MASTERS OF
MARTECH 2018

The top techies:
How 7 leading B2B and B2C brands are leveraging technology for better marketing ROI

No matter what vertical you operate in, or who you are targeting, you can’t market in a silo. Smart brands today are engaging 24/7 with customers across multiple channels, and their audience expects those interactions to be seamless.

In this special report, learn how seven leading brands are leveraging their martech stacks to coordinate winning campaigns that connect with customers and prospects for measurable marketing ROI. Learn how:

Bombardier Recreational Products tracks online sentiment to provide strong customer service and shape future product decisions
Box is focused on marketing performance to track customer behavior through a lengthy B2B sales cycle
Nasdaq measures social engagement across multiple platforms to strengthen brand sentiment for itself and its partners
Everyone Active is using a coordinated digital strategy to inspire members to stay fit—and engaged with the brand
Blue Ridge Global deploys marketing automation to connect with retailers and drive adoption of its supply chain solution
Second City gets insight into opportunities from ticket buyers for B2B accounts with AI
Surescripts is using personalization and ABM to influence healthcare decision makers at the right time in their buying process

A Social Adventure

Text analysis helps Bombardier Recreational Products capitalize on online feedback

Why They’re a Master of Martech: Effective analysis of social feedback helps this Canadian powersports brand gauge sentiment for better customer service and product development.

Folks who ride Sea-Doo watercraft like to move fast. Catching up with them to find out what they’re saying online requires an adept talent for navigating the waters of online media.

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) —the parent of numerous powersports brands including Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Evinrude, Lynx, Can-Am Off-Road and others—is using text analysis to hear what customers are saying about their products across social and other channels.

The Quebec-based company’s vehicles and motors are sold through a dealer network across the world, with BRP marketing team providing materials for a co-op program for the dealers. Customers range from individuals looking for adventure to rental businesses, resorts and marinas, as well as the U.S. government. BRP reports over $3.4 billion in annual sales, in over 100 countries.

While the company doesn’t sell directly to consumers, it does activations after the sale to welcome new users and improve their engagement and experience with BRP brands once they are an owner. New buyers receive a welcome series of emails, to help start a conversation.

There are numerous other touchpoints as well, including surveys, social media, call centers and other platforms. To better understand its wide variety of customer feedback, the Quebec-based brand uses Keatext to help collect and analyze unstructured data.

Part of the trick to successful text analysis is that there are common words applicable to a multitude of brands and situations—in BRP case, these could be “unit,” “machine” and “motor.” Adding in context to situations that might have strong applications or sentiment helps track trends and meaning.

“It helps me see what customers are saying,” says Myshka Sansoin, global customer advocate for Bombardier Recreational Vehicles. “We can gain insight on things we have to look out for.”

Within the organization, different teams look at social for different reasons, and all of those teams need good feedback. Marketing is more focused on pushing out content, while Sansoin’s team is looking at what themes are trending, to identify opportunities to be more proactive than reactive.

After customers on both the B2B side and the consumer side speak to someone in the call center, a triggered email survey is sent to gauge their experience. The survey has open-ended questions, so text analysis helps track the quality of those calls.

On social media, if a new model or vehicle color is generating a lot of chatter, data on that can be extracted from social channels through text analysis and Bombardier can respond to that feedback, and see if it is positive or negative. The insight can be fed back to the design teams for future products.

Facebook is the top mainstream social platform for the brand. Hardcore owners and fans spend a lot of time on forums. For Ski-Doo users, DooTalk.com is a popular online forum.

“We get a lot of valuable feedback in those channels—it really is something special in our industry,” Sansoin says, noting that extracting that data from forums for tracking will help the brand evaluate future strategies for marketing and product development. “We want to aggregate all the data into one place and leverage the voice of the customer even more.”

"Adding in context to situations that might have strong applications or sentiment helps track trends and meaning.“—Myshka Sansoin, global customer advocate for Bombardier Recreational Vehicles

"Adding in context to situations that might have strong applications or sentiment helps track trends and meaning.“—Myshka Sansoin, global customer advocate for Bombardier Recreational Vehicles

The Quebec-based company’s vehicles and motors are sold through a dealer network across the world, with BRP marketing team providing materials for a co-op program for the dealers.

The Quebec-based company’s vehicles and motors are sold through a dealer network across the world, with BRP marketing team providing materials for a co-op program for the dealers.

From All Sides

A complex martech stack helps Box square its view of marketing performance

Why They’re a Master of Martech: A coordinated view of marketing performance management solutions helps the brand see what moves the needle through lengthy buyer journeys.

With a long sales cycle and security concerns to consider, having a view of the entire buyer journey is crucial for online file storage platform Box.

The target audience is comprised of decision makers in large enterprises in IT and information security, as well as CIOs, data managers and systems administrators.

“We want to show [purchase] influencers [Box] is useful, and show how it can benefit teams with increased collaboration with external users, to help manage content securely,” says Tim West, senior marketing operations manager at Box.

The sales cycle varies depending on the size of the enterprise. For large organizations, it can take over a year, and several site visits to meet with department heads and security teams to close deals.

Email is a key channel for the company, but it often just serves as a conversation starter. Content marketing serves as a way to keep the conversation going, with ebooks, whitepapers and webinars acting as a way to educate and engage prospects.

Box has been working with Allocadia on marketing performance management for about 18 months, to help unify messaging and work between different part of the organization.

“A unified planning cycle was something we were lacking,” West says. 
“Different teams were building plans in silos, with disparate messaging.”

The CIO also wanted to have a better view of how marketing activities were impacting the bottom line. “You can’t just look at what tactics are generating the most pipeline. You need to see which are doing so most the most efficiently,” West says. “It ultimately comes down to pipeline and ROI. If the CIO wants to know where we should spend, marketing wants to answer that question with confidence.”

As Box improved its attribution model, it learned that top of funnel activities like SEM have a very broad reach, touching every large deal, even when the conversation doesn’t begin right after someone clicks on a paid search placement. A better view of the entire cycle proved extremely helpful in building out a strong marketing mix. How first touch performs is important to the teams that manage content and SEM, while other constituents want to know how the mid-funnel activities are performing and what was the tipping point before the last touch.

“It’s hard to know what the last touch was in a million dollar deal,” says West. “Last touch isn’t a fair representation of the [entire cycle].”

Integrating the various parts of the marketing stack can be a challenge, he notes, but it is essential to make sure everything is working together. For example, marketing works closely with operations and IT to make sure the marketing automation system is working with the contact database. “We want data to funnel through a single point of entry,” he says.

To help sales reps keep track of information, Box works with Full Circle on response management, to see what is impacting pipeline, and reminders for follow-up contacts are sent through Salesforce. Conversa is leveraged as an AI tool to aid in communication follow-up, and Tableau is used to help visualize the data centrally, all building up to a complete view of the customer.

“A unified planning cycle was something we were lacking. Different teams were building plans in silos, with disparate messaging.”—Tim West, senior marketing operations manager at Box

“A unified planning cycle was something we were lacking. Different teams were building plans in silos, with disparate messaging.”—Tim West, senior marketing operations manager at Box

The sales cycle for Box varies depending on the size of the enterprise. For large organizations, it can take over a year, and several site visits to meet with department heads and security teams to close deals.

The sales cycle for Box varies depending on the size of the enterprise. For large organizations, it can take over a year, and several site visits to meet with department heads and security teams to close deals.

Taking Stock
of Social

Engagement pays big dividends
for Nasdaq

Why They’re a Master of Martech: A strong social measurement strategy helps Nasdaq improve social engagement for client brands and other partners.

Choosing the right portfolio to invest in isn’t easy. Choosing the right social measurement strategy is equally tricky.

“It’s a complicated landscape with lots of solutions and many are expensive, and its hard to commit marketing dollars to measuring those channels.” says Josh Machiz, chief digital officer at Nasdaq.

For the brands that work with Nasdaq, social listening is vital. “You need to understand what people are saying about your brand, and what opportunities you have for engagement and creating a conversation,” he says. “It isn’t always easy to find who is talking about you. You need to build communities or you’re not taking full advantage of social media.”

Nasdaq uses Sprinklr to measure and manage social engagement. The platform is used by many of its client brands; others use SpreadFast or other smaller measurement platforms.

Regulations embedded in the securities industry are a challenge for Nasdaq and its partners. Brokers and dealers also face heavy regulations, meaning a lot of levels of approvals for posting content. Having tools in place to manage the approval process helps brands post quicker and be more reactive to real-world events.

“The public doesn’t realize what regulatory requirements companies are under, and they expect an immediate response [on social],” says Machiz. “In the past, there were long chains of emails for approvals [for messaging] and it was a really complicated process.”

When measuring social, it is important for Nasdaq to understand what type of content resonates with different audiences, on different platforms. “If you’re just measuring your social media in terms of follower growth, you’re ignoring engagement and interaction,” he notes.

Social shouldn’t just be a content distribution channel, he adds. “People want a two way conversation—you can’t just keep pushing stuff out.”

One way Nasdaq is creating social chatter is with #NasdaqArtist, a program where Nasdaq engages artists to create images and photographs it shares in social and the big screens on Nasdaq Tower in New York City. Fans on social are also encouraged to share their photos of New York via the hashtag.

“The community on Instagram is where we get a lot of engagement because the community there is so focused on beauty and art,” says Machiz. “On Twitter, we might just get a retweet or two—because of the way images are presented there, even the best copy doesn’t make them thrive.”

Social stats are also integrated with Google Analytics to link them to web traffic. “There’s no perfect fit,” he laments. “Sometimes, when people click a link in social, if the site takes too long to load, they’ll drop off. Sprinklr will count that as a link, but Google won’t because they don’t see someone reach the site. So there’s a middle ground—how do you quantify this discrepancy?”

While you can’t tie visibility with stock share price, there is tremendous value in social engagement for Nasdaq. After all, more visibility means people are likely to consider a brand when they’re ready to invest.

“If someone goes public with us and their Facebook Live interview after the bell brings in 120,000 views, that’s incredibly impactful,” Machiz says. “Not everyone watches CNBC all day, so it’s about eyeballs, and there’s real value in being on the screens in Times Square and on our social channels.”

“It isn’t always easy to find who is talking about you. You need to build communities or you’re not taking full advantage of social media.”—Josh Machiz, chief digital officer, Nasdaq

“It isn’t always easy to find who is talking about you. You need to build communities or you’re not taking full advantage of social media.”—Josh Machiz, chief digital officer, Nasdaq

Shows like "Mario Armstrong's Never Settle" create engagement for Nasdaq on Facebook Live.

Shows like "Mario Armstrong's Never Settle" create engagement for Nasdaq on Facebook Live.

They Like to
Move It

Digital strategy helps Everyone Active inspire members

Why They Are a Master of Martech: A single view of the customer across all channels helps this U.K. fitness brand use video and social to engage prospects and customers

Starting and sticking with a workout routine isn’t easy. As more and more customer data is generated through smart devices like FitBits and Apple Watches, U.K.-based exercise chain Everyone Active is leveraging a unified customer view to keep members engaged and moving.

The company has 160 facilities across the U.K., with more than 250,000 fitness members and 1.2 million “pay as you go” members over the last 12 months. The brand mission: to get people active doing 30 minutes of activity, five times a week.

For the past 18 months, the company has worked to standardize its social and digital presence. About 30 percent of all bookings happen on its mobile app, and 20 percent of memberships are sold online. The goal is to boost that to 90 percent by 2021.

“We’re building a national framework that allows localized content to attract new members and help convert the undecided,” says Tim Mayer, head of commercial and digital for Everyone Active, a subsidiary of Sports and Leisure Management. “Social interaction can help increase revenue.”

The company has a database of four million, split by demographics and activity levels. There are 10 main personas on a national level, broken down further by region, Mayer notes.

In the last five years, the promotional focus has shifted away from print to social and digital; today, only about 25 percent of the marketing budget is devoted to print. Eighty percent of marketing is done locally, and 20 percent on a national level.

While it can be easy to find potential members who have used other gyms, finding people new to working out is trickier. “The biggest challenge is finding people who haven’t used a facility before,” he says.

Content marketing helps inspire those people to join. A team comprised of in-house designers and outside agencies work together using brand guidelines to design materials. An online toolbox gives them access to templates to keep creative consistent across the brand’s communications efforts, which include 80 to 90 email campaigns per month, about 60 percent of which are based on behavioral triggers.

The internal database is powered by a single customer view marketing automation system from Acteol, which the head office uses to pull data from the membership and health systems as well as the website for campaigns.

“One of the first opportunities transforming our business from bricks and mortar to online was the ability to standardize and streamline products and procedures across the business, while still ensuring contracts and regions had a localized ability to influence income generation,” Mayer notes. “We can now easily slice the data we hold internally, and also look at how we use our current data to attract similar potential new members.” 

A Gladstone CRM system helps the brand pull leads out of the database based on the types of information people are requesting about facilities. “The biggest issue is making sure that once someone has joined, they’re setting out to do what they want to achieve,” he says, noting that Everyone Active’s systems integrate with third party devices like FitBits to set challenges and goals for members, and give them badges to encourage progress. “Communications are designed to help encourage them.”

London-based digital agency Mediablaze helps with ecommerce tracking to help determine online conversion rates and which pages are engaging users, versus which have high drop-off rates.

Video content for social channels is tailored to different aspects of Everyone Active’s audience. For example, families with children are interested in more educational content, while more motivational content resonates with more serious athletes and folks with serious fitness goals.

Content tends to be short and punchy, Mayer says, noting videos feature everyday people to make goals feel attainable. The sweet spot for new members is people in their mid 20’s to mid 40’s, who are looking for a gym for the first time, or looking for a place to take their family for exercise and entertainment. Brightcove’s platform is used to power video marketing management.

For the future, the goal is for Everyone Active to become a 360-degree business for health needs year round, offering services for not only working out but related needs like weight loss and quitting smoking. “We want to make it easy for folks to achieve what is possible,” Mayer says. “Working with HR and employment benefits directors on partnership deals will help us get a better view [into opportunities].”

“We’re building a national framework that allows localized content to attract new members and help convert the undecided."—Tim Mayer, head of commercial and digital for Everyone Active

“We’re building a national framework that allows localized content to attract new members and help convert the undecided."—Tim Mayer, head of commercial and digital for Everyone Active

While it can be easy to find potential members who have used other gyms, finding people new to working out is trickier.

While it can be easy to find potential members who have used other gyms, finding people new to working out is trickier.

Right Place,
Right Time

Automation helps Blue Ridge engage
retailers ready for a change

Why They Are a Master of Martech: A multichannel approach powered by marketing automation helps Blue Ridge connect relevant content to retailers and move them towards cloud-based solutions.

Thanks to online competition from digital upstarts big and small, retail is a challenging game in 2018. Having the right stock in-store to serve customers what they want when they want it is crucial if they want to survive. Supply chain management app Blue Ridge Global has a challenge similar to its customers: pinpointing the moment when prospects have a need, and pouncing on it.

Blue Ridge’s solution helps retailers and distributors spot changes in customer demand before they happen, to help them have the right inventory in the right locations. The sales cycle runs seven to 12 months, as the industry moves from on-premise software deployment to cloud technology. An annual cloud subscription can run from $50,000 to $150,000.

Todd Craig, CMO at Blue Ridge, describes the company’s martech strategy as evolving. Sixty to 70 percent of Blue Ridge’s marketing budget is devoted to martech. As this is an older industry, creating a compelling marketing story can be a challenge, he says. “No one wakes up in the morning and says they want to change their supply chain system.”

Today, just about any organization in B2B or B2C is focused on creating great content and an engaging customer experience. The one thing that a marketer can’t typically create is a way to pinpoint the event that compelled someone to start looking for a new system. For one company, it might be that their stock is too low and they have empty shelves. For another, it might be that they are losing money because they need to liquidate overstocked items.

“Our job is to be close to the compelling event,” says Craig, noting the company works with Arketi Group to connect in those moments. “We need to stay in front of prospects with relevant content.”

The strategy to get there is multi-faceted. In the U.S., there are about 8,600 possible companies that are prospects for Blue Ridge. Lengthy whitepapers used to be effective in engaging targets, but today, more concise four to six page executive briefings help pique interest. Video has also been useful to help the company create a personality for the brand and humanize the issues related to the supply chain.

“We don’t have a lot of conversations that begin on social, but if we’re not showing thought leadership there it will take us out of a deal,” Craig says, noting the user base is comprised of predominantly older, more senior executives. Social media isn’t a primary communication channel for the brand right now, but it is a place Blue Ridge needs to be strategically.

“Right now, content needs to be about thought leadership,” he says. “Amazon is gobbling up everything around wholesalers and retailers. How do we empower them to be relevant in [the age of] the Amazon effect?”

The overarching strategy is to surround a prospect company with information as it considers supply chain solutions. Outreach from lead development reps, combined with account based marketing techniques, retargeting and email help Blue Ridge get close to that all-important compelling event.

Blue Ridge works with Bombora to identify intent data about prospects in market, funneling that information through a Pardot marketing automation system coupled with Salesforce CRM and Terminus to manage account based marketing interactions. “The goal is to create a long-tail nurture cycle,” he says.

Prospects in different streams receive different content and targeting, based on online search behavior, content they’ve consumed or what emails they open. A piece of content on “Seven Steps to Inventory Optimization” might be right for one prospect early in the consideration process, while others might be tagged as closer to making a decision. “We don’t want to overwhelm people, we want to power more relevant conversations” says Craig. “We can dial it up or down, [depending on need].”

It helps salespeople to know what is going on in the background, as they engage a prospect, he continues. “I want [reps] to be able to see that a prospect read this executive brief, or watched that video, so when they pick up the phone [to call a prospect], they can be 50 percent more prepared for that discovery call.”

“Our job is to be close to the compelling event. We need to stay in front of prospects with relevant content.”—Todd Craig, CMO, Blue Ridge Global

“Our job is to be close to the compelling event. We need to stay in front of prospects with relevant content.”—Todd Craig, CMO, Blue Ridge Global

The overarching strategy is to surround a prospect company with information as it considers supply chain solutions.

The overarching strategy is to surround a prospect company with information as it considers supply chain solutions.

Funny Business

No joke: AI gives Second City
insight into B2B opportunities
with ticket buyers

Why They Are a Master of Martech: A coordinated CRM strategy helps the improv company build engagement with prospect accounts

Humor and marketing isn’t always an easy combination. What one person thinks is funny might not hit the mark with another—or worse, offend their delicate sensibilities. But for Second City, going for the laugh is built into its DNA.

Brand recognition varies for the improv theater depending on a person’s age and where they live, says Marilyn Cox, vice president of marketing and CRM for Chicago-based Second City. Those in the Midwest know it well, while some people best identify certain performers with the company, like classic “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV” alumni Bill Murray and John Candy, or more current comedic powerhouses like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

B2B is a great opportunity for Second City, but the awareness isn’t always there for Second City Works, the professional services side of the house. “It usually takes a few steps to get people aligned with why Second City would do corporate work,” says Cox. “We need to explain how we work with brands.”

Up until about a year and a half ago, Second City didn’t have systems in place to understand its customers. “We would find that folks had been coming to our theatre for 30 years and we weren’t honoring and recognizing that relationship. We needed to make a change.”

To make its aggressive revenue objectives a reality, the brand realized that a significant technology investment was crucial. The brand wanted to understand its audience, and respond to them in meaningful ways.

“We respond and engage with our customers no matter what the feedback,” Cox says, noting that people’s reactions to comedy can be varied. “It can be tricky, because we don’t apologize for our content.”

People who have been to the theater on multiple occasions might receive a gift, such as a Chris Farley pin or Second City branded items. Those who noted in feedback that they enjoyed a particular concession item like soft pretzels might get a gift card to enjoy more of the treat on their next visit. “Yes, And,” a book of lessons on improv and creativity written by Second City execs, is used to engage people who note they came to the theater with business colleagues.

The company uses Salesforce CRM on both the B2B and B2C sides of the house, from ticket transactions to the Second City Works training center. “It gives us a 360 view across the entire organization.”

For B2B, revenue attribution is looked at as leads through the pipeline, to track conversions back to the lead source. On the B2C side, because of the multitude of channels where ticket buyers come into contact with the brand, activity is a little more difficult to gauge.

Nudge AI is also used to identify data connections, to identify opportunities from ticket buyers and to use transaction data to identify business associations. “We can understand before someone steps into the theater who they are and what they do,” Cox says. “It enables our sales organization to have more rich conversations and be more proactive.”

A report is run every morning, to see who is coming to shows and pinpoint if they are associated with prospect accounts. If so, the sales team can reach out in an unobtrusive way, such as picking up a round of drinks for their table.

“We show them we value the relationship, and we leave it at that,” Cox says. “It starts the conversation so in a few days the salesperson can circle back and have a conversation about our corporate work.”

“It usually takes a few steps to get people aligned with why Second City would do corporate work. We need to explain how we work with brands.”—Marilyn Cox, VP of marketing and CRM of Second City

“It usually takes a few steps to get people aligned with why Second City would do corporate work. We need to explain how we work with brands.”—Marilyn Cox, VP of marketing and CRM of Second City

Guests who have attended multiple shows at the theater—like the current Gaslight District revue—are recognized with a small gift, like a Chris Farley commemorative pin or Second City branded merchandise.

Guests who have attended multiple shows at the theater—like the current Gaslight District revue—are recognized with a small gift, like a Chris Farley commemorative pin or Second City branded merchandise.

The Right Dose of Engagement

Personalized web content is the
right prescription for Surescripts

Why They Are a Master of Martech: An integrated ABM strategy enables Surescripts to reach healthcare decision makers.

Anyone who has tried to get a doctor’s appointment quickly knows medical professionals can be hard to reach. Healthcare IT company Surescripts is using personalization to get medical professionals’ attention.

Surescripts supports e-prescription systems for pharmacies and hospitals looking to create comprehensive patient information centers. The company serves four primary customer bases—pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, healthcare technology vendors and hospitals. According to the company’s 2017 National Progress Report, this includes 1.47 million healthcare professionals and 233 million patients, representing 71 percent of the U.S. population.

Breaking through the clutter is a constant challenge, says Vince Giglotti, director, interactive marketing and advertising at Surescripts. As more and more of the prescription process becomes electronically automated, pharmacies and hospitals need to know patient eligibility, coverage and benefits immediately. Educating customers on the benefits of getting this data in real time and enabling authorization electronically is crucial.

Surescripts is using DemandBase’s AI website solution to help serve personalized content for account based marketing campaigns, based on the visitor patterns of similar companies. The ABM efforts have increased time on site by 30 percent and improved bounce rates by 88 percent. The company is able to personalize any area based on an IP address match. For example, if a hospital is a prospect for real-time prescription benefit service, the company can serve up information on how our solutions within their existing electronic health record system can help improve medication adherence and patient care while reducing costs.

“Or, if a [local in-person] user group is coming up, we can promote that,” Giglotti says. “We can target to unique audiences with different goals and perspectives.”

The DemandBase system is integrated with Google Analytics, and going forward the company plans to increase integration with other facets of its martech stack such as Salesforce and Hubspot lead nurture forms. “We envision it all working together,” he says.

A number of marketing channels and techniques are used by Surescripts. Social is helpful from a thought leadership perspective, Giglotti says, noting paid social has generated significant traffic for the National Progress Report whitepaper, which gives annual updates on the types of prescription transactions its networks have processed. On the email front, Surescripts is getting more sophisticated in its strategy, moving to more triggered communications as it moves deeper into implementing marketing automation.

For marketing, he says, ROI should be judged on how efficient a particular tool is and how it can help demonstrate marketing’s value to the organization.

“It’s important to demonstrate impact on a holistic level and not just be seen as a cost center,” Giglotti says, noting the company is looking to improve tracking of leads through the entire purchase cycle. “We’re looking at engagement and lift both pre- and post-campaigns.”

As for next steps, the company is moving more towards a true ABM pilot for the pharmacy benefit manager target audience. “At this point, the technology is almost secondary until we know the sales teams goals for the segment,” he says. “We’re in the real early stages.”


“We’re looking at engagement and lift both pre- and post-campaigns.”—Vince Giglotti, director, interactive marketing and advertising at Surescripts

“We’re looking at engagement and lift both pre- and post-campaigns.”—Vince Giglotti, director, interactive marketing and advertising at Surescripts

Paid social has generated significant traffic for Surescripts' National Progress Report whitepaper, which gives annual updates on the types of prescription transactions its networks have processed.

Paid social has generated significant traffic for Surescripts' National Progress Report whitepaper, which gives annual updates on the types of prescription transactions its networks have processed.