This tells the story of a B2B SaaS company that leveraged digital media to significantly increase web traffic and fill the sales pipeline with more than 2 dozen qualified leads over a four-month period.
Darkhorse Emergency is a decision analytics platform designed and built by analytics and data visualization consultancy, Darkhorse Analytics, to help fire stations and other public safety services continually improve response performance, better protect property, and save more lives. In 2021, Rattleback helped the company hone its messaging and positioning, simplify and improve its website experience, and launch a 4-month beta lead generation program. These efforts helped the Darkhorse Emergency team:
A website that wasn’t working hard enough to generate leads
Darkhorse Emergency is well known in Canada, where it is headquartered, and where it has worked with the country’s largest fire department since 2016. But the company lacked brand recognition in the United States. In large part, this was due to a marketing strategy that relied heavily on local tradeshow attendance. However, the existing website was not doing the company any favors either. Awkwardly positioned as both a software solution and a consulting business, the site’s messaging was overly complicated and didn’t speak clearly to the major challenges the company helps fire departments and other public safety services solve. Moreover, the site was not designed to encourage lead generation. As a result, the sales pipeline was not nearly as robust at the company’s leaders wanted and needed it to be.
VP Business Development
An aggressive lead generation strategy and the right tools to nurture it.
To begin reaching a broader audience, fill its sales pipeline, and increase qualified leads, the Darkhorse Emergency team partnered with Rattleback to refine their positioning, revamp their messaging and website experience, and explore what digital marketing channels might work best to drive growth.
Setting goals and creating the roadmap for reaching them
Rattleback began by working with the Darkhorse Emergency leadership team to define revenue and lead generation goals for 2021. A key component of this approach centered around what Darkhorse Emergency really wanted to sell—its software platform, or its consulting services. In the end, we collectively determined that the product represented the best opportunity for future revenue growth; focusing on platform and SaaS sales was the right direction for the firm right now. With this decision made, Rattleback translated the sales goals into a tactical marketing plan designed to build the firm’s new business pipeline.
VP Business Development
Rethinking the online experience
Ultimately, Darkhorse Emergency needed more site traffic, ideally from qualified prospects. But first, it had to fix its site.
With the new focus on product and platform sales established, Rattleback went to work to revise the messaging and get the story right. This began with some repositioning work to clearly establish Darkhorse Emergency as the decision analytics platform for public safety services. We then built the site map and narrative around three key areas where fire and EMS departments most need strategic decision support: Standards of Cover, Community Risk Assessments, and Station Planning. We illustrated how the components of the software solution drive specific results and performance improvement in each of the three areas. And we added proof in the form of new case stories to demonstrate the impact of the solution for clients.
Getting the right prospects in the door
With the reworked site in development, Darkhorse Emergency was ready to start driving potential prospects to its new online home. Rattleback led a four-month lead generation beta program leveraging a mix of paid media and email nurturing. We began by promoting a flagship asset—a Fire Station Planning Guide—and using Google search, Google display, and LinkedIn ads to showcase the software platform’s usefulness in optimizing the location of new fire stations.
The campaigns were an immediate hit, proving that quality gated content garners quality leads. We ran additional successful campaigns for general brand awareness purposes as well as to promote the advantages of using the platform for the fire station accreditation process and to attract more departments going after this coveted distinction.
Rattleback created an email nurture campaign to follow through with all new leads coming to the site via the different digital marketing campaigns. These emails worked to drive additional interest in the software platform while enabling the Darkhorse Emergency team to better gauge each lead’s interest level and stage in the sales process.
More Traffic, More Leads, and New Deals in the Pipeline
Over a four-month period and with four beta paid media campaigns, Darkhorse Emergency realized a number of key business targets: