Martech Awards case study: How CRMT Digital won Gold for ‘Best use of marketing automation’ for ‘A Netflix inspired buyer journey’ for HPE Aruba

Aruba has a strong demand-generation function generating thousands of responses a quarter. Traditionally, these were scored, qualified, and then followed up by telemarketing. Aruba recognised that many of these “qualified leads” were not ready to engage with telemarketing and were not consuming relevant content on their web site. 

Aruba needed to nurture these leads with a distinct personalised approach and deliver relevant Aruba content, depending on where they were on their journey, to encourage them to consider Aruba products and services.

Aruba commissioned CRMT Digital to design and build a class-leading “always on” nurturing engine to drive conversion through the sales pipeline by captivating buyers with a “Netflix-like” content experience.

The resulting work overcame the traditional challenges of automating and scaling a buyer journey nurture using a tightly integrated martech stack coupled with a tenacious focus on ground-up measurement and optimisation.

In its first 11 months the nurture engine has achieved an ROI of over 260% with a seven figure dollar contribution to the sales pipeline.  Average velocity through the nurture is 37 days demonstrating that contacts that are genuinely interested in Aruba do not take long to become sales ready when given the relevant information at the right time.

About Aruba HPE

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is redefining the intelligent edge with reliable mobility and IOT solutions for organisations of all sizes. With $3b+ in revenue and 7000+ employees worldwide, the company delivers solutions that empower organisations to serve mobile-savvy users who rely on internal and cloud-based apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives. 

As one of four divisions of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Aruba operates as an autonomous brand with its own operations, sales force and marketing team.  

Specific issues or challenges to be addressed

Previously all the responses generated by Aruba’s marketing activities were routed into Eloqua and scored. Leads that scored over a threshold were routed to telemarketing for follow-up. As the scoring did not consider where the buyer was in their buying journey the vast majority of these “qualified” leads were too early for sales engagement, resulting in a high volume not being contactable, and were generally ignored unless they came back into the sales process later.

In addition, Aruba discovered that potential customers were finding it difficult to find the information they required on the website. They also recognised that they needed to:

Consider a better content user experience as responses were mixed depending on how and where content was consumed.
Cater for returning web visitors more effectively.
Maximise keyword conversions by serving relevant content as Organic search drove the most website traffic.
Improve conversion from paid advertising and search via an enhanced content experience.

The target audience

Target audience:

  • Prospects not yet ready for sales generated from marketing activities.
  • Prospects that had been contacted by telemarketing but were not yet ready for sales engagement.
  • Return visitors to the web site.
  • Recycled leads.

Key challenges were:

  • Understanding where buyers were on their journey and serving up relevant content based on this.
  • Understanding when buyers were ready to move onto the next stage of their journey and when ready for sales engagement.
  • Providing the buyer with a content consumption experience that would encourage and guide without forcing them down a predefined route.

Deployment, effectiveness and results 

The martech solution

The nurture engine needed to:

  • Run across EMEA in 5 languages. 
  • Adapt to the buyer’s non-linear journey based on their previous and future activity and content consumption.
  • Use a highly integrated martech stack that:
  • Enabled detailed, real-time measurement.
  • Captivated buyers with an always-on, “Netflix like” content consumption experience.
  • Ensured ease of update to enable continuous performance improvement.

After some initial discovery work the following MarTech stack was agreed for deployment:

  • Eloqua: For Workflow and Email.
  • Folloze: User Experience and Content Hub.
  • SalesForce: Campaign Attribution, Lead Routing and Management.
  • Domo: Measurement, reporting and dashboards.
  • Demand.Center: Campaign Hierarchy, Attribution and Cloning.

The key challenge that faced the team was to design the nurture workflow and the underlying data schema to support the level of measurement and reporting required to assess and optimise nurture entry, exit, stage promotion and acceleration together with content consumption and engagement.   

The team wanted to not only measure when an asset was consumed but the engagement the buyer had with the asset (time spent reading/watching).  Every metric tracked was designed to help the Aruba team determine when the right time was for sales to engage potential buyers – and when to hold off.

Deployment

Main deployment phases: 

  • Set-up and rollout in English language with delivery in March 2021 
  • The rollout to the other languages in May 2021.  

The solution was set-up to fit in with the existing processes and activities to enable the seamless follow up on account engagements with the ability to target and visualise specific account activity so that contact to be made by Aruba at the right time with the right messaging/interaction.

CRMT Digital were responsible for making sure the solution worked, post-go live support, reporting and optimisation.

The project was delivered by CRMT Digital in a 12-week timeline consisting of the following key milestones:

  • Discovery workshop.
  • Nurture Design.
  • Nurture Program Build.
  • Folloze Board Creation.
  • Email Creation.
  • Domo Dashboard Design/Build.
  • Documentation.

Impact on the business

Before:

Aruba was not able to access and see where an individual or an account was in their buying journey, nor ascertain the frequency and type of content engagement to enable contact to be made by the relevant team at Aruba with the appropriate type of communication/ content

After:

Aruba is now able to route and determine the journey and scoring of an individual or account through the nurture stages, identifying whether it is a net new, competitor or partner and serve up the relevant content and appropriate communication

The reporting has removed the reliance on excel spreadsheets and is now real time via Domo dashboards and reports.

Due to its success, the nurture engine is currently being replicated and deployed in other industry specific nurtures. 

ROI (and budgeting)

In its first 11 months the nurture engine has achieved an ROI of over 260% with a seven figure dollar contribution to the sales pipeline.  

Average velocity through the nurture is 37 days demonstrating that contacts that are genuinely interested in Aruba do not take long to become sales ready given they are presented with the relevant information at the right time.

Over 2300 content assets have been consumed by contacts that would have previously found the content difficult to find – increasing the awareness of Aruba’s solutions. 

“Our continued partnership with CRMT is allowing us to sweat the investments we are making in both our martech stack and how we drive our top of funnel inbound marketing. The move to a personalised nurture stream has allowed us to assess content performance, and impact, whilst improving our conversion rates. As we continue down our path of Performance marketing, ensuring we have strong foundations to base decisions using performance data is absolutely critical"

Jon Moger, senior director EMEA Marketing, Aruba HPE

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