When new CEO Graham Hutchings joined the company his main aim was to find a way to create predictable leads to fill ProfitAbility’s inconsistent pipeline, with a view to growing the business. He approached Twenty One Twelve at the end of 2020 to discuss his options.
ProfitAbility’s target market is incredibly hard to reach. Namely, it is Learning & Development Directors within enterprise level organisations across the globe. ProfitAbility is selling a very good solution but they have numerous competitors (both direct and indirect) within the space.
rofitAbility’s marketing has revolved around physical events in the past, something which has worked well in driving qualified leads. For each event ProfitAbility pays to attend/sponsor they acquire 20 meetings with relevant individuals, for a cost of £5000 - equating to a cost per lead of £250. They would usually close new business from around 1 in 5 of said businesses at a CPA of £1250. Not bad for a company which bills upward of £20k per project.
ProfitAbility’s problem was that they couldn’t scale beyond the 3 to 4 relevant industry events they attended each year. They were struggling to fill pilot programmes of their software consistently. They needed more from their marketing.
We discussed creating a strategy revolving around the AIDA framework – awareness, interest, desire, action – which we successfully use at 2112 to create journeys that guide high-ticket prospects from being brand/product unaware into warm sales-qualified leads for our clients.
We also discussed the difficulty in reaching their ideal target market and the challenges facing that target market, before comparing Profitability’s marketing strategy with the strategies of their competitors.
From this initial research we realised that people in Learning & Development roles tend to be naturally curious and open to new learning experiences, but, at the senior level we were targeting, the learning experiences had to be exceptional to interest them.
We realised that while ProfitAbility’s product was exceptional, nobody wanted to trial it for fear of a hard sell. Instead, before offering trial sessions, we needed lighter touchpoints to gain trust and showcase social proof.
So we decided to leverage ProfitAbility’s greatest asset to achieve this – their network. By working alongside ProfitAbility’s clientele and wider network, we designed a series of exclusive, peer-led learning experiences. This started off with panel discussion webinars, featuring renowned individuals who were also ProfitAbility’s clients. This also involved leveraging the CEO’s personal connections, which created worthwhile conversations with major brands such as Danone and Deloitte.
By keeping these webinars ‘closed door,’ new prospects were invited into vibrant discussions featuring 20 or so of their peers. This created a safe space for them to share and discuss ideas. By keeping it high-end we were also able to leverage the discussions to help us create unique thought leadership content: with the attendees’ permission, we took qualitative data either from recordings or post-webinar surveys.
We used this content to consistently communicate with ProfitAbility’s audience via newsletters and LinkedIn accounts. This data also formed the basis of a 60-page whitepaper we created in conjunction with ProfitAbility.
The whitepaper was used as a hook, positioning ProfitAbility as a trusted authority in the space, which gave them a lower maintenance approach to lead generation. This meant that they no longer needed to rely solely on webinars.
We distributed the whitepaper via LinkedIn direct messaging and advertising. For every 100 messages we send, we average 9 requests for a copy – 2-3 of which subsequently lead to meetings.This includes obtaining meetings with senior individuals at Coca Cola, Microsoft and JustEat.
Now, ProfitAbility’s lead generation funnel follows the trajectory below –
Moving forward, we will continue to steal the march on ProfitAbility’s competitors by creating more unique content and driving insights from their clientele and wider network, which is rapidly growing as more individuals wish to join the exclusive club we have created.
There are also plans to expand this remit to include physical, thought-leadership events – as we know face to face events are better at driving action than webinars, although both have their place within the mix.
“I have been a client of Twenty One Twelve’s for over two years so far and they have consistently been a pleasure to work with. They are extremely responsive, organised and intelligent. They communicate clearly, are led by evidence and manage projects highly effectively. Crucially, they are not afraid to challenge a process or plan to ensure better outcomes.”