Case Study: Banking on Results

Custom-built financial services campaign clicks for leading performance management company.

Getting airtime with senior decision-makers is never easy. Internal time and resource expenses often translate into enormously high costs per qualified lead. And when you’re looking to launch into a new market, those costs can become even greater.

After having launched a successful campaign south of the border, a market-leading company was looking for a new approach to introduce their performance management solution to the Canadian Financial Services market.

As a longtime marketing services vendor to the client organization, SMA had provided expertise to its myriad business groups and partners, but had not yet worked with a more recently acquired organization.

“They needed a marketing agency familiar with the Canadian market, so they decided to put SMA to the test to develop and execute an all-encompassing marketing campaign,” explains Ms. Catherine Wathen, SMA’s Director, Client Services.

In a previous U.S. campaign, an Apple iPod was offered as an incentive to motivate respondents to schedule meetings with the company. The intention was to replicate the success of that campaign in Canada, with key differences: cut the cost of the incentive item by almost 90 per cent, and develop campaign messaging and materials that would resonate with the Canadian market.

The end objective: drive revenue by booking appointments for the client organization’s Business Development Representatives (BDRs) with decision-makers in the Canadian Financial Services world. SMA’s approach started with building a topnotch database.

Ms. Wathen says, “ The success of any marketing campaign is determined largely by the quality of the database. We knew that simply purchasing an existing list wouldn’t produce the results we were targeting so we also set about building a list ourselves, which resulted in a high quality, accurate and current database.”

Meanwhile, SMA worked on creative concept development, collateral offers, copywriting, and design and layout elements. Once the campaign launched – with a Motorola H500 Bluetooth Headset as the incentive offer – a teleboost initiative was put into play to increase response rates.

“Follow-up is critical. SMA conducted the first round of follow-up calls, then passed the database over to the BDRs. Soon after, several BDRs contacted me to say they couldn’t believe the high quality of the list – people were actually there, and they were real!” comments Ms. Wathen.

SMA developed a campaign comprising a mix of online (emails, PURLs) and traditional (direct mailer and telephone follow-up) marketing tactics that delivered significant results:

Out of 742 calls conducted by SMA research specialists and the client’s BDRs, a total of 43 meetings were booked, with another 10 requests for future contact. And that resulted in 13 qualified opportunities and almost $700K US in pipeline revenue.

Needless to say, the client was impressed.

The winning combination of online and traditional components even spawned a ThinkTank session at the Information Technology Association of Canada’s (ITAC) Toronto Chapter, which examined the benefits of each approach and the power of a combined online/traditional strategy.

Today, SMA continues to work with this leading technology organization, helping them reach markets locally and across the globe.