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26 CATEGORY 14: Best lead nurturing initiative


racle Corporation is a global technology giant. From its early beginnings with a core focus on databases, its rapid growth and acquisitions over the past 30 years mean it now offers hardware and software solutions for every aspect of its clients’ business.


The campaign for Oracle’s supply chain management (SCM) business, which took place from June 2009 to May 2010, aimed to generate UK sales of SCM solutions to both existing Oracle customers and new accounts. It sought to align sales and marketing, and combine their strengths through a nurturing programme. This would take a cross-account view and offer an enlarged ‘footprint’ for sales through content, events and relevant prospect/customer insight based on behaviour and past intelligence.

Boosting the lead Focusing on 150 priority accounts (but continuing to communicate to the wider supply chain community), the campaign targets were to generate: • 12 new ‘A’ leads – a project meeting opportunity was identified that warranted the lead being passed directly to sales to follow up (if sales did not upgrade to a pipeline opportunity then the lead was passed back to The Marketing Practice (TMP) for nurturing.

• 20 new ‘B’ leads – a prospect was interested in meeting with/speaking to Oracle based on campaign material. The meeting was held with a subject matter expert for the initial conversation. The lead then had the potential to develop into a sales opportunity after further nurturing.

• 50 new ‘C’ leads – a good conversation with a senior contact with relevant responsibilities was had around the campaign material. The next action was identified but required further nurturing.

The SCM solutions are big strategic investments, which can radically change a company’s approach to sourcing and logistics. The target audience was therefore complex, combining both tactical managers within operations and logistics, but also strategic executives within supply chain, finance and in some instances IT. The other major challenge of selling SCM solutions was the long sales cycle – sometimes two or more years – and the need to secure high-level buy in. It was crucial to clearly explain the benefits of such a

significant investment of resources and effort. This programme was therefore aimed at both influencers and decision-makers with a clear message that resonated at both levels.

Personalised programmes TMP devised a year-long nurture programme to ensure that target accounts received several communications, each with a different focus and message, but clearly within the same campaign (in terms of both appearance and content). The first step was to identify target accounts and build a robust contact database. To ensure this was comprehensive, TMP worked closely with Oracle’s sales and marketing teams. This stage was repeated regularly, to refresh the target list with updated intelligence. Campaign activities were extensive and wide ranging. They included a webinar – organising prominent industry keynote speakers and Oracle experts, followed up by TMP calling attendees and no-shows. A live event was also hosted with target contacts invited and followed-up afterwards to progress to opportunity status. Event discussion was written-up and used with the wider community. In addition, a DM ‘blotter’ in the form of an A3 double-sided road-map was sent out promoting a smarter supply chain. This was used as both a DM campaign tool and also for sales to use in face-to-face meetings.

Further campaign activities included a sponsorship package for a third-party event – ‘Extended Supply Chain’ – which utilised VIP passes for identified prospects, and

B2B Marketing Awards 2010 -

followed up with attendees and non- attendees of workshops. A private dinner was held around the Extended Supply Chain event to meet other relevant delegates. A line of business campaigns were also rolled out that took a specific challenge and proposition to relevant groups of people within the target accounts, such as ‘New Product Innovation’ or ‘Transportation Management’. These highly focused campaigns integrated DM, emails and telephone calls. In addition, corporate content - utilising materials produced by Oracle were pushed out to the community to support a cost effective approach to the campaign. Interactive online Christmas cards – highlighting the events calendar for the coming year were also sent out. Each touch-point was supported by telephone nurturing by TMP. The caller was highly integrated with Oracle’s sales team, providing and receiving prospect intelligence on weekly calls, and daily interactions with account managers. Emma Greene, marketing director of ERP applications at Oracle, commented, “This campaign combined solid creativity with sustained engagement that was crucial to keeping Oracle SCM front of mind over the long sales process. This is a great example of real-world B2B nurture marketing that ultimately produces strong sales leads and demonstrable ROI. This campaign was a success thanks to The Marketing Practice's creativity and understanding of not just a complex product set but also the motivations and pain-points of a very distinct audience.”

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