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How Employee Advocacy Enabled Everest Group to Grow Its Network by 46%

Company Name
Everest Group
Technology & Software
Dallas, Texas
Company Size

Everest Group is a leading global research firm that provides strategic insights on IT, business services, engineering services, and sourcing. Its research also covers the technologies that power those processes and functions - as well as the related talent trends and strategies. Everest Group's clients include leading global companies, technology providers, and investors. Their clients use the firm's services to maximize operational and financial performance, transform experiences, and realize high-impact business outcomes.

Integrating social media with a MarTech stack

As a global research firm, Everest Group has a wide footprint of topics and industries it serves. The firm's experts alongside the marketing team produce lots of data-rich content: reports, white papers, webinars, virtual roundtables, quick polls, infographics, and more. Social media, specifically LinkedIn, is a great way to deliver these insights to the audience, bringing them deeper into the funnel.

Employee advocacy helps distribute all that content to employees, so they can share it with their networks.

"As a marketer, you get taken seriously when you can talk about real metrics. One of the big challenges we all face in marketing is the idea that we're kind of peddling fluff. That we're making lots of assumptions and doing things that just look good. But that's not the world we live in anymore, right? All of Everest Group's digital marketing today is data-driven: we can point to what's working and what's not in terms of driving revenue. With that said, one of the things we've been focused on lately is integrating social media with our MarTech stack - to have clear direct attribution for that channel," Amanda Benour, Digital Marketing Director at Everest Group.

Shifting social from soft metrics to clear attribution

When Everest Group's employee advocacy vendor at the time increased the price, they decided to switch. Looking for a new platform, the team was clearly not anticipating spending more - until they found an employee advocacy platform with a trackable ROI.

"The Oktopost price point came in even higher than what our provider asked us to renew at. It was way out of our budget, but the technology sold us. What we were looking for didn't necessarily align to what we found, but in a really positive way for us," Amanda Benour, Digital Marketing Director at Everest Group.

With Oktopost, the marketing team was able to shift social media from soft metrics ("Everyone talks about it, but no one is completely sure why it's important") to fact-based decisions about assigning revenue to those channels.

Marketo Integration

Today, Everest Group treats social media as any other owned channel: website, email, or search. It's fully connected to its marketing stack through Oktopost's integration with Marketo and Salesforce.

Everest Group's marketing team can measure and trigger leads based on social interactions the same way as if they opened an email or filled out a form: Actions like Clicked Social Link, Commented on Social Post, Sent Direct Message have a score in Marketo. Based on social engagements, people can be also entered into nurture campaigns or pushed into the pipeline. So, when the engagement happens on social, it's captured within the larger marketing engine.

If social data is not organized, it's not actionable. To control the massive amount of information that's coming from social, Everest Group is leveraging two Oktopost's features: Campaign Tags and Topics. Their social campaigns are 100% aligned to other types of content and campaigns across the MarTech stack. That alignment across the website, email, and now social too, helps the team to be more dynamic and predictive with content that is served to prospects, whether it's in a handoff with Sales, or in an automated way through dynamic delivery.

Salesforce Integration

Oktopost is also pushing social engagements to Everest Group's CRM platform, making it completely visible for Sales. Sales reps can see that their prospect interacted with X person in Y department on Z topic on social media - and based on that information, they can start a conversation and speak to things that are relevant to that prospect.

Historically, marketers have been collecting those key interests and behaviors from webpage visits and emails, but so much more of the interaction nowadays is happening off the website and on social networks. Using Oktopost, Everest Group is able to also glean that information on social and have it automatically added to lead and contact records inside Salesforce.

Dynamic UTM Tracking & Compliance

Another Oktopost feature that transformed how Everest Group has been using social media is dynamic UTM tags. The inability to dynamically inject data was one of the biggest things the team struggled with in the past.

Static links will only get you so far. With dynamically appended UTM tags, marketers can get more granular with where each visit came from: was the post shared on LinkedIn or Twitter? Via advocacy or corporate profiles? Which topic did they talk about?

With capturing all that data at the point of conversion, Oktopost provided Everest Group with the feedback mechanism they needed to track interaction across their total stack. With that level of flexibility, Oktopost's tracking is fully compliant with the U.S. and the EU regulations.

"Compliance and privacy are always of utmost importance for us. There is a big difference between how we treat people who opted in and consented to be in our database and how we treat unknown people. The great thing about using Oktopost's UTM tracking is that we can respect it regardless. Even if a person remains unknown to us, we can see the number of people and where they are coming from. When we're not able to track back to the individual person for privacy reasons, we can still get a ton of useful aggregated data. For example, X amount of people who liked a social post on this topic ended up buying a membership related to that topic. We see causation and clearly map it down the funnel. At the end of the day, we still can drive those aggregated numbers down into revenue attribution, without breaching GDPR or the California Privacy Law," Amanda Benour, Digital Marketing Director at Everest Group.

Everest Group has got all that rich social data because they are sharing lots of content for people to engage with. This takes us back to the beginning: to employee advocacy, which is a great way to expand your organic reach and meaningfully increase engagement.

Building ingrained connections with clients

When it comes to measurable results, Everest Group has grown its total network since they started using Oktopost by 46%. That means 60,000 new connections are exposed to brand content and messages spread by advocates. It's a substantial leap for the firm in terms of its digital footprint, rounding its total reach to just under 20 million. The solid growth of organic social has a visible effect on webinar attendance, content downloads, lead gen form fills - and, finally, an increased sales pipeline.

"We've come a long way from the Mad Men era of assumption marketing: most channels have become credible. For a very long time, people kind of made fun of social, but I think we're at least a little past that. If you're doing social media, take it seriously: measure it and create KPIs, just like you would with any other channel. Oktopost can help you bring credibility to everything you do on social," Amanda Benour, Digital Marketing Director at Everest Group.

Another important shift for the employees is that they have become much less fixed on single posts that go viral, and instead focus on quality engagement across their total network. Those might not be as impressive in terms of reach, but - as attribution clearly shows - are more effective in getting the right message to the right people. It's helping the firm to get more ingrained with current and prospective clients.

"In the B2B space, your biggest goal is to get as intertwined as you can with a client. We don't want just one person at that company and one person at our company to be the only two people who know each other. Instead, we try to build this beautiful web of connection where everyone at that organization knows who you are, so there isn't a single point of contact or a single point of failure. You also want your clients to see that everyone on your team is credible, to get that deep level of expertise across the company. There is no better way to build those ingrained and interwoven connections that drive that broad visibility than through employee advocacy," Amanda Benour, Digital Marketing Director at Everest Group.

Learn more about Everest Group's employee advocacy strategy in the Gift of Employee Advocacy webinar.

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