Case Study

Thales Quadruples CTRs, Doubles MQAs, and Re-engages 50% of Targets. And They’re Just Getting Started.

Thales Logo

Industry
Technology

Location
Global, headquartered in Paris, La Défense, France

Solution
Demandbase One: ABX and Advertising

4X

4x industry average click-through rates

50%

Re-engaged 50% of disengaged target account list

2X

Doubled number of MQAs

The Head Scratcher

Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing, the worldwide leader in data protection, provides everything an organization needs to protect and manage its data, identities, and intellectual property — through encryption, advanced key management, tokenization, and authentication and access management. Security professionals around the globe rely on Thales to confidently accelerate their organization’s digital transformation, but there were still improvements to be made when it came to their own sales and marketing tech stack.

They already had CRM, marketing automation, and a chat bot in their EMEA division, when Elsa Toutlemonde, Account-Based Marketing Manager EMEA was asked to step up and move the company from a traditional lead-gen focus to a modern, efficient ABM approach. They lacked the data they needed to make informed decisions. Elsa wanted a single source of truth for sales and marketing, with intent and engagement data and the ability to identify which accounts were visiting their website — data that went beyond their own first-party data. They also lacked the tools and integrations to automate and scale ABM.

Elsa set out to find a solution to address these deficiencies and that led her straight to Demandbase.

"There’s so much room for growth. We’re only using a small bit of what Demandbase can do and that’s already so powerful."
Elsa Toutlemonde
Elsa Toutlemonde Account-Based Marketing Manager

What’d They Do?

In a large organization, with legacy systems and traditional processes, change doesn’t happen overnight. For Elsa and her team, implementing ABM has been a journey and they are still in the early stages. Despite that, they’re well on their way and the initial results are exciting.

Demandbase One now sits at the center of their ABM strategy. They use it to drive account selection, monitor their target accounts’ intent and engagement, and activate, refine, and automate targeted ad campaigns.

They’re in the process of integrating it with Salesforce and that will be followed by integrating their direct mail gifting tool, Reachdesk, and a content experience platform to scale their personalization efforts.

The sales teams are part way through their onboarding and are eager for more. As Elsa summarized, “There’s so much room for growth. We’re only using a small bit of what Demandbase can do and that’s already so powerful.”

Why Demandbase?

Thales was already using Demandbase in their Asia Pacific region, but only for targeted advertising. When Elsa began looking for solutions to fill gaps in their tech stack, Demandbase rose to the top of her list, partly because it was already an approved vendor. But as she explored it further, she learned that the advertising capabilities were just the tip of the iceberg and she could fill a number of their data and automation needs with Demandbase as a single solution.

After consulting with their new EMEA Marketing Director, who had used both Demandbase and a competitive solution, they chose to go with Demandbase and haven’t looked back. Among the many things they love about Demandbase are the rich insights, the numerous integrations, and most of all, orchestration. “The advertising is great, but the functionality we love the most is orchestration,” enthused Elsa. They orchestrate audiences into LinkedIn, so they can narrow down their targeting, especially around personas, because they haven’t completed the Salesforce integration yet. “Dynamic lists that automatically refresh in Linked in — really love that one!”

How’d They Do?

With Demandbase One ABX and Advertising, Thales EMEA’s ABM program is driving massive results, and they’re just getting started.

  • Saved a “ton of time” with ABX Certification
    As soon as Elsa accepted her new role, she signed up for the Demandbase Academy ABX Certification course, which saved her “a ton of time” and was key to their early success. She appreciated the ability to take the course in bite-sized chunks, so she could apply her learnings and then go back for more.
  • Saving time every day with higher quality ICP lists
    Thales is now using Demandbase to build all their ideal customer profile (ICP) account lists based on intent and engagement data, so they can home in on accounts that are most likely to be in market. Without that data, they’d have to rely solely on firmographics — company size, number of users, and location — and maybe technographics, but they’d be wasting a lot of time chasing accounts that are not really interested or ready to buy.
  • Changed their targets’ perception and engagement
    With their first ABM ad campaigns, Thales set out to achieve two things: 1) to expand their target accounts’ perception of their brand as a complete security offering, and 2) to extend customers’ use of their platform to parts they were not yet using. The campaigns started as 1-to-many and 1-to-few programs, evolving into smaller clusters based on intent, engagement, and firmographics to move the accounts along their buying journeys.
    In just six weeks they saw impressive results. Their average click-through rate was about 30%, where the industry average is around 8%, and some of their ads were getting even higher CTRs. More importantly, about 50% of their account list has re-engaged, visiting their website after seeing the ads.
  • Doubled MQAs
    One of the key metrics they set for themselves at the beginning of the campaigns was to double the number of accounts sitting in the marketing qualified account (MQA) stage. They achieved this handily, starting the campaign at 11% in MQA and ending with 20%.
  • Won over sales with a smart onboarding approach
    Getting sales onboard is key to a successful ABM program and Elsa did a clever thing to build enthusiasm among their sales teams. She started creating reports that showed their accounts’ engagement and intent. At first she just produced these reports weekly and shared them with the sales leaders — not reps. She let that go for a month or two, and then they started asking questions. Now she does regular workshops for sales, and her team builds account lists for individual reps, making them as personal and relevant as possible, sharing things like how their campaigns and advertising are affecting their accounts. When they show the platform to a new rep, the response is pretty predictable, “Wow! This is so powerful…so great. We want to see more of that.”

What would they do if they didn’t have Demandbase?

When asked how they would be impacted if Demandbase was taken away tomorrow, Elsa quickly responded, “Our jobs would become so much more complex. We’re clever people, so we would find a way, but we’d have to go to several vendors instead of just one. We’d need a solution to understand which accounts are visiting our website, another for internal signals, and another solution for advertising. Honestly, it would be so much more complex and we wouldn’t have everyone using one single source of truth. I stressed it earlier, Demandbase is very important for us!”

About Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing

Today’s enterprises depend on the cloud, data and software in order to make decisive decisions. That’s why the most respected brands and largest organizations in the world rely on Thales to help them protect and secure access to their most sensitive information and software wherever it is created, shared or stored – from the cloud and data centers to devices and across networks. Our solutions enable organizations to move to the cloud securely, achieve compliance with confidence, and create more value from their software in devices and services used by millions of consumers every day.

We are the worldwide leader in data protection, providing everything an organization needs to protect and manage its data, identities and intellectual property – through encryption, advanced key management, tokenization, and authentication and access management. Whether it’s securing the cloud, digital payments, blockchain or the Internet of Things, security professionals around the globe rely on Thales to confidently accelerate their organization’s digital transformation. Thales Cloud Protection & Licensing is part of Thales Group.

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