Connect Marketing: Building Strong Lead-Generation Pipelines for Tech Companies

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Neil Myers, President, Connect MarketingNeil Myers, President All of Connect Marketing’s clients face a common challenge—creating a world-class lead-gen pipeline. The full-service, 360-degree marketing firm works with high-tech and med-tech organizations that have robust tech, sales, and even marketing skills but struggle with gathering leads and quickly and efficiently moving them through their channels.

For 31 years, Connect Marketing has been helping clients meet this pipeline challenge through its five core disciplines.

• The company’s strategic arm provides messaging, persona development, and market research.
• The public relations team works with traditional media in consumer, business, technology, and vertical segments.
• The social wing manages earned and paid social media programs (not just Facebook and Twitter, but also LinkedIn, forums, social advocacy, and key influencers).
• The studio team produces websites, videos, infographics, e-books, and other creative content.
• The inbound marketing team orchestrates these four disciplines to produce campaigns that attract and nurture leads, shorten sales cycles, and increase close rates.

Over the years, Connect has helped more than 400 companies build their pipelines. Here’s the story of one of those clients.

Connect Client Experiences 7,500+ percent Compounded Annual Growth

Los Angeles-based Snappt is a real estate tech company that identifies and prevents application documentation fraud for the residential rental market. Snappt was a new company with very little website traffic and virtually no pipeline when it approached Connect.

Within three months, Connect helped Snappt implement HubSpot, facilitated messaging, developed key personas, and built a new SEO and conversion-optimized website. At the same time, Snappt generated a wide range of content—including an explainer video, a survey about application fraud, three customer case study videos, an e-book on fraud, and a host of blog posts and contributed articles.

Guided by Connect, Snappt’s lead-gen campaigns included pillar and landing pages; paid search and social; outbound emails; and paid editorial. The client followed up by introducing automated workflows and sales sequences to nurture leads through their buyer journey.

The results were immediate. Snappt grew an eye-opening 43 percent per month (that’s more than 7,500 percent compounded annual growth). It now boasts five of the top six property management companies as clients.

“Connect Marketing put us on the map,” says Snappt CEO and Co-founder Dan Berlind. “They understood we were a small start-up with limited funds, but gave us world-class service to build us into the market leader they believed we could be.”

3 Reasons Clients Choose Connect Marketing

Three things set Connect apart from its competition and attract clients like Snappt. The first is a deep level of experience. Founded in 1989, Connect’s partners offer an average of over 25 years of experience, while senior staff members bring more than 15 decades of marketing expertise.

We help build a relationship of trust first and help prospects realize that our client is a leader that provides reliable information

Clients also choose Connect because of its focus on high-tech and med-tech companies. After 31 years, Connect knows their space, media, influencers, and technology inside out. Those core markets are exploding, with high-tech companies rebuilding as they adapt to digital transformation, cloud computing, mobile computing, and remote work. Med-tech companies seek adept marketing support as they experience a surge in the healthcare market and the impact of COVID-19.

The third factor that draws clients is Connect’s deep understanding of B2B companies and their distinct market needs. Consumer-market techniques don’t work on B2B markets.

These core attributes have enabled Connect to work with both the largest brands (Symantec, ServiceNow, Siemens) and the hottest emerging start-ups (more than 500 to date and counting).

Connect Tailors Each Client’s Lead-Gen Strategy

Connect’s client tenures are much longer than the industry average of 24 to 36 months. The company was Symantec’s U.S. agency of record for 25 years and F5 Networks’ for 17 years, and it has been most clients’ agency of record for more than 10 years. Connect attributes customer loyalty to its “team players” culture, extensive experience, and its fixed-price, project-based approach that eliminates surprises.

Most organizations have only a rough understanding of who their ideal prospects are but haven’t stopped to learn much about them. That’s why Connect starts a typical client engagement with personas, messaging, and buyers’ journey mapping to understand what content each buyer is likely to consume, when, and in what channels. A full marketing and SEO audit ensures that a client’s HubSpot house is in order.

“Before we get into where we should go, we need to level set on where we are now,” says Connect President Neil Myers. “Clients come to us because they’re not converting enough leads, and sales aren’t getting the right leads at the right time. The question is why—our audit always uncovers some surprising answers.”

Connect tailors each client’s lead-gen strategy to their specific gaps and goals. Most clients need help with awareness, conversion, and nurturing. Connect measures the results to finetune the approach.

Awareness: Leveraging Connect’s decades of experience in B2B, clients quickly see results by targeting the right “watering holes” to reach potential prospects early in the buyer’s journey.

“We specialize in personas that are hard to target,” says Myers. “Developers, for instance, see right through marketing jargon. You need to serve them content with context—this means you avoid open ad exchanges and deliver only non-intrusive content when they’re in the right headspace.”

To do so, clients need the right content mix. Connect offers just about everything – thought leadership articles, blogs, videos, e-books, webinars, guides, technical papers, surveys, case studies, and full search-optimized websites.
Conversion: Providing the right content to the right person at the right time is what makes inbound marketing so effective. Connect finds that most websites are substandard in this regard—they attract traffic, but they do not convert enough traffic into quality leads.

“Many companies come to us because, ‘We need help with our website.’ Sometimes, this is just a simple reskinning of a site. More often, it’s a full website redesign because the current site does not convert,” explains Myers.

While hundreds, or even thousands, of minute adjustments can be made to websites, Connect starts with simple, small changes that help a client immediately increase site visitors’ conversion to leads. From there, Connect follows an “always be testing” approach to website conversion optimization.

”We are investing continually in our ability to produce top content”

“If clients increase their conversion rate from one to two percent, they can effectively double their leads each month. That is why we focus on constantly optimizing a client’s site. We love content, but the answer isn’t always more content. Sometimes, the need is better conversion.”

Nurturing: Connect’s B2B clients typically start with some bad habits. For instance, a new lead comes in, and, no matter what they converted on, the sales team calls the lead right away.

“This is like proposing marriage on the first date. It almost never works,” says Myers. “We help build a relationship of trust first and help prospects realize that our client is a leader that provides reliable information.”

That’s where Connect’s nurturing campaigns come into play. Rather than calling right away, Connect creates nurturing campaigns to steadily share new, valuable content based on where prospects are in their journeys. Nurturing campaigns can include opt-in email workflows, consistent drip campaigns, LinkedIn Inmail and Sales Navigator outreach, remarketing ads, and tailored sales sequences by business development reps for those further along in their journey.

“It’s during nurturing that prospects often narrow their search and eliminate companies that do not offer the information they require. The key is to vigilantly segment campaigns and to be helpful, not intrusive,” adds Myers.

Measuring: Connect’s “always be testing” approach means it’s continually measuring campaign results. While metrics are reported and formally discussed every month with the client team, they are monitored weekly and daily. Connect must deliver qualified leads to sales—but only when they are genuinely sales-ready. Measuring ensures that Connect delivers only the best leads to sales. This process is refined and repeated until perfected.

“In digital marketing, if you’re not trying new things, you’re failing,” says Myers. “We believe in failing fast, eliminating activities that are not delivering ROI, and putting more budget behind what’s working.”

What’s Next?

Connect continues to increaseits content development capacity. “Content is the rocket fuel of lead-gen,” says Myers. “We are investing continually in our ability to produce top content.” The company is expanding its demand-gen capabilities into related areas such as sales alignment and enablement. Connect also keeps hiring experienced lead-gen veterans to manage its high-growth clientele.
- Aaron Pierce
    October 27, 2020
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Top 10 HubSpot Consulting/Services Companies - 2020

Connect Marketing

San Francisco, CA

Neil Myers, President

Over the past 31 years, Connect has helped more than 400 companies make their mark on their markets through itsfive divisions which provide a comprehensive set of marketing services.Three things set Connect apart from its competition. The first is extensive experience. Founded in 1989, Connect’s partners average 25+ years’ experience, while senior staff average 15+ years. Second, Connect focuses on high-tech and med-tech companies. After 31 years, Connect knows the space, the media, the influencers, and technology. And, finally, Connect focuses on B2B companies. The needs of B2B markets are different, and consumer-market techniques don’t work.These core attributes have enabled Connect to work with both the largest brands (Symantec, ServiceNow, Siemens) and the hottest emerging start-ups (more than 500to date and counting)