Not long ago the Templeton & Company marketing team found itself juggling six different programs to manage its marketing needs. The multiple systems required hours of tedious manual entry and didn’t integrate with each other, so none could provide a comprehensive picture of results. Templeton decided to move to an integrated marketing automation system. Because the firm is a Microsoft Dynamics Partner, a solid integration with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform was the must-have feature. Templeton & Company began by having conversations with several potential partners.
“We liked the experience with Act-On from the first phone call. It was such an apples-to-oranges comparison (in a good way) to what we had been dealing with, with other vendors,” said Sarah Parker, Templeton’s chief marketing officer. “Act-On laid it out cleanly and neatly for us. Responsive people were there every step of the way to answer questions. In a previous experience with another vendor, the Microsoft Dynamics integration was an additional fee and the process was arduous. Act-On’s integration is included in the pricing, and it’s simple, seamless, and one-button easy.”
Julie Weil, the company’s marketing manager, noted that consolidating to one robust platform saved money. “We were able to bring our budget numbers down because Act-On provides so many different automation services that integrate with our CRM system. There’s the integration of GoToWebinar, website analytics, landing pages, forms, and more. There’s so much there that we can get from one system; that was really a huge selling factor for us.”
Act-On’s native integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables automatic, bi-directional synchronization between the two systems. Act-On helps the Templeton marketing team attract, capture, and nurture prospects. It also lets the team convert sales ready leads directly into Microsoft Dynamics using triggers they set up in Act-On, such as emails opened, webinar registration and attendance, whitepaper downloads, and website visits. Sales consultants can access Microsoft Dynamics to get real-time information, including prioritized leads and activity history for leads and contacts. “Our sales team gets freedom and independence with that knowledge; they think Act-On is great,” said Julie.
Sarah and Julie see marketing automation as an integral part of the shift taking place in professional services. “The industry is starting to recognize the value of creating demand,” said Sarah. “Marketing automation makes it possible for professional service providers to identify customers, anticipate their needs, and offer solutions in a timely and targeted way.”
As a professional services advisory firm, Templeton also frequently recommends marketing automation solutions to its clients. “If they need CRM integration, we tell them about Act-On,” said Sarah. “Act-On has been in the [Microsoft] Dynamics CRM space longer than some of its competitors and has a seamless look and feel. It’s a no-brainer for us to recommend it.”
The Act-On platform has proven to be a true time-saver. As an example, before Act-On, a team member would have to manually manage contact information and responses collected during webinar registration. “Even if people clicked through things and filled out a form, we had to manually add that data into a CRM program,” said Julie. “It’s easy now. The entire process is automated. I can go in and track who’s registered and follow up with people who attended or didn’t attend. This functionality has given me the time to focus on other strategic elements of our program.”
The team has begun nurturing leads, charting out a campaign of successive email drops and automating it. They’re also uploading recorded webinars to the Act-On media library and gating them. This allows them to do campaigns to drive traffic to the recording and capture contact information. “We’re building this automated pipeline that runs so seamlessly that it really frees up our time,” said Julie.
Sarah and Julie say Act-On has cut the time spent on marketing programs in half – which also contributes to the bottom line. “If you add everything up, Act-On is saving us approximately $10,000 a year,” Sarah said.
Sarah and Julie handle marketing for both Templeton & Company and Templeton Solutions; they have separate social media accounts for each organization. With a previous automation solution, they could not set the account on a site to publish to, so all posting was manual. A press release for Templeton & Company, for example, would require manual posting on three or four different sites.
“Now, with Act-On, it’s simple,” said Julie. “We open the social publish feature, put in our content, select which account or accounts we want it to go to, and distribution is done automatically.”
“We use Act-On to follow the response to marketing activities, such as reaction to a press release or how many website visitors we’ve had as a result of various campaigns. Everyone from our managing partner to our sales professionals can go in and see everything we’re doing. Act-On helps us look good,” said Julie.
This visibility extends to individual buyers. For any given prospect, the team and the executives can see which emails have been opened, which content assets downloaded, which web pages have been visited, and which forms submitted.
“Using Act-On helps us to be a part of the pursuit process,” said Sarah. “We can get notification when a hot prospect is on the website or looking at an executive’s CV, for example, and pass that along to the appropriate party. Act-On helps us be more engaged in the day-to-day operations that make the company tick. It has transformed how we work, and it’s making a real impact on the results we get.”