It’s been an exciting 2019 so far, as B2B technology marketers are getting more strategic and creative in their use of microsites. For years, they have asked us to develop microsites as part of their lead generation campaigns. But this year, they are having us develop microsites to support targeted strategic initiatives that complement and extend far beyond standard lead gen.
Suddenly, we are finding ourselves on calls with marketers who have new stakeholders joining them to win in new areas—think gathering market and competitive intelligence, battling for channel partners, and even defending against competitor attacks.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the purpose behind these innovative microsites through two examples. We will also describe how the expanded use of microsites is changing the way service providers (like us) must evolve our services to support them.
Microsite #1: Winning over Channel Partners in a Highly Competitive Market
This tech market leader was losing channel partners to their second- and third-place competitors throughout the second half of 2018. The main causes were highly effective campaigns by the competitors to target the market leader’s partners with dramatic price discounts. One competitor was also combining false information about security flaws in the leader’s technology.
The Microsite Plan: Establish a microsite to leverage vendor reviews, analyst reports, and other secondary resources that demonstrate the true capabilities of the market leader’s technology and solutions. Support this information with polling data from actual product users wherein they rate their experiences with all three vendors’ products and solutions in specific areas. The goal is to prove beyond any doubt that the market leader has earned that position for good reasons and that channel partners would do well to stick with them.
How the Microsite Works: Leveraging the top analysts and trade journals in the specific technology area, we created a microsite that was separate and distinct from our vendor client’s URL. On this site, we provide content and polling that acts as a third-party objective information source. To draw organizations to the site, we are leveraging both the vendor’s prospect/customer database as well as our own prospect database. We issue bi-weekly emails in the form of an industry newsletter. Prospects read the helpful tips in the newsletter and follow an invitation link to answer a polling question related to the newsletter’s content.
Skills and Services We Provide to Succeed: As you can see, this marketing microsite requires far more than a robust prospect database and emailing acumen. We put our best writing/analytical skills forward to glean content from secondary sources as well as create our own content as explanatory supplements and to attract polling activity. In addition, we teamed with the competitive intelligence team of our client to ensure we continue to develop content and questions that align with the vendor’s areas of strength.
#2: Secretly Testing a New Company Direction
This client is a venture-funded tech startup that has been gaining market traction around their flagship product—an extremely complex product that requires in-depth, highly technical sales discussions with multiple stakeholders at prospect accounts. Yet, analysis of sales call data indicated that the vendor’s technology could also be used as a regulatory compliance solution for companies doing business in the cloud. As a result, our client’s CEO wanted to investigate the revenue potential around regulatory compliance, without giving the appearance that the company was losing focus on their core market and solutions.
The Microsite Plan: Create a microsite similar in appearance to the vendor’s main website but that is actually a branded microsite focused solely on regulatory compliance. Track email campaign-driven visits to the site, engagement on the site, and provide prospects with a way to contact Sales for a free trial directly from the site.
How the Microsite Works: The microsite copies, but simplifies, the site navigation of the tech vendor’s original website and has far less content. However, all content is highly focused on regulatory compliance and progressing the visitor toward either registering for a webinar or contacting Sales.
Skills and Services We Provide to Succeed: We performed all microsite development and hosting while developing an ideal prospect list from our database based on target company industry and prospect job title. All visitor tracking, visitor registration, and “Contact Sales” requests are collected by us, and we perform telemarketing book all appointments. We then pass the appointments to our client’s point of contact, and she makes the sales calls happen. With each appointment, we provide the history of engagement with the prospect and all qualitative data gleaned from the prospect’s actions and discussions. At project’s end, we will summarize the opportunity and provide sales projections based on our data.
Conclusion: Microsites Bring the Focus That Yields Targeted Wins
As a B2B tech marketer, you are often asked to take on special projects that require either a high degree of focus or distract from your normal marketing flow. Rather than strain resources and disrupt processes that work, consider leveraging a service provider who can provide a turnkey microsite to get the job done—faster and more efficiently.