Content Marketing Innovation: Stein IAS

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B2B marketing is evolving as rapidly as B2C marketing. But with so much focus on digital marketing among B2C companies, it can be difficult for B2B marketers to benchmark themselves against their peers. Global B2B marketing agency Stein IAS wanted to find an easier way for marketers to compare their digital marketing aptitude to others and more thoroughly understand where they need to improve. So, the company launched its Digital Marketing Maturity Index (DMMI) campaign in March 2015.

“Digital marketing maturity…[is] a burning issue in our prospect community,” says Tom Stein, chairman and chief client officer of Stein IAS. “It's something that people…[are] seeking to understand and make the best progress they can, make the best bets that they can, [and] organize themselves as best they can.”

The DMMI is an interactive tool that allows users to measure their performance against their peers and detect areas of improvement by answering a series of questions. Stein IAS conducted a survey of B2B marketers to assemble the data it needed to create the assessment. The agency worked with Oracle to email a survey to its own database, as well as to the marketing technology provider's. Stein IAS also fielded the survey on LinkedIn and at the World B2B Chief Marketing Congress in Shanghai. It collected responses from 300 chief marketers.

The survey quizzed marketers about their proficiency in four key areas of digital marketing: reach and attract, engage and inspire, nurture and convert, and analyze and optimize. After the respondents answered the questions, they received personalized infographics showing how their digital marketing dexterity compares to others B2B marketers.

But the content creation didn't stop there. In exchange for participating in the survey, Stein IAS promised respondents early access to its DMMI report—a summary of the study's overall findings along with the agency's commentary. Stein IAS also posted the report on its site so any interested marketer could download it by filling out an online form and providing information such as their name, title, company, and contact details. Pairing the survey responses with the data gathered through gated content helped Stein IAS generate leads.

To prove that its DMMI approach worked, Stein IAS based its campaign strategy on the same four areas featured in its report. For instance, for the “reach and attract” stage, the agency promoted its report through email, social, Web, display, and PR. It also used its interactive tool to engage and inspire marketers and encouraged users to try the tool through nurture emails.

The agency is still working on the “nurture and convert” and “analyze and optimize” stages, but so far the results are promising. In addition to receiving media coverage and social mentions, the campaign's emails have generated a 3.14% click-through rate—exceeding the B2B average of 2%—and a 65% conversion rate. Plus, people are spending an average of four minutes on its website, and the company has generated numerous high-quality leads.

Stein says the campaign isn't over. Inspired by its success the agency plans to make this content initiative an annual effort.

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