Aptera Case Study

Background

Business technology agency needed to repair failing marketing projects for clients, provide strategy, marketing automation, and tactical execution with a focus on rapid growth.

Aptera is a business technology company and marketing agency with a vast array of service offerings to enterprise-level businesses including web development, business intelligence, cloud computing, inbound marketing, and business development. Aptera had recently shifted focus toward building out the marketing agency side of their service offerings through their status as a Hubspot Platinum Partner.  I was hired as a remote consultant to work with clients and internal staff to provide strategy, automation workflows, and tactical execution. 

The Challenge

Aptera’s largest marketing client had signed on to expand the existing marketing strategy, automation, and support they were receiving from Aptera to also include their vast dealer network. Aptera had been working for months to surface a strategy that would be fruitful for their client, their client’s dealer network, and produce meaningful returns to the department. The ongoing struggle through Q1 created a dangerous strain on the previously-successful relationship and so my priority initiative was the rejuvenation and relaunch of what had become a failing marketing program.

Additionally, the expansion of their marketing agency offerings created a deficit in available employee resources. A top-tier Cisco Gold Partner came to Aptera in need of a complete digital overhaul, marketing strategy roadmap, and growth strategy  for their website, social presence, lead-generation, and trade shows that could be presented to company leadership to win their business.

Strategies

  • Identify process gaps and marketing deficiencies with the existing Dealer Marketing Program to build meaningful, scalable Dealer Marketing Programs that automatically attract, nurture, and enroll new Dealers.
  • Build and relaunch meaningful, scalable Dealer Marketing Programs that automatically attract, nurture, and enroll new Dealers.
  • Administer comprehensive marketing strategy and present to a potential client with contract pitch.

Projects & Tactics

Dealer Program

  • Coordinated weekly micro-discovery meetings with client-side leadership, including Dealer Network owners, to work through client and Dealer needs for a marketing program.
  • Built pricing structure matrix for new programming that was both profitable for Aptera and realistic for the Dealer Network owners.
  • Conducted extensive program gap analysis of existing offerings to identify holes in marketing communications and automation.
  • Architected complex automation sequences meant to attract owners and nurture them through the funnel until they converted into a paying Dealer in the program.
  • Developed a trigger-based content strategy that drove copy for dynamic landing pages, automated drip emails, suggested social media copy, and a blog content repository.

Cisco Gold Partner Client Marketing Discovery & Pitch

  • Led team through the development of a marketing discovery process with weekly-sprint deliverables over an eight-week period that culminated in the presentation of the complete strategy and pitch for new business.
  • In-depth competitor analysis of local contenders with a pulse on national opportunities. Identified weaknesses and learning possibilities.
  • Persona action plans were thoughtfully developed based on data, interviews, and thorough research into their seven different verticals and potential buyers. A trend appeared where many of the various services within each vertical overlapped or complimented another service. These personas were then consolidated into four primary persona profiles with content strategies developed for each stage in the buyer’s journey and where they fell within the decision-making process.
  • Crafted matrixed content and lead nurture funnels to drive personas through their specific buyer’s journey.
  • Wholistic Search Engine Optimization (SEM) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tactics were outlined to bolster performance in local and long-tail search results.
  • Identified conversion points and recommended initial testing to begin conversion rate optimization.
  • Trade show tactics to attract visitors and how to extend the engagement were outlined with trigger-based drip email workflow recommendations.

Results

Dealer Marketing Program

  • Restored confidence and repaired relationships with the largest marketing client through transparency and internal advocacy.
  • Once offered to only 40 dealers, the new program is now being rolled out to their over 3,500 dealers in North America by the end of 2016 and turning a handsome profit for the first time in the history of the initiative.
  • Enrolled Dealer owners saw increases in organic search results with a rise in ranking on local search engines above competitors.
  • New leads were generated from locally-run campaigns launched from the Dealer Network owners themselves rather than only receiving potential lead notifications from the national campaigns ran by the parent company.
  • Dealers grew social media engagement across multiple platforms by an average of +132%
  • Dealer owners became educated in digital marketing which empowered them to pass knowledge along to employees, thereby freeing up their own time to focus on building their businesses while the automation ran.

Cisco Gold Partner Client Marketing Discovery & Pitch

  • Marketing discovery deliverables and proposal resulted in a $150,000 multi-year contract.

Engagement Highlights

Comprehensive Marketing Discovery, Marketing & Digital Strategy, Content Strategy & Planning, Marketing Automation, Blogging, Website Development HTML/CSS

Documentation of New Workflows

workflow sample

Automation workflow documentation is the best way to clarify and communicate the steps and people involved in a sequence which is critical to thinking through all the possible effects if there needs to be a change or new tools introduced. In addition to future iterations, these workflow documents are like gold when the engagement is over (or if I ever get hit by a bus). These documents help the team understand issues and relationships in an easy-to-understand format. These workflows were created in LucidChart

Persona Summaries

Persona Summaries

Personas are a critical part of the marketing roadmap. Just as important as Personas are the action plans that come out of them. A Persona without an action plan is pretty useless. These summaries are the heart of a successful content plan.

SWOT Analysis

swot

The marketing SWOT itemizes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with the current state of the marketing and technology stack to identify strategic opportunities. 

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