industry: Technology
Use Case: Automated Buying Journeys

interworks.cloud Leverages Act-On’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration for more personalized campaigns

Cloud services giant uses Act-On to support multiple business units and deliver customized communications to diverse target audiences.

Company:Act-On and interworks.cloud
Customer:
Act-On and interworks.cloud

Pelli Papoulidou

VP of Marketing

Success by the numbers

20
%

increase in SQL quality according to internal scoring standards.

20
%

increase in conversion rates using automated email programs with advanced segmentation.

Realized Business Value

  • Worked with Act-On Customer Success to set up complex back-end integrations and import data from previous CRM into Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • Implemented Act-On’s website beacon to track comprehensive website visitor behavior, understand performance, and improve content marketing and messaging.
  • Automated programs drive the customer journey and generate engagement metrics that are used for further segmentation and accurate lead scoring.

Pain Points

  • Needed a marketing automation platform with a strong Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration and a helpful support team to spearhead myriad connections.
  • Multiple business units lacked flexible marketing solutions to meet unique needs and ensure brand and messaging consistency.
  • Unable to monitor website visitor behavior for accurate and actionable lead scoring and lead transfer.
  • Time-consuming manual processes prevented more strategic activities.
About interworks.cloud

Since 2012, the interworks.cloud platform has been enabling CSPs, MSPs, and ISVs to rapidly grow their ecosystems. It drives this growth by allowing them to create powerful cloud services marketplaces for their customers and resellers, as well as boost sales through automated ordering, billing, and support processes.

With more than 15 active and fully functional integrations (including leading products from major cloud vendors like Microsoft and Google), the interworks.cloud platform helps you boost your business portfolio and expand your cloud offering. interworks.cloud has a local presence in the US, UK, Germany, and Greece — and supports more than 15,000 cloud resellers through its extensive ecosystem, which now includes nearly 80 customers (telcos, distributors, and cloud service providers) across 73 countries.

Customer Overview

With a strong presence throughout the United States and Europe, interworks.cloud is one of the world’s leading cloud services providers. interworks.cloud’s seamless delivery of cloud services and its robust billing engine remove all the pain points for Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers, freeing them to focus on growing their business rather than managing day-to-day operations. Further, its state-of-the-art technological infrastructure and extensive experience in developing business solutions contribute to the continuous development of highly innovative products and services.

Customer Challenge

Despite their immense success since their inception in 2012, interworks.cloud was struggling to fully integrate their martech stack, which was preventing them from segmenting their marketing lists among multiple business units and several distinct target audiences. Without proper segmentation, interworks.cloud struggled to deliver personalized messaging, relevant content, and campaigns that spoke directly to their end-users’ pain points and interests. And since their technologies weren’t properly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365, they were unable to accurately track leads, measure progress, and provide detailed insights to their sales team.

Act-On totally changed our mindset about what we could do with marketing automation and how we could coordinate and execute holistically. We could finally focus our strategy based on real-time data. Suddenly, we were thinking strategically instead of tactically, and we’ve seen significant improvement across our channels as a result.

Pelli Papoulidou, VP of Marketing

Researching the Right Martech Solution

interworks.cloud uses their own software whenever possible, so prior to adopting Act-On, they developed a proprietary cloud-based CRM that they transformed into a fairly sophisticated end-to-end marketing automation solution. However, Pelli Papoulidou, the VP of Marketing, wanted to take things further. She understood the need to integrate and consolidate the organization’s martech stack in order to deliver more targeted and intuitive marketing campaigns, so three years ago, she began researching marketing automation platforms to help interworks.cloud achieve their goals. 

While researching and speaking with Act-On, Pelli gained confidence as she learned more about Act-On’s company roadmap and integrations. Still, she wanted to involve additional key stakeholders at the company to properly evaluate all available options. Their main search criterion was to find a platform that could accommodate a diverse range of use cases, marketing integrations, and campaign workflows. After a lengthy vetting process that included conversations with Marketo and Pardot, Pelli and her team were convinced that Act-On was the solution they’d been looking for — especially given our platform’s strong Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration and ability to execute multiple inbound and outbound marketing programs.

Here’s how they’ve been using Act-On since implementing our platform in late 2019.

Getting Started With Deep MarTech Integrations

Dimitris Antonopoulos (Global Marketing Executive) and Christine Iakovidou (Marketing Automation Specialist) wanted to track all prospect and customer interactions through a bi-directional sync between Act-On and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Understanding how effective a well-connected marketing automation/CRM combination can be, they immediately began working with Act-On’s Customer Success team to set up these deep integrations. 

Act-On Segmentation

interworks.cloud’s back-end is fairly complicated with numerous connectors, so it took several weeks to set up these integrations and test them to ensure they worked properly. But after working with Act-On’s support experts, interworks.cloud was able to import and consolidate all previous data from their proprietary CRM into Microsoft Dynamics 365 and push that information to Act-On to begin segmenting their master contact list. 

With that work complete, Dimitris and Christine began adding new contacts to Act-On and filtering them through Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide Sales with a comprehensive view of each customer’s journey. They also worked closely with Act-On’s Email Deliverability team to cleanse their marketing lists, ensuring quality data hygiene resulting in improved email reputation and increased email deliverability. 

Now armed with streamlined connections and high-quality marketing lists, segmentation is far easier, leading to improved personalization and thereby engagement. Best of all, the interworks.cloud marketing team is spending far less time manually combing through the data — allowing them to spend more time working within Act-On to plan, build, and execute more effective marketing campaigns and customer journeys.

According to Christine, “Act-On eliminates a lot of time-consuming manual activities and allows us to replicate a lot of our processes, which relieves a lot of headaches and helps us be more productive and efficient.”

Keep Customers Engaged With Marketing Automation

Generating Awareness and Driving Conversions

interworks.cloud has two distinct business units and several target audiences — including large IT distributors, service providers, and local distributors. So it’s important that they’re able to generate awareness of these multiple business units to numerous audiences through optimized web messaging and content. By implementing the Act-On website visitor behavior tracking beacon on their websites and digital properties, interworks.cloud is able to understand which content is driving quality web traffic and then update and optimize accordingly. As a result, they’ve seen a 20% increase in overall site traffic and a 30% increase in the time users spend on their sites.

Act-On Landing Page

Naturally, improved web traffic has led to increased conversions and MQLs.interworks.cloud uses Act-On to build and optimize their landing pages, and all form submissions and downloads are automatically imported to Act-On and then pushed to Microsoft Dynamics 365. And since interworks.cloud is more focused on the quality of their leads rather than the quantity, Website Prospector provides the insights they need to properly score their leads, prioritize and plan their lead qualification and management strategies, and share critical information with Sales for more productive and meaningful conversations.

Nurturing Leads Throughout the Lifecycle

The next aspect of interworks.cloud’s holistic strategy is to leverage Act-On and Microsoft Dynamics 365 to nurture high-quality leads throughout the buying journey and then seamlessly pass them to Sales to close the deal. They do this through advanced segmentation and automated programs. By using Act-On to break down their master lists into smaller, more targeted segments, interworks.cloud is able to deliver personalized digital experiences based on behavior, interests, pain points, demographics, and firmographics. Most importantly, they’re able to group different leads into individual campaigns by company type (Microsoft Service Provider, Google Workspace Reseller, etc.), which allows for ultimate customization and personalization according to each audience’s needs and preferences.

Act-On Automated Buying Journey

All outbound campaigns (whether monthly newsletters, one-off emails, or fully automated programs with dynamic content and conditional logic) for both prospects and customers are built using Act-On email templates and delivered through Act-On’s Automated Journey Builder. interworks.cloud also uses Act-On to track campaign engagement, performance, and ROI — and automatically relays this information to Microsoft Dynamics to provide Sales with the insights they need to understand the customer’s motivations and behaviors. Further, whenever a prospect performs a predefined action, they’re placed into the most relevant segment (or labeled an SQL, in the case of a demo request) and their updated behavioral data is sent to Microsoft Dynamics. 

As leads progress through the customer lifecycle, their engagements are scored using Act-On lead scoring models. Scoring behavior contributes to segmentation and helps the interworks.cloud marketing team qualify leads and pass MQLs to Sales. For Marketing, the main goal is to engage users to ask for a demo (a strong indicator of interest), which escalates a lead to an SQL and sends a trigger notification via Microsoft Dynamics. Therefore, while educational in nature, every automated program is structured to guide the end-user through a manicured funnel toward booking a demonstration and a subsequent conversation with Sales.

Act-On Content Marketing

interworks.cloud Leverages Act-On to Drive Real Value and Real Results

The engagement and behavioral insights derived from Act-On and passed through to Microsoft Dynamics 365 revolutionized interworks.cloud’s strategy and continues to help them understand the quality of their leads and their location within the funnel. For an organization such as interworks.cloud, which has a lengthy sales cycle, these insights are invaluable, as it allows them to prioritize their efforts and deliver along every stage of the prospect and customer lifecycle.

Further, since implementing Act-On, interworks.cloud has seen their email engagement rates increase by 15% and their conversion rates have improved by 20%. And while they’ve only been using Act-On for just under a year, interworks.cloud is confident that the Act-On growth marketing automation platform has what they need to drive more revenue and increase sales volume.

“Act-On has the features and integrations our team needs to plan and deliver holistic marketing strategies according to our complex business model,” said Pelli. “Their customer support is among the best in the business, and we’re excited to continue pushing the boundaries of what this powerful platform can do.”

Keep Customers Engaged With Marketing Automation

Outcome

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