Increased MQL Volume by 2.5x and Improved SQL Conversions by 388%
Demand Generation

How VMware Carbon Black Increased MQL Volume by 2.5x and Improved SQL Conversions by 388%

How would you feel if the attractive person you’ve just struck up a conversation with at the bar asked you to move to the suburbs and raise five kids together?

Naturally, you dash for the hills and never look back.

This is how it feels for the B2B buyers when you gate your content in the first interaction. You’re asking for too much commitment before understanding what they’re looking for, or what they’re going to get. And this is exactly the challenge that VMware Carbon Black faced.

Carbon Black had plenty of valuable content but the engagement with it was low. They had a ‘one-and-done’ content delivery system that only allowed for prospects to consume a single asset for every click and provided no engagement insights. This led to under-qualified leads being sent over to the sales team, which made for relatively poor conversations.

This harmed the sales and marketing relationship and created a lot of friction between the two departments.

“The sales team wanted the unicorn; that unattainable quantity of quality leads”

Chris Mitchell, Marketing Program Specialist, and Vanessa Porter, Director of Demand Gen, recently joined PathFactory for a webinar series to explain how they improved funnel conversions and increased overall engagement by adopting a new strategy and building a brand new nurture program from scratch.


When Vanessa first started at Carbon Black, their demand gen team was not in the best shape. They weren’t able to scale and were always reactive to campaigns. She also noticed a big gap in their customer engagement. So she looked at the different programs and martech stack they already had in place to figure out what they needed to change to achieve their goals.

One-and-done content delivery

In 2017, everything the marketing team was promoting at that time was a one-off, one-time promo. For example, they would send out an email for a whitepaper, wait a week or two, then post a social ad for an upcoming webinar. Nothing was truly connected, and nothing was telling the story of Carbon Black and its value proposition.

By not having an always-on nurture strategy in place, it created a bumpy buyer’s journey. Even when prospects only engaged with one piece of content, the marketing team didn’t have much insight into that engagement. 

At this point, Vanessa started mapping out their buyer’s journey from scratch. She started thinking about how they could better use content to fuel their demand gen engine.

Quality of leads

Then, in 2018, they rolled out their initial nurture program using Marketo. It included a lot of landing pages, forms, and gated content, but it was a start. The team created different nurture streams for each product Carbon Black offers. For instance, when a lead came in via an asset, the team would tag that asset with the topic of one of their products. Then they funnel the lead into the corresponding nurture stream.

One downside of categorizing all streams by product was they were putting their prospects through a very narrow nurture program. So they were not telling the entire value proposition and stuck to just “based on the very little we know about you, this is what we THINK you’re interested in.” This led to the sales team receiving a large number of low-quality leads.

Rolling out a sophisticated nurture program 

By 2019, Vanessa wanted to optimize every moment of engagement and provide a smoother experience for both known and unknown buyers. At the same time, it became obvious that their martech stack wasn’t working for them. Their systems were not talking to each other. So she started searching for something robust enough to integrate with other technologies in their stack and have a wide usage across the organization.

She figured PathFactory can do all that and more!

Leveraging PathFactory in their nurture streams

The Carbon Black team set up a more sophisticated nurture program using PathFactory. Instead of having different streams by product type, they now have streams by funnel stage or behavioral score. This means when leads enter the nurture program based on their score, type of asset, and channel, they will start either at the beginning, middle or bottom of the new nurture stream.

Fast and slow lanes

The team also set up a fast and slow lane within their nurture program. Based on how much a lead engages with their emails and content, the program can send them more (or less) content. So instead of receiving one email a week, it can perhaps be 2 or 3 emails per week.

And if a contact is not opening any emails, not clicking on anything, or downloading any assets, the marketing team slows down the cadence to once every 3 weeks. The goal is to engage with people at their own pace.

Content Tracks 

Using PathFactory, Carbon Black’s marketing team can now send all their known leads and prospects to Content Tracks. They can also track their prospect’s content consumption time down to the second and relay that information back to Marketo and Salesforce. This way they can capture every holistic view on what prospects are doing while providing a superior experience.

Engagement insights

There are also tons of engagement insights within PathFactory that they can view at both the account and individual contact level. For instance, they can view content performance and see what assets are resonating with their audience and make educated decisions based on that.

Complex image contains bubble chart showing Engagement times spent on various types of content

2.5X more marketing qualified leads

Now, not only is the marketing team generating more leads, but they are seeing much higher conversion rates. By leveraging nurture streams and PathFactory, taking advantage of everything their martech stack has to offer, they are able to take the existing volume of leads generated and better engage and educate them on Carbon Black. This allowed them to increase their MQL volume by 2.5X!

Ultimately, Carbon Black’s marketing team realized that their one-and-done content delivery wasn’t working for them, so they replaced it with a more sophisticated nurture program. Now, using PathFactory Content Tracks, they can educate prospects with relevant content at every funnel stage. Prospects don’t have to wait for the next email to arrive but can binge on multiple assets at their own pace. The marketing team can also send sales a much more educated lead, which results in more productive conversations, and more MQL to SQL conversions.

Watch both webinars for the full scoop.