An ambitious UK based ISV had developed its initial product suite and had some initial engagements and early sales. It was looking to scale its sales of Information Management solutions, primarily through the Microsoft Partner channel and needed a way to accelerate its growth in order to seize the market opportunity that SharePoint 2010 opened up. It had no in-house marketing capability and as a Microsoft partner with no certified competencies, had no obvious route to engage with Microsoft. However, it recognised the importance of these requirements and knew that these were both specialist areas for XLR8 Marketing and therefore contacted us with a view to seeing how we could help.
The initial deliverable was a two-day Channel and Marketing planning workshop where we reviewed the market opportunity, analysed the competitive landscape, defined core propositions and channel partners, to determine the go-to-market strategy and how best to leverage the Microsoft channel. The workshop enabled us to prioritise the relevant markets, define the marketing tactics and build the action plan to execute on the marketing strategy. Being a startup business, they needed to carefully manage their marketing budget and costs commitments. The most cost-effective and flexible solution was to outsource their marketing requirements and therefore XLR8 Marketing was engaged to deliver a full marketing service on their behalf within a fixed monthly fee, including:
- Strategy and Planning Services – marketing planning, market research, operational reviews/ project management and action plan management to deliver a joined up marketing strategy
- Demand Generation – Campaign development and delivery, lead nurturing, pipeline management and development, reporting and CRM administration,
- Microsoft Relationship Management including joint offer development, joint events and account-based client engagement and business development
- Content Development – Copy writing and graphic design for collateral development including white papers, products datasheets, case studies/ win stories, online content updates eg: news/events
- Events planning and Management – Webinars, External Event Management/ Logistical support, event collateral, audience generation
As a result of the joined-up marketing strategy, the company was quickly able to develop targeted campaigns supported by relevant collateral and within a few months had built a pipeline in excess of £8M of qualified opportunity. XLR8 Marketing also used its knowledge and relationships with Microsoft to quickly establish joint propositions and to accelerate engagement with key Microsoft Enterprise accounts, including planning and delivering joint customer events and targeted joint campaigns.
The initial contract was extended and over an 18 month period, the company revenues grew 5-fold, to a scale where they could financially support full time, in-house marketing resource. XLR8 Marketing was able to help transition the marketing function in-house to ensure continuity of pipeline management.