Pluralsight is trusted by 70% of the Fortune 500 to provide employees with courses and learning paths to develop technical and business-critical skills. But they were wrestling with a difficult challenge—how to improve inbound leads and generate more valuable demand for a mature B2B software company in a time of economic uncertainty? The Pluralsight team knew that their current marketing mix—a combination of traditional demand-generation channels like paid search and social and regular closed-lost analysis—simply wasn’t cutting it. To build a sustainable growth engine, they needed to get in front of more buyers earlier, to make it easier to guide them down the funnel, and, when they were ready to purchase, ultimately convert. With MNTN Performance TV, Pluralsight was able to use performance-optimized Connected TV (CTV) advertising to do just that.
“We improved our spend-to-pipeline efficiency by close to 70% after making a conscious effort to expand our funnel. We were exhausting the bottom of our marketing funnel and realized we needed fresh contacts. MNTN made that possible.”
Senior Director Marketing, Pluralsight
Improvement in Spend-to-Pipeline Efficiency
Growth in Inbound Demo Requests for a Mature B2B Software Company
More Efficient Cost per Visit Than Target
Higher Site Visit Rate Than Target
Takagi was tasked with growing inbound demo requests and improving the spend-to-pipeline for a well-established B2B software company during a time of economic uncertainty. Traditional demand-generation tactics were effective at capturing existing demand, but Pluralsight was struggling to create new business opportunities. In his words, “We needed to increase our funnel. We needed some fresh contacts.”
Since 90% of B2B decision-makers buy from companies they knew at the start of the purchasing process, Takagi’s top priority became building out Pluralsight’s funnel to introduce the brand to more customers much earlier.
“I feel like most B2B marketers that have been in down economies when budgets are inevitably slashed end up seeing softness in the quarters that follow. Demos naturally stop coming in. We decided to start investing in MNTN because we needed to make sure that our brand became top of mind for people who would become bottom-funnel leads in the future.”
A seasoned veteran, Takagi recognized that the approach modern B2B marketers need to take to deliver consistent growth will be different from that of other stakeholders in their companies.
“The vast majority of our total addressable market isn’t searching for Pluralsight on Google. That’s just not the reality today. And we can’t be running a closed-lost play forever. Marketers need to be playing a different game than our counterparts. BDRs (and SDRs) think in terms of months. AEs think in terms of quarters and years. B2B marketers need to be thinking in terms of decades. We are trying to build a lasting brand. And we know that if we don’t make certain investments today, then our pipeline is going to struggle next year and the year after. That’s why we knew that investing in MNTN was going to be important.”
MNTN’s intuitive software, integrated B2B audiences, access to 150+ premium streaming TV networks, and automated optimizations made it easy for Takagi and his team to launch multiple specialized CTV campaigns.
They first activated a prospecting campaign that precisely targeted the right B2B decision-makers from third-party data providers like Dun & Bradstreet, Bombora, Oracle, and Lotame. This enabled them to hone in on buyers based on job function, job title, company size, company type, company purchase history, predictive intent, interest in team productivity tools, and other high-value signals.
“With MNTN, I can hit my addressable audience at scale whenever they’re streaming TV. That’s important because B2B buyers—when they aren’t working—are people who are logging into streaming apps like ESPN. While they might not buy anything right there, they might take a moment to visit our site. That’s why we’ve seen MNTN deliver site traffic with better cost efficiency relative to other channels.”
MNTN’s proprietary Verified Visits™ attribution then automatically validated Pluralsight’s site traffic to ensure that Performance TV only earned credit for the interest it actually delivered.
In addition to prospecting, the Pluralsight team launched multiple retargeting campaigns, to keep themselves top-of-mind among previous site visitors and to secure their place in the critical initial consideration phase. These campaigns leveraged first-party data to retarget users who had previously been on the site based on the number of pages viewed and when they visited.
“It’s important to get as many people to the website as possible, so that we can then remarket to them across all of our channels, including Connected TV with MNTN. Retargeting is a core function of all the channels that we use. So the more that MNTN contributes to site visits, the more true omni-channel marketing we can do.”
Overall, Takagi knew that delivering more quality site traffic would lead to significantly more demo requests and closed-won opportunities.
“The bottom line is, when we’re thinking about our demand funnel—the more qualified people that get to our website, the better. We have metrics that show a relationship between site visits and pipeline and revenue. Those things are going to move in the same direction.”
Despite high benchmarks for success and economic uncertainty, Takagi and his team far exceeded their goals and delivered substantial new traffic to their website. In the first year of their evergreen MNTN campaigns, they delivered site traffic with a 58% more efficient cost per visit (CPV) and a 40% higher visit rate than they initially targeted.
The boost in qualified site traffic did exactly what Takagi said it would do.
“Our inbound demo requests improved by 15%. Coming from such a high baseline, 15% growth is a significant number. We also improved our spend-to-pipeline efficiency by close to 70% after making a conscious effort to expand our funnel. We were exhausting the bottom of our marketing funnel and realized we needed more brand awareness and net new demand. MNTN made that possible.”
The lesson was clear: “Bottom line is, a weak top of the funnel leads to a weak bottom of the funnel. As B2B marketers, we need to focus on the entire marketing program to deliver growth in the decades to come.”
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