The Building Blocks of Success:
Lego Education Built a Solid Marketing Automation Strategy
LEGO® Education North America is part of The LEGO Group, the world’s third-largest manufacturer of play materials. With more than 10,000 employees, this family-owned company based in Denmark provides toys, experiences, and teaching materials for children in over 130 countries around the world. For more than 30 years, LEGO Education North America has been working with teachers and educational specialists to provide solutions and resources that are used in the classroom to bring subjects to life and make learning fun.
LEGO bricks are the building blocks of imagination. Their simple forms can be combined to create unlimited possibilities. Like the creative structures students put together in classrooms every day, LEGO Education has continued to grow at a rapid pace. However, their email marketing tools weren’t keeping up with their rate of expansion.
Graduating from Marketing Basics
Brandee Johnson, Senior Marketing Manager at LEGO Education North America, recognized the challenge of trying to improve results using only a very basic email solution. “Some of the issues we were facing were scalability,” she said. “We didn’t have a system that allowed us to really launch scalable marketing campaigns. We were lacking automation, and we didn’t have the internal capacity to manually execute all of the email marketing that we wanted to accomplish.”
The marketing team at LEGO Education North America searched for a marketing automation solution that could send automated emails, report results, and handle list management. But they quickly discovered that they needed more than that. Brandee said, “As I started learning more about marketing automation programs, I also realized that lead scoring was a gap that I really hadn’t pinpointed … so I also started to look for a tool that had lead scoring functionality.”
Another important consideration was pricing. Brandee noted, “I had a budget I was working within, and so finding a solution that would fit into those limitations was important.” But most of all, the team wanted to find a platform that was easy to use – one that could grow with their business as they expanded the limits of their marketing goals.
"So far this year, we have reached unprecedented levels of prospects through email marketing campaigns."
Senior Marketing Manager
LEGO Education North America
From Black Hole to Total Visibility
One of the biggest challenges LEGO Education faced was lack of visibility into the sales process. “We never really knew how our touch points were driving leads down our buyer’s funnel into our marketing funnel,” Brandee said. “What was effectively moving them, and which ones were staying stagnant? It was like a black hole for us.” Another challenge was the fact that the marketing team didn’t have a way to direct the customer journey based on behaviors or personas. “We were treating all of our targets as if they were the same person. We lacked personalization and we lacked customized paths that allowed us to watch behavior and then send the right message to the right people at the right time, based on their interests.”
Marketing automation helped LEGO Education solve these challenges and more. By implementing Act-On Software, they now have not only automation and lead scoring, they also have visibility into the status of leads in the funnel. They can see where leads are, how they’re progressing, and also drill in to find out what’s working and what’s not to progress those leads through the funnel. It’s a powerful advantage – now, the team can invest more budget into areas that move leads through the process more effectively, while also pinpointing tactics that aren’t working as well in order to modify or replace them.
“Since the implementation of marketing automation, we have transformed our marketing communication strategy – campaigns are now the central core to our activities,” Brandee said. “This has enabled us to more than triple the number of leads in our marketing pipeline.”
"Now, we’re getting more leads, and we’re able to nurture those leads in a better and faster way, which then shortens the sales cycle. We’re able to hand over hot leads to our sales team to generate sales more quickly.”
Targeted Campaigns Get Results
Marketing automation also made it possible for the team to direct the customer journey. “With Act-On, we’re able to do a variety of different things that speak to our customers and our target audience in a very personalized and customized way. We’re running multiple campaigns: Some are trigger campaigns, some are drip campaigns, and some are a combination of both. They allow us to make sure that we’re sending the appropriate
message to our customers based on their interactions with us.”
Before implementing Act-On solutions, the marketing team at LEGO Education North America was able to execute only one or two campaigns a year. This year, they’re running 14 different campaigns, and next year they plan to run even more. Each campaign is customized to the individual based on their title, previous behavior and activity, web pages visited, or a combination of all of these variables. As a result, the emails delivered are more relevant – and more effective.
“Now, we’re getting more leads, and we’re able to nurture those leads in a better and faster way, which then shortens the sales cycle,” Brandee said. “We’re able to hand over hot leads to our sales team to generate sales more quickly.” This level of marketing efficiency has optimized use of their sales force, as well. Rather than calling on cold leads, they’re able to prioritize on calling the abundance of nurtured leads they receive from the marketing team.
“So far this year, we have reached unprecedented levels of prospects through email marketing campaigns,” Brandee said. This kind of volume and targeted approach has led to a 29% prospect-to-lead conversion rate. As a result of the two largest email marketing campaigns, LEGO Education experienced an increase in revenue for the products directly associated with those campaigns.
"Since the implementation of marketing automation, we have transformed our marketing communication strategy – campaigns are now the central core to our activities. This has enabled us to more than triple our marketing pipeline with leads.”
Advice for Automation-Seekers
The LEGO Education North America marketing team understood the value of doing their homework before choosing a marketing solution. As Brandee put it, “My advice to other marketers who are considering marketing automation is to first take time to understand and identify what your needs are. By outlining the problems you’re trying to solve, and documenting them so you have a firm understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, you can look for a solution that aligns to those needs and that addresses them fully.”
According to Brandee, “Marketing automation programs can really boost your marketing. But at the same time, like most things, you get out what you are willing to put in. The right solution should help you think bigger than what you are doing today: ‘Okay. What can we do differently? How can we utilize this tool to really help us grow?’ So it’s important to get a tool that works for you, like Act-On works for us.”