Centralizing your MarTech stack is a daunting task, particularly for large organizations with divisions around the world used to working independently from each other. But operating in silos can takes its toll on productivity, revenue, and innovation.
James Moat saw this firsthand when he became Avery Dennison’s Director of Global Digital Corporate Communications and realized the company was using disparate instances of Act-On. He consolidated them, and his efforts reduced licensing costs by 37%; streamlined marketing and communications operations; and increased the company’s ability to generate and nurture leads.
The shift also enriched collaboration and empowered his teams to more fully leverage the platform. We spoke with James about this transformation and the effect it’s had on Avery Dennison. James has left Avery Dennison since this interview occurred, he is now Vice President of Global Digital and Ecommerce at Targus.
This conversation has been edited for brevity.
Act-On: Can you tell me a little bit about Avery Dennison?
James Moat: Avery Dennison is a global leader in adhesive technologies and labeling solutions. Consumers may not recognize our name, but they encounter our materials in everything from clothing, wine bottles, and packaged foods, to road signs, wall graphics, and retail displays. We’re present in nearly every industry.
Act-On: What is your role there?
James: Officially, I’m the Director of Global Digital Corporate Communications and responsible for the company’s digital strategy, web portfolio, and social media. But my real mission is to empower employees and integrate businesses. When I worked for Disney, they emphasized collaborating effectively, and I brought that here. I tear down silos and eliminate red tape, so people can come together and deliver results.
Act-On: That can’t be easy, in a company as large as yours.
James: It’s not. We’re a $6.1 billion company with more than 25,000 employees located in more than 50 countries around the world. And we have nearly 50 global websites.
Working as a united team is a challenge in general, but even more so for marketing because of our wide range of products. Customers looking for vinyl to wrap cars are very different than those who need labels for perishable foods, so our communications have to be highly targeted. And our buying cycles, in some cases, can last up to 1-2 years, which means campaigns might have to run for long periods of time.
Act-On: A lot of enterprise companies face the same complexity.
James: When your business is this broad, you have to develop clear personas for every product line, understand their pain points, and nurture them with highly targeted content. Anything less is a waste of time.
The Benefits of Consolidating Licenses
Act-On: That’s something marketing automation can address, and I know Avery Dennison had Act-On in place when you joined the company. What challenges did you encounter?
James: Each business unit was managing their own license, which was operationally inefficient and expensive. And no one had visibility into another group’s campaigns, which increased the possibility that an approach that failed in one part of the company might unknowingly be repeated in another. The inverse was true as well. We had no mechanism to share and replicate success.
We also weren’t leveraging the full platform. One of Act-On’s most powerful features is the ability to create automated programs, but we didn’t have any running. We were missing a tremendous opportunity to capture and nurture leads.
Act-On: You really turned things around. Where did you start?
James: The first thing I did was to consolidate our licenses and leverage Act-On’s federated model. Instead of disparate instances spread throughout the company, we established a parent account for my corporate team, and child accounts for each of the business units.
That adjustment was pretty straightforward, but it triggered a sea change. Each business unit could work independently, while allowing my group to retain oversight to ensure brand consistency. Employees who previously had to manage the individual licenses were now free to develop marketing communications, which added more value to the company and was a much better use of their time. We even saved a great deal of money. In the first phase, we reduced our overall licensing costs by 37%.
Automated Programs Enhance Lead Nurturing
Act-On: That’s incredible. What came next?
James: Once this new model was in place, we started to leverage Act-On’s automated programs to create a more robust process for generating and nurturing leads.
Our corporate website gets about 20 times more traffic than our product website, so I put Act-On forms everywhere. We’d capture information about our prospects, then enter them into an automated program that nurtured them for six months by sending them relevant content, based on what we learned about them. When they were ready, we’d pass them to sales to nurture them further.
Act-On: What kind of results have you seen?
James: It’s been remarkable. Running automated programs in Act-On has tripled our email open rate and helped us generate so many leads that our biggest challenge has been finding the resources to follow up with them quickly. And like I said, we’re not a business that can easily generate leads because we have very specific audiences. But being able to send valuable content on a regular basis turned that around.
And the best part is Act-On lets us replicate these same experiences for every single person that comes into the top of our funnel, year over year, without any effort. And the online experience we deliver is consistent. It’s a beautiful thing.
Act-On: Are there other parts of Act-On you’ve leveraged?
James: We use Act-On’s reports to help us understand what our buyers care about, and lead scoring to track and quantify their interest, so we know when we should hand them off to sales. We have Act-On integrated with Salesforce, which gives sales easy access to that same insight.
Act-On: I know that increasing efficiency was one of your goals. How has that improved?
James: Act-On is very user-friendly. You have pre-defined templates that I can just pull in and use on the fly – maybe I’ll change the color or something small. And even when I’m building an email from scratch, the editor is wonderful. It always works, there’s never formatting issues, and I can customize the look and feel in any way I can imagine That’s really powerful, especially when you have creative people in play that have interesting ideas on how to deliver our content and branding.
I also love Act-On’s active contact pricing because we only have to pay for the contacts we use, which is great because I’m not penalized for simply growing the size of our database. And before we consolidated our licenses, a business unit would have to pay extra if they exceeded their monthly number of allotted contacts. Now, if one unit engages more buyers, I can simply re-allocate contacts from another unit to cover the activity. That kind of efficiency saves us real dollars.
The Power of Collaboration
Act-On: You said part of your mission is to tear down silos and bring people together.
James: That may have been our greatest win, and Act-On was the catalyst. I started pulling together Act-On users from throughout the company each month to share highlights of their work – new creative they developed, campaigns that performed well, etc.
The meetings have really enriched and united our teams. People are excited to exchange best practices and see new examples of what Act-On can do. And they love being able to leverage each other’s success – everything from a template or subject line that performed well to a complex strategy that delivered good results. It’s been inspiring.
Act-On: What role do you see Act-On playing in Avery Dennison’s future?
James: The platform will help us generate more leads and greater savings as we bring in additional business units. And our relationship with the company will accelerate our growth. Act-On’s support is amazing and their entire team provides us feedback and insight that helps us meet our challenges.
I’ve always believed in having partnerships, not vendor-client relationships, and Act-On is a true partner. They’re part of the Avery Dennison family, and just as committed to reaching our goals as we are.