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Beyond Customer Loyalty: How Strategic Content

Transformed the Bridgeway Brand & Delivered 42%


More Sales Leads Each Month
Our job was simple, get people
in our industry with a need to
know, like and trust us.
Jason Emanis,
Director of Marketing

CHALLENGE
Create a high-functioning
marketing department. Shed
mom-and-pop brand image,
while generating more qualified
sales leads.
SOLUTION
Established foundational
processes and controls, created
a content strategy, providing
valuable education to target
audience, while generating
qualified sales leads.

RESULTS
55% Rise in Demo/Contact
Sales Requests
42% Rise in Avg Qualified
Leads/Month
73% Rise in Content
Downloads
105% Rise in Avg Email
Sends
20% Rise in Web Traffic

Establishing the Foundation to Move Beyond the


Status Quo
In 2009, Bridgeway Software - a recognized and highly regarded provider of
legal services management solutions - was a successful company that had never
made a real investment in marketing. Our founder Pat ODonnell believed that
if you gave customers outstanding service, they would return the favor through
loyalty and word of mouth promotion. He was right; for a while. But as Bridgeway
evolved, Pat recognized the need for its marketing strategy to mature as well. In
order for the business to grow, the marketing team needed to develop a strong
brand, industry awareness, measurable processes, and most of all, leads at the
top of the funnel in other words, it needed marketing.
Pat hired David Samia as Bridgeways Vice President of Product Management and
Marketing to meet this very need. When David joined, marketing at Bridgeway
consisted of myself and one other who primarily focused on administration,
partners, clients, and some trade shows. There was little cooperation or alignment with sales and no integrated campaigns, only ad hoc activities executed
without any way to measure success.
Company leadership tasked David with making the function more strategic
through initiatives like messaging, positioning, and competitive analysis. But
he didnt stop there. To be successful, David knew we needed to establish
foundational processes and controls that would justify our value. A marketing
department wont be around for long if we cant prove its worth, David would
often say. So the first thing we did was to get a handle on our budget. Together,
we mapped what we had, where it was being spent, and used in-house tools

ELEVATING BRANDS, CREATING FANS & GENERATING LEADS

such as Salesforce to start tying marketing activities to


sales opportunities.
We began this process by tracking existing tradeshows.
We used Salesforce to map leads from a show back
to its costs, establishing an ROI model that proved
surprisingly positive. With this foundation, we set our
sights on expanding the marketing program in new
directions which included creating valuable content
that would boost awareness, increase engagement,
and generate leads.

Content, Campaigns, and


CustomerConnect LIVE
My vision of next-gen marketing at Bridgeway began
with a mission; to get in-house legal professionals
who need a business solution to know, like, and trust
Bridgeway. We knew that, at its core, this meant developing content that our audience would love.
And so Bridgeway University (BWU) was born. We knew
that education in corporate legal operations was scarce.
So we decided to fill that gap, develop that education
and become the place for in-house legal professionals
to obtain real-world know-how about running legal like
a business.
We began with webcasts, featuring leading subject
matter experts, including non-customers, as well as
partners, clients, and in-house talent. Soon, my blog
was added to the platform, sharing both new and
curated content relevant to the legal community as
well as a wildly popular maturity model developed by
David and a few in-house experts. Around this time,
David was promoted to lead Engineering as well as
Product Management and I began spearheading the
Marketing team. We began producing white papers,
ebooks, and infographics on a wide variety of topics,
building a library that has attracted over 3,300 contacts to date. While other industries may consider this
number to be small, it is fact significant given that our
target audience consists of small, in-house legal niche
market encompassed by the Fortune 1000 and a few
government agencies.
Fueling the content machine required and engendered
other improvements to our marketing organization. I
created a Marketing Project Manager role, aptly filled by
my colleague Abbey Peckis. She helped me implement

new project management processes, moving from a


reactive to proactive model centered on an editorial
calendar. In addition, she created a brand bible,
which allowed us to achieve greater consistency in
visual and written communication. Though Brandon
Burkman was on staff for several months as our Online
Specialist, we began ratcheting up his activity to include
more frequent email communications, more effective
list management and better use of landing pages and
the forms they leveraged. I also asked he and Abbey
to help increase collaboration with the Sales Team.
Meeting weekly one-on-one with sales also meant
greater alignment and coordination, which lead to a
much better working relationship between the two
departments. Finally, a new market research function,
manned by Eugene Schwartz, ensured that the over-all
Bridgeway team was knowledgeable and up-to-date
with the latest insights on prospects, clients, partners,
and competitors.
Creating Bridgeway University not only provided the
legal community with valuable content, but it also served
to give the Bridgeway sales team much more targeted
and worth-while leads. My team leveraged technology
including Salesforce and Pardot marketing automation
to drive awareness, traffic, engagement, and conversion. But the process required people power as well
as technology. We worked closely with sales to clean
up and organize the lead database, then we defined
and implemented the requirements that resulted in,
not only a marketing qualified lead (MQL), but more
importantly a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). With organized
data and optimized technology, Bridgeways marketing
team ran integrated campaigns across search, social,
email, and web.
The same processes created as much success in person
as they did online. For example, each year, the marketing
team runs CustomerConnect LIVE, a client conference
that has become a benchmark for the industry. In its
20th year, CustomerConnect LIVE provided Bridgeway
clients with three days of training, thought leadership,
and valuable networking that merges Pats original vision
of loyalty-driven marketing with cutting-edge strategy
and technology

ELEVATING BRANDS, CREATING FANS & GENERATING LEADS

More Leads, Better Opportunities, and a Bright Future


Five years ago, David Samia was charged with laying the
foundation for a real marketing function at Bridgeway.
Since then, my team added to that foundation brick
by brick, building the necessary elements needed to
transform Bridgeways approach to marketing.
The results spoke for themselves. The business enjoyed
a stronger brand, greater awareness, increased loyalty, more efficient processes, and most importantly, a
thriving pipeline. KPIs, which were in place and measured consistently, were up across the board. Average
marketing qualified leads (MQLs) rose 42 percent from
2014 to 2015, along with a 55 percent increase in Demo
and Contact Sales requests from Bridgeways website.
Marketing was credited for driving seven wins worth
$2.07M in 2014, with another $4.07M in the pipe as
of June 2015.
In addition, the content marketing strategy paid off
tremendously. As of April 2015, Bridgeway University
boasted over 1,000 downloads, 2,400 webcast views,
2,800 active companies, and 59 opportunities from
leads with an estimated worth of $22.1 million.
Through my commitment to creating and promoting useful, meaningful content, our collective group
increased each key metric of their digital marketing
program, including:
55% Rise in Demo/Contact Sales Requests
42% Rise in Avg. Qualified Leads/Month
73% increase in content downloads
43% more follows on LinkedIn, 25% more likes
on Facebook
20% increase in web traffic
9% increase in both email open rate and
click-to- open ratio
105% increase in average monthly email send
(All stats year over year, 2014-2015)
The qualitative results were equally impressive. Prospects
began approaching Bridgeway proactively instead of
being pursued. The Sales team was armed with not only
more leads, but better leads, qualified through hard
stats like title and company size combined with more
detailed information gleaned from webinar polls, web-

site activity, and content preferences. This information


communicated valuable insight into a prospects pain
points and motivations, and identified opportunities
that might otherwise be overlooked.
In fact it appears as if we might have done our job too
well as Bridgeway Software was just sold to Mitratech in
July. So whats next? Well, Mitratech was smart to hold
on to Brandon and Abbey, two excellent marketers. As
for myself and David, Mitratech already had executives in
our respective roles, so we were the unfortunate victims
of repetitive roles in the combined companies. So while
we are both searching for our next adventure, I know
wherever we land well be marketing with a purpose,
driving excellence, creating fans and demonstrating the
true value of an integrated marketing approach back
to the business.

About the Author


Jason Emanis, formerly the Director of Marketing at
Bridgeway Software, is a marketing leader, elevating
brands and creating
fans all while generating valuable sales
leads. Connect with
Jason on LinkedIn at
http://www.linkedin.
com/in/jasonemanis