Texas Memory Systems Case Study
How EchoQuote™ helped position TMS for an IBM acquisition in 2012
|Texas Memory Systems Website using EchoQuote™ (2-minute video)
In 2008 Texas Memory Systems (TMS) was being pressured by other Flash/SSD players coming into their market. TMS was a long-term player in the DB acceleration space, usually as a front-end caching device. TMS President Woody Hutsell and VP of Marketing Neal Ekker contacted LeadLifter in the Spring of 2008 to discuss ways to increase their sales opportunities using EchoQuote™.
Business Capture Strategy
TMS used a multi-channel marketing strategy to increase sales opportunities. With a solid install base and active email/direct mail campaigns run by MarketingSage, TMS added the EchoQuote™ “Quote via Email” call-to-action to virtually every marketing campaign (website/blog/email/direct mail).
The Marketing team was skeptical at first…until the leads started pouring in. It confirmed that the findings of the Marketing Sherpa B2B Buyer Study were correct; interested prospects are curious about pricing and are willing to provide their contact information to get it. The prospect’s curiosity about pricing was enhanced because of the complex nature of the products.
LeadLifter was engaged in 2008 and was given two primary business objectives:
- Surface and capture new flash projects from both new and existing customers using EchoQuote™
- Notify TMS’ inside representatives instantly for quick follow-up
Approximately one month before the campaign launch, LeadLifter personnel consulted with TMS’s marketing and sales teams. LeadLifter personnel then assisted TMS with:
- Setting up and configuring the EchoQuote™ tool based on their flagship products; Ramsan Flash Arrays
- Provided a mock-up of recommended website enhancements (see below) to launch the EchoQuote™ tool
- Coordinated with the VP of Marketing to design the lead flow into the Marketing Automation and CRM systems
There were only 2 website enhancements made to texmemsys.com. The first was the creation of a “Pricing” page to launch the EchoQuote system. The recommended strategy was to provide both a Self-Service option (via EchoQuote™) and a Full-Service Contact Sales option. This dual-offer method has been proven to maximize conversion efficiency.
New Pricing Page
Here is the original Pricing Page mock-up for TMS. Note how the language encourages and compels the end-user to select at least one of the engagement options.
Feeder Links Driving Traffic to the Pricing Page
The second enhancement was to create “Feeder” links through the website and blog to drive interested prospects to the Pricing page. Note in the following picture the Pricing tab in the upper part of the screen. This was a sticky link that showed on every page and linked directly to the Pricing page.
The choice of just using the word Pricing (versus many variations like “Request Pricing”, “Request a Quote”, etc) was because the single word is a much stronger call-to-action. It compels visitors to go to the Pricing page to see what is there.
Lead Count Results
The EchoQuote™ lead count results are shown in the following diagram from the first day of the EchoQuote™ launch in 2008. May and June were trial months when there was no “feeder” link to the new pricing page so a limited number of prospects discovered the new tool. July was the first full month with the website enhancements in place. Activity increased dramatically and by mid-October TMS had captured their first 1,000 Marketing Qualified Leads (less than 5 months).
- 1,000 Marketing Qualified leads were captured from inbound traffic in 5 months
- The captured leads were converting to Sales Qualified Leads (funnel) 32% of the time
- EchoQuote™ had the highest ROI of any marketing campaign for leads that made it into the sales funnel
Lead Value Results
In addition to the quantity of leads being captured, another interesting measure was the VALUE of the requests. Since EchoQuote™ uses a company’s actual products and their MSRP price, it was fairly easy to gauge a rough marketing funnel number.
The chart below shows a summary of the actual EchoQuote requests and their associated List Price values. Of course, this does not correlate directly to closed deals but gives a good indication of how and why TMS grew so quickly and was poised for an IBM buyout in 2012.
- $100 Million in marketing funnel value was captured from inbound traffic in 4 months
- The monthly average marketing funnel value was approximately $150+ Million (full 2009 stats)
- Both new and existing customers used EchoQuote™ extensively to plan their new projects
Texas Memory Systems is an American success story about one of the early technology companies to dominate the all-flash storage market. With it’s innovative Ramsan products, TMS grew to become an acquisition target by IBM in 2012. We believe one of the core reasons behind TMS’s eventual acquisition was the Marketing Funnel backlog the TMS marketing team was able to demonstrate using the EchoQuote™ charts.