From Product to Customers: Ascend 2018

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Golden Clover uses Episerver Commerce, customized to host different templates for the marketing of different kinds of fund-raising products (fixed price, raffles, auctions, donations, and so on). "We assign those products to a category, set up the marketing campaign, attach it to banners on the home-page or to private [by invitation] sub-domains."

Anderson had been involved in an Episerver implementation for a previous project with Rewards Network which didn't come to fruition. At that stage, there had been a vendor selection process. "We compared Sitecore to Episerver, so I was familiar them. I had also used Ektron [acquired by Episerver] when I was at Apartments.com."

In addition to Episerver, Golden Clover also uses Desk.com from Salesforce for customer service, all with a team of about six or seven to build the stack out. Again, like Episerver, Golden Clover sits entirely on the Microsoft Azure cloud, which makes its solution highly scalable. "We really want to make a difference from other fund-raising platforms by our digital capabilities and marketing capabilities," Anderson told me. 

While Golden Clover might seem based on a simple idea, the structure of the concept is actually quite complex. It's B2B when selling its services to nonprofits; B2C when personalizing the donation experience for users; but B2B again when encouraging employers to engage employees in fund-raising exercises (an especially good fit for tech companies with millennial workforces), or when inviting businesses to donate gifts for raffles and auctions.

But the motivation is easy to understand. After years using her CTO skills in business, Anderson has found a way to use those same skills to help give back.

The B2B thing: Joakim Holmquist

As should be evident from this week's coverage, and earlier stories, Episerver's sweet spot is commerce and retail (or eCommerce and eRetail, if you prefer). But as a vendor, it has to concern itself with B2B, using some its own tools in the process. We last caught up with senior director of marketing Joakim Holmquist when he relocated to the States to drive Episerver's north american marketing. He's back in Stockholm now, taking a global overview. And he's getting very interested in intent.

"The golden nugget in B2B marketing, if you sell products or service that go through the cadence of three to five years before you buy something new — like an eCommerce platform — is to figure out who would be a good fit; because they're poking about now, they have a pain point. If you know who those targets are, it's fairly easy to do marketing towards those companies."

Some publishers in the technology space, of course, do attract visitors with a pain point, who are evaluating possible purchases. "It's really valuable for me to get that type of data, and a lot of publishers are not monetizing that opportunity to the extent they could. What are the best mechanisms for deciphering intent online. If you put into a search engine 'I'm looking for the best eCommerce platform,' pretty clear intent, right? If you go to a review site, that's strong intent. For online publications, if you can tailor your content to attracting those who are evaluating, B2B companies will give you money right away." 

Holmquist acknowledges that in North America, Episerver is still not the brand people think of right away. "We have to find ways of identifying those targets that didn't come to us initially, who we can then market to." Holmquist is building an intent engine to identify the most likely accounts. It's a form of ABM, of course. "We're trying to do ABM only where we see signals of intent, not in general. We're pretty forward-leaning in trying to interpret online signals, and then marketing to those companies.

It's not about creating, for example, the perfect webinar (or white paper, or newsletter). "It's about getting the people who would actually be perfect to attend this thing. The value of an email address or leads, in B2B, is grossly overvalued, because if you get people with intent, and you know who they are, then to me that's what's important."


Episerver covered DMN's expenses to attend Ascend 2018.

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