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Lenovo Boosts Display Ad, Email Engagement With Intent Data

Lenovo, a multinational technology provider, partnered with the intent data company Bombora to gain deeper insight into their data and identify prospective customers that have an interest in their products. The insight was then used to create demand generation campaigns via display advertising and email to accelerate leads through the sales funnel.

The Challenge

Instead of pushing messages in front of as many people as possible, Lenovo wanted to find a way to use data to discover customers that showed signs of interest in their product offerings.

“We want to optimize our messaging so it's not out of nowhere,” said Mike Ballard, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Lenovo. “The overall goal for the long term is to make this my sole demand generation strategy.”

To do this, Lenovo needed to prevent cold, inaccurate data from entering its marketing systems in a streamlined and automated way. “I wanted to have this automated with no manual handoffs,” said Ballard. He added that, ultimately, it would “arm our sales team with the information they need to go after just the right prospects.”

The Solution

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The company conducted a side-by-side, six-month bake-off between three intent data providers.

“We gave each company the same campaign and creative, we then gave them six months to execute against these and start generating results via email, programmatic display and social advertising,” said Ballard. “We tracked not just the engagement, but also the results straight to revenue and closed-won. Each engagement metric was tracked via a score card.”

Lenovo ultimately chose Bombora, which can track content consumption across the Web via a data partnership between 3,500 business websites. When it sees that a particular company’s employees are showing increased interest in the kinds of products the company sells, Lenovo asked digital marketing firm Levelwing to put customized display ads in front of those employees, as well as MeritDirect, a provider of global multichannel marketing solutions, to send customized emails.

The Results

Compared against Lenovo’s internal benchmarks, Bombora’s intent data positioned the company to drive:

  • 22% increase in display ad click-through rates;
  • 5x increase in file downloads;
  • 3.8x increased click-to-open rate for emails;
  • +6% higher close rate; and
  • Over three-quarters of the generated opportunities from net-new customers.

“When it came to deciding to switch this intent-driven strategy, we had to create a business case for it,” said Ballard. “Highlighting these metrics, we analyzed not just engagement, but metrics such as opportunity conversions and win rates, and we saw results. Also, we looked at a standard benchmark — without campaign optimization. These results can only get better.”

The company is also projecting that this new intent-driven mindset will save the team money in the long run. “By not having to rebuild and update campaigns constantly, we're estimating a 33% decrease in campaign creation,” said Ballard. “That, coupled with an increase in closed/won, is a big plus.”