Thought-leadership campaign contributes to Knowlagent's growth

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Software company Knowlagent rolled out its "Productivity Plus" campaign last year when it rebuilt its product focus around one component of the call center training software that had been the hallmark of its brand. The content-heavy campaign sought to establish the company as a leader in a new market, which it now calls intraday management solutions for the call center and workforce management space. "For years we were known as a training software company that was differentiated by one key component called RightTime," said John Wolf, CMO at Knowlagent. That component, which allowed clients to manage call volume and create blocks of time for agents to work with Knowlagent tools, now integrates with any training system or call center application. "It changed our value proposition significantly," Wolf said. "We needed to go out and reeducate the market and also build awareness." The shift meant the company needed to lead its target client base toward a new technology solution, Wolf said. But it couldn't always talk to the same buyers within those client companies. Knowlagent worked with Atlanta-based digital marketing and PR firm ArketiĀ Group to develop a thought-leadership campaign that would help the company define the new space it was entering and also reach a new group of decision-makers—the workforce management executives who controlled the purse strings in this area. The content strategy focused on cultivating relationships with third-party experts and commissioning an independent survey—elements that lent credibility to the company. Knowlagent recruited three industry experts who generated buzz, writing blog posts for the Productivity Plus blog, moderating roundtable sessions and leading webinars. The company also partnered with CRM Magazine, sponsoring an industry survey that analyzed productivity at call centers. "We got a lot of mileage out of that survey," said Lee Anne Wimberly, director of marketing at Knowlagent. "We did downloads of an abstract and downloads of a full survey. We turned the survey into infographics." The company also constructed a media push through a news release about the survey; created a related webinar; developed blog posts around the topic; promoted it through social media; and featured the facts in face-to-face presentations. "We really leveraged that dollar," said Mike Neumeier, principal at ArketiĀ Group. "We're big fans of reusing things as much as we can. A lot of companies don't get it right in terms of how much that data can be used over and over to make the company look like the thought leader that they are and to advance the findings of the survey." Knowlagent also leveraged its executive roundtable sessions, creating content pieces from the regional sessions, which put productivity experts in the same room with clients. The company closely watched each element of the campaign as it unrolled. For example, it used Web analytics to fine-tune Web assets and track clicks-to-conversions, weighing the impact of about 170 media placements. Knowlagent also kept an eye on organic search. "We measure the branded organic search volume that is generating traffic for our site," Wolf said. "Theoretically, if we are building our brand, that number should increase. It's a nice, inexpensive way to measure your brand-building methods." The company has seen brand awareness and customer acquisition increase, Wolf said. "We're growing [annual contract revenue] in excess of 30%, and we can see that this strategy is working." The next step will be to find spokesmen among the company's new roster of clients. "Now that we've got a number of customers using the technology, we can do a results-driven campaign," Neumeier said. "When you are entering a new space, it has to be about thought leadership, because you don't have the customers. You don't have the results to deliver that ROI campaign. Now we think that would be feasible."
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