10 Lessons from 6 B2B Marketing Case Studies

It’s amazing how many business owners still don’t believe online marketing can add value to their business.

They don’t realize that the world has changed.

People and business owners view your business differently.

Leads are the engine that drive new business.

If you don’t have a pipeline that has new leads and prospects your opportunities will eventually dry up.

Even if you are selling business to business most of the digital strategies can be used effectively in your niche.

In fact, they might be even more effective since not many people have tried them.

As you can see from the chart below each digital channel has different perceptions on their effectiveness:

marketing sherpa

If you look at Cheif Marketer’s data, they have different perceptions on the most effective channel.


Each channel has different variations of effectiveness depending on your market.

The problem with most businesses is that they try one channel, fail and think that the channel wasn’t effective for their business.

The channel is most likely not the problem.

The problem is you.

Each channel can work for your business but the key thing to remember is to have a target before you start any campaign or else you’ll fail to hit your goals.

Here are 13 lessons you can learn from different lead generation case studies.

There are generally two schools of thought when looking at these case studies:

  • Study companies similar to yours and emulate their strategy.
  • Or study companies different from yours and apply their tactics to your niche.

I’ve rounded up a list of case studies in several different markets that each illustrate, some aspect of online/digital marketing.

Case Study #1

Makana Solutions, acquired by Cornerstone Software triples leads with revamped web content.

Makana solutions was a SAAS company that provided self-service sales compensation solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses.

They’re main, challenge, was educating sales executives on the benefits of their software.

Since their product was new, traditional outbound advertising was difficult and expensive.

They decided to make their website an online educational destination tool for sales executives looking for sales compensation best practices.

software word in mixed vintage metal type printing blocks over grunge wood

Here are the 5 steps to the campaign:

  1.  Create content for planning best practices- this included a sample compensation plan, educational webinars, and survey results.
  2. Optimize Website along high-value search terms.
  3. Boost inbound links to improve search engine rankings.
  4. Paid search advertising to supplement SEO efforts.
  5. Follow up on Web leads- a lead capture registration form was followed up a free software trial.


Makana solutions succeeded in making their website into an educational hub.

3 months after implementing this strategy, the results were the following:

  • Website traffic increased 300%.
  • The leads tripled.
  • The conversion rate doubled for the leads.

Case Study #2

Manufacture Strongwell Corporation uses an automated email drip campaign to secure $30,000 RFQ.

The Strongwell corporation is one of the leaders in the pultrusion industry.

According to Barry Myers, the marketing manager of Strongwell, their primary customers are:

“Structural engineers, architectural firms and large constructors who are designing and building structures generally on the commercial level, although there are some on a consumer level.”

When Barry Myers arrived at the job they had no marketing automation and rarely sent out email newsletters.

They’re biggest challenge was shifting their print subscribers online.

Here are the 3 steps they followed to secure that $30,000 RFQ

1 – Evaluate and Integrate Their New System

Their old CRM didn’t allow them to email and market outside the system.

They needed to find a CRM capable of marketing to their email list.


CRM - Customer Relationship Management concept with hand pressing a button on blurred abstract background

They found one and switched their campaigns.

They made sure to assign emails based on different regions. 

They also made each email personal.

2 – Pre-Qualify Leads for Sales

Strongwell has a longer sales cycle and each sale is a big investment.

Their sales teams did not want to waste time on leads that were not qualified.

Their filter was adding a design manual tool to their website.

This tool was used to design a structure with their products.

Every structural product had a design manual, so this tool was a strong qualifier.

By adding and assigning to the proper territory, the sales teams knew that each lead they were getting from marketing was a valuable one.

3 – Develop a Drip and Nurture Campaign.

Strongwell doesn’t have a big enough sales force to call out every potential job in their space.

They had to find a way to systematized their sales process and warm their leads.

They built an email drip campaign that provided educational content and gave their prospects easy access to call their sales teams.

Here’s an example of the email that was sent out:


By nurturing their leads, this allowed their sales teams to reach out in a non-salesy way.


Within weeks of creating this campaign, Strongwell was able to secure a $30,000 RFQ.

They have a long sales cycle and they’re sure their new strategy will transform their campaign.

Case Study #3

Five9 increases conversion rates 300% by adding an e-book.

Five9 is a call center software that competes with giants like Ayaya and Cisco.

They had a problem.

They were creating great content but had no alignment their sales and marketing teams.

They would create content that would fizzle out and not provide a positive ROI.

They had to figure out a way to align their content and funnel their prospects onto their sales teams.

Here the different steps they took:

1# Develop Customer Avatars

Five9 had sold to CEO, IT managers, CIO, sales directors, and VP of customer support.

They had to develop different avatars that spoke to each customer desires and problems.

To develop these avatars, they interviewed and surveyed their current customers.

The survey included questions like:

  • Who is the primary driver of the research and evaluations of vendors?
  • Who was the last person to approve of the vendor selection? 
  • What is your company size?
  • What kind of contact center do you have?
  • Do you have a customer service or inbound contact center?
  • Do you have a telemarketing or an outbound contact center?
  • What are your biggest pain points?

2# Create An E-book

They used the feedback they got to create an ebook.

Here’s an example of the landing page looked like for the ebook:


During the creation process, they worked with their marketing team to divide the ebook into different sections to re-purpose the content, later on, their blog.

Step #3

Re-purpose content in blog.

They re- purposed the e-book into 10 separate blog posts.

The content they used was purely educational and didn’t have an offer attached.

Step #4

Promote Content on Social Media

They promoted their content on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google Plus.

Linkedin was the most effective social media channel.

It allowed them to target their ideal customers.

Step #5

Re-purpose content for lead nurture campaigns.

case study

They had their content re-purposed in 63 different ways which included:

  • 11 blog posts.
  • 33 social posts.
  • 2 e-book downloads.
  • 9 assets in the nurture campaign (9 guides with 9 landing pages and emails).
  • 6 emails.

Each piece of content was sent to their prospects depending on the stage they were of the buying cycle.


In only 30 days since launching this campaign, Five9 saw the following results:

  • 4 times as many leads.
  • 3 times as many conversions.

Case Study #4

Thomson Reuters achieves a 175% increase in revenue with Marketing Automation.

Like a lot of large multinational corporations, Thomson Reuters failed to align their sales and marketing teams.

For years, they blasted emails to their database without segmenting.

Marketing leads were sent to their sales team based on the campaign instead of properly qualifying the leads.

Here are the steps they took to align sales and marketing.

Step #1 – Consolidation of Leads into Eloqua

  • All their inbound leads were consolidated using a CRM.

Step #2 – Develop Lead Scoring Criteria

  • The sales and marketing teams worked together to develop the right lead system.
  • They determined if the leads were properly qualified and sent to sales or were put in a lead nurturing campaign.

Step #3 – Marketing and Sales Work Together to Develop Their Ideal Customer

  • After gathering data, they developed different customer profiles.
  • This allowed their marketing teams to send the right content depending on which of the buying cycle they were in.


After achieving alignment between their sales and marketing teams they saw the following results:

  • 23% Increase in leads routed to the sales teams.
  • 175% increase in revenue attributing to marketing leads.

Case Study #5

Modern helps EKA develop a 2 million dollar pipeline in less than 3 weeks using Linkedin.

EKA is a global risk management software company based in India.

They had a big challenge.

They wanted to expand into new markets with a complicated product and without knowing any of the key players.

Here the steps they took to get that $2 million dollar pipeline:

#1 – Identify the top 200 CEO and CFO Australian based names using Linkedin advanced search.

#2Proposed solution based on market analysis.

#3Reach out to the key players and set up appointments with them.


In less than 30 days EKA saw the following results using Linkedin:

  • Over 200 Australian based CEO/CFO’s identified.
  • 70 mines identified.
  • $2 million sales pipeline in 3 weeks.
  • $6 million sales pipeline after 6 months.

Case Study #6

15 times the amount of new leads were generated by Caturano and Company.

They did this by taking advantage of social media and SEO.

McGladrey obtained the Caturano and Company firm who were in the business of consulting and accounting.

They had a straightforward task. 

Potential vendors were being assessed online by their prospects and they were aware of this.

Their presence on the web was minimal and they were aware that opportunities were flying right by them. 

Being active online was something they had to do.

Here are the steps they took to solve their problem:

#1 Redesign Website to Capture Leads – They improved their website by including a lead capture form as well as a content management system.

#2 Use SEO to Attract More Visitors – 25 keywords were targeted and to advance their rankings, outbound and inbound links were established.

#3 Content Marketing – A sense of authority was added to their website by providing educational content.

#4 Participated in CFO Social Networks– They found out the most frequent sites where their targeted customers spend their time and started to give them beneficial content.

#5 Monitor Social Media Conversations– They oversaw online conversations by using tracking tools to enable them to contribute appropriate content to the conversations.


Previous to the campaign, their web activity was insignificant.

15 qualified leads were being generated each month after a short period of the campaign starting.

A 68% increase was seen in their website as well.

Case Study #7

PR Newswire integrates their content marketing and shortens their sales cycle by 30%.

PR Newswire is a news distribution company based in New York city.

They were founded in 1954 and are extremely well known in their field.

They had a big challenge.   

Their prospects had more control over the buying process and they didn’t have a content platform that engaged their 25,000 customers.

They had the following objectives:

  • Improve their customer experience.
  • Create even more authority by distributing helpful content across more channels.

They created a marketing campaign designed to help them achieve their objectives.

Here are the following steps they took to achieve their objectives:

#1 Analyze and segment the marketplace – They would evaluate which market(s) they want to go after by categorizing them based on characteristics such as psycho-graphics and demographics. An analysis of things found such as the size of the segment would be carried out to clearly establish the target market.

#2 Created an editorial content calendar – Their team coordinated with each other to create a cross-channel content calendar that matched the content with what stage of the sales cycle their customers were at. Here’s an example of a content upgrade in on of their blog posts:

pr news

Here’s an example of a re-marketing ad that was shown to people that visited their website:

pr news 2

#3 Use Marketing Automation to Properly Segment Their Audience – PR Newswire partnered with a marketing automation company to segment their database. They knew that their analytics and data had to be connected in order for their content to reach the right people.

#4 Select the Proper Marketing Channels for Distribution – They used a combination of organic and paid media to distribute their content.


Here are the results from this marketing campaign:

  • A 20% lift in engaged buyers.
  • An 8% lift in qualified leads that are being given to sales.
  • A 7% lift in closed deals.
  • A 30% shorter sales cycle.

Case Study #8

How Lumension achieved 865% increase in website views with re-targeting.

The last case study again comes from the guys at Marketing Sherpa.

This time, we look at a Lumension a security software company.

They had a big challenge.

They needed to cut their marketing costs by 30% while at the same time increasing the amount of leads.

Here are the steps they took to help them solve their problem and achieve their objectives:

#1 Conduct a Demand Analysis –

They first needed to find where and what times of the year most of their traffic was coming from.

They conducted an analysis and found that demand generation increased when they were spending on advertising.

#2 Create Re-targeting Strategy –

They researched their customers and found different customer profiles.

They also determined they had a 6-month sales cycle.

Once they had this information they created their re-targeting strategy.

#3 Mix Online and Offline Audience to Create Specific Re-targeting Ads- 

By re-targeting ads specifically, they can fixate their attention on providing content for an online audience.

However, they use offline data to gather crucial parts of information. 

So if someone had visited your site and left before carrying out any action you can do things like promoting tweets that are targeted towards them.

Once they come across your tweet, they can be directed back to your site to complete the initial action that they previously did not.

This is a great way to attract attention to your website. 

10 Lessons Learned From the Case Studies

  • Be Cost Efficient – Ensure that your website appeals largely to your niche audience when advertising. 
  • Marketing Automation – It’s crucial that your company has this in place so that you can send content to appropriate websites and emails. 
  • CRM Use a CRM that can market specifically towards your email list. 
  • Save Time – Make use of design manual tools to filter leads that aren’t qualified. 
  • Make it Easy for Prospects – Take advantage of email drip campaigns so prospects can get in touch with your sales team. 
  • E-books – Send E-books to prospects that cover all areas such as video content and hiring checklists. 
  • Data – Work with your marketing team to gather data on customer profiles. 
  • New Markets – Use marketing analysis before expanding into new markets. 
  • Web Presence Have an authoritative web presence by sharing valuable content across different channels like social media and other websites. 
  • Leads – Make use of social media to generate new and qualified leads. 


Seeing other companies make mistakes and finding solutions to them is crucial to pay attention to.

You never know when your business could be in a similar situation. 

Take note of these 10 lessons and ensure that all these areas are covered when it comes to marketing online.

You’ll have a much better chance of generating new leads to your business. 

About the Author

My name is Mauricio and I'm the founder The Cardenal Group. I write about online marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

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