For the inaugural post of the Scribe Blog, The Scribe Integrator, I am not going to blog about integration. Rather, I am going to blog about marketing. Specifically, I’d like to brag about the great work our team has done with the many changes we’ve made in the five short (long?) months we’ve spent together. True, this blog will typically focus on data migration and integration topics. However, since the marketing team is putting the blog in place we’d like to kick it off by sharing with you what we’ve been doing.
Having rolled into New Hampshire in mid-January I found myself with a lot of time to improve my snowboarding technique and rebrand the company. Luckily, with Scribe we’re dealing with a company that has a good reputation and great relationships with our customers and partners. With that as an enviable starting point we decided to focus on polishing the presentation and getting the message out to more people. To do this we quickly began work on a number of branding related initiatives.
In January, with Microsoft’s Convergence trade show around the corner, our team had to first focus on creating a new look and messaging for this all important annual event. As anyone who has been to a Microsoft conference knows, these events are extremely well done and expertly produced. In our business Convergence is the place to be if you want to connect with Microsoft Dynamics Customers and Partners. With the help of the talented Bob Klingler from Atomic Fusion in Atlanta we got a snappy new look and logo. Heather and Brian, a.k.a. the Scribe marketing team, got everything rebranded and shipped in time for the conference. At first I didn’t think that would be possible but they did it. Beyond the glitzy new logos on the booth, collateral shirts, cards, etc we also changed the Scribe tag line to the simple ‘Configurable Data Migration and Integration’. In a world full of technology noise we felt it important to just come right out and tell people what we do (without using words like robust or synergy). We make great migration and integration solutions that are configurable; if you can remember that we’re doing well. Our philosophy is that no one should have to work to understand what we do. Especially in the context of trade shows where a passerby may only give you a glance it is important to simplify the message.
Once we had created a shiny new trade show presence it was only a matter of time before we applied that to our web site. In our industry having a clean and clear web site is expected but not often achieved. I tend to develop an impression of a company based on their site so I can only assume others do as well. Since all sites tend to lose their luster after a while it was time to start from scratch with Scribe.
The creation of a web site is something I’ve done many times now and each time it pays to step back and think about what you want to accomplish. We decided to focus on several areas:
- Content and Customer Evidence
- Analytics and Automation
It helps to think about web site navigation in terms of the interests of your visitors. Persona is a word that is used to talk about users and that is what we designed around. To begin, we wanted the main flash animation of our home page to quickly tell the visitor what we do and provide some detail around it. Visitors now see our newly simplified tagline supplemented by a longer description of what we do. At the same time, as many people are visual learners, we created a flash animation that depicts integration processes and moves through scenes where various endpoints (applications and data sources) are integrated together by the Scribe solution. Now that the visitor knows what Scribe does we wanted to make sure that the navigation options provided an obvious next step based on his or her interest. To accommodate this we created a multi-level menu structure that expands when the visitor hovers over the main menu options. For example, when the visitor hovers over the ‘Products and Solutions’ link the menu expands so he/she can easily move to the topic of migration, integration a solution overview, etc. From those second level options the user may decide to dive deeper into migration as it relates to Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce. The goal was to provide general to specific places for the visitor to land and become educated. Once landed we keep the navigation handy on the left bar along with a constant group of important ‘what’s next’ options should the visitor want to learn more or interact with us.
With a simple and logical navigation structure in place we turned our focus to content. Needless to say, content is a never ending work in progress. When you are in the business of integrating organization’s critical data and business applications one type of content is very important: Customer Evidence. Luckily, Scribe has thousands of happy customers and the sales team had begun profiling Scribe projects well in advance. With many professionally written Customer Success Stories already in existence we wanted a way to communicate information on the many projects our products have enabled. This lead to the creation of our Project Success Snapshots page which allows visitors to see real integration scenarios grouped by industry, endpoint (i.e. data source or business applications being integrated) or business problem. The idea is that if the visitor can easily understand what we do and see that there is experience, competence and credibility behind it then we will be in a position of advantage.
The final area we focused on for the web site is perhaps the most important: Analytics and Automation. Like any self respecting marketing person should do we implemented Google Analytics. It is easy to do and provides a ton of great data from page views to bounce rate (did the visitor get bored and quickly bounce away from our site?) to unique visitors. Because the industrious development team at Scribe has created the fantastic OpenMind site which includes a Knowledge Base, Forums, Product Ideas with Community Voting and Product Roadmap areas we have multiple Google Analytics codes implemented to see the traffic on either or both sites. Having good analytics on our site is important but we also wanted to make sure the site gave our marketers the tools we need to be creative. This is where marketing automation comes in.
Pardot Marketing Automation
Most of us are familiar with email marketing. You create a fancy HTML email, send it to a bunch of people and then analyze who opened it and what they were interested in. At a previous company I founded, c360 Solutions, we used email marketing to launch a product we’d built called Forecast Manager. Once we analyzed the clickthroughs on the launch email we saw that a high percentage of recipients had clicked on a screen shot of a single feature of our product. We turned that feature into a product of its own and it was a big seller (Activity Summary). As much as I probably owe to email marketing we wanted to do more than just send emails here at Scribe. To this end we implemented Pardot Marketing Automation www.pardot.com package that tracks and analyzes visitor activity, enables simple form creation, profiles prospects (without overburdening them with requests for data), sends emails and more. As marketers you don’t want your creativity to be impeded by the technical challenges of getting a form working or seeing who filled it out. With Pardot we have simplified all that while being able to give our sales team better information about the people that browse our site and fill out our forms. The obvious goal of all this is to generate more, better leads, and have an increased chance of closing those leads based on our knowledge of their interests. Since we sell exclusively through a channel we realize that our investment in Pardot not only benefits us but allows us to generate leads for our channel as well. This will be a primary goal of our marketing team going forward and our marketing automation strategy will enable it.
I look forward to sharing more marketing topics with you later but I’ll end this for now by thanking the Scribe marketing team, Heather Robinson and Brian Hanson, for the great work they’ve done over the past five months. Keep watching as we continue to improve and innovate.