Eating Our Own Dog Food - How Esna’s Marketing Team Collaborates in the Cloud
If you know marketers, or you are one, then you know that we like to talk, a lot - with our team members, peers, partners and customers. Our ability to collaborate and communicate effectively are tantamount to our success. But what happens when your team is spread out between multiple countries and time zones? This is our challenge and one of the reasons why collaborating and working in the cloud isn’t just a choice for us, it’s a necessity.
Like many marketing organizations today, we are doing more with less. Our team is lean and mean, but we are also very distributed. In fact only one member of Esna’s marketing team works out of our HQ office, and the rest of of us work from home offices located throughout Ontario, Baltimore and Seattle.
Esna Marketing Team
VP of marketing located in Seattle, USA
Graphic and web designer located outside of Toronto, Canada
Copywriter located in outside of Toronto, Canada
Inbound marketer in Baltimore, USA
Public relations specialist located in Seattle, USA
Marketing coordinator located at Canada HQ
Esna Cloud Solution Partners spanning the globe from Europe to Asia
View True Cloud Collaboration & Esna's Marketing Team in a full screen map
In today’s post I want to share how, despite our geographic differences and the fact that none of my team members have ever met one another in person, we were able to develop and successfully launch an inbound marketing campaign for our channel partners in under 60 days using Esna’s collaboration tools, Google Apps, Cisco WebEx and HubSpot.
At the start of this year, the team was tasked with developing sales tools and marketing campaigns that our channel partners could leverage to help them to sell our solutions. One of these campaigns was a lead nurturing campaign which would help our partners to self-educate their prospects about Esna’s collaboration solutions. This campaign consisted of building 15 different co-branded microsites all with original content, whitepaper downloads, an online assessment and four distinct landing pages using HubSpot’s marketing automation platform. The landing pages were designed to provide value to a prospect and move them through a sales funnel process. Each page provided a learning opportunity and included social sharing options.
Supporting 15 different partners located throughout North America, Europe and Asia
Distributed virtual marketing team
Tight launch deadline
The Esna marketing team started brainstorming concepts and ideas in early February 2013 for the microsites. Being distributed our team relied on Officelinx to see one another’s availability to have ad hoc discussions through IM, Google Hangouts or over the phone. We relied on Google Docs and Hangouts to get together, share ideas and come up different microsite concepts. When the time came to iterate with partners on the final concept, we used Esna iLink for WebEx to schedule our web meetings in our Google calendar.
Tools We Used
Hangouts for video collaboration
Docs and Drive for co-authoring and sharing content
Sheets for project details and management
The team executed in less than 60 days from concept to launch of the first partner sites. In April 2013 we launched 15 microsites with 60 landing pages in total. Top performing sites have created over 70 leads which are now in the sales process.
Operating in the cloud with a virtual team and remote partners is standard for businesses today. The success of the campaign was made possible by leveraging cloud-enabled applications and tools from Esna, Google, Cisco and HubSpot.
Key Success Takeaways
Cloud collaboration is pivotal in achieving efficiency and brings people together while; reducing costs, promoting innovation, problem-solving, and employee job satisfaction. Esna understands first hand the collaboration challenges that companies face with distributed and remote employees, but with the right strategy and tools these can be overcome.