A publicly-owned company, James Hardie Building Products Inc. is a world leading specialized manufacturer of a wide range of fiber-cement building materials. Today, James Hardie operates around the world, with manufacturing operations in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The businesses employ over 2,500 people who generate revenue of more than $1.5 billion a year.
Before Marketo, James Hardie had a lead database of hundreds of thousands of consumers and trade leads but more than 70% of these were in an unknown lead status. Without a way to track lead progression or measure the success of individual campaigns, marketing was limited to a series of one-off campaigns tracked in spreadsheets. The James Hardie marketing team was reliant on contractors to update lead data in Salesforce.com but there was little incentive to do that. After the 2008 housing crisis came a drop in single-family new construction and an increase in homes being remodeled and renovated, so James Hardie needed to switch their target audience.
James Hardie recognized that it needed an effective way to reach the endpoint consumer—the homeowner. To achieve that goal, they needed insight and a solution that would empower the company to create strategic customer interactions to drive leads.
Leveraging Marketo, James Hardie launched two test markets, in Chicago and DC, where the company’s representatives go street by street and interact directly with homeowners in areas where James Hardie products would be a good fit for remodeling. Using a mobile app on a tablet, company representatives fill out a short form which populates lead information into Salesforce.com then Marketo and into contractors’ hands within minutes. If customers express interest during the face-to-face meeting, an email is automatically sent from Marketo with a link to download content, and a follow-up email is sent three days later, so no lead gets left behind. Because the sales pitch has traditionally come from the contractor rather than James Hardie, Marketo enables the company to insert themselves in conversations where they weren’t before, thus better supporting contractors’ growth. With Marketo, James Hardie can also easily track effectiveness of these efforts.
With Marketo, James Hardie has increased their volume of campaigns by 523%, creating a 200% increase in consumer interactions, all with the same marketing staff. Response rates are up and leads are now staying engaged and retained through the funnel. The two test markets using Marketo have far and away driven the most leads of any other area in the company. Since leveraging the Marketo solution, James Hardie has seen consumer engagement increase by 71%. Fostering strong relationships with consumers translates directly to a higher volume of leads and a better close rate. In addition, explains Bridget Kulla, Digital Marketing Manager at James Hardie Building Products, “With Marketo, we’re able to collect so much data that we can leverage to hone in on the consumers and better support them through the purchase lifecycle.” After Hurricane Sandy, James Hardie leveraged Marketo to quickly distribute videos about their products, incorporating stories from the affected areas along the eastern seaboard. “We used Marketo to hone in on consumers in areas impacted by providing relevant data in efforts to assist in rebuilding neighborhoods after Hurricane Sandy,” adds Kulla.