Clearcode is a software house with 100% focus on online advertising and marketing technology, building anything from programmatic media buying, supply-side, data management and analytics platforms. Since founded in 2009, Clearcode has designed and built dozens of software products for companies operating in the AdTech and MarTech industries.
Boosting Organic Traffic Growth
500% growth in the organic traffic, spaning over 5 year project
Marketing Contributing to Growth
Increasing share of sales opportunities generated by the marketing team from 0 to 40%
Boosting lead quality
Lifting the conversion rate from lead to sales qualified lead from 30% to 70%
In the first years the company’s growth was purely organic. All it took was a small growth team consisting of one content marketer and one salesperson working closely with the CEO in all the selling and content creation efforts. But as the company got bigger and bigger and the customer base grew, there was a need for a new, growth-centered role, separate from the CEO.
When Conversion Hackers’ founder Marek Juszczyński joined the company in 2015, he was faced with the following tasks and challenges:
- Establishing growth KPIs for the newly formed marketing team,
- Setting up KPI goals for the upcoming quotes,
- Designing and launching first lead generation channels on top of existing customer referral program,
- Transition from Excel-based lead management to an enterprise-level CRM and marketing automation system.
Client own words:
Marek has helped us to shape the marketing strategy and build marketing team at Clearcode, which contributed significantly to the growth of the company. He is a B2B marketing expert with heavy focus on the content marketing and data-driven marketing. He posses a strong background in web analytics & conversion optimization and knows how to initiate & accelerate growth in mid-size tech companies & startups. I highly recommend him, especially if you are about to build your marketing from scratch for B2B products & services
Maciej Zawadziński, CEO, Clearcode.cc
The first problem Marek had to overcome was the team’s attachment to vanity metrics which had little to no overall business impact. The marketers mainly focused on creating relevant, high quality content explaining the advertising and marketing technology, but their marketing activities were mostly spontaneous and very opportunistic. The content was created without established KPIs and a clear, long-term growth plan in mind.
After organizing workshops explaining the importance of the right KPIs in the B2B business model, the team agreed to focus on the following growth KPIs:
- Number of sales qualified leads generated per month,
- Number of opportunities / deals created per month,
- Potential size of each new deal generated.
We decided that using the right metrics would not be enough to move the needle. In order for people to really pay attention to them, we needed to present them in a friendly and accessible way. The decision was made that the visualization part of all the reporting will be moved to Google Data Studio. This way we constructed a basic reporting system that was transparent and easy to use and interpret for non-technical, business people. But during this operation another problem was becoming obvious.
Fighting data silos and transitioning to digital lead management
Despite having a professional reporting dashboard, the data still had to be aggregated manually from various sources. Customer journey data was dispersed across Excel / Google Sheets, SalesForce CRM and web analytics software. This made reporting and tracking the customer journey extremely challenging and inefficient.
In order to improve the process, we had to deploy a single system that would combine the functions of all the previous silos. We first invested our time and resources in the Marketo marketing automation platform and, after growing our operation further, migrated to HubSpot. Since then every team: sales, marketing and top management could work on the exact same customer data instead of building its own silos. What is more, we finally gained access to the full customer journey, from the first visit to our website to signing a contract with the client.
Designing and launching new lead generation channels
In order to get the lead generation right, we needed to better understand the customer journey of our potential prospects. Once we were able to map the full customer journey using HubSpot data, we started drafting customer personas. The next step would be matching customer personas to specific customer questions at the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel.
Our resources were very limited so the goal was to understand what pieces of content, keywords and channels could be used to drive in prospects who were already at the middle (MOFU, evaluation) and bottom stages of the sales funnel (BOFU, conversion). Acquiring and converting top-of-the-funnel (TOFU, awareness stage) prospects was very expensive and time-consuming, so it was not an option for us at the time.
We created a set of niche landing pages focusing on specific technologies used in the AdTech platforms. Despite using very low-traffic keywords, each of the landing pages had between 25% to 40% conversion rate from an anonymous visitor into a lead. Then, 80% of the leads were qualified as sales-ready by our sales team.
On top of that, we produced:
- High intent blog posts for prospects looking for specific custom integrations with the most popular ad-tech platforms,
- High intent lead magnets for late-stage funnel prospects.
Having well-optimized content and landing pages is half the battle – they need to be fueled by the right traffic sources and marketing channels. For us, the key marketing channels driving traffic to the assets were:
- SEO-driven Content Marketing,
- Highly targeted Google Ads and Bing Ads campaigns,
- Quora marketing,
- Content Syndications and guest blogging on the 3rd-party websites.
The main criteria for picking up the right marketing channels was that they could be maintained purely in-house by our marketing team. No agencies and no big budgets spent on expensive 3rd-party platforms – everything had to be homegrown. With all the content and campaigns focused on the middle and bottom of the funnel prospects, we felt pretty confident about our ROI and media budget constraints.
Within the first six months since the project started we were able to significantly diversify our lead generation sources. Now marketing-generated sales opportunities accounted for 40% of all the sales pipeline – compared to prior 100% reliance on customer referrals.
In the months and years that followed we also saw:
More than 500% organic traffic growth
*Clearcode organic traffic growth as seen in Ahrefs.com
In the first two years since the project started, we were able to grow our organic traffic from less than 1,000 visits per day in 2016 to over 5,000 visits per day in 2018. This was a huge success because our lead generation pipeline grew proportionally – with improved SEO we received more high-quality leads for our sales team.
Removing data silos and integrating the company around data
One of the greatest achievements of that period was the analytics dashboard that allowed us to track the progress of our marketing efforts and their influence on the sales pipeline.
We could see that this dashboard helped us in several ways:
- We were on the same page with the management board and the sales team. We shared the same goals and spoke the same language in terms of business goals.
- It gave the whole company a better understanding of what we did as a marketing team and what impact our efforts had on the business.
- We finally eliminated the data silos and built greater trust in the data.
Diversifying the composition of lead generation sources
Our final achievement was the diversification of the sources responsible for lead generation. Customer referrals and top management personal connections usually generate the highest quality leads. But at the same time, these leads tend to be very unpredictable and seasonable, making it impossible to build a sustainable sales pipeline. This is why ensuring diversification was so crucial for us. Within two years since the project started, we were able to create a diversified lead generation portfolio including:
- Organic search
- Paid channels
- Quora and other buzz marketing sources
- Social selling and sales outbound
- Media mentions and PR
- Customer referrals
Of course, the result of this diversification was a significant increase in our most important growth KPI, i.e. the number of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). After six months since the project launch, we were able to increase the number of SQLs in our pipeline by 30%. After two years we were generating 70% more SQLs on a monthly basis than we did before.
Today, Clearcode is recognized as the leading software house in the AdTech and MarTech industry. With hundreds of thousands of industry experts visiting the company blog each month, the company has earned the status of a thought leader in their domain.
Interested in replicating this case study in your company or achieving similar results?
No of sales opportunities generated by the marketing
Year to year oragnic traffic growth