Aikolon is a wholesaler and distributor of plastic semi-finished products with operations in Finland and the Nordic and Baltic countries. The company has more than forty years of experience in the field. Wholesale products include plastic sheets and plastic rods for industrial use as well as for construction use. In its own production, Aikolon processes plastic sheets and plastic rods for the customer according to the drawing by machining, thermoforming and vacuum forming.
Aikolon's goal was to reach customers who are designing plastic products in various industrial and construction sectors. The company's goal is to help customers in the product design phase as early as possible, thus enabling Aikolon to provide them with the best value add. Knowledge of the different production methods of plastic materials and plastics, in general, is highly important whilst designing and manufacturing a successful and cost-effective plastic product. Aikolon is happy to assist and support the customer in this phase.
“We started working with Sales Communications, as we understood that we should reach our potential customers much earlier than we actually did. Sales Communications produced a lot of inbound related content that helped us to understand what the change in buying was all about and how sales and marketing should react to this change. In addition, Aikolon is a company seeking strong growth so we need new ways to continue on that path. SalesComm had the know-how and the best product for sales and marketing automation to support our growth ambitions”, says Marko Koljonen, Sales and Marketing Director at Aikolon.
The collaboration started with inbound marketing and by using Marketing Hub
Aikolon's primary goal was to reach more customers early in the purchasing process, i.e. when customers start designing their plastic products. In addition, Aikolon's goal was also to attract new customers in order to achieve their sales targets.
The project was divided into two sections, which were somewhat overlapping though; inbound strategy and the implementation of HubSpot Marketing Hub.
The inbound strategy began by mapping the current state, which included analysing Aikolon’s visibility on Google based on the keywords that were important to Aikolon. After the analysis, we started building buyer personas together and these personas were taken to HubSpot. The third workshop went through the buyer’s journey and the related content. In addition, content formats appealing to the buyer personas were defined and also a content plan was created. Lastly, various different channels generating more traffic, such as different social media channels, were reviewed with Aikolon.
“While designing the inbound marketing strategy, we went through the various stages of the buyer’s journey and discussed together what content should be utilized in the early stages of the buyer’s journey. From early on, Aikolon had an excellent understanding of inbound marketing and how it can benefit their work”, says Suvi Saranki, Project Manager and Inbound Strategist, Sales Communications.
The implementation of HubSpot also went smoothly. Aikolon also had a clear view of why HubSpot is the right tool for them.
“We chose HubSpot as it takes into consideration the entire process of marketing, sales, customer service and customer relationship management. Furthermore, HubSpot is constantly developing the ecosystem and adding new features to it. I didn't even find an alternative to it”, says Koljonen.
Inbound marketing as a support for the sales
The implementation of HubSpot and the inbound marketing strategy were completed in the late spring of 2018. Aikolon has achieved great results with inbound marketing and the results have inspired both sales and marketing.
“At Aikolon, we are only at the beginning of this sales and marketing change and have been doing this for half a year. However, we are already seeing results and above all more opportunities. The amount of website traffic has increased by approximately 20% since the start of the project, which correlates directly with the growth of our sales. Furthermore, we have been able to better reach our customers in the early stages of the process, which is vital to us. We are seeing new customer contacts gained by inbound marketing on a weekly basis”, says Koljonen.
The number of Aikolon’s visitors captured at HubSpot. The number of visitors has risen from over 2,000 visitors in March 2018 to nearly 8,000 by the end of January 2019.
Although the amount of leads was moderate, the leads have been of high quality. This is a very good sign that Aikolon's content has appealed to their customers and results have been achieved with inbound. Aikolon has also actively worked the leads and by doing this they have achieved 11% contact-to-customer rate during the whole time (March 2018 - present)! Above all, Aikolon's inbound marketing shows how crucial the quality of the leads is, and the leads are also started to turn into customer relationships.
The number of leads has increased steadily and the leads have been of high quality.
Aikolon has gained 23 new customers from May 2018 to the end of January 2019 with inbound methods.
“We at Sales Communications have a monthly contact call with our customers, even though there is not a project in progress. This is how we know what the customer's situation is and how we can support if needed. Monthly discussions with Marko Koljonen and Pirjo Bovellan (Marketing Coordinator) from Aikolon have been rewarding and it is great to see customers who are enthusiastic concerning inbound and HubSpot. ”
“Perhaps the best feedback from the project was that now Aikolon clearly understands the importance of data measurement and analysis. Marko told us that it has now been possible to make the measurement more transparent and that more attention has been paid to the figures within the organization. In addition, the implementation of HubSpot's Service Hub is obviously a sign that the benefits of HubSpot have been acknowledged, and that Aikolon wants to continue the buyer’s journey of their customers and invest more in the customer experience, the delight phase of the buyer’s journey”, says Saranki.
“Cooperation with SalesComm has been smooth, fast and goal-oriented since the first meeting. We have been quickly supported when needed, and our SalesComm experts have also made a great effort to achieve our goals. Our joint journey continues”, concludes Koljonen.