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NorthStar Systems doubles revenue with series of campaigns

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Last year, NorthStar Systems International, a provider of software solutions to financial services institutions, set out to increase brand awareness and generate sales leads among its audience of wealth management executives. The company, spun off from a technology incubator in 2003, had landed several key clients, but wanted to establish its brand in the marketplace, said Vicki Morris, VP-marketing. NorthStar's limited marketing budget presented a challenge, however, as did the fact that its target buyers are hard-to-reach, senior-level executives. NorthStar decided to use a series of e-mail marketing campaigns, as well as webinars and online advertising, with a strong focus on segmentation, to accomplish its objective. It began the marketing push in the second quarter of last year with a campaign focused on finding buyers for its integrated wealth management software platform. To do so, the company used a title-based segmentation strategy that targeted wealth management companies handling clients in the $5 million-plus asset tier. NorthStar e-mailed 893 executives at such firms an e-newsletter featuring relevant industry topics. In the third quarter, NorthStar launched a follow-up campaign that added online ads, e-postcards, a web-inar and public relations to the original e-newsletter. These efforts focused on compliance, an urgent topic for wealth managers, Morris said. The second campaign drew twice as many leads, according to Morris. A third, launched in the fourth quarter of last year, focused on NorthStar's client acquisition solution, which helps wealth managers generate investment proposals and close new business. The campaign segmented the audience by company type and presented a different message to each group. The e-mail piece of the campaign, which targeted 4,470 executives, sent different e-postcards, custom case studies and white papers for each segment. NorthStar also used telenetworking as part of this campaign. The e-mail portion of the third campaign resulted in 60 leads, the telenetworking component, 46. Overall, the three campaigns cost less than $75,000 and resulted in NorthStar doubling its revenue as well as the number of customer engagements. M
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