It’s hard to get salespeople to act on leads that run counter to what they believe. At Avery Dennison Office and Consumer Products, sales staffers were convinced that the biggest corporations were underrepresented among its business-to-business clients, at least as far as leads generated from its online channels were concerned.
As a result, salespeople were ignoring opportunities within the largest markets for Avery products.
The challenge, according to David Maxson, director of interactive marketing for office and consumer products, was to correlate site visitors with potential product use. To do that, Avery first had to demonstrate that prime prospects—those among the Fortune 500, for example—were visiting the site in volumes sufficient to generate viable leads. It then had to provide data that could be turned into sales information.
One obvious way to do this would be to identify the domain names of site visitors. In some case, this is relatively easy: It’s clear where a browser from thecoca-colacompany.com is coming from. At other times, it’s not so easy: Linking all of the browsers from various Procter & Gamble brand domains is tricky, but not doing so would cause Avery to seriously underestimate the value of that company.
And it wasn’t as if Avery could match up information in its billing department with its online traffic. Often its products are purchased through retail or online third-party venues. Visitors come to the Avery site to access a variety of free templates designed to work with previously purchased products—not necessarily to browse.
Initially, Avery tried to link accounts from disparate domains by hand, a process Maxson describes as “a crazy chore.”
“The average metrics system doesn’t give you a way of grouping these,” he says, adding that companies “don’t cooperate” by using standardized domain names.
To mechanize the process, Avery turned to Demandbase Real-Time Identification, in conjunction with Adobe SiteCatalyst. Avery researched what it felt the 30 largest business clients should be, based on a combination of known sales and intuition based on each company’s size and the propensity within that vertical to use merchandise similar to what Avery offers. The 30 companies, along with the various domains they operate under, were tagged and tracked in a test campaign.
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In determining which 30 companies to track, Avery’s marketing staff occasionally had to make judgment calls based on both the size of a prospect company and a realistic evaluation of what percentage of its employees might use Avery products. Even if an automotive company with 75,000 employees falls under the heading of a large firm, chances are most of those employees won’t use Avery products.
“But we think about the 2,000 [within the automotive firm] who might,” Maxson says. “And if 300 of them visit my site, that’s 15% coverage, which is pretty good. And if I can recognize them every time, and give them [relevant] messages ever time one of them comes on, I can try to get them to interact with us.”
The tagging allows Avery to know when visitors from these companies enter the site, and tracks the pages and template files they look at. And the consumption patterns also allow Avery to determine ancillary products that might be of use to those visitors. All of this information is fed to its salespeople.
The information also influences the content these visitors see. Avery has merged Demandbase’s capabilities with Adobe’s Test & Target. Together, the two platforms allow Avery to identify visitor characteristics nearly instantly, and to serve up content or ads that reflect the visitor’s industry.
For instance, Avery offers dividers. The healthcare community is a huge consumer of dividers but, as Maxson says, “healthcare doesn’t care about generic images and charts.” The goal was to present images of a healthcare environment to these visitors. Avery used field surveys to understand how its products were used and to generate story-based sales material. Sales of this relatively new, high-margin product have been more than satisfactory.
Healthcare is just the beginning. By analyzing site visitors, Avery was able to determine that around 18% of its site visitors are from very large corporate customers (as opposed to those from home or small businesses). By being able to serve up the same tailored content to those from a given business, Avery was able to start internal dialogues about useful products it wasn’t already providing.
Maxson wasn't prepared to reveal results, but he has liked what he has seen so far and is already planning on ways that messaging within the site can be coordinated with outbound email campaigns and other channels. He estimates that the system will have enough data to perform these types of efforts within the next nine to 12 months.