The Inbound Champion Spotlight series highlights companies and influencers that successfully execute inbound.
We are opening this series with Ipswitch - a secure file transfer and network monitoring software for cloud and on premise systems.
What is your name and role at Ipswitch?
David Wilson - Senior Marketing Director
My job responsibilities are global traffic acquisition including SEO, PPC, organic and paid social media and content syndication. Any channels that are being trafficked to our website fall under my responsibility.
How would you describe Ipswitch in 2-3 sentences to people who do not know what you do?
We are a B2B software company that has 2 core products with 2 different markets.
MOVEit is a managed file transfer software that securely exchanges critical business data from one computer to another, one server to another, and encrypts it along the whole way so it can’t get hacked. WhatsUp Gold is an easy-to-use network monitoring software, which provides complete control and insight across your entire network.
Why did you decide to adopt the inbound methodology?
We did it around two years ago as part of the realization that people are doing a lot more research now than they used to. They’re talking to sales reps much further down the funnel. Part of us changing our methodology was that realization that we needed to build a lot more top of the funnel content for people, so that’s what we started to do, and that’s what we’ve been working on over the last two years.
What inbound practices do you use at Ipswitch?
We use all the typical inbound channels such as blogs, SEO, video and content marketing, content syndication, social media amplification, paid amplification and PPC. We try and hit paid, earned and owned traffic channels, so we can get a mix of traffic, and reach our audience wherever they are.
What marketing and sales challenges do you face?
We face the same challenges as practically everyone else does and that’s the battle for attention. People have two or three screens now, they’re always on the phone, they’re always being distracted, so it’s much harder to get in front of someone and keep their attention than it was 2, 4 or even 5 years ago.
They swipe left and swipe right so you have to come up with something a lot more creative and out of the box to grab their attention, to make them stop and read, listen or watch what you’ve produced.
Like everyone else that’s the biggest battle we have. How do we get in front of people and how do we get their attention?
How does inbound help address these challenges?
Using the inbound methodology via different channels allows us to tailor messaging so we can take a video and put it on YouTube, take snippets of it and put it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and take this content so it works specifically on that network for a particular audience.
We can also transcribe it and create a blog post from it. It’s taking assets and repurposing them across the different networks so they’re native to that. It’s not taking the same piece of content and just sharing it everywhere. It’s taking that piece of content, re-formatting and adjusting it so it works great on whatever platform you’re using.
What benefits and results have you seen since implementing inbound?
Ultimately this comes down to increased traffic and a decreased cost of our leads. From a marketing standpoint that’s two of the big targets that we aim for. Ultimately it drives more opportunities and more sales than it did before.
What have you been doing further down the funnel in terms of inbound sales?
Inbound sales helps us interact with our customers and prospective customers on different platforms. We’ve come an awful long way in the last few years, away from picking up the phone and talking to people but I think the pendulum switched too much to digital.
This means there’s an opportunity for us and using companies like CloudTask, we can follow up with leads and people we met at conferences, and not just by emailing and lead nurturing, but also by picking up the phone, calling them and engaging them a little earlier in the process, a little further up the funnel, and help push them through the buyer’s journey, than if we just sat back waiting for nurturing to do everything.
So I think the combination of inbound, plus outbound calling, allows us to increase that velocity through our funnel.
What types of companies and industries do you think can benefit most from the inbound methodology?
I struggle to find a company that would not be able to use inbound. If the methodology with inbound is providing information for people up and down the funnel, then I struggle to find a company that would not benefit by researching their target audience and adapting their messaging and distribution accordingly. I really struggle to find anyone that could not use inbound sales and marketing.
Is there anything else to add regarding inbound sales or marketing that could inspire our readers?
Test, test and test again, and use data. There are a lot of preconceptions of what will work and what won’t on different platforms but ultimately you have to find out yourselves, because some industries and some places work better than others. Test Facebook to find out what could work for B2B sales as well as B2C marketing. You have to be able to try various formats such as podcasts, and blog posts, and find out do these work?
Put some metrics around them, set some goals and go and test them. If you continue to do that, you’ll be surprised at the results and what you can get from places that people said would not be successful.