CASE STUDY

BlackBerry AtHoc

San Mateo, CA

BlackBerry AtHoc enjoys YoY lead generation gains of over 50% annually over six straight years!

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Situation

When Core and More Technologies began working with San Mateo, CA based AtHoc, Inc. (NYSE:BB), their web presence was good, but not great. Their visibility across major search engines was minimal. Offering a leading product and with a client base which comprised 90% of the United States Department of Defense, their online presence did not equal the excellence that was being achieved across all other areas of the business. So, they decided to take action.

Challenge

With a CRM investment that was being sorely underutilized, no marketing automation solution in place, and a brand-new marketing director leading the effort, the need was not for a marketing agency to come in and design a new website. They also did not need someone to sell them on a new ‘inbound marketing program’ with fancy buzzwords like ‘SEO’ and ‘PPC’.

They needed a company that was willing to partner and grow with them, to build trust, to collaborate and guide them through what they hoped would be an expansion into new market verticals and to show how they could meet consumer demand more rapidly by way of their consistent commitment to product innovation. Along the way, they also wanted to leverage their online presence to help expand partner opportunities and add value for their clients.

Solution

Beginning with a small project with an emphasis upon improving the technical underpinnings of their website, we began showing significant improvements in their organic traffic within a relatively short span. Within six months, we had cleaned up their entire domain and we were seeing 50% increases in overall organic traffic. As a true partner, we arrived at their headquarters in San Mateo to participate in several days of strategy sessions with the aforementioned director as well as the balance of the senior management team. The strategy that emerged from those sessions was nothing short of brilliant, albeit very aggressive and leaving us unsure if we would actually be able to deliver. The bar was raised very high.

Over the ensuing months, we brought to life a strategy that included paid search across Google and Bing, a social media program that spanned all major platforms, and a content marketing plan to support global search engine optimization (SEO) expansion, as well as the execution of the overall SEO strategy. All of this, while at the same time laying the groundwork for full reporting accuracy through their CRM investment (Salesforce). We considered the ability to plug the results into fully traceable return on investment (ROI) model to be crucial. So, at the same time, we spearheaded the due-diligence effort which led to a long-term investment in a marketing automation solution (Pardot).

Shortly thereafter, having established a rock-solid foundation rooted in reporting accuracy and lead-to-opportunity sales efficiencies — it was time to design, develop and launch a brand-new website along with a secure, globally accessible customer support portal capable of storing sensitive and confidential documentation. In building the portal we also had to consider that a client base largely comprised of military personnel from around the globe would need to securely and reliably access the portal while operating form locations where their network and computer settings would be among the most stringent on the planet.

Lastly, as we embarked upon new website builds and additional web related optimizations, we wanted to have the ability to report and act upon visitor trends and behaviors beyond the standard capabilities of Google Analytics, and also to be able to optimize targeted areas of the site on an ongoing basis with an emphasis on improving visit to lead conversion rates. Of this, SourceCube was born! We built a robust reporting platform – that has become one of our flagship offerings. Check it out here.

“We could not be happier with the results that Core and More Technologies has helped us to achieve. Over the years, they have proven themselves to be our top go-to resource for guidance and excellence with all things relating to our digital presence, properties, and overall digital marketing strategy. They truly partner with us, and that clearly makes a tremendous difference.”

-Ly Tran, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry AtHoc

The Results

Keeping it in context, over an initial eighteen month span we built a fully cohesive marketing program complete with granular reporting and factoring for all four P’s of the marketing mix – internally consistent with their organizational priorities and mutually supportive with all channels of the digital marketing strategy. This program became the foundation upon which great things were built. Over the first twenty-four months, we were able to create a consistent and ongoing increase in organic site traffic averaging over 35% on a month over month basis. Again, that was for twenty-four straight months. At the same time, as the relevance of organic rankings and hence domain authority increased, we saw the average cost-per-click of our paid media campaigns trend down. Over time, as this program continued to gain momentum, we saw a 40% increase in click-through ratio (CTR) and a 35% decrease in average cost-per-click (CPC). When we looked back at the annual performance, we saw that we generated 120% more conversions at a 25% lower overall expenditure! Naturally, the cost per acquisition (CPA) was also down 30% on an annualized basis. The best part is, since we had this all tied together via our proprietary tracking system, we were able to show exactly how many leads actually became sales qualified, and also to affix dollar values to those pipeline contributions. In addition, the marketing automation program helped us to reduce the lead inception to lead close period by three months, or 50%!

Then it got even more interesting. Leveraging cutting-edge tools like OptinMonster to place strategic popups across the site (based upon signals such as exit intent), we pushed yet another boost of 141% on top of the already soaring lead generation numbers that the company was already enjoying. At the same time, our rollout of the AtHoc Customer Portal, as well as a very popular and industry-leading blog, were all launched with 100% success which has proven to be ongoing and sustainable.

As a result of all of this, and of course even moreso that they have a great product, AtHoc was ultimately acquired by BlackBerry in 2015. What a milestone, and what an accomplishment for us all. And that was only the beginning. We assisted the company several times thereafter in complete rebranding efforts as the post-acquisition integration process ensued. Two new websites and fours years later, we continued to be the de-facto solution provider for this segment of the BlackBerry business. Contrary to the typical process that ensues post-acquisition, the nature of our involvement expanded to include webinar support and strategy, promotional expansions across the EU and the UAE, as well as assistance with initiatives across other areas of the organization. Not to mention, we were also involved in hiring process for digital managers for that arm of the business. How often does a vendor company achieve that level of trust and respect? Rarely, if ever. That is likely the greatest testament to the long-term success we were able to achieve with this great company.

Thank you, BlackBerry AtHoc.

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