Eating Our Own Dog Food - How Esna’s Marketing Team Collaborates in the Cloud

Posted by Lee Ho on Mon, Jul 08, 2013

    

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 marketingEsna Unified Communications + Google Apps for Better Collaboration & Better Results 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.


Challenges

  • 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

  • Esna

  • Google Apps

    • Hangouts for video collaboration

    • Docs and Drive for co-authoring and sharing content

    • Sheets for project details and management

  • Cisco WebEx

    • Used to host web meetings with partners

  • HubSpot for inbound marketing automation

    • Landing pages

    • Lead capture

    • Social sharing


Results

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

  • Esna enabled the team to collaborate more efficiently

    • Federated presence allowed team members to easily see when others were available for ad hoc discussions without having to play email, IM or phone tag

    • Scheduling (and rescheduling) WebEx meetings with partners was easier with direct integration of Google Calendar and WebEx

    • Easily escalate from an email thread to a live discussion using voice or video

  • Google Apps allowed the team to work better together

    • Shared docs for concepts, copy and landing pages that allowed people to review and edit on their own time

    • Hangouts screenshare allowed us to discuss concepts, copy and landing pages in real time and make decisions quickly

    • Hangouts allowed virtual meetings on the fly


  • Cisco WebEx allowed the team to easily conduct web meetings

    • Conducted formal presentations with partners and other stakeholders

    • Presented microsite concepts for feedback and final designs

    • Conducted training with partner marketing teams


  • HubSpot provided a robust marketing automation platform

    • Captured prospects with robust contact data points collected from social media

    • Enabled ongoing email communications in a lead nurturing process

    • Ongoing communications to partners to help support their leads process

    • Hosted landing pages that were customized for each partner


Conclusion

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.

 




Topics: marketing automation, cloud computing, unified communications

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