SocialLadder watches marketing channels climb with Kalungi
SocialLadder is the only true end-to-end brand ambassador management platform that allows marketing teams to bring ambassadors, influencers, and affiliates under one roof. Based in Philadelphia, SocialLadder has helped consumer brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, goPuff, Hendrick’s Gin, Campari, Kendra Scott, Graduate Hotels, and more turn their influencers into growth drivers by mobilizing communities to create content and increase conversions.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Account-based marketing (ABM)
Messaging & positioning
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“We were looking for someone that knew what they were doing and could take our marketing engine to the next level. More importantly, we wanted someone that would fully integrate and become a member of the team. Antoine was able to do both."
The Challenge: Scaling the Marketing Engine
Over the years, SocialLadder developed on their own a strong internal marketing function. Their well-oiled marketing engine brought early success and allowed the company to scale fast, doubling ARR year after year. However, the company wanted to take it a step further and increase their marketing efforts to support higher growth goals. After trying on their own, outbound, paid, and organic campaigns were not producing the desired results. Thus, the company looked for a resource with experience to help them scale these different channels.
Defining their challenge was one thing, finding the solution was another. In interviewing several companies and candidates, the company found that vendors had one of two levels of expertise but not both.
“There seems to be a challenge with marketing leaders,” said SocialLadder CEO and co-founder Raavi Iqbal. “Either they’re super creative and great at writing content or they’re sort of highly technical, but not both. We needed the perfect blend. However, that perfect blend tended to be very expensive.”
SocialLadder looked at bringing in an agency or hiring a marketing executive full-time but found each approach had its own shortcomings.
“With an agency,” explained Mr. Iqbal, “you’re not getting someone who’s going to completely integrate with your team and take what you have and run with it. They’re going to be working more on a project basis and that’s just not what we were looking for. Or they’re bringing in an overall larger approach when we’re looking for something very targeted.
“Hiring an executive was potentially a great solution, but it’s difficult to find someone who has access to expertise outside their own knowledge, who would be able to tap into a larger organization to provide needed information. We were stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.”
Solution: Onboard a Marketing Leader backed by the Kalungi B2B SaaS Expertise
SocialLadder needed a resource with experience guiding SaaS companies to scale their marketing efforts, as well as possessing the technical know-how to work within the company’s established marketing engine. The company was challenged on product and positioning fronts, needing to perform better in each of those areas. At the same time, the major task was to breathe new life into their marketing channels and scale them up.
With Kalungi, SocialLadder found a fractional CMO partner with a proven, templated approach to helping B2B SaaS companies scale. SocialLadder gained the in-depth resources of a specialized marketing agency with the advantage of having an on-demand CMO to integrate with their team. All at an affordable cost and contractual duration.
“Kalungi was able to quickly operate as a member of our management team,” explained Mr. Iqbal. “They brought deep technical expertise around the core technology that SaaS companies should be using to promote their brands. On a very practical level, they introduced us to templates and processes that have already been leveraged by other SaaS companies successfully to scale.
“I was pleasantly surprised to find competent senior people not afraid to get hands-on into the nitty gritty. That’s very important, especially in startups. I needed to get the job done now. I didn’t need a proposal on how to spend more money to get something done. Having that dynamic range of strategic insight as well as the tactical details was super important.”
Results: Scale and Transition
Prior to engaging with Kalungi, SocialLadder found that their organic efforts were not performing consistently month over month. After working with Kalungi, they started to see measurable growth. Within just a couple of quarters, Kalungi’s efforts translated into positive ROI with an increase of 135% of $ added to the sales pipeline.
SocialLadder was also able to significantly increase their actual volume of output on the outbound side working with Kalungi, as well as the number of responses. After 6 months, Socialladder saw a 220% growth in QoQ in outbound qualified opportunities.
“As for paid side,” added Mr. Iqbal, “before Kalungi, we had good initial results, but we were unable to ramp up. We went back and forth with Google on the issue but still couldn’t scale it. A third-party agency wasn’t even able to solve the problem.
“Every month we’re testing, spending money, trying to get results, and not getting anywhere with paid advertisement. With Kalungi we figured out how to ramp it up. We made some tweaks to our paid approach and now can scale it. And it’s actually delivering at the rate or even beyond the rate that we had initially projected.”
As a full-service marketing resource for B2B SaaS companies, Kalungi also helped with staffing and transitioning to an in-house team. For SocialLadder Kalungi played an important role in helping expand operations.
“Kalungi identified an opportunity to bring in a marketing director in Latin America, which we had never considered,” explained Mr. Iqbal. “That ended up being a valuable part of our growth efforts that we hadn’t even thought of as a potential opportunity.
“For other companies finding themselves in need of a marketing jumpstart, I think using the full Kalungi team is the ideal situation. I think the fractional CMO option is great for companies that may have an existing marketing team or don’t want to outsource an entire marketing team.”
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