Taking strategy to the stratosphere
Rakuten Advertising is obsessed with strategy. For over 25 years, they’ve led the industry in performance-optimized marketing. They help the world’s most-loved brands connect intelligently with their audiences through top-tier publishing partnerships, innovative affiliate programs, and award-winning digital ad management.
To power their marketing efforts, Rakuten Advertising relies on HubSpot. Its powerful workflows and flexible dashboards have shaped their specialized approach since 2012.
For their latest marketing strategy revamp, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations Richard Truncale aimed to uncover new insights from campaign performance.
He wanted to drill down into intricate details like how email send time impacted engagement across various audiences, and capture multi-platform metrics like influenced revenue while staying within the company's reporting guidelines.
Richard says, “I wanted to visualize exactly what was happening with our lists, and I knew HubSpot’s data analytics and reporting could help.”
Sorting complex contact data
In this quest for new insights, Richard and his team had a set of highly complex data to organize. They needed an efficient way to sort performance metrics for multiple concurrent campaigns.
Richard explains, “We have a diverse team of employees spread across different countries, departments, and divisions, all using HubSpot for lead gen. Before exploring new possibilities with our data, we needed to organize it using automated naming conventions.”
Refining a complex nurture strategy
With a lengthy sales cycle and a vast array of tools and services that they offer, Rakuten Advertising’s nurture campaigns were also complex. Their audience includes publishers, advertisers, and agencies, and many subscribers who are using one or more of their solutions.
Richard knew it was critical for his team to be able to personalize and segment their nurture emails to ensure a positive customer experience.
“As a customer, receiving marketing for a product or service you already use can be quite frustrating. In B2B, it's essential to balance being informative and establishing meaningful connections without seeming aggressive,” he explains.
Chasing influenced revenue
One of the most challenging goals in the update was to develop automations capable of measuring influenced revenue—the actual dollar amount Rakuten Advertising’s marketing efforts had helped secure in connection with specific marketing content or campaigns.
Having a real-time, end-to-end perspective on campaign performance would help keep their marketing strategy razor-sharp.
Richard says, “Capturing influenced revenue can be difficult. It often involves manually monitoring assets across multiple platforms and exporting the data. But with HubSpot, we knew we could integrate all our tools, identify those properties, and create a dashboard to inform our decision-making process.”
Personalizing complex emails
To make sure they’re connecting to their audience with relevant content, Rakuten Advertising uses workflows to tag contacts with multiple properties.
When a contact converts through HubSpot’s forms, they are tagged by region and company type.
The products or services that they’re already using get identified through custom objects via the Salesforce integration.
Richard says, “It’s essential for us to know whether an email was sent from Brazil or Australia or the United States, and to avoid any mix-ups in those sequences. Having those lists tagged right from the lead generation forms and having all that information in a single ecosystem, is very nice.”
Optimizing email with custom data
Richard notes, “There are a lot of theories out there about email best practices, like, ‘The best time to send is at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday. However, there isn’t much evidence to back it up.”
Rakuten Advertising sought facts to drive their email strategy. So, they jumped at the chance to beta test HubSpot’s new email custom report builder.
Richard and his team used the custom reports to create a global email performance dashboard, which offered game-changing insights.
“It monitors email performance across all of our markets and shows the optimal times and days of the week for sending emails. The coolest thing is, even though most companies say, ‘Never email on a Friday,’ we discovered that Friday is when we get our best engagement,” Richard says.
In addition, the real-time visibility of the dashboard eliminated all of the manual work of measuring performance for multiple concurrent campaigns. Richard says it now takes half the time to create reports, and that savings enables him to drive more strategic efforts.
Capturing omnichannel performance
The ultimate achievement from the operations overhaul was the ability to attribute revenue across multiple platforms accurately.
Richard says, “We launched two global campaigns last year and used HubSpot’s reporting to accurately measure its success.”
With the Salesforce integration, the team monitored contacts who received either a media-themed report or one focused on affiliate marketing. If a contact downloaded a report and ultimately had a sale closed in the CRM, that deal value was recorded in HubSpot as influenced revenue for that campaign.
Richard says, “The HubSpot ecosystem is such a benefit, because it allows us to seamlessly connect various software tools and access our data in real time.”
Capturing 25% more influenced revenue YOY
Leveraging HubSpot's impressive analytics and reporting capabilities, Rakuten Advertising revamped their marketing operations and successfully followed 25% more influenced revenue year-over-year across multiple software platforms.
Richard says, “Using our dashboard in HubSpot, we were able to monitor several global content campaigns through Marketing Hub and our CRM. Having all that data in one place helped drive effective decision-making.”
As a leader in performance-driven ad solutions and with a continually optimizing and evolving business, HubSpot was the perfect partner for Rakuten Advertising.
“This was a brand new initiative for us,” Richard says. “We used HubSpot to illustrate what was working and what wasn’t, and how it affected revenue attribution.”
In addition to gaining better visibility into campaign performance, Rakuten Advertising also acquired valuable insights into their email contacts.
Richard explains, “We have numerous emails in our account. By attaching naming conventions to those messages, we could differentiate performance metrics for our global regions. That was very difficult to visualize before, but now we can see it with just a click of a button.”
With the powerful email performance dashboard he created in Marketing Hub, Richard freed 50% of the time he used to spend manually creating those reports for more valuable productivity.
The enhanced visibility has also accelerated A/B testing and helped the marketing team optimize emails faster.
Marketing Hub proved so valuable, Rakuten Advertising achieved a 100% adoption rate across all marketing functions, becoming the chosen platform for their global marketing team.
Rakuten Advertising is excited to continue growing with HubSpot, confident that the solution will keep evolving to support their goals.