Everyone is going to have their own story to tell when we reflect on the start of 2020. As marketers, we will talk about the enormous role of digital and how it impacted our jobs and our businesses. Some of us had to find the quickest way to move to a digital offering, and others had the challenging task of improving their business strategy.
As Global Marketing Manager at LiteracyPlanet, my small but agile team faced this situation. LiteracyPlanet is an online gamified learning resource designed to help school-aged children of all ages and levels.
When families faced life in lockdown and children began distance learning earlier this year, parents needed support, resources, and tools to help manage. According to UNESCO, 80% of children globally (1.37 billion students!) were studying at home due to school closures last March to control the spread of Covid19. And several surveys of parents showed they felt stressed, burnt out, and found supporting their children at home difficult. We saw how our product filled a needed gap in the market. There was a window opening up, and we had to jump through it. Literacy Planet was primed to help families in lockdown support their children’s learnings.
Tip 1: Increase your advertising when it’s advantageous
With the slashing of marketing budgets heard around the world, social media and online advertising costs dropped suddenly when the lockdowns began. The cost of impressions on Facebook went down due to fewer advertisers, yet more people were spending time online. People clicked on billions more Facebook ads in March than they did in September, according to data analyzed by Kepios. This meant we could take advantage of decreased ad costs to boost awareness of our offering, empowered with our Marketo Engage solution.
Tip 2: Respond to customer needs
Customer behaviors were changing as a result of events occurring globally, and we could help – something marketers must do to support business continuity.
To do this well, we also needed to develop and execute the right programs to capture leads, place them in relevant lead nurturing campaigns, and ultimately pass them to Sales (at the right point in time). That’s a lot of work for a marketing team of three, but we managed it with speed and confidence with Marketo Engage. We acted quickly and efficiently to develop a Facebook campaign that would attract a broad audience: parents, teachers, and school leaders who wanted to keep students engaged and performing.
Tip 3: Always maintain sales alignment
We developed our plan in one day, set it up in Marketo Engage on day two, and spent the third-day executing tests. At the same time, we worked with our Sales team to align the process and make sure they were prepared for the influx of leads.
When leads clicked on ads and came to the site, they were scored based on their referral source and what content they consumed. They were then added to different nurture streams, depending on where they were in the buyer journey. When a lead signed up for LiteracyPlanet’s free trial subscription, the information collected identified if they were a parent, school leader, or teacher. Also, it signaled their readiness to move to Sales for account creation. All sales qualified leads are followed up by a phone call and set up with free access.
Tip 4: Use Net Promoter Scores when working in high volume
To make sure that the Sales team could use their time most effectively, Net Promoter Scores identified when a lead was ready to convert. When a lead hits a certain score threshold, their rep would be automatically alerted, thanks to our Marketo Engage integration with their Salesforce CRM. Through this integration, we can monitor customer engagement and use dedicated lead nurturing campaigns to feed them the right content as they onboard with LiteracyPlanet.
Tip 5: Adopt your lead nurturing campaigns to help customers before, during, and after the sale
A new stage of lead nurturing helps novel users make the most of LiteracyPlanet’s gamified activities, tools, and resources. Emails provide guidance and instructions for the platform, showcase how it can support English Literacy schools for children of different ages, language skills and learning levels. This reduces churn at the end of the free trial, giving teachers the confidence to use the program to its full functionality while providing parents with a sigh of relief and support for their children as lockdowns continued.
Tip 6: Keep monitoring and adapting
Our marketing maturity has given us an advantage over other online learning platforms: we operate as a small team, but we compete at a higher level through our ability to assess our customer needs and changing behaviors. As the pandemic continues, we understand these needs will change, so we monitor customer needs and changing market conditions: from what channels to target, what content will best help parents and schools, to how to adapt our lead nurturing campaigns.
The result of hard work and nimbleness
As a result of our efforts, we maximized costs reductions up to 96% in advertising costs, to attract and convert a large number of leads and pivot our marketing efforts to the needs of customers focused on helping children around the world. In April this year, we more than tripled our leads against our target as a result. And in our home market of Australia, we achieved 150% of our revenue target. Much of this wouldn’t have been achievable if we didn’t have the right processes, trust between our teams, and the technology to help execute our strategy.