R.M. Hoffman Revitalizes Marketing with Act-On
R.M. Hoffman has been designing, building, and selling industrial automation components and assemblies since 1959. The Sunnyvale, CA Company helps engineers build custom motion control equipment that automates the manufacturing of a broad range of products.
CHALLENGE: Adopt digital marketing technologies
In the past, R.M Hoffman had needed only a knowledgeable sales team and modest marketing efforts to grow its business. But by the 90s, the market landscape had changed dramatically. The shift to digital marketing prompted many in manufacturing and other industries to change course, R.M Hoffman included.
Joining R.M Hoffman in 2014 as the company’s head of marketing and sales, Peter Hoffman, brother of company CEO/President Tom Hoffman, understood the power of digital marketing. He embraced it with open arms. “I knew firsthand the importance of the brand, messaging and digital marketing,” he says. “I wanted to use the proven tools and techniques from the tech world to bolster marketing and sales at R.M. Hoffman. My goal was to increase qualified leads and build revenue. Act-On topped my list of solutions because it provides a comprehensive solution to attract new business by capturing and nurturing leads. Act-On’s promise of converting leads to sales, and expanding our market space was appealing.”
The company needed a set of powerful tech-based sales and marketing automation tools to build on its strong base – a veteran sales team, some of the top manufacturers in the business, and decades of industry-specific expertise. “From my work at other tech firms, I knew our company could achieve a tremendous competitive advantage if we deployed and effectively used software technology as a way to reach new customers and better serve our current customers,” says Peter.
Act-On Customer Since: 2015
- Revamped entire sales & marketing process through marketing automation with Act-On at the center
- Modernized the business to capitalize on the digital economy
- Segmented prospects and customers based on behaviors, industries and interests
- Doubled the volume of traffic to their websites
- Generated a 33% increase in sales leads year-over-year
- Grew year-end sales revenue by 15%
SOLUTION: A multi-layered approach
In evaluating marketing automation solutions, Peter looked for platforms that could expand on the company’s multi-layered approach to marketing. In particular, he sought inbound packages that would drive traffic and awareness. These packages would support organic search and Google AdWords, and be built on a solid foundation of messaging and content.
He then divided marketing automation into two chief challenges: finding, nurturing and converting leads to new business; and managing customer relationships (CRM). For the former, Act-On rose quickly as a leading solution. For the latter, Zoho CRM fit the bill to manage all aspects of business relationships with current and potential customers. And to bring it all together, Cazoomi was brought in to manage synchronization between Act-On and Zoho.
BENEFIT: Act-On features provide key insights
Over a span of several months, R.M. Hoffman began tailoring its communications, segmenting contact lists and crafting email campaigns to individual industries – semiconductors, medical diagnostic and automation equipment manufacturers.
Custom newsletters were sent to help build awareness and drive further engagement, and content was gated (with Act-On web forms and calls-to-action) to capture new buyers. “When we talk to a customer, it’s really helpful to us to have an idea of their interests,” Peter says. “Act-On’s website visitor tracking allows our sales team to see website pages that were viewed and the technical product PDFs that were downloaded.”
This level of insight proved crucial when it came to engaging the company’s primary customers in real-time: design and mechanical engineers, by nature a more impatient group than most. “Engineers like to do their own research” says Peter. “They don’t want to have a conversation if they can find needed information on the Internet. They’re very focused and have limited time. Our success is dependent on reaching engineers at the beginning of their problem-solving process, but we need keen instincts regarding their needs.”
With Act-On, sales engineers can arm themselves with key knowledge about their customers’ interests and requirements before they conversations begin. “It’s a tremendous advantage,” says Peter. “We get vital information that accelerates our ability to talk to customers more intelligently early in the sales process. Act-On speeds up the process for both our team and the customer.”
Results reveal strong improvements
Today, digital marketing automation is central to the company’s sustainability and growth. Since the Act-On platform was implemented, web traffic has doubled, sales revenue has climbed 15%, and sales leads have grown year-over-year by 33 percent. These are strong results in an industry where single-digit growth is the norm.
R.M. Hoffman’s team uses Act-On every day, and relies on the technology’s varied array of features and robust integrations to grow the business. All lead activities – from initial email-contact to tech document download – are logged and tracked in Zoho. Each activity is scored in Act-On, giving the company the transparency and tracking it needs to identify the buyers with the most intent to purchase.
“Act-On has become as crucial to our marketing and sales effort as phone and basic e-mail,” says Peter. “It’s central to the way the company runs. It’s unthinkable to imagine going back.”