How GE Web Marketing Stays Lean and Goes Fast

As Digital Strategy Lead for GE Energy Management, Holly Bounds manages website and digital activities for five distinct divisions of the company, each of which has its own website, products, customers, revenue reports and not to mention unique marketing technology. Her goal is to help them grow their market through digital means, which includes the website as well as revenue marketing.

Stay Lean to Go Fast

Bounds supports each division with marketing campaigns to drive specific business goals. Not only is she tasked with driving revenue for each group, she’s held to high standards of efficiency. “Our motto is ‘stay lean to go fast,” says Bounds. General Electric (GE) is responsible for ensuring that people across the world have access to electricity and energy-related products. The company has tremendous footprint in terms of product, geography, types of customer and industry segments.

When GE is more efficient and effective, it’s able to devote more resources to innovation and ultimately provide better service and greener power to the end user. Part of optimizing for efficiency at GE is spending marketing dollars in the most intelligent way possible.

For Bounds, the website for each division was a potential source of inefficiency, because as she says, it’s like a masquerade ball. You can invite guests through a variety of campaigns and you can count page views, but unless visitors fill out a Contact Form, it’s like they’re wearing a mask. Each division Bounds supports is targeting particular industries. She was able to run campaigns to target those industries, but she couldn’t be sure whether they were visiting the site and how they engaged in content. A visitor could be anyone from a prospect to a student to a job seeker.

The masquerade ball methodology wasn’t working for her. Bounds needed to help each division target their key segments, separate industry traffic from other traffic and measure success in those priority verticals.

Taking off the Mask

GE needed a solution that would not only enable them to identify anonymous traffic but also integrate with the other technologies used on the website. GE decided to implement Demandbase Web Analytics to gain insight into their web traffic. Bounds wanted to identify gaps in their content and website taxonomy for each of the key verticals they were targeting. But most importantly, first, she had to know which companies were on the website.

“Demandbase lets me take the mask off, so I know exactly who’s coming to my site.” That means if Bounds runs a campaign that targets oil and gas companies, she can determine if she successfully got visitors from those segments. On the other hand, if she got visitors from another segment, such as pharmaceuticals, she knows that she needs to address that market. “Demandbase helps us figure out who our visitors are,” she explains. “Then we can decide what the offer should be.”

Actionable Insights Across the Organization

With Demandbase, Bounds was able to get reports that contained relevant data not just for her but also for regional managers in each of the divisions she supported. She was able to parse out traffic both by vertical and geographical region.

This information proved to be critical for 2015 planning. Bounds was able to use data from Demandbase Web Analytics to show that specific content pieces were moving the needle. She could leverage that real-time feedback in conversations with Finance about the 2015 budget. Not only could she make the case for budget, she was also confident that money was being allocated in the right way.  “Demandbase helps us be much more targeted, which makes us more effective at driving ROI with both our dollars and our human resources,” she says.

What’s Next

As different parts of the organization grow increasingly interested in the information they’re getting from the new reports, Bounds see opportunities to expand GE’s account-based marketing efforts. Now, she’s focused on industry and geographical verticals, but she can see extending that to customers of GE’s channel partners. She can also see moving towards a named account marketing strategy.

Down the road, Bounds would like to be able to take the information she gets from Web Analytics and use it to create a personalization strategy for key segment accounts.  Being able to serve targeted content to her anonymous visitors would help GE to be even more efficient with campaigns and ensure that they are reaching important decision makers.