How Annex Business Media Drove Ad Revenue and Rebookings with Omeda
Struggling to prove your ROI to advertisers? You’re not alone.
Advertisers need to execute personalized, perfectly timed campaigns across a growing number of marketing channels, all while the competition gets more intense.
To stay competitive, publishers need to help their advertisers make sense of that complicated landscape. Because if they can’t provide consistent value to advertisers, they’re stuck on a hamster wheel of replacing the revenue they’ve lost, rather than strengthening their existing partnerships and content.
But if they get the equation right, they can give their publication a steady stream of revenue and set it up for long-term success. In this case study, we’re spotlighting a company that’s succeeding on this front: Annex Business Media.
Using Omeda’s marketing automation, CDP and subscription management tools, they created a powerful omnichannel advertising campaign that’s helped them drive advertiser revenue and rebooking.
Better yet, the Annex team can easily automate and replicate this campaign across partners, freeing them up for more creative work. Learn how they did it below:
About Annex Business Media
Annex Business Media is Canada’s largest business media organization, with 60+ brands in industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, industrial and retail. They also host more than fifty industry events a year and serve as a thought leader in all of Canada’s most profitable industry sectors.
Annex Business Media partnered with Omeda to help drive more revenue and repeat bookings from their advertising partners. In particular, they needed to:
- help their partners expand their reach across channels, from email and social media advertising to website, programmatic and search, without demanding extra time or manual work from them.
- streamline and automate the marketing process so they could easily replicate it across 20+ different advertising partners.
- easily execute a wide range of advertising campaigns for clients ranging across its 60+ brands.
Process: The Omeda solution
Annex used Omeda’s combination of marketing, CDP and subscription management tools to create Lead Driver, an omni-channel campaign that reaches website visitors across multiple touchpoints, from email and website ads to social media, omni-channel advertising and content marketing, to build brand awareness and move them toward a purchase. So no matter where their audience was, Annex could reach them and provide the content necessary to move them closer to a purchase.
Annex used a combination of Omeda’s omnichannel marketing automation, content metering and data management tools to help their advertisers engage their leads in as many places as possible.
The standard Lead Driver program consisted of the following:
- An exclusive first-party list of leads
- A 4-email automated campaign sent through Odyssey, Omeda’s marketing automation platform
- A pop-up modal on the brand site
- A social media ad on LinkedIn or Facebook
- A eNewsletter Sponsored Spotlight
- A personalized landing Page
- A variety of hard and soft content gates
- Lead scoring, using CDP data and lead scoring algorithms from Omeda
The Lead Driver+ program expanded on this offering to include:
- 100,000 omni-channel impressions
- Programmatic advertising packages, both on open exchanges and networks
- Expanded social media targeting on LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and/or Instagram
- Search placements on Google, Bing and/or Yahoo browsers
Turning ideas into seamless execution with Odyssey
The Lead Driver and Lead Driver+ campaigns give clients multiple ways to engage new leads. But that also means the campaigns had a lot of moving parts, requiring coordination from multiple stakeholders and teams. So without a single system of record, the campaign could’ve become too disjointed and costly to succeed.
To streamline their workflow, Annex turned to Odyssey, Omeda’s marketing automation solution. On the Odyssey canvas, they created a single automated workflow for every email, personalization, content gate and social media ad included in the campaign.
The Annex team could reconfigure the audience for each piece of marketing, customize the wait times between each new element, and filter out audiences who had already made a purchase or stopped engaging with their marketing efforts. This allowed the Annex team to trigger marketing efforts across multiple channels, simultaneously, in a more precise, organized and thoughtful manner. Besides easing their own workflow, this also created a smoother user experience for leads.
All of these campaigns relied on precise targeting, personalization and excellent content. Clients had the option of providing their own content or outsourcing content creation to Annex’s content studio for a premium.
Clients could also add select short-form and long-form articles, short videos, infographics, and/or case studies to their package for another add-on.
Annex launched its first Lead Driver campaign in January 2023 to excellent results. In the first campaign alone, Annex’s advertising partner saw a:
- 60% increase in total engagements (clicks)
- 93% increase in total conversions (form fills), all of which were given to the client
- Annex’s advertising partner closed 5 sales as a result of the campaign.
As of May 2023, Annex was running 20 Lead Driver+ campaigns. Results are still coming in, but initial responses are promising: Several of Annex’s clients have already booked a repeat Lead Driver+ campaign — and two clients have already booked four of them.
Through its Lead Driver campaign, Annex has empowered its advertising partners to engage leads across every channel they use to engage – and do it more easily and efficiently than ever. Annex has been able to create a sustainable source of income that’ll position it for future success — all through the power of omnichannel marketing automation.
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See full transcript
First of all, thank you very much, Bill. Without all of your help, the success story wouldn’t actually be a success. So that’s much appreciated. So thanks very much everyone. I’m sure there’s a few people in the room that were here last year that remember potentially me talking about our Lead Driver program and the launch of a new white labeled Odyssey marketed program that we were selling to our clients.I wanted to take the time right now and just kind of go over how everything’s gone, where we’re at, and talk a little bit about the new things that have happened since we were here last year. So for the folks that made me weren’t in the room, I will go over what Lead Driver is so that they understand and context what we’re talking about. So all of our programs are basically what we refer to as a journey, which is what the Odyssey tool was intended to be when they first created that.And we like to go through what we call the three pillars of the journey. The first one is to inform, and I should have worn my glasses because it’s too small of a type there, but if we can go to the next slide, please. Oh, I guess I can do that. Sorry, folks. There we go. So the first one is to inform. This is a stage where a customer becomes aware of the brand or products. So we’re marketing on behalf of a client and going out to our audience, our owned and operated audience, and hoping that they will start learning about who this client is and what they do.The next part is the engaging. So we’re hoping at this point the customer is starting to research the client and evaluate the brand and its products to determine whether they meet their needs or not. The final stage of the journey is acquiring. So we’re acquiring some kind of information from the people that are engaging with the marketing that this program is doing. That’s whether they’re filling out a form for a white paper or they’re signing up for a webinar or downloading some other case study or anything else like that.
The journey itself, the Odyssey, is quite complicated. We put as much as we can in there so that we can have that one consolidated point of the marketing program. But there are a lot of other departments that need to be in play with this. Our digital department, our account coordinators need to work on this as well. But it all flows through to the journey through our Lead Driver program.
We use the marketing strategies and the tactics to guide our customers through each stage of this marketing journey. We’re hopefully building that awareness, getting engagement, and then ultimately, conversing some of these records, whether it’s to a sale or to a download. The marketing journey is customer based, so it can be different for anybody within the journey depending on the route they take. And it involves multiple touch points across different channels like email, our websites, social media, any other Omnichannel and programmatic as well now.
There we go. So this is just a bit of a breakdown of the Lead Driver program that we launched a year and a half ago. So we launched this in 2022 and it is going to our owned and operated properties. And by the way, I work for Annex Business Media. We are the proud publisher of Manure Manager Magazine. And just as a funny sidebar, they were actually just doing their poll of what to call the next show. And there were a lot of funny, funny titles. The one I liked best was We Don’t Stand Behind Our Product. So that was a good one.
What Lead Driver, the originally Lead Driver program did, was it goes to our exclusive first party list. So we have the targeted audience. We have a marketing automation program through that Odyssey that goes to a four drip email campaign. So the first two go out to almost the whole audience. The second one of those first two goes to anybody who didn’t open the first one. And then we do the trickle down. Anybody who’s engaged with any other piece of content within the journey, which would include social media and everything else like that, is falling into that secondary email, and then that third email, and we’re running the drip campaign that way.
We also have the modals that are at the popups on all the brand sites through the program. We have a social media ad. We have them either select LinkedIn or Facebook when they’re taking just the Lead Driver. It’s just one small social media play. All of this is driving back to a personal landing page for that client that we’ve created and that we’re tracking that has all the UTM codes and all of the filters and everything onto the system that allows us to do all the proper tracking.
We gate that landing page. There’s a variety of different kinds of gates we can have. As many of us know, with Omeda, we can have a hard gate, a soft gate, known gate, unknown gate. So we kind of walk their clients through and find out what their final goal is, if they want to collect emails and collect hard leads through a form fill or whether they want to collect engagement leads. And then we put the appropriate gate up based on that.
At the end of the whole program, which takes about three weeks for an entire program to run through all of the assets, we then provide the client with the scored leads. The scored leads are based on all of the engagement throughout the entire campaign. And we actually are telling the client every single piece of content that that individual has actually engaged with and clicked on, and then we’re giving them a score so that they can reach out to the top 50 and not have to waste any time going through the bottom of the leads in a direct way.
We’d been doing the Lead Driver program for about a year. At the same time, we also had this other program going, which we called Annex Omnichannel. And this is a full Omnichannel play that we’ve been offering to our advertisers and seeing some good pickup on the clients that are looking to do these kinds of programs. It still uses our exclusive first party list. We load that up onto the platform for the Omnichannel. We’re guaranteeing 100,000 Omnichannel impressions and it runs through the programmatic, the open exchanges and the networks. So their ads will be seen on CNN and other sites like that. It also has a huge social media play. So we are in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You name it, it can go there. And we’re also on all the search networks. So Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and everything else like that.
So we were kind of running these two programs independently. And it dawned on me at one point that we can create what I’m calling now Lead Driver Plus. So we’ve taken those two programs that we were running and we’ve combined those two into one sort of uber marketing sort of program that we can offer our clients. And that is kind of where we can offer our owned and operated properties through the original lead driver program, but then, also offer in the same program all of our Omnichannel marketing. So all those pluses down at the bottom is what you get with the Lead Driver plus program.
You get the exclusive first party list, the marketing automation, the modals. You get into our e-newsletters with an ad, you get your personalized landing page, you’re gated access, your score leads. But now you’re also getting in this Lead Driver plus program, your Omnichannel impressions, the extra 100,000 impressions. You’re getting on the programmatic exchanges. You’re getting your social media right across the board and all of your search networks as well within the same program. And the key here is because we’re using the Omeda gates and we’re creating the landing pages for these clients and we’re doing the scored leads, we’re actually getting leads for our clients from amplified and extended audiences that we don’t have on our file.
We have a lot of the universe in most of our industries, but there’s always others out there that we can reach. At the end of the day, again, we’re providing these scored leads to the client. That is going to include anybody that engaged with a programmatic ad or engaged with a social media ad and be able to tell them all the points of engagement for each of the leads that they’re receiving. So that’s the Lead Driver Plus program.
When we were going through the Lead Driver Plus program, we clearly realized, well, we’ve also got another fourth product out of this. And that is just using Omnichannel is using components of the lead driver program, just the landing page and the gate and the scored leads. So if they don’t want to do the e-blast, they don’t want to do the drip campaigns, they don’t want to be on our pop-ups, but they want to go out and they want to go programmatic, we can still offer that to them and still offer them leads from that programmatic campaign, which had been missing before this. We’re still driving people to that personalized landing page. We’re still gating that access and we’re still providing them the score leads and telling them every piece of engagement that’s coming through on each of the leads that we’re getting.
We also created, just last year, a new department in our company called Amplify. It’s a content studio. And we’ve been finding that a lot of the Lead Driver and Lead Driver Plus programs, they require a lot of content because we usually ask for at least three assets, no more than five, just to keep it manageable. With the introduction of these new programs when clients are saying, “This is great, we want to use it, but we just don’t have the content,” we have a content studio and we’re allowing them to use that content studio to create all of that content and then they own the content can use it for other purpose as well. It’s a great tool to try and get some more business into that part of the company as well.
This is kind of the breakdown, that visual breakdown, of the four different programs and then the content studio part on the far side there, and giving you the idea of what you get with one program versus another program versus the other program. So the Lead Driver Plus is kind of the Cadillac. That’s the one that you’re going to get as much as you can get through this program or any of these four programs. And then we do offer better rates. If you’re taking Lead Driver program and you want the copywriting and the custom content created. We have a standardized rate that goes to the full program in that sense.
We launched Lead Driver Plus in January of this year, so we did our very first Lead Driver, always bumps in the road, but we got our very first one out in early January. And as an example of that specific one, we saw an increase in both the engagement and the conversions from our typical Lead Driver only. So this was bolting on that Omnichannel play to a lead driver. And by doing that for this very first client out the door, we had a 60% increase in the total engagement, so the total clicks. We had a 93% increase in the total conversion. So the form fills.
There was just as many people coming from our own and operated lists filling out the form as there was people coming from the Omnichannel and the programmatic and the social that were also filling out the form. So we knew by this success that we were targeting the right people, we were getting the message out properly, doing the timing, and actually adding real value to the program by including the Omnichannel side of things.
We’ve had a client come back to us and tell us that they had five direct sales from this program, and this was … I don’t know how many they’ve had since then. This was two weeks after the program completed that they’d had five sales already. They were thrilled with it. We got great testimonials, and to date, we’ve had 20 of these lead driver plus campaigns for 20 different clients. Three of those clients have already re-booked their second lead driver campaign for the year. Two clients have booked for four already. That’s practically the whole year, because Omnichannel goes for three months in order to really get the leads out from that.
We’re seeing a lot of repeat customers. We’re getting a lot of great feedback from both our reps that have been selling this and from the clients that have been using it. It’s really that effort to be that one-stop shop for our clients. It’s kind of simple for them in the sense that they get us the content, we do all the work, we do all the development, we provide the reporting, we provide the leads, they do the approvals, and they are very happy at the end of it, so far. That’s it. Thank you very much.