Clicktools & Dreamforce
Clicktools enables you to collect customer information through surveys, scripts, and forms, and then centralize that data in your CRM system. Salesforce users voted them the #1 survey application five years in a row. They were one of the first companies on the Salesforce AppExchange, and have been sponsoring Dreamforce since the very beginning of the conference.
Growing Conference, Growing Company
It’s no secret that Dreamforce has expanded since salesforce.com first started hosting the conference. We’ve had record-breaking attendance, a sprawling campus, and most recently, two Cloud Expos.
Leveraging the resources and ecosystem of the largest cloud-computing event in the world has proven fruitful for Clicktools year after year. The annual growth of the conference gives Clicktools access to additional prospects, industries, and potential partners. Also, since Clicktools aligns their marketing efforts with Dreamforce, they watch their company grow annually as the event expands.
Clicktools has yielded a higher return on investment each consecutive year they’ve sponsored Dreamforce, and we’re excited to share their story.
Adapting To The Evolving Attendee Profile
“Year after year, Dreamforce allows us to significantly expand our exposure, reach more customers, and further establish ourselves as industry thought-leaders.”
The Evolution of the Dreamforce Attendee Base
The type of attendees at Dreamforce has been evolving just as quickly as the conference itself. When Clicktools first sponsored Dreamforce, most attendees were sales reps and IT admins. A few years ago, once the CRM admin role became a staple for successful companies, CRM admins replaced IT attendees.
Recently, company executives have become a larger part of the overall attendee profile, regardless of company size, location, or industry. These executives are actively participating in the conference, and waiting to see what solutions and tools exhibitors have to offer.
Adapting To Reach Attendees
Clicktools has a strategy for reaching decision makers. At Dreamforce, they’ve found that the company’s CRM admin is a critical part of the decision process for technology solutions. Not only do the decision makers often meet with the CRM admin prior to the conference to discuss what tools and solutions they’re looking for, but they’re also communicating with them on a constant basis throughout the entire week of Dreamforce. The CRM admin can often bridge the gap between the need of the company and the solutions available.
Last year, Clicktools saw a shift in the audience mix. The Customer Company message salesforce.com has been sharing has resulted in people from all aspects of the organization uniting to find solutions. Clicktools saw teams of three people: one in sales, one in marketing, and one in support approaching together. They are looking for a solution that will unite their respective departments, which aligns nicely with the Clicktools capabilities. Understanding the group attendee dynamic helps Clicktools assess company’s needs and provide a useful solution, right there on the expo floor. These solutions are passed on to decision makers, and deals are closed.
Alternative Engagement: Customers and Prospects
With seemingly endless prospects at Dreamforce, it’s easy to exhaust company resources chasing new leads, rather than connecting with existing customers. Balancing customers and prospects is crucial to a successful Dreamforce, and finding alternative ways to engage both groups allows your company to distinguish themselves and project their message to targeted groups while gaining large-scale brand awareness.
Since large portions of their customers are in town for Dreamforce, Clicktools hosts their Customer Appreciation and Success Event in conjunction with the conference. This allows them to meet their customers face-to-face, answer questions, and show their commitment and gratitude to their customer base. Customers are invited to an evening of food, gifts, mingling with the Clicktools team and executives, and sharing tips and tricks. The event typically culminates with major announcements revealed.
In 2013, Clicktools announced their new product, SyncFrog, at the event because it was important to them that customers hear about it first. The Customer Appreciation and Success Event was the ideal place to reveal the product and generate buzz, because Syncfrog debuted publicly with its own booth the following day in the Dreamforce Cloud Expo.
As a Silver sponsor at Dreamforce, Clicktools was able to host lunchtime table talks which have proven wildly successful for them when it comes to engaging prospects.
The table talks facilitate an open question and answer session with prospects. In 2012, Clicktools had their President and co-founder, Andrew Walker, leading the discussion with a focus on the customer experience. After realizing the potential business opportunities of the sessions, they had Andrew Walker and David Jackson, Clicktools CEO, lead the discussion together in 2013, combining the customer experience with extensive product knowledge.
The sessions were so popular the Clicktools table had standing room only. The feedback was outstanding, and they’ve had multiple key leads that turned into customers as a result of the discussions.
In The Cloud Expo
“Aligning our company with the Dreamforce brand immediately connected our products and content to an entire marketplace of thought-leaders and customers.”
Clicktools has been a standout company in the Cloud Expo thanks to their relevant messaging and creative themes. They had a record number of leads in 2012 – 7 times the leads they scanned in 2011 – and were excited to start planning for Dreamforce 2013. When outlining objectives, they took into account the growth of conference. Realizing they could benefit from this expansion, they crafted a plan to leverage the growth and shifting attendee base in 2013.
Dreamforce 2012 was all about lead quantity for Clicktools. Since 90% of their customers are also Salesforce users, they realized that everybody on the show floor was a potential customer. With that in mind, they shifted away from the standard show floor conversation and demos model, and scanned as many badges as possible.
Their marketing theme for the year was “Connecting The Dots”, which stressed the importance of solving the mystery of customer needs by collecting customer feedback and sharing it across company departments.
Clicktools hosted a “Clinko” connect the dots game in their booth, and sent out pre-show messages with their theme, “Look for Drew, Get a Clue!” hosted by a Drew Carey impersonator, and gave away cash prizes. The line to play was so long, conference management had to step in and direct traffic. Clicktools employees where excited about the buzz they created when they overheard random attendees encouraging coworkers and friends to stop by the Clicktools booth for the game and prizes.
After Dreamforce 2012, Clicktools followed up with their massive amount of leads, and began to prepare for Dreamforce 2013. Although pleased with the number of leads collected, they realized something was missing: lead qualification.
2013: Quantity & Quality
Clicktools decided to streamline their process in 2013, and found a way to qualify leads onsite while still focusing on quantity, combined with a strategic follow up plan. This would allow them to understand individual customer needs, level of interest, and the best method of follow up.
In 2013, Clicktools utilized a staged booth staffing approach that lead to tremendous success. The marketing message for the year was “Bond With Your Customers”, and Clicktools hosted a roulette wheel in their booth to create a James Bond theme. Similar to 2012, they had attendees lined up down the aisles, however this time the interaction was entirely calculated.
Clicktools created a three-tier system of attendee interaction. The first tier was hired staff to run the game and attract attendees to the Clicktools booth. The second tier engaged people in line, spoke about basic product knowledge, and gauged interest. If the attendee was interested in the product, they were brought to the back of the booth to meet with the third tier booth staff where they were given a demo and a chance to meet and ask questions. Oftentimes these demos turned into sessions with one-on-one meetings, customized demos, and personalized follow-ups.
Every attendee that stopped by the booth was scanned, regardless of what tier they fell under, giving Clicktools a large pool of leads by the end of the show. Clicktools staff was able to assign a level of interest to the scan, and each lead was followed up accordingly.
The overall energy in the booth was contagious. Clicktools CEO, David Jackson, and various Clicktools executives stopped by to engage customers, run demos, and take part in the overall Dreamforce experience.
ROI At Dreamforce
“Dreamforce has this big influence factor. We’ve watched it really drive industry trends including the customer-centric model, mobile first, and 360-degree views. It sparks and facilitates the changing focus of business so quickly, and all from topics and conversations that take place at this conference.”
The ability to tap into the Dreamforce ecosystem and the exposure opportunities within are priceless. In fact, Clicktools spends time developing their annual marketing plan that begins with other salesforce.com events throughout the year, and culminates at Dreamforce. Combining efforts across the salesforce.com events has multiplied their success in more ways than they could have anticipated.
Apart from the obvious benefits of having a presence at an event like Dreamforce, Clicktools has found their marketing efforts to have a rippling effect. There have been multiple instances of unanticipated press and exposure:
- Customers have mentioned their product in their own content sessions.
- After catching their attention at Dreamforce, Clicktools was featured in the Forbes article 6 Cool Things I Learned At Dreamforce13: New Tools To Accelerate Your Sales and Improve Customer Service
- Their Twitter following increased exponentially after promoting their content and products throughout the Dreamforce social media community.
For Clicktools, exposure of this magnitude and the chain reaction of continued brand awareness is only possible when they tap into an ecosystem like that of Dreamforce. Simply being a part of the Dreamforce community allows for exposure and overall positioning within the cloud computing industry.