GM Nameplate Modernizes Marketing and Empowers Sales by Embracing Act-On
- Act-On’s integration with MS Dynamics saves 520 hours of data entry annually
- CRM Dashboard empowers sales by giving them valuable insight into prospect activity
- Ability to segment audience and personalize content increased revenue and website traffic
129% INCREASE IN INBOUND TRAFFIC FOR 2016
Like many manufacturers, GM Nameplate relied on more traditional marketing practices to reach their audience. But Cynthia Schulte, the company’s senior marketing manager, saw how marketing automation could streamline her work and strengthen her collaboration with sales, so she replaced her Email Service Provider (ESP) with a single instance of Act-On that included sub-accounts to support the company’s seven divisions. The move transformed the global company’s approach to marketing by increasing overall sales and marketing productivity and providing the intelligence the business needed to understand their buyers’ behaviors and ultimately convert them into satisfied customers.
Cynthia Schulte was eager to bring marketing automation to GM Nameplate (GMN). As the senior marketing manager for the global custom manufacturer, she is responsible for promoting the company’s ability to design and build everything from labels and display screens to electrodes and circuit boards. She engaged her prospects and customers with a multi-channel approach and implemented it with an ESP, but was hamstrung by their limitations.
“We were using iContact, which is essentially an email program,” Cynthia said. “It didn’t support all our marketing initiatives, so our efforts were somewhat fragmented. And it didn’t connect to our CRM system, so tying activity back to our overall strategy was impossible.”
The ESP also limited marketing’s ability to collaborate with sales. Her team ran a slew of email campaigns, webinars, and special events, but had no way to track and share the results with GMN’s reps. And sales would often email customers directly through Outlook — a time consuming workflow that didn’t allow them to track the email sends as part of activity history.
“Not knowing how our buyers were responding to our campaigns made our sales reps less effective,” Cynthia said. “And using Outlook to communicate with even small segments of prospects and customers was tedious, which made our reps less likely to reach out to them.”
“Implementing Act-On was simple and fast. It was up and running in two weeks, and we had campaigns in place within a month.”
Senior Marketing Manager
Cynthia knew marketing automation would help, but working for GMN presented two challenges. The six divisions she oversaw were using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but a seventh – whose marketing was led by a colleague – was using SFDC, so the platform she chose had to easily accommodate both systems. And like many manufacturing companies, GMN often favored traditional approaches to marketing, and sometimes resisted change. “Having the company embrace modern marketing tactics required a shift in mindset,” she said.
Despite these challenges, Cynthia knew it was in GMN’s best interest to find a platform that would streamline processes, empower sales, and make her team’s workload lighter. So, she forged ahead and began her search for the right marketing solution.
Cynthia and her team considered a range of options, including Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua, and Pardot. And they reviewed each one thoroughly – scouring their websites, reading reviews, and sitting through demos. But Cynthia ultimately chose Act-On for its power, ease of use, and the fact that it seamlessly integrates with both Microsoft Dynamics and SFDC.
“After looking at all the features, Act-On was the clear winner. And knowing we could use Act-On across our business was crucial,” Cynthia said. “The other vendors essentially ignored the fact that we were one company with different divisions and were asking us to buy two separate licenses, so in addition to being the best fit product, Act-On was far more reasonable in price. The fact that Act-On could accommodate us told me I was in good hands.”
Cynthia’s faith in Act-On deepened when she saw how quickly the company onboarded her – and got the systems setup and integrated to CRM. “Implementing Act-On was simple and fast. It was up and running in two weeks, and we had campaigns in place within a month,” Cynthia said. “If it weren’t for a few delays on our end, it would have been ready even sooner.”
“Before Act-On, we had to manually enter lead information into our CRM and had no way to see how all our touchpoints interacted,” said Cynthia. “Now all the information we capture automatically goes into Microsoft Dynamics, and a sales rep can look up contacts and see every email they’ve received, every trade show they’ve attended, and every exchange they’ve had with our company. This insight into prospect behavior makes sales more effective, particularly when they’re working with larger accounts and meeting with stakeholders they may not have had any interaction with.”
“Using Act-On to drive all our marketing programs is helping us get ahead of our competitors and become a leader in our industry.”
Senior Marketing Manager
In addition to helping them work more intelligently, Act-On allows both sales and marketing to continuously optimize their work. “Act-On rolls up all this data into a single dashboard that lets us quickly assess the effectiveness of our activities,” Cynthia said. “The feedback is immediate and actionable, and the interface is so easy to use. If you can use a computer, you can use Act-On.”
Act-On delivered everything Cynthia and her team needed from marketing automation. First and foremost, it saved them time – 520 hours of data entry per year.
It also boosted their productivity. “Act-On has astronomically increased the number of campaigns we run, and we can repurpose the most effective ones, so we don’t have to create as many from scratch,” Cynthia said. “Providing an archive of templates for sales ensures their emails are brand consistent and makes us all more efficient. And training new employees is simple because the software is so intuitive. I can give someone a brief overview and they can take it from there.”
The benefits to sales have been just as valuable. “Act-On’s integration with Microsoft Dynamics has united our efforts with sales. The platform allows them to be more autonomous, and the insight it provides makes them more knowledgeable and effective,” Cynthia said. “Empowering our sales staff has been one of the greatest wins.”
Cynthia and her team are also working smarter – and generating better results. “Act-On makes segmenting our audiences easy, so we can create custom content that’s more relevant to recipients,” she said. “When we implemented Act-On, we saw an increase in both revenue and website traffic. We have also seen a continuous, year-over-year rise in inbound leads. In 2016, they increased 129 percent.”
At the core of all these gains is a deep trust that Act-On staff will be there when Cynthia needs them. “One of the best things about Act-On is their customer service,” Cynthia said. “Anytime we have a problem or don’t know what to do, we call them and they fix it. Every member of my team has given their customer support rave reviews. And for a company our size, that’s really, really important.”
While Cynthia is grateful for all the ways Act-On supports her work, the most far-reaching benefit may be how it’s helped GMN transform its approach to marketing. “Manufacturers are often leery of breaking the mold, but Act-On made it easy for everyone in the company to see the value of marketing automation,” Cynthia said. “Using Act-On to drive all our marketing programs is helping us get ahead of our competitors and become a leader in our industry.”
About GM Nameplate
GMN supports customers through every step of the manufacturing process. From prototyping through delivery, each customer is assigned a dedicated support team to seamlessly move programs through production.