CUSTOMER STORY

How Blackboard uses content intelligence to deliver a world-class website experience — including personalized content recommendations for every visitor

Blackboard logo

Why they picked PathFactory

Time to value

Powerful insights

Plug and play

Onboarding & support

As a global EdTech leader, Blackboard provides a suite of learning management software, communication tools and student success solutions to 150 million users in more than 80 countries. Already known for their progressive approach to education and technology, Blackboard’s marketing team decided to innovate in the way they engage with prospects. 

“It was very quickly apparent to us that PathFactory was going to advance us beyond the early 2000s landing page and nurture world we were accustomed to.”

—Doug Calvelage, Director, Global Demand and Digital Marketing

They had two primary objectives with their website: provide meaningful content experiences, and gain visibility into how that content was performing. To accomplish this, Blackboard realized they had to abandon dead-end landing pages, gated assets, and standard, time-based nurture flows, which just wouldn’t cut it anymore. “After a few conversations with the Pathfactory team, we recognized the huge opportunity to advance our marketing ecosystem, says Doug Calvelage, Director, Global Demand and Digital Marketing at Blackboard.

PathFactory’s AI-enabled Intelligent Content Platform was the ideal solution, allowing Blackboard to package relevant assets together and activate personalized content recommendations to engage visitors with the right content in a more engaging way.. At the same time, their team could tap meaningful data at every touchpoint to effectively measure content performance and qualify prospects based on actual behavior. “It was very quickly apparent to us that PathFactory was going to advance us beyond the early 2000’s landing page and nurture world we were accustomed to,” says Doug. “We found no one else in the marketplace that was doing what PathFactory was doing, and that worked the way PathFactory worked.”

How Blackboard uses PathFactory

“This is advancing our marketing strategies and ecosystems by decades. We’re no longer delivering a static experience.”

—Doug Calvelage, Director, Global Demand and Digital Marketing

Blackboard implemented PathFactory’s proprietary content intelligence on its website to provide dynamic content recommendations to visitors, based on real-time behavior. With the most relevant assets immediately accessible, prospects are now encouraged to binge, or view multiple pieces of content in one sitting. “We want to do helpful marketing. What better way to do that than give visitors everything they need in one package, and enable that bingeability?” says Doug. Six months after adapting PathFactory on their website, Blackboard has seen 30.7% of visitors exhibit binge behavior. Visitors who engage with personalized content recommendations have 3.7X more page views, and stay on the site 8.7X longer than those who don’t.

Blackboard also uses PathFactory content experiences as the destinations for email and paid ads, to ensure a consistent, high quality content experience across all their channels. They’ve even used PathFactory to develop a sophisticated form strategy, with less friction and more insights. Instead of forcing visitors to exchange contact information for high value assets, they rely on engagement data to strategically validate known visitors. In removing hard gates, content is more widely viewed, and a wealth of data can be captured. “PathFactory’s taken away our fear of putting ungated content out there,” says Doug.

Time to value

Blackboard has a vast content library spanning 6 regions and multiple languages, so timely implementation was crucial. PathFactory’s Intelligent Content Platform immediately integrated with Blackboard’s website and existing tech stack, without requiring migration into an external system or content hub. “What sets PathFactory apart from other martech companies is their software has come in and met our strategy. We didn’t have to change our whole infrastructure, our whole world, to use PathFactory,” says Doug.

Powerful insights

PathFactory has an expanded integration with 6Sense, combining proprietary content intelligence with intent data and predictive scoring. This enables Blackboard to immediately connect content consumption and engagement to actual accounts. SDRs can now qualify prospects — at both an individual- and account-level — based on real behavior, rather than sifting through cold call lists. “The insights are amazing. The ability to see content engagement and consumption — and the accounts that are visiting — is something we’ve never had before,” says Doug.

Plug and play

PathFactory also plays nicely with tools like Eloqua., “When we plug our Eloqua URLs into PathFactory, it automatically pulls through our branding, our checkboxes, our terms and conditions, all optimized and mobile-ready. It’s turnkey,” says Doug.

Onboarding & support

“PathFactory is the very best in class, from onboarding to support,” says Doug. “With the insights you’re getting, the support, responsiveness and mobile-ready nature of the platform, I don’t see why any organization wouldn’t use PathFactory.”

“What sets PathFactory apart from other martech companies is their software has come in and met our strategy. We don’t have to change our whole infrastructure, our whole world, to use PathFactory.”
Doug Calvelage
Director, Global Demand and Digital Marketing
Blackboard
Doug Calvelage headshot