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Average visit duration increased


Top campaign conversion rate increased


Lead routing accuracy increased


Hortonworks increases market share in a fast-growing, competitive market by starting at the top of the funnel, personalizing the web experience, and using firmographic data to simplify conversion.

Leah Grosky, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Hortonworks, fully understands the value of data in creating compelling customer experiences. Hortonworks is a major player in the ApacheTM Hadoop® big data market, and its solutions enable organizations to analyze massive amounts of data to better understand customers and address customer needs. When Hortonworks’ sales team more than doubled in a single year, Leah needed to ramp up lead generation activities. The combination of Marketo and ReachForce helped make that happen, by leveraging prospect-specific data to increase engagement on the website, compel more of the right prospects to complete contact forms, and increase conversion by asking prospects for less information. 


  • Mature the inbound marketing strategy to create more relevant, simplified experiences for target personas.
  • Capture robust prospect data to route and respond to leads faster.
  • Scale the demand generation engine to keep pace with rapid sales team growth. 


Increasing marketing-influenced revenue

When Hortonworks was founded in 2011, there were already several established players in the ApacheTM Hadoop® space. An aggressive marketing strategy helped the company gain ground quickly, and Hortonworks has become the leading contributor to and provider of Apache Hadoop for the enterprise. Close alignment between the marketing and sales teams has helped drive success, but an increase in the sales force last year put intense pressure on marketing to increase the volume of qualified leads.

"Marketo Real-Time Personalization and ReachForce SmartForms are enabling us to quickly scale the demand generation engine. SmartForms helps by capturing valuable data we need about our site visitors by appending up to 100 different data points, including address, industry, and revenue. Because of this data, our lead routing accuracy improved 43%, so sales people no longer have to go into the queue and figure out which leads belong to them. And Real-Time Personalization is delivering relevant, individualized content. The combination of data and targeting has matured our inbound strategy and enhanced digital lead flow.” 


Identifying the persona in the prospect

Hortonworks was one of the first Marketo customers to identify distinct personas within target companies. Marketing uses Real-Time Personalization to capture and understand behavioral data and design content messaging and offers around what captures the attention of each persona. One behavioral campaign targeting website visitors based on their interest in on-demand tutorials achieved a 47% conversion rate.

Tailoring the website with Real-Time Personalization is delivering significantly higher engagement, with average visit duration rising 313% and average pages per visit increasing 163%. SmartForms, with its ability to prepopulate forms with known prospect data, speeds forms fill-in, which has helped to drive conversion. In fact, by having SmartForms in place, Hortonworks has seen landing page conversions increase by 8%.

"By combining Marketo and ReachForce, we’re able to capture prospects’ attention when they come to the site, engage them with personalized content, and convert more of them with easy-to-complete forms. The result is more data about prospects and customers, faster, more accurate lead routing, and the ability to segment and nurture prospects with the right content, which means we can scale our ability to bring in leads for our growing sales team.”