Location: San Diego
Key executive: Thad Kahlow, CEO
2010 revenue: $6.7 million
2010 b2b revenue: $6.1 million
Key clients: Honeywell, Masco Corp., Sybase, Watkins Manufacturing, Workday
Major 2010 campaigns: Cisco Systems, “Predictive Engagement Model,” database marketing and analytics; Sybase, “Mobility Management,” paid search, website usability, analytics; Workday, Paid Search campaign, search engine optimization, campaign management, analytics
Comments: Increased revenue 31%; added new clients including Cargill, Emerson Electric, Honeywell International, Illumina, Masco and NetApp; doubled employee base; 90% of business is b2b
San Diego-based Business-Online credits many of its services for its recent growth streak, but analytics may be key to its jet propulsion.
The interactive shop boosted estimated revenue 31% last year, won several new b2b clients and doubled its staff to 58 from the start of 2009, culminating with five new hires in its new San Francisco office.
New accounts last year included Cargill Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Honeywell International, Illumina Inc. and Masco Corp.
Also last year, BusinessOnline launched an analytics practice called Customer Intelligence. The practice features a predictive analytics model that measures digital behavior (across call centers, Web, email and other channels) of potential clients in order to predict who will buy, what they will buy, when they will buy and how much they will buy up to six months in advance.
Client Cisco Systems validated the model with its database marketing team, using 400,000 companies that bought from Cisco against two years of sales data. Tests performed on the service showed 80% accuracy.
Every time a substantial purchase was forecast, the program triggered automatic alerts to Cisco's sales force, predicting the buyer, the product, how much would be purchased and the time frame in which the purchase would be made. It also enabled Cisco to create telemarketing lists, trigger-based ad campaigns and online personalization.
Collecting and analyzing digital footprints “allows us to have a 360-degree view of a customer,” said BusinessOnline CEO Thad Kahlow. “We begin to understand customers and where they are in the purchase cycle, and then we can begin to predict the future.”
For client Sybase Inc., a provider of enterprise and mobile software solutions, BusinessOnline created an integrated online campaign that included paid search, search engine optimization, website usability and analytics.
With the campaign, Sybase saw its cost-per-lead decrease by 86%, conversion rates increase by more than 1,100% and leads increase by 477%, according to BusinessOnline.
“We intimately understand their business,” Kahlow said, as well as understanding Sybase's customers' goals.
For client Workday, which provides HR and financial software, BusinessOnline helped improve the quality of leads and conversion rates through a paid search program that used campaign management services and analytics to boost performance.
After the first 10 months of the campaign, Workday was able to increase the conversion rate by 123% and decrease the cost-per-lead by 62%. The net result was more conversions with the same budget. Because of the success of the campaign, Workday was able to improve the quality of leads and increase brand exposure.
Kahlow said marketers are now expected to do more with less. They're also being expected to deliver an integrated marketing message bringing together such media as social, mobile and search, he said. All of these pieces are so interconnected that “if you're not connecting all the pieces, you're leaving so much on the table.”
“When customers embrace the notion of "how can I better serve you?' online,” rather than just providing brand information, they're “going to deliver better results,” Kahlow said.
RUNNER-UP: BBDO New York
|HONORABLE MENTION: Bader Rutter & Associates|
|WINNER: Stein Rogan+Partners|
|RUNNER-UP: PJA Advertising+Marketing|
HONORABLE MENTION: Digitas