A Comprehensive Inbound Marketing Strategy Led to Incredible Success and ROI for this Machine Learning Leader


Founded in 2012, Wise.io is a SaaS-based provider of machine learning applications that predict customer behavior so that businesses can prioritize and optimize their interactions to better achieve customer success. The technology functions across a range of customer use cases, including support ticket prioritization, lead scoring, customer retention, and customer lifetime value assessment.

While already a HubSpot customer for several years, Wise.io partnered with SPROUT Content in late 2014 with a goal of focusing and reshaping their inbound marketing strategy to better compete in an industry crowded with huge contenders like IBM and Microsoft.

Their cutting-edge technology and agility as a startup offered excellent tools for success, but the challenges they faced were formidable.

The Challenge

During initial discussions with the team at Wise.io, the following list of primary goals emerged:

  • Build awareness of machine learning in general, and Wise.io’s technology specifically, as a solution to real-world business problems
  • Increase the quality and quantity of leads
  • Establish thought leadership in the customer success space
  • Improve the nurturing process for prospects and leads

As we dove deeper into their past efforts and performed a preliminary content and website audit, SPROUT’s strategy team and Wise.io agreed that there were some fundamental disconnects in who their target audience actually was and how to create messaging to reach that market.

As a result, we worked together to create a comprehensive content and inbound marketing strategy designed to target the personas most likely to actively engage with Wise.io, and eventually make a buying decision.

The Solution

The first step in our solution involved researching and conducting interviews to create a brand new Buyer Persona for the client, which identified a key decision-making role that had not previously been on their radar: the Customer Success leader.

Since one of the most successfully proven applications for Wise.io’s technology was in the field of customer service automation and ticket prioritization, they already had the material for a compelling storyline that could span the full Buyer’s Journey for this persona.

As it turned out, creating and pursuing the Customer Success persona was a game changer for Wise because their efforts had been primarily focused on data scientists and others in similarly technical fields who were highly interested and engaged, but were not purchasing decision makers, so their sales conversions were understandably low. Targeting customer success professionals, however, we got Wise’s message to a group that was not only keenly interested, but had the authority to make a buying decision. Conversions improved dramatically as a result. 

Soon after completing the new persona, we developed an aggressive editorial calendar focused on attracting, educating, and capturing these three personas as qualified leads, while also enhancing the client’s already-established role as a thought leader in the highly progressive machine learning and customer success spaces. The plan involved:

  • Blog posts and website content addressing the Awareness stage of the Buyer’s Journey, optimized for search
  • Social media distribution and engagement to enhance content reach and scope
  • Ebooks and whitepapers, along with supporting landing pages and automated email campaigns, to capture and nurture leads from each persona, helping them along to the Consideration stage
  • Case studies and focused calls-to-action including a free trial of various Wise.io applications for leads in the Consideration stage
  • Monitoring and analytics to ensure any leads identified as sales-qualified could be followed up on by Wise salespeople directly

Considering the extremely technical nature of the client’s business, much of the content we created went through several rounds of editing in the beginning, which is not unheard of with complex industries. However, as our content specialists learned more about the industry and Wise’s specific role within machine learning, we developed a smooth writing/editing/publishing process through patience and agile teamwork. Soon, magic started to happen (as it so often does) and we began to see incredible results.

The Results

Increased website traffic, improved quality and quantity of leads, and improved ROI were nothing short of breathtaking. But, of course, they only tell half the story.

Here’s how Chris Benham, Wise.io’s Account Executive and primary liaison with SPROUT Content described the relationship: “SPROUT Content is super diligent, incredibly responsive, sensitive to our needs, eager and hardworking. Their team has been a force multiplier for our growing start-up."

Over the course of our first two years working together, Wise.io experienced:

  • a 68% increase in total website traffic
  • a 121% increase in generated leads with 550 new contacts from a top of funnel guide specific to their Customer Success Steven persona

Guide statistics

These numbers included:

  • an 829% increase in traffic and 239% increase in leads from social media engagement
  • a 654% increase in traffic and 800% increase in leads from email marketing
  • a 179% increase in traffic and 304% increase in leads from organic search

Organic traffic increase from 2014 - 2016

Organic Traffic Increase

During the same period, the client’s lead nurturing email activity improved from:

  • an average open rate of 18% to 44.4%
  • an average click rate of 2.79% to 13.4%

From a search perspective, despite operating in a space dominated by huge companies with very deep pockets, SPROUT Content’s SEO strategy and optimized content helped Wise.io rank for:

  • 74 search phrases on page 1 of Google

Additionally, on the basis of the strong results garnered by the inbound efforts, Wise.io could safely eliminate PPC search campaigns from their marketing budget, saving more than $3,500/month (an annual savings of more than $41,000!) We therefore helped them enhance profitability and ROI through nurturing and conversion of inbound leads with a lower cost-per-customer.

Paid Search decrease from 2014 - 2016

Paid Search Decrease

Finally, we were thrilled to learn that the rapid success and growth our client experienced during the two years we worked together grabbed the attention of a huge player in the industry - General Electric - and that their eventual acquisition of Wise.io in November of 2016 marked the beginning of a new phase in the company’s growth and opportunities for success.

Would you like to enjoy similar results?

SPROUT Content is a leading inbound marketing agency specializing in creating and distributing Performance Content for B2B companies in “unglamorous industries.” If you’re interested in discussing how your company could conceivably enjoy results similar to Wise.io and so many other delighted SPROUT clients, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact Us

“SPROUT Content is super diligent, incredibly responsive, sensitive to our needs, eager and hardworking. Their team has been a force multiplier for our growing start-up." - Chris Benham, Account Executive

Website traffic increased by 68% and helped deliver 550 new leads

Could Your Website Do More?