Founded in 1999, circle S studio quickly earned a stellar reputation for strategy, design, and connecting people to brands. When the agency decided to build more skills and strength in online marketing, particularly lead generation and content marketing, they brought in Tim Asimos as Vice President and Director of Digital Innovation to achieve those goals. The first thing Tim did was to introduce a marketing automation platform that he’d worked with before — one that he knew would give the agency advanced capabilities.
That platform was Act-On.
“We didn’t choose Act-On just because I had prior success with it,” said Tim. “We did our due diligence and looked at other alternatives. None of them measured up. We chose Act-On because it had flexibility and value that couldn’t be matched.”
One key reason Act-On was the clear winner was its suitability for supporting the agency’s strategic direction. While circle S recognizes the value of maximizing technology to drive client success, the agency also knows that its clients don’t necessarily speak the language of tech. “Marketing automation? That term doesn’t mean anything to most of our clients,” said Tim. One popular vendor the agency looked at would have required circle S clients to go out and purchase the marketing automation software on their own.
“That means you have to sell the client not only on your services, but on the merits of this other technology,” said Tim. “We don’t want to be selling technology; we want to be selling marketing.”
“This is a non-issue with Act-On. Our conversations with prospective clients are about what we’ll do to help the client’s brand and to help their revenues increase, not about what technology they use. We don’t talk a lot about software; when we do talk about it, it’s in the context of how that technology fuels the marketing strategy for the client’s benefit,” Tim added.
circle S found that the client conversations they were having in 2013 – after adopting Act-On – were very different from 2012. The client base as a whole has become more interested in efficiency and effectiveness, and bringing clarity to chaos, especially when it comes to the many channels available in digital marketing. “We talk about the benefits of this all-encompassing tool that can be used for email marketing, lead generation, and social media, all in one place. And the website visitor tracking tool just blows people away,” said Tim.
Because the Act-On platform delivers consolidated functionality, clients are often able to replace existing programs. Not only can it streamline operations, it can also save clients money. By moving from an elementary level of email marketing services to a comprehensive integrated tool, it can bring email, lead generation, lead tracking, social media activities, and metrics into a single platform.
“We’re still a relationship-driven business,” said Tim. “We don’t do sales on our website. But Act-On intelligence helps us track potential leads – and provides us valuable insights to help nurture those relationships.”
Tim points to a recent case to illustrate how insight from Act-On has helped circle S reach out to potential clients in a way that is both targeted and timely. After receiving a notification from Act-On that a second person from an interested company had downloaded an eBook from the circle S web site, the agency knew it had a hot lead and followed up quickly. Not only that, but they knew the potential client was interested in a specific service – web site redesign – and that it was in one of their target vertical markets. circle S was able to use that intelligence to communicate with the prospect. None of that would have been possible prior to the Act-On implementation, because the visibility simply wasn’t there.
Since rolling out its Act-On platform a year ago, circle S is seeing positive results. “The seeds we planted are beginning to sprout. We’re seeing a lot more leads, a lot more opportunities and wins coming in the door.” He attributes the rise in digital activity to a combination of their efforts in content marketing and harnessing Act-On to pull them together. The agency uses Act-On to create landing pages and forms, distribute eBooks, and track website visitors. In fact, since implementing Act-On, the agency has seen a staggering 400 percent increase in its web traffic.
“Our mantra is we want to be our own best case study,” said Tim. “We use our own funnel to show people exactly how we’re using Act-On; I think it gives us a lot of credibility.”
“Every vendor says they’re ‘customer focused’,” said Tim, “but Act-On actually is. We’ve benefited from the Act-On commitment to client service as well as from the company’s on going addition of functionality and features. Act-On has grown 10X since I started with them, and I’ve not felt that their level of service or quality has changed in any way.”
“Act-On has a passion for small and mid-size businesses that it backs up with service,” Tim says. “This is where Act-On is really differentiated from other vendors. This is a company that is powerful beyond its impressive lists of features and functionality.”