Sharpening an IT brand to compete with greater clarity and focus
Heller Consulting, a highly specialized technology consulting firm for nonprofits, was struggling to define themselves in the marketplace. At the same time, their marketing program wasn’t delivering the results they needed to take their firm to the next level. Hinge helped them bring their messaging, brand and marketing strategy into sharp focus. So they could grow again.
For years, the team at Heller tried a lot of different things to grow their business. And for a while, at least, one thing seemed to work. By concentrating on just two markets, nonprofits and higher education, they were able to turn their expertise in Salesforce, Microsoft CRM and Blackbaud platforms into a strong business. Along the way, however, they also developed an unintentionally narrow reputation as fundraising technology experts. They wanted—and deserved—to be known for more.
The Heller team understood that developing content was an important component of modern marketing. So for years they had blogged and conducted webinars. But all this effort didn’t move the needle as much as they had hoped. They had a treasure trove of content, but almost nobody knew about it.
With little visibility and an unfocused marketing strategy, Heller had reached a plateau. They needed someone to point the way forward.
Reaching an understanding
As soon as they hired Hinge, we set to work developing a true picture of their situation. We talked with key members of their team to understand the company’s strategy, goals and competitive landscape. And we reviewed their current marketing techniques in detail, from their marketing materials, thought leadership content and website to the language they used to describe their firm.
We then compared Heller’s current marketing to Hinge’s proprietary technology industry benchmarks. We were able to see how Heller stacked up against others in their industry and to identify gaps and opportunities. To complete this assessment, we took a deep look at their closest competitors to determine where Heller could differentiate itself, establish leverage and outcompete the rest of the field.
At last, we had a clear view of the road ahead.
New language, new opportunities
We used what we had learned about the firm’s strengths and competitive landscape to compile a set of key differentiators the firm could build upon. We turned these differentiators into a compact positioning statement and clear, persuasive messaging they could use on their website and marketing materials.
For instance, their team has a deep background and certifications in change management. We felt that was an important message to convey to their clientele—all of whom were undergoing some form of change. We encouraged Heller to replace their often overly technical pitches with simpler, benefit-oriented language prospects needed to hear to move on to the next stage in their buyer’s journey. And we helped them emerge from their constraining fundraising reputation and address clients’ more strategic change-related challenges.
If they were going to become perceived as leaders in their area of focus, Heller needed to make it easier for people to experience their expertise. And the most efficient way to do that is to build a robust content marketing program.
Heller had a lot of great content, but it was poorly organized and presented. We helped their team understand how their prospects consume information, what questions they are looking to answer in their online searches and how to make sure those prospects can find Heller’s content. In addition, we developed a series of guides to engage prospects more deeply and demonstrate the firm’s expertise. “Hinge gave us the foundation for a powerful, long-term marketing program,” said Heller COO Smita Vadakekalam.
A robust content marketing strategy is only as good as its delivery system. So we redesigned Heller’s website to make it easy to find and consume relevant information. And by putting the firm’s most valuable pieces behind simple registration forms, we were able to turn many visitors into leads. We also implemented a robust search engine optimization program to connect online searches with relevant Heller content.
Training and mentoring
Over the course of the engagement, Hinge coached, trained and mentored Heller’s team. Today, they have the expertise to run the program independently, and they have taken it over with confidence. Their messaging is better calibrated to their clients and what they are looking for. Heller has a powerful marketing engine that works 24/7 promoting their expertise and reaching new audiences. And their new website clearly communicates their positioning, captures new leads and nurtures interested prospects. According to COO Smita Vadakekalam, “Hinge provided us with the tools, training, knowledge, and structure to build a truly visible firm.”
What we did
Visible Firm Strategy
- Brand Research
- Differentiators & Positioning
- Marketing Strategy
- Editorial Calendar
- Writing/Content Development
- Executive Guide Production
- Webinar Promotion and Email Advisory
- Social Media Training
- Monthly Analytics Reporting
- Ongoing Mentoring, Training & Consultation
- Offer Strategy
- Online Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Development