Awards case study: The Crocodile and ServiceNow win 'Best customer experience (CX) initiative'

Marketers are obsessed with what makes people tick – what we do, what we like, where we go. The truth is, our emotions dictate our actions.

ServiceNow, the market-leading enterprise productivity platform, wanted to revolutionise its marketing to create a connected customer experience that removed departmental silos and helped the business connect with people in a more consistent, seamless way.

The Crocodile created the Connected Customer Framework (CCF), an approach that enabled ServiceNow to build integrated communications tailored to people’s behaviours and needs at every stage in the customer journey. An approach that recognised enterprise customers are often a diverse buying panel comprising sometimes hundreds of people.

Extensively researched with enterprises, the framework highlighted that many ServiceNow prospects begin their journey with little idea of the solution to their problem. Their journeys begin in their industry, or in wider culture where ServiceNow lacked visibility.

Rather than dictating user journeys, the CCF ensured visibility across the comms landscape to bring people into ServiceNow’s world.

The CCF campaign delivered 120 high-quality MQLs, with a combined opportunity value of $12 million - double the target - and simultaneously set the B2B industry benchmark for customer-first execution at scale.

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Its cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise.

Strategy

Where does a customer begin their journey? Today we have almost infinite choice. Combined with a crowded competitive market and waning attention spans, ServiceNow’s ability to connect with people is challenging.

ServiceNow’s portfolio of products has grown. So too has the challenge of educating enterprises about these products. And as enterprise businesses grow, so do the number of stakeholders responsible for digital transformation initiatives. No longer does the decision sit purely with IT or the c-suite. Enterprise buying units often comprise hundreds of individuals, all needing to be engaged through the buying journey.

Combining key communications planning principles with customer experience best practice (along with meaningful audience segmentation), the approach ensured people were reached in relevant and purposeful ways, across many industries and in wider culture.

It ensured that those people speaking to ServiceNow had a genuine interest and understanding of what ServiceNow could do for them and conversations could progress quickly from mere interest to solving complex business challenges.

Objectives of the campaign

Beyond the specific challenge of driving significant pipeline opportunity, the CCF was designed to help ServiceNow create true collaboration between different departments within the business – forging the vital, but often broken, link between marketing, sales and product teams.

Whilst many enterprises should have a voice in wider business issues like employee wellbeing and mental health, rarely do they know how to connect them back to the business in a meaningful way that translates into action.

The CCF helped define ServiceNow’s role beyond its owned digital properties too, identifying conversations to join within industry verticals and in wider culture, creating a visible link between these key conversations and ServiceNow’s core product offering.

The target audience

The core audience were enterprise organisations located in UKI and Alps regions with 3000 employees or higher.

Extensive primary and secondary research quickly dispelled the myth that B2B buyers are just the c-suite, or IT. In fact, whilst the c-suite are involved in the customer journey, their interactions are often fleeting. The majority of the people responsible for digital transformation are the many individuals within teams.

The Crocodile and ServiceNow were no longer trying to talk to a handful of different job titles, but instead, addressing a range of different attitudes and behaviours that could be attributed to any role within an organisation.

The conventional approach of using personas wouldn’t work – there were simply too many for them to be useful for planning effective communications. Instead, a bespoke segmentation that categorised people based on their individual and situational characteristics was created, and was used to develop communications designed to be more emotionally resonant with people’s individual context.

Media, channels or techniques used

For the campaign to be effective, The Crocodile and ServiceNow needed to go beyond the realm of serving programmatic banners and barraging the audience with an endless stream of emails.

The CCF saw many new media ‘firsts’ for ServiceNow, helping identify relevant messages for people at different journey stages, as well as appropriate media formats to deliver the message.

These ranged from employee and customer interviews brought to life on social platforms, to bespoke infographics, media partnerships and dynamic personalised landing pages that changed depending on the audience segment and their past interactions with ServiceNow.

Utilising the power of the Adobe Marketing Stack, this approach enabled ServiceNow to deliver a truly personalised experience for prospects and customers alike, and meant that ServiceNow delivered a truly integrated comms approach that placed the customer at the heart of every touchpoint.

Timings

  • Research and planning: August/September 2019.
  • Campaign development: September/October 2019.
  • Pilot: December 2019.
  • Wave one: Mid-January to March 2020.

Results

  • 120 MQLs to date, with a combined opportunity value of double the target.
  • Engagement at every stage of the framework by tier 1 Enterprise organisations.
  • 73% higher engagement (CTR) in the Alps region and 20% higher in UKI vs previous Global programmatic campaigns.
  • Intent-based social achieving lower CPC (-13%) and higher CTR (+6%).

"As a market-leading customer experience brand we set ourselves the challenge of meeting the needs of our customers and prospects with a strategy designed from their perspective. With CCF we now have a scalable framework that allows us to join the conversation earlier in the journey and on our customers terms. This has helped to make ServiceNow the natural choice when the time comes to buy a solution."

Jason Martin, director, EMEA Marketing

B2B Marketing Awards 2020

This submission won the gold award for 'Best customer experience (CX) initiative' at the B2B Marketing Awards this year.

Find out who made the shortlist here!

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