Lori Smith, Director of Marketing Communications and Analyst Relations at Kinaxis discussed with us how she has incorporated use of TechValidate content across marketing channels. She shared her team’s best practices for utilizing TechValidate to gather customer feedback at trade shows and with Kinaxis email campaigns. She also discusses how her team packages and presents marketing content for maximum effectiveness throughout Kinaxis’ marketing and sales campaigns.
TechValidate: What are the main marketing objectives this year for Kinaxis RapidResponse?
Lori Smith: The main marketing objective for us is building awareness, credibility and ultimately interest among our prospect audience and those who influence that audience. We find that is best done by sharing our customers’ experiences and showing the proven results of our solution.
TechValidate: How have you been able to execute surveys using the public link and what do you like best about it?
Lori Smith: We have a corporate policy that prevents us from providing our customer list to a third party. The public link allows us to reach out to our customers directly. We can also customize the survey email that goes out to those customers.
We followed the TechValidate recommendations when sending the public link and then we added an extra incentive of free training for survey respondents. Survey respondents could use the training credits themselves or offer them to anyone within their organization. The training incentive was a win-win because we were able to train more people and have them further invested in the solution.
In our email, we linked to a landing page that offered a little more information about the survey, in terms of who TechValidate was, why we were doing the survey and what we would be doing with the results. The landing page also include a big red button with the public link to the survey. We also placed ads linking to the survey on our community site, on our product login page, and in employee communications. The survey allowed us to capture new names for our database. We had really good results with the survey. The bulk of the survey responses came from our initial email campaign, with half of our responses in the first few hours.
TechValidate: Was this the same approach for your second project?
Lori Smith: We set up the second survey and targeted customers who attended our user conference. We administered the surveys on iPads and once again created a landing page with the public link. People just had to click on the browser and it automatically brought them to the landing page where they could start the survey. We subsequently updated the landing page once the survey was complete to include all the published findings, so participants could see the library of results that came from this particular survey. With good results from this smaller audience, we are now planning on rolling the same survey out to all our customers to get results from a larger respondent base.
TechValidate: You’ve created over 100 customer content assets. What feedback have you received internally? Any external feedback as you apply the content to your marketing and sales campaigns?
Lori Smith: We’ve received very positive feedback and many requests for more content. These first two projects satisfied an initial need very quickly and now we are looking to build on that. Obviously, like most B2B companies, we struggle to get stories and stats – we have very happy customers, but the resources to interview, write it up, put it through the approval process, and publish – it takes a while. So this was a way to capture a lot of information quickly and get a blanket picture of customer results and use cases as we continue to supplement that with our more traditional customer stories. We found that the TechFacts actually produced the most compelling content and we really have a nice library now of quotes and stats on some specific themes that can be leveraged as proofpoints in our sales and marketing activities. We use TechValidate to get those little nuggets of customer validation that can show the prospect that what we say we can deliver, we in fact can.
TechValidate: What are some of the most effective ways you’ve leveraged your TechValidate quotes and statistics?
Lori Smith: We’ve included TechFacts and statistics in our brochures, at trade shows, and email campaigns. Sales leverages the case studies and the TechFacts in their own individual presentations and communications to prospects. We’ve used TechValidate in RFI and RFP responses. We’ve even used it for industry analyst surveys. We re-launched our website and the TechValidate content features very prominently there with a carousel of stats/quotes relevant to the topic of each page. We’ve created a Best of the Best booklet that consolidates and categorizes the TechValidate content to tell the story of the Kinaxis RapidResponse value proposition.
TechValidate: You’ve created a bunch of great content! How have you approached the process of getting value out of it and re-purposing it in these different areas?
Lori Smith: We work very very hard! We are very much content marketers, so we have established a good practice on reusing, repackaging, repurposing, and cross promoting. We have a checklist that helps us organize our efforts around the distribution and promotion of our marketing content. When we have a piece of collateral, we go through all the places and ways we can leverage it. I recommend taking some time up front to plan for the content produced. The last thing you want to do is publish results and then just let them sit there on the TechValidate page.
One prime example of repurposing and repackaging – we created a blog series from the Best of the Best booklet. It is the exact same content, just using a different medium. No added work other than having to post it. The TechValidate content allowed us to talk about RapidResponse on our blog in a way that was credible and from the customer.
TechValidate: How would you sum up the impact you have seen with TechValidate?
Lori Smith: Very positive. TechValidate has provided a large library of customer content that satisfied many of our needs. We had a really big gap and people really hungry for content. I feel like it is rare that we will get a request where I can’t provide something now, some kind of supporting fact or proofpoint on whatever topic or request that they are asking for. To sum up, we were very hungry we have since been fed, and that has created an appetite for more.