How Person-Based Advertising Helped Vya Improve Engagement and Drive Demand


When the pandemic hit in 2020, Vya’s biggest sources of leads dried up overnight. They had no success filling in the gaps through traditional digital advertising or web form fills. So they went all in on a new strategy to try and reach top prospects again.

Vya partnered with Influ2 to implement Person-Based Advertising (PBA), drive demand, and fill their pipeline with high-intent leads. Vya’s VP of Marketing and Sales, Martha France, recently presented a webinar with Influ2 about insights, analytics, and lessons learned from their PBA campaigns. If you missed the webinar, catch up on the key takeaways below.

Vya Invested in PBA to Fill Their Pipeline After Leads Dried Up

Vya is a B2B end-to-end marketing resource management platform. Their biggest sources of new leads were in-person events and direct mail.

“Because we’re so targeted, we always relied very heavily on very targeted events to do our marketing, as well as direct mail,” France said during the webinar. “Of course, those were the two channels that completely went away during the pandemic. Nobody was having events anymore…We could send direct mail but we only had office addresses. We didn’t have people’s home addresses.”

Many companies shifted their efforts to a digital marketing strategy during the pandemic. But digital had never been effective for Vya because of their highly targeted strategy. They usually netted a lot of waste and not many conversions.

The concept of Person-Based Advertising, on the other hand, was a natural fit. Through Influ2, Vya could take the people they’d identified as top prospects and serve digital ads directly to them.

“Right now as far as engagement goes, we show ads to the people we want to,” France explained. “People will click and so we label them as “clickers” as far as engagement goes in our CRM. People can then become multi-clickers when we see them clicking multiple times, and they move through that way.

“At the same time, people aren’t downloading things as much as they used to. The whole inbound approach and having your content out there and having people complete forms, we’re just not getting a lot of form fills. So the fact that in Influ2 we can see who’s clicking on our ads…we can see who’s engaging with us without that form.”

They Tested and Expanded PBA Efforts Down the Funnel

Initially, Vya used Person-Based Advertising to bring leads in at the top of the funnel and serve them with this personalized, educational content. But they realized they could also use PBA to identify high-quality prospects who were already considering solutions and even had purchase intent.

The Vya team started to send people not just long-form content but shorter-form, foundational content like blog articles. They learned that they could analyze engagement data from the clicks on this content to understand more about their prospects and where they were in their buyer’s journey.

“We can actually create our own first-party intent signals by identifying and developing content that’s further along in the sales journey, further down the funnel,” France said.

They subsequently developed content intended for multiple stages of the funnel. Some content pieces were educational and meant for prospects at the top of the funnel, looking for answers to questions and seeking out resources. But other content was for prospects at the consideration stage, with criteria for what they should think about when they make a purchase.

We can actually create our own first-party intent signals by identifying and developing content that’s further along in the sales journey, further down the funnel,” France said.

Vya then used Influ2’s platform to match those later-funnel content pieces to ads in their Person-Based Advertising campaigns.

“Now when we see people clicking on those [ads], that is a signal that they’re much further along in their journey,’” France said.

Vya is now setting up bottom-of-funnel campaigns using Person-Based Advertising to better engage with those prospects. They’ve brought their sales and marketing teams together to understand what those leads need. They’re also looking at their existing engagement data and trends from sales conversations to get a better feel for those prospects.

“What do we know so far about the people we’re targeting and the engagement we’ve seen? Who are the ones we feel really are further along in their journey? OK, let’s start directing this bottom-of-funnel campaign to that audience,” France summed up.

3 Lessons Learned to Make Your PBA Outreach More Effective

1. Align On Qualification With Sales and Marketing in Advance

Your sales and marketing teams should be aligned on lead qualification and campaign prospect lists so that when a lead engages with your campaign, sales can seamlessly accept leads and move on to impactful conversations.

“Because of the way we use Influ2, when we see somebody come through that has clicked on an ad, there’s no qualification to be done, because they’ve already been qualified,” France said. “Sales and marketing has already worked together to identify who we should be showing ads to.”

When an engaged clicker or multi-clicker gets passed to sales, they just have to make sure that person hasn’t changed jobs or left the company. There’s minimal qualification that needs to be done to reach the sales accepted lead stage, because marketing and sales are already aligned on who to target. This approach streamlines and minimizes the qualification process so you can accelerate sales.

2. PBA Gets You Past the Gatekeeper — in a Less Intrusive Way

You need multiple contacts within one account to influence the buying group and make an impact on the final purchase decision. But often, there’s one gatekeeper who would prefer to filter every communication from your sales reps. With PBA, you can still show ads and engage everyone in the buying group to maintain your influence.

“Especially today, with the amount of turnover and churn that companies are having, if you only have a single point of contact in there, and that person leaves, you’re really sunk,” France said. “What we’re finding is that with Person-Based Advertising, we can be showing ads to multiple people in that organization, and we’re getting our message to them in a less intrusive, indirect way. So we’re not raising any flags with that particular individual that we’re not supposed to go around.”

France noted this comes up a lot with big RFPs, because there are strict rules around who you can interact with at an organization. But you can still show them ads through Person-Based Advertising and feel confident that specific individuals see touchpoints from your brand. France says you can even show ads to their supervisors to be extra cautious but still spread your message.

3. Include Sales Reps on Engagement Alerts for Relevant Outreach

In Vya’s system, sales reps are included in the alerts when individual prospects interact with ads. They can begin their outreach with all the right context to catch leads while they’re warm.

“We include sales on the alerts we get from Influ2 that somebody has clicked, so they see that right away,” France said.

The marketing team then updates the individual’s record in Salesforce with the campaign info and topic, and advances them to either the “clicker” or “multi-clicker” stage depending on their level of engagement. The sales team has access to all of this data, and uses this context for highly relevant, personalized outreach.

Sales understands the campaign topics and engagement levels, and they’ll craft 1:1 messages, often through LinkedIn, based on this data. The end goal is to get prospects to connect and sign up for a demo. Thanks to proactive alignment between their marketing and sales teams and granular insights from Influ2’s platform, Vya has created a process that is “very orchestrated and well aligned.”

Drive Higher Engagement for Key Prospects Using Person-Based Ad Campaigns

Through PBA, Vya has driven more impressions, clicks, and conversions. They’ve gotten impressions on 98% of their target accounts through Person-Based Advertising. Of those with impressions, about one-third are clicking their ads. About 45% of those engaging are logged as multi-clickers. Engagement is up, digital waste is down, and Vya’s marketing and sales teams are moving high-intent prospects through their funnel quickly.

Ready to apply the same success to your company? Learn how Influ2 can help you identify and engage your biggest prospects through a tailored PBA strategy.

#Account Based Marketing #ABM

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