Codal is an established software development firm with impeccable credentials. They have an enormous pool of talented developers and an impressive portfolio of past projects including work with Pepsi, United Airlines, and DoSomething.org.
When you learn who they are and what makes them unique, you wonder why you’d have your web or mobile app developed by anyone else. They are clearly a premier provider in their market space.
Yet they still struggle with standing out among competing firms.
It’s difficult to imagine that such a qualified provider with a seven-year track record of exceptional results would struggle with visibility and differentiation. It is a testament to just how crowded software development has become — there are tens of thousands of software development firms in the global marketplace.
Codal shares a marketing challenge common to many businesses in extremely saturated markets: how do you stand out and get noticed in a sea of competitors offering similar solutions? How do you communicate to your target market what makes you a better solution than the hundreds or thousands of alternatives?
Focus on differentiation and competitive advantages
Codal has developed a number of competitive advantages that are difficult for smaller firms to reproduce. These unique benefits of working with Codal give their prospective clients clear reasons to choose Codal over other companies.
They’ve put an extraordinary amount of focus on intelligence. Where other firms roadmap an application six months out, Codal looks at the lifespan of an application — often road mapping years into the future. This kind of thorough, extended analysis is rare and reassures clients that their app development is driven by a long-term strategy, deep analysis, and there is a plan for longevity.
Codal offers extremely competitive pricing using a hybrid model that outsources aspects of their development to a team in India. This mitigates the high cost of U.S.-based development. So not only do they do what they do very well, they do it for a great price.
With those unique internal processes, among others, driving a unique development solution — and at a relatively low price point — they’ve effectively established what makes them a standout provider.
But here they encounter another common business challenge… how do they communicate those differences to their target market? How do they attract potential clients and educate them on their unique value proposition?
Adaptive content marketing through analytics
Over the past few years, Codal has put an increasing amount of focus on their content marketing to improve the quality and quantity of the leads produced by their inbound marketing. Creating great content does more than just generate leads — it also educates their marketplace and establishes them as an authority.
About seven months ago, Codal was looking for an enterprise-level marketing and sales CRM solution that would allow their marketing and sales processes to work hand-in-hand. They wanted analytics shared between marketing and sales so that one process informed the other and there was a cohesive strategy aligning them. To do this, they needed an integrated tool that seamlessly tied both marketing and sales processes together.
They needed a cost-effective solution with enterprise-level marketing automation features. They wanted a balance of powerful features and ease of use so that it could be quickly adopted by a growing team of marketing and sales people.
They compared ActiveCampaign to a variety of enterprise-level marketing automation solutions including Marketo and Eloqua.
In the end, they chose ActiveCampaign. They were impressed by the enterprise marketing automation capabilities ActiveCampaign offers at such a competitive price point. They also liked our robust reporting which gives them the detailed analytics they need to make informed business decisions.
Codal has experience integrating the applications they develop with many of the most popular email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM apps (such as SalesForce and SugarCRM) so they are familiar with many of the major solutions. This makes their decision to proceed with ActiveCampaign especially significant. They’ve worked with competing services on a very technical level and felt that our solution was superior to the alternatives.
They were able to get started with ActiveCampaign quickly and without incident. After a consultation with one of our customer support representatives, they were ready to go. They had no problems integrating ActiveCampaign into their business and getting it set up the way they wanted.
Using ActiveCampaign to guide their content marketing
Content marketing is an important part of Codal’s inbound marketing strategy. By creating quality content they can position themselves as an authority while educating prospects with information they will need to make an informed buying decision and collecting qualified leads.
But software development is one of the fastest changing industries so it can be challenging to create content that is up to date with current trends and topics. There is also a diverse range of topics to cover because there is such a wide variety of languages, operating systems, etc. This can make aligning their content with the interests of their target market especially difficult.
Codal has come up with an ingenious way of overcoming this problem. To produce content that reflects the constantly shifting priorities of their target market they make prodigious use of ActiveCampaign’s tagging system.
When a contact opts-in from a landing page they apply a tag that denotes the interest of the lead. For instance, if they requested a whitepaper on using iBeacon in mobile app development they would be tagged as interested in “mobile” and “iBeacon.”
By running reports on how many contacts have a specific tag, they can keep an eye on changes and create content targeting specific segments where they notice growth. In this way, the analytics they get from ActiveCampaign’s reporting feature becomes a rich source of insight into the exact interests of their contacts and that data is leveraged to shape their content marketing strategy.
They can also use these same “interest tags” to segment their contacts so that when a new piece of content is produced, it can be distributed to the exact leads who would find value in it. When they get Press that helps build their case as a premier development solution in a particular area, they are able to send out a campaign that delivers that content to the exact contacts who were tagged as being interested in that specific topic.
By providing relevant and useful content to their leads, they are able to strengthen their relationship with them.
Aligning marketing and sales
Many growing businesses suffer from sales and marketing personnel working more or less independently from one another. While this is common, both teams can be made more effective by working together so an effort in one area strengthens the other. Codal, appreciating this fact, sought out a tool that allowed marketing and sales to work together closely.
During one-on-one discussions with sales representatives, if a potential clients mentions they are interested in a specific development language, feature, or any other aspect of development, they are tagged with that interest and then ActiveCampaign can automatically deliver marketing messages related to that topic so the prospect sees that Codal has expertise in that area.
Codal’s sales cycle is usually 6-8 months and, in some cases, it might take over a year to close a deal. During that time they consistently deliver content that differentiates them from alternative solutions, positions them as the premier solution, and strengthens their relationship with potential clients.
Using ActiveCampaign’s Site Tracking feature, Codal is able to see which content a contact is interacting with. They are able to see the paths a contact takes on their website and apply additional tags if they view specific pages. For instance, if a contact views information on developing a cloud solution, the can be tagged as interested in that topic. Their sales team is able to view this page view data and the tags a contact has to get a feel for what they should discuss as they prepare for meetings.
Codal is able to leverage ActiveCampaign’s unique features to improve its content marketing strategy and align its sales and marketing efforts for maximum impact. They found it to have all the enterprise level email marketing, marketing automation, and automated sales CRM features they need, at a price point they can’t find anywhere else.