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Lee Odden

MarketingProfs B2B: Case Study on Email, CRM & Social Media

By Lee Odden     B2B, Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Other Events, Social Media

I decided to do a little liveblogging at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and picked this session: Why email CRM and social media have become the tools of modern B2B marketing where a case study was presented by Genworth Financial.

Joel Book from Exact Target introduced the case study:  Creating brand advocates is as important as creating brand awareness. [I would say more important. An advocate proactively shares the brand experience]. Funny, Google “brand tattoos” to see some serious brand advocate activity.

How are marketers using digital media to engage?

  • email + crm
  • email + social

Email and CRM help to automate interaction. Automation is the key because marketing staff and budgets are not increasing. In order to continue deliver personal and timely messages to customers, you need to automate.

Social participation brings customers together and provides an opportunity to include a call to action to join a newsletter.

Brands are aligning themselves with a specific cause, to add to their brand image.

Genworth Financial case study:

Genworth sells their insurance products through brokers, not directly to consumers.

Reduced marketing resources along with the expectation to have successful marketing campaigns let them to realize that more is not always better. It’s more important to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. Genworth understood the need to personalize communications and to offer in multiple mediums.

They started their email efforts with a business unit and have now expanded to 20 businesses. In 2006 100k emails were being sent and now 3.79 million emails are delivered as part of their program.

Personalized messages are critical to their email marketing. Email newsletters are personalized for the customer and according to the Genworth sales person. Open rates are 7-10% higher when the email comes from the sales person.

Email has realized cost savings as an alternative to print direct mail. Most new product introductions are launched only via email.  Emails were highly personalized and customized, which is very expensive to do in print. $3 million in print and direct mail cost savings were realized in 2009 for one of their marketing efforts.

Increased productivity is attributed to email and Genworth is able to use dynamic content and salesforce.com integration to create 700 highly customized emails every Friday.

Email – high ROI. Example: A co-branded campaign delivered highly personalized emails with Genworth customer logo, contact info and was distributed on behalf of Genworth customers (insurance brokers) resulting in a 12% increase in sales ($ millions) with only a $420 spend.

Efficiency of data integration and dynamic content. Customers used to receive 1-5 emails for each product. Now they only receive 1 with all info consolidated. Genworth used to have 4 FT employees and now only need one to manage email. This is as result of integration with salesforce.com and using exacttarget.com.

Timeframe to get completely setup including installation and testing: 1-2 months.

Creating self serve email templates for sales teams helps them become more efficient.

Enhanced reporting and metrics are available with data integration based on salesforce.com custom objects. Ex: what type of customers open and click the most. What’s working and what’s not.

Email Integration with Social Media has been tentative because of working in a regulated industry. However, the need to better engage with customers motivated them to move forward, albeit, tentatively.

One example is an email newsletter and blog. The blog is hosted on Active Rain (a real estate community). The newsletter gives a snippet of information and then links to a longer form of content on the writer’s blog. On the blog, readers can make comments and ask questions.  A loop is created by including a call to action on the blog to subscribe to the e-newsletter for people that get to the blog via other means.

A Facebook fan page was used as a destination for a national brand advertising campaign designed to recognize caregivers.  Genworth used online advertising, PPC, SEO, social advertising and Genworth producer and consumer web sites to promote. They now have over 7,000 fans. Most successful was Facebook advertising.

Email was used to drive traffic to Facbook and inspire participation and engagement. More awareness and education for products are expected to increase sales.

It’s essential to deliver content in the formats and mediums that your customers want. Integrating data with dynamic content in a combined Email, CRM and Social Media effort can help marketers become more efficient, effective and profitable.


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