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Best Practices

Thomson Reuters: Our First Year with PathFactory

Ramona Farrell, Campaign Marketing Operations Director for Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk, looks back on her team’s first year using the PathFactory Content Insight and Activation Platform. Ramona discusses the results, milestones and lessons learned along the way.

At Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk, we’re all about delivering the right information – and this extends to our marketing. Content plays a key role in educating, nurturing and qualifying our audience of financial professionals. In the fall of 2014, our Marketing Operations team made the decision to purchase a PathFactory license for our Risk division in order to increase engagement with our content.

Initially, we set out to use PathFactory for our newsletter, but we knew from the get-go that we wanted to expand its use to our nurture programs and leverage PathFactory’s Engaged Intent data to identify and accelerate those prospective clients who were most engaged and sales-ready.

Over my career, I’ve been involved in deploying many new marketing tech solutions. I’ve learned that you get out of them exactly what you are willing to put in, and that you have to do the work and be willing to change your mind about how things are done. But little did I know quite the extent to which PathFactory would change my thinking about engagement in exciting new ways. Here’s what our journey has looked like so far.

0-3 Months – Keeping It Real
The first three months started off with configuration and training, but we quickly got down to real work. I loved how PathFactory’s Client Success team encouraged us to do real work, rather than just complete exercises designed to cover product knowledge. As a result, we were able to build and deploy five campaigns in two markets within those first three months.

We tried a few different tactics in this timeframe as we and PathFactory got to know each other. And because there wasn’t one main area where we wanted to improve, the preliminary campaign data was a bit of a mixed bag. Still, we were able to gather a lot of great insight from the early data. It is amazing to see what happens after someone clicks – what content they engage with and for how long. This real engagement was something that we simply weren’t able to track before – the post-click behavior of our prospects was a black box. With PathFactory, now we could see what content was working and what wasn’t for our audience. Very quickly we also saw that our prospects were willing to engage with more content if we just made it easy for them to do so by packaging together and promoting related assets.

A big win for us in those first three months came from trialing PathFactory time-based forms in a campaign where there wasn’t traditionally an explicit ‘Call Me’ call to action. We knew that it would be a bit bold to surface this CTA too early, so we strategically placed it a little later in PathFactory content track and made sure that it wouldn’t appear for those who were just skimming and not spending meaningful time with any of our content. This approach saw us generate 7 leads within 30 minutes of launch and 14 by the end of the day from a campaign that traditionally wouldn’t have generated a single lead.

Based on this initial success, we hit the three-month mark feeling pretty excited about longer term objectives to bring this new tool to our other marketing initiatives.

6-9 Months – Land & Expand
Having hit the ground running, the next six months were all about expanding upon the early success we’d seen. This meant A LOT of campaign building. By 6 months, we had nearly 40 content experiences built and by 9 months we had more than doubled that.

Special Report Conduct Rick - Report Image set inside a Laptop screen with a white background

This email had over 1,000 visits to the content experience it links to.
All content offers in the email link to the appropriate asset in the PathFactory content journey.

Sample Thomson Reuters PathFactory Track, with an image of a person holding torches, set inside an Laptop Screen on white background

PathFactory packages related content of any type (reports, video, web content etc.)
into a journey that accommodates engaged prospects who want to binge.

During this time, we were thinking a lot about attribution and the number of touches a prospect needs to become an MQL through our lead scoring model. PathFactory made it easier for us to track the number of assets that a prospect had viewed and the time spent with each asset, while also getting prospects to engage with more content in a single session.

Based on the assumption that prospects who “binged” on our content were better educated and better qualified, we made an update to our CRM so that we could record when a prospect had engaged with our PathFactory Content Tracks.

Unfortunately for us, we had lost a few team members over the summer right when we were building out several new nurture programs. While this was an initial set back, the PathFactory Client Success team stepped up and offered support so we could keep up our momentum. Rather than put the project on hold until we had new people hired and up to speed, we were able to see our nurture programs built and launched for four industries in the initial timeframe we had planned.

By the end of this period, we had learned a lot. Most importantly, that there were some highly engaged prospects that weren’t being accounted for in our existing lead scoring model. Given the number of leads that we need to generate in order to have a meaningful contribution to projected revenue, we made changes to better account for these “fast-moving buyers” who were engaging with a lot of content in a short period of time, and immediately saw our MQL numbers better reflect the efforts going into our marketing programs.

1 Year – Happy Anniversary!
Our one-year anniversary with PathFactory saw us thinking about things very differently than we had when we started 12 months earlier. A tool that seemed like a “nice-to-have” had became a “need-to-have” as we saw the value in what paying attention to fast-moving buyers could mean to our ability to pass along MQLs to sales.

In one year, we established a process for our Americas team to use PathFactory for all of their campaigns (which is a MASSIVE win!), a briefing form, lead score methodology, and an A/B testing structure so we could see what was working and what wasn’t. Looking at the results across over 20,000 visitors to all of our PathFactory content experiences, we’ve seen that over 36% of our visitors binge on 2 or more assets.

Sample Thomson Reuters Content Journey, Image set inside a Laptop Screen with a white Background

Another example of a PathFactory content journey that yielded
great results for Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk

Our team also oversees marketing operations for Thomson Reuters Financial as well as Risk, so based on these results, we had our first conversations with the wider Financial team on the value PathFactory could bring to their marketing programs, and got plans underway to expand our license to include seats for Finance as well.

What’s Next? 
As I write this, the ink is drying on the agreement for Finance and plans are underway to kick things off with the expansion in the upcoming weeks. I could not be more excited! The people at PathFactory have really become an extension of our marketing operations team. They are always there whenever we have a question or require assistance, and most importantly, they really care about what they do.

I can’t wait to see what year two has in store for us.

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