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Arrow S3 uses analytics to make the case for marketing

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Communications solutions provider Arrow S3 uses analytics not only to internally validate marketing spending but also to refine its marketing programs and make the case for support from its key partner, global communications giant Avaya Inc. “When we are able to show the effect that marketing has on the business from the standpoint of leads generated, opportunities generated and the funnel that is generated, it allows us to ask for more funds and have them be approved with ease,” said Eric Butterwick, marketing communications manager at Arrow S3. “The analytics are a backbone to gaining credibility for our marketing team and earning respect from our sales team and our upper management,” he said. The Irving, Texas-based company, formed last year from the merger of Cross Telecom and Shared Technologies, provides communications services and systems to the enterprise market. It sells to a number of verticals, particularly healthcare. The marketing team employs Eloqua automation tools that allow it to track leads and measure the performance of everything from in-person events to email campaigns. The company has used that marketing data to overhaul its events portfolio, scaling large events down through improved audience targeting tactics. “We're taking our money and spending it more strategically by spending it on the right people,” Butterwick said. The tools also help the company know when big-ticket items are worth the cost. “If we're spending $26,000 to have eight people go to the Ryder Cup [golf tournament], we're able to show that we'll get a 10-times return, based on the people who we are inviting,” he said. The company also has been able to use analytics to help secure a significant portion of its overall marketing budget from partner Avaya. “We've been able to go to our partner to throw us a sum of money ... and we'll promise these results based on what we've been able to show in the past,” Butterwick said. “That's pretty powerful.” Campaigns conducted in partnership with Avaya generated $50 million in the sales funnel during the first three quarters of the year, with more than $8 million in sales having closed by mid-September, Butterwick said. Moreover, the sales force is able to gain insight into its prospects—not only who potential buyers are but where they are within the sales funnel and which marketing materials they have been viewing. “It allows our account executives to be more responsible and more efficient,” Butterwick said. Those results have helped make the case for adding automation tools and growing the marketing staff, he said. “Numbers don't lie. CFOs and CEOs—the people who are distributing [money]—that's what they are looking at.”
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