Returning to Act-On from Pardot empowers Flatirons Digital Innovations to fuel their demand generation efforts.

Industry: Business Services
  • Deployed Act-On quickly to support build out of new marketing infrastructure
  • Able to fully leverage the platform and use critical features thanks to Act-On’s excellent customer support
  • Improved ability to grow pipeline by easily building and executing lead generation campaigns emphasizing automated email marketing campaigns
  • Equipped with the resources to easily capture, manage, and segment leads and contacts due to Act-On’s tight integration with Salesforce CRM

The Challenge

Flatirons Digital Innovations (FDI)is a boutique firm that provides consulting and implementation services for organizations with complex content and data-driven challenges. The majority of FDI’s clients operate in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, energy, and the public sector. The firm also serves customers in media and entertainment, publishing, and other business sectors that generate high volumes of content/data.

FDI specializes in strategic projects that are too large or complex for their clients’ internal teams or that internal teams don’t have the bandwidth to address. FDI uses a detailed methodology to bridge executive expectations and technical deployment, emphasizing continuous validation against client’s articulated requirements. They have many return clients because their methodology yields a tangible return on investment. FDI clients get the strategic guidance and technical expertise of a large consulting firm at a lower cost.

Julie Fouque is the Director of Marketing at FDI. As a one-person marketing department, she oversees strategy, branding, lead generation, public relations, events, and more for the organization. Because the buying team of FDI’s prospects include multiple business units, she has to ensure that her marketing strategy addresses the needs of all key stakeholders within an organization, which is no easy feat.

Julie had used Act-On in a prior company, before a corporate cost-savings initiative led to a transition to Pardot. Pardot was difficult to use and didn’t have all the capabilities the marketing team needed to support their efforts. When she came to FDI, this experience motivated Julie to identify a marketing automation platform that would enable FDI to easily execute their marketing strategy, meet their lead generation goals, and provide customer support―all at a competitive price point.

The Solution

Julie had been an Act-On user, before Pardot was acquired by salesforce. When Pardot was folded into salesforce, high-pressure sales with a promise of cost savings caused a switch.

While management focused on cost savings, the move to Pardot created operational issues for the marketing team.

“We couldn’t execute our daily work in Pardot without the help of a developer, whom we brought on as a contractor and sunk considerable resources into. The cost-savings justification for the switch backfired, and we were stuck in a 3-year contract, unable to perform basic marketing automation without a technical resource.”

According to Julie, one of the pain points she experienced using Pardot was how difficult it was for her to create emails without the assistance of a developer. Furthermore, Pardot’s customer support was equally lacking, preventing her and her team from efficiently resolving issues they encountered while using the platform.

“Marketing campaign managers couldn’t create emails without the developer to do them in HTML. This slowed us down and limited our creativity with email outreach. Pardot also had a ‘corporate’ support process that pushed us through their online system. You couldn’t speak with a person. To solve any issues, we had to go through our developer who had to open tickets — a process that was extremely inefficient.”

“Act-On’s customer support team are thorough and committed to solving any issues. Their focus on the customer is a distinct reason why we selected Act-On.”

Director of Marketing

When she joined FDI, one of Julie’s first tasks was to implement a marketing automation system. Rather than use Pardot (the system used by FDI’s parent company), Julie knew it was time to search for a new solution. Along with support from her CEO and the marketing staff at FDI’s parent company, she decided to evaluate Act-On and Hubspot. Together, they participated in detailed demos with each vendor to review the features that were crucial for FDI to take their digital marketing efforts to the next level.

During the evaluation process, Act-On’s ease of use and strong functionality made our platform stand out and convinced FDI decision-makers that it was the right tool to support their marketing goals.

“Having been away from Act-On for a few years, I requested a demo and spent time asking the Act-On sales rep detailed questions about functionality critical to our needs. I also arranged for a demo for the marketing team at our parent company so they’d have insight into Act-On. They were impressed by the demo and the evaluation that revolved around usability and supported my recommendation to invest in Act-On.”

Flatirons Digital Innovations drives impactful digital transformation

“Act-On is like an old friend. You know each other so well that you can get things done with minimal effort because it’s just easy to use.”

Director of Marketing

The Result

Since they were a newly established subsidiary without a marketing automation platform, it was crucial for FDI to be up and running with the platform as quickly as possible, so they requested a custom/accelerated onboarding package. Thanks to Julie’s previous experience with Act-On and our excellent onboarding and customer support, FDI was up and running with the platform in just a few weeks.

Act-On’s team worked with FDI to not only make sure they were able to use the platform but also had the features they needed.

“After hitting the goals for the immediate rollout, our dedicated customer support specialist helped track any outstanding setup items over the next few months. What’s more, we found that one module we had included in our contract (the ABM module) wasn’t what we needed and switched to the Data Studio module. The flexibility the Act-On team showed was just phenomenal.”

Implementing Act-On has enabled the FDI’s team to work toward their main goal of supporting lead generation and pipeline growth for the organization. In particular, the organization has benefited from the platform’s integration with Salesforce, which allows them to easily create lists and segments, track emails from Outlook using Act-On Anywhere, and enable sales to see all engagement with their leads from within salesforce. To further support pipeline growth, Julie is also using Act-On to nurture leads through automated programs, create landing pages and forms, host webinars using the GoToWebinar connector, track data and insights, and much more.

In addition to Act-On’s functionality, Julie also appreciates the efficiency and quality of care provided by our customer support team, which she notes is crucial to her success as a department of one. She notes that Act-On’s customer support is dedicated to helping customers work through any issues within the platform, even when they don’t have an immediate answer or solution. “Act-On’s customer support and follow-through are really outstanding, and it’s a distinct reason why we selected Act-On.”

FDI’s team has also gotten on board with leveraging the platform and seeing tremendous results. Act-On’s integration with Outlook allows the company’s SDRs and salespeople to easily send and track the performance of their email outreach efforts. “This is a phenomenal tool because it provides insight into what messaging looks like after a lead has been converted and passed on to sales,” says Julie.

Julie hopes that as FDI continues to grow and the organization’s marketing efforts evolve, she’ll have more opportunities to leverage the platform in different ways. Overall, she’s very happy with the way Act-On’s strong and easy-to-use functionality empowers her to bring her marketing strategy to life.

“Act-On is like an old friend. You know each other so well that you can get things done with minimal effort because it’s just easy to use. We got it because it’s reliable and does what we need. No big brand baggage or hype, just a tool with a sincere and dedicated team focused on helping its customers.”

Flatirons Digital Innovations

Flatirons Digital Innovations drives impactful digital transformation by helping clients address their most complex content- and data-driven business challenges through a variety of content services.

Flatirons Digital Innovations drives impactful digital transformation