Even when you’re selling interactive technology, it can be hard to get consumers and salespeople to be interactive themselves. This was the challenge Promethean and Don’t be Shy conquered by achieving 437% registration
Enriching teaching and learning through technology is a very real challenge to schools across the UK, with ever-shrinking budgets and IT often the last priority.
Promethean had seen great success from Don’t be Shy’s insight-driven approach to marketing in a previous campaign for ClassFlow. As a result, it wanted to replicate the same process for its flagship product ActivPanel, to ensure its marketing was relevant, differentiated, and focused in the right areas.
Through a series of interviews, workshops and data mining, the agency developed a robust content and contact strategy to engage with Promethean’s channel partners, supported by a brand new partner portal app.
The results have proven the value of having an insight-driven approach; and marketing engagement is at an all-time high.
Promethean is a manufacturer of interactive education technology such as ActivPanel which is a range of touch-enabled flat panels.
Its channel partners are the lifeblood of Promethean’s business. The brand doesn’t sell directly to schools, instead it relies on a network of carefully selected and trusted partners to resell their products directly to the end user.
Don’t be Shy first started working with the Promethean two years ago, initially to relaunch ClassFlow to the UK market.
What started as teacher-focused soon became much more complex. The decision-maker universe spanned head teachers, IT consultants, channel partners. The campaign also needed to keep in mind the differing needs of primary versus secondary and independent school versus multi-academy trust, and the routes to sale for partners within each.
Interviews with IT managers, head teachers, AV resellers, internal sales, and channel management teams showed the tech-savvy teacher persona (named Innovative Ingrid) from ClassFlow days was still an influencer on the decision for front-of-class tech.
As part of the original ClassFlow strategy two years ago, Don’t be Shy developed an annual industry survey and report looking at the use of edtech in schools. With the results of two years’ worth of industry research from more than 3,000 educators, the agency had a bank of rich statistical data at their fingertips. This helped further enrich and enhance the campaign’s knowledge of the target audiences and edtech market in the UK.
Armed with customer insights and new personas, Don’t be Shy developed a contact and content strategy designed to engage each different audience across the buyer journey. Every piece that was developed to reach the end user was shared and repurposed to enable the channel partners to market to their customers too.
Don’t be Shy set about developing a new channel partner gateway app called Atlas. The name was taken from greek mythology to mirror the origins of Promethean’s name.
The goal of Atlas was to allow Promethean’s partner network to register and monitor deals, book demonstrations, and request marketing funds through a desktop and mobile-optimised app.
The objective was to market Promethean’s flagship ActivPanel range to new and existing channel partners, through an insight-driven approach – just like the one used in the ClassFlow campaign. This was so Promethean could ensure its marketing was relevant, differentiated and focused in the right areas.
The target audience
Promethean’s target audience for ActivPanel is varied due to the brand not selling its products directly. This means the strategy needed to take into account the channel, both in terms of sales enablement and new partner recruitment.
The brand and agency were also faced with the challenge of timing; school holidays, budget cycles, and time of year all had to be considered.
Media, channels or techniques used
Don’t be Shy needed to understand how the channel side of the business worked.
- Who were the audiences within the partners?
- What needs to be known about them?
- How can they be helped to reach the end user through our insights?
The agency undertook: 15 phone interviews with IT managers, head teachers and AV resellers, and three interviews with internal sales and channel management teams.
Content strategy included:
- Continue thought-leadership to position Promethean as an industry leader in edtech.
- Weekly edtech blogs delivered through the content hub ResourcEd.
- A series of Quick Guides targeting head teachers covering topics such as maximising edtech investment, and future proofing their classrooms.
- A presentation template to help IT managers to pitch front-of-class technology to their budget-holders.
- The third annual State of Technology in Education report; this time with an increased focus on the views of senior management and IT teams.
- Regular blog content targeted specifically to channel partners around topics such as how to talk to the discovered personas (series titled ‘Deal Closers’), distributor relations, and adding value to a sale.
Contact strategy included:
- A launch campaign for The Promethean Grant — a video-based competition that awards 30 winning schools with a brand new ActivPanel for their school — ensuring under-privileged schools still have a chance to use edtech.
- Social ads across Facebook and LinkedIn, targeting different personas through each channel.
- A series of lead nurturing workflows in Pardot, to deliver deeper content to users as they engaged with Promethean over time. A complex lead scoring model built out in Pardot, taking into account various profiles and behavioural criteria to prioritise leads.
- A defined lead routing process that passes MQLs through to partners via email notifications.
- Atlas partner gateway.
Atlas launch strategy included:
- Launch campaign featuring a live webinar on the day of launch.
- Video demo providing an overview of the features.
- Marketing content served via push notifications within the app.
- Nurture campaign designed to drive adoption and user retention.
Timescale of the campaign
June-July 2017: Interviews and workshops.
July-August 2017: Strategy.
September 2017-June 2018: Ongoing execution.
March 2018: Atlas launch.
The campaign’s insight-driven approach has had a huge impact on the levels of engagement Promethean are seeing with their target audiences — with content engagement and MQLs at an all-time high.
Atlas Partner Gateway registrations have increased by 437% since launch. Partners registering demos has increased by 1200%.
Atlas has also outperformed expectations with regards to partner engagement; on average users now access four pages per visit, and spend 04:31 on the site.
I have experienced very good agencies in the past. But I can honestly say that Don’t be Shy is in a different league. The level of thinking, of working through and understanding the nuances of our audience and marketplace is exceptional.
Karen Shackleton, head of marketing UK & I at Promethean
In 2017 we launched a brand new partner accreditation programme. After launching the programme we very quickly came to the realisation that our current partner portal no longer supported the programme or our partners in the way we needed. With Atlas, not only have we strengthened the partner programme, and therefore the Promethean brand, but we’ve seen an unexpectedly high uplift in usage – so much so we’re having to expedite Phase 2 to handle the volume.
Kristie Blacklock, channel marketing manager UK & I
This submission won the award for
Best channel marketing initiative’
at the International B2B Marketing Awards 2018. ‘Dedication to Education’ for Promethean by Don’t Be Shy.