With tens of millions of small and midsize enterprises in the world, why is it so hard to get their attention? Finding new customers is among the most difficult challenges any partner faces, regardless of market size.
The difficulty often lies in marketing the right content to the right targets and having the right tools to manage and track your progress, according to Matt Gawn, sales and marketing manager at ISB Global, a London-based SAP partner.
ISB Global has long believed in its story — helping customers solve waste and recycling challenges by delivering clean, smart solutions that save both money and the environment. Getting people to listen wasn’t so easy. Especially 10 years ago when the world was in the throes of a financial crisis and customers were only spending money on IT, Gawn said.
Around 2009, SAP introduced a rudimentary marketing platform. It was free, so ISB Global gave it a shot. A decade later, the platform — now known as SAP Virtual Agency — is still a big part of the partner’s success.
“SAP provided us with a tool for reaching an audience very quickly. Every lead at the time came from email marketing through the platform. It allowed us to reach our target audience and communicate touch points cost-effectively with minimal resources,” Gawn said. “And it allowed us to start to engage with prospects. In a very short time, we were quite well-known within the sector and had relatively stable sales from those marketing efforts.”
New Features Make Marketing Simpler
Today, SAP Virtual Agency continues to help ISB Global find new ways to reach prospects, attracting new business and new opportunities, Gawn said. The platform allows ISB Global to develop a campaign from scratch, execute on it, and gain valuable insight from the results.
“Even if you’re not familiar with it, you can put together a campaign very quickly. Some incredibly complex marketing engines are out there. SAP Virtual Agency is built for anyone,” he said. “SAP Virtual Agency has come a long way over the years — with improvements around usability, reporting and getting communications out, for example. It works exceptionally well.”
The ongoing addition of new features and improvements is a big reason why ISB Global still uses SAP Virtual Agency, Gawn said. He pointed to the latest services, Lead Essentials and ContactAI, as examples of innovation that continue to help his company’s marketing efforts.
“Lead Essentials adds more power to the SAP Virtual Agency platform. It simplifies functionality and allows you to drill down to specific segments and extract better data,” Gawn said. “I’m excited to hear about ContactAI because the ability to increase knowledge around contacts will make things easier for us. We have a specialized solution so the ability to go deeper and enrich our data would be great. Plus, the fact that it’s embedded in the SAP Virtual Agency platform makes it even easier.”
Improved Analytics, Increased Opportunities
SAP Virtual Agency’s improved analytics capabilities let you do more with the leads you get, Gawn said. “It’s all part of an integrated program now and creating an omni-channel presence,” he said. “You can create the multiple touchpoints that you need to engage the right audience, the right prospects.”
ISB Global plans to continue leveraging the various resources of SAP Virtual Agency well into their second decade together, Gawn said.
“I see they have new social posts you can leverage. They’ve created out-of-the-box content that’s easy to use. It’s quick and easy to track those activities,” Gawn said. “In addition, the SAP Virtual Agency support team has been a big help. They have been instrumental ensuring that our campaigns go out according to plan and managing any challenges we face along the way.”
Overall, Gawn said, the speed, ease of use, and functionality outweigh any other marketing platform the company has tried to date.
“I would absolutely recommend SAP Virtual Agency to other partners. It’s simple to put together a campaign to send a message, track, repeat and get that prospect to engage,” he said. “It takes some commitment, discipline, regularity, to get into a routine, but if you focus on things like campaigns, it’s really easy. It’s definitely helped our business.”
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