gold for ‘Best use of content marketing’ for ‘DISQO foundation series’

Knowing that B2B marketing tends to be somewhat dry and feature-laden, DISQO developed a radically different creative approach to their Foundations Reports series. 

They were positioned as classical Greek stories with a modern twist to highlight the credibility of the methodologies, underscored by a stunning and playful design. They utilized engaging characters such as Medusa and Socrates, with his mind blown, to illustrate key concepts, instead of relying solely on the research industry’s go to: bar charts and product screenshots.

While the reports were heavy on technical data, DISQO also poked fun at themselves and the geekiness of the methodologies with visuals that made the deep analytics of the papers feel more accessible to ALL marketers, regardless if they were in the research department. They thoughtfully designed rich custom visuals throughout the reports and promotions instead of using stock photography or basic animations, as is common in B2B marketing. These elements were consistently applied through every aspect of the campaign from video, to report design, to emails and paid ads, so that both reports in the series stood out wherever they were promoted. 

About the client company 

DISQO is a customer experience platform for building insights about what people think and do across brand experiences and consumer journeys. Connecting brand sentiment and outcomes from a single source, DISQO enables clients to deeply understand their customers and create a competitive advantage. DISQO’s platform is built on complete, permission-based consumer data. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Los Angeles, DISQO is recognized as a fast-growing technology firm and a great place to work, now with more than 400 team members. 

Strategy – broader business issues the company faced

As a start-up provider of digital advertising effectiveness measurement, competing with established companies with decades of awareness, DISQO needed to generate awareness among its target audience, and we needed to do it fast. The clock was ticking on the expiration of third-party cookies and traditional forms of ad measurement, and we knew that our target audience was actively seeking solutions. DISQO's measurement sought to be a solution to this challenge, but we needed people to know about us and start to ask how we could help them. 

Objectives of the campaign 

DISQO’s goal with the campaign was to quickly increase awareness of their brand. To reach this goal, the campaign had to stand out in a sea of B2B campaigns and communicate a complex technical message. 

Through a new report series, titled Foundations, we challenged the status quo that advertising measurement can only be accomplished through cookies and major social media platform silos. The series illuminated new tools available to marketers that enabled them to solve measurement challenges in a world where traditional foundations of digital measurement, such as cookies and mobile IDs, are crumbling. We launched with Foundations I: X-Ray Specs for Path to Purchase Attribution in early 2021 and later in the year published Foundations II: A Kaleidoscope for Cross-Platform Measurement. 

The campaign was designed to result in increased public awareness of DISQO as a leader on advertising measurement through press coverage. We also sought to keep current clients informed of our new capabilities. Most importantly, the campaign needed to drive financial results for the business, including new marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and generate new sales opportunities. 

The target audience 

DISQO’s target audience was advertising professionals at brands, ad agencies and publishers in the U.S. who were seeking to understand the value of their ad campaigns. They are dealing with the loss of traditional campaign measurement tools, such as third-party cookies, and overwhelmed with options to solve the problem.

Media, channels or techniques used 

Marketing a new product that is special because of its methodology is tricky, as most buyers are not analysts – they just want to know that their insights are sound so they can make confident business decisions. The messaging in the reports and campaign validated the target audience’s concerns around the changing measurement landscape, while also showing that there were new tools to help solve their problems. DISQO conveyed the complexities of the methodology, while being empathic to the target audience’s needs, turning an analytics challenge into a fun opportunity for smart marketers to grow their toolset. 

The campaign utilized stunning creative and a wrap-around distribution strategy to reach our target audience in every location where the topic, ad effectiveness, was being discussed, while holding to a start-up sized budget: 

  • Branded Content - two reports.
  • Owned Email - database mailings. 
  • Paid Email - trade publications.
  • Paid Display - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google.
  • Video - online and events.
  • Events - multiple speaking spots.
  • PR - two releases, significant press coverage.
  • Sales - sales distribution and outbound prospecting. 
  • Social Media - DISQO’s social channels.
  • Professional Collateral - distribution via lead researcher’s reports.
  • Search (SEO/SEM) -paid search and SEO optimized landing pages.
  • Website - insights and blogs, including POV from our lead researcher.
  • Sponsorship - sponsored events and content.

Timescales of the campaign 

Foundations I: X-Ray Specs for Path to Purchase Attribution 

  • March - April 2021 - Data Analysis.
  • May 2021- Report and campaign material development 
  • May 19, 2021 - Report Launched via website, social media, owned and paid email, sales activation, paid display Foundations II: A Kaleidoscope for Cross-Platform Measurement.
  • March - April 2021 - Data Analysis.
  • May - June 2021 - Report and campaign material development. 
  • June 16, 2021- Report Launched via website, social media, owned and paid email, sales activation, paid display.
  • July - October, 2021 - Paid and earned speaking opportunities, paid email and display.

Budgets 

Total Budget: $45,750.00 

  • Paid Email trade publications: $27,000.00 (59.02%).
  • Paid Display - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google: $2,000.00 (4.37%).
  • Events - multiple speaking spots: $16,750.00 (36.61%).

Results 

During the period the campaign has been running: 

  • Sales of DISQO’s ad measurement product increased 305% over last year.
  • Brands utilizing ad measurement product increased from 112 to 277, more than doubling our market penetration in only eight months.

The campaign resulted in:

  • 27.K social impressions that generated a 3.9% click-rate, double the industry average, with a 2.1% engagement rate, five times the industry average (breakthrough creative strategy made a huge impact!).
  • 1136 campaign responses and downloads of the reports.
  • 194 new Marketing Qualified Leads.
  • $626,948 new sales influenced by the campaign.
  • 13X ROI.

DISQO presented the reports at conferences, greatly raising brand awareness: 

  • MMA Digital Analytics Think Tank Unplugged.
  • Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference.
  • MMA Marketing Attribution Think Tank.

The reports also generated significant press coverage in the desired trade publications including: 

  • Alist.
  • Cynopsis. 
  • Digiday.
  • MarTechSeries 
  • MediaPost - top 3 most read articles in Performance Insider of 2021! 
  • Morningstar.
  • MR Web 
  • and more… 

Finally, the traditional established player in the space has now named DISQO their largest competitor. 

"DISQO’s most successful brand building, lead and demand generation efforts to date were tied to the Foundations report series. An effective content marketing program not only contains a number of well thought out tactical executions, but it also takes aim at the audience's strategic needs and offers unique solutions. The content we developed allowed us to create multiple executions that engaged prospects throughout the funnel, regardless of their stage. Additionally, the reports addressed two key, newsworthy questions that the media and advertising industry were struggling to answer: how do I know if my marketing is driving sales and how can I truly understand my advertising’s effectiveness across siloed platforms"

Anne Hunter, VP product marketing, DISQO

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