How prospect surveys aided Apperian in refining target market

LIsa Vitale marketing GuruHow prospect surveys aided Apperian in refining target market

Gaining a deeper understanding of customer characteristics is critical in order to effectively drive future marketing campaigns. Many marketing programs today are focused on content development, but if marketing professionals aren’t able to connect the dots to those customer characteristics, they’re just slinging out a ceaseless stream of words in hopes that some will stick.


According to a B2B content marketing survey issued earlier this year, “70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%).[i]

Jonathan Burg, senior director of Marketing and Customer Acquisition with Apperian wanted a strategic and effective approach. Apperian is the industry’s top mobile application management platform and enterprise app store and Burg needed to drive pipeline growth while redefining the company’s strategic direction.

Burg sought a deeper understanding of customer characteristics in order to effectively shape future marketing efforts. Customer and market insights were key to both that understanding and in developing materials that would resonate with the audience.

SimplyDIRECT was able to help on both fronts by providing powerful insights and taking a fresh approach.

Apperian kicked off its campaign by holding an internal workshop with key company executives to brainstorm hypotheses about their customers and develop insights into what they wanted to learn. This led to a list of potential questions that SimplyDIRECT spun into a brief, 10-question survey.

The survey optimized the questions in a way that would get the highest level of response. Simply DIRECT then built a database according to tight specs – the kind of companies, type of executives – identified in the workshop Burg ran.

The survey, called Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy, was sent to just those executives whose roles involved mobility strategy and whose responses would lead to insights about the Apperian market. The result was, as guaranteed, 100 completed surveys.

In addition to the contacts generated, the intelligence gleaned from the survey led to a research report, which the company used to leverage significant press coverage in publications such as eWeek and FierceMobileIT. News readers were linked back to the Apperian site, making the report a useful inbound tool for future customers.

Burg went on to develop a webcast about mobility trends, signing up approximately 300 prospects for the event. By integrating the report and the webcast into Apperian’s social media channels, the company created even more buzz.

Apperian’s original goal of gaining a deeper understanding of its market was met, along with 100 leads, a custom prospect database, and new social media content. “SimplyDIRECT allows us to harness content that’s very relevant and useful for our customers,” adds Burg.

SimplyDIRECT’s survey-based programs are designed to engage specific contacts within particular target companies. The Pulse Report, which is based on analyzing the survey’s responses, can be used to generate media interest, create blog posts or e-books or send to relevant customers as part of an e-mail newsletter.

“Without SimplyDIRECT, it would have taken us a longer amount of time to collect the date, produce quality content and use it to our advantage,” Burg said. “SimplyDIRECT allows us to harness content that’s very relevant and useful for our customers.”

For more information on Apperian’s campaign, please go to: Apperian Case Study

2015 B2B Research (PDF)