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Healthcare Information Company Boosts Revenue by 50% Through Search Engine Marketing

Brad Warnick
ECNext

Accelerated Web traffic by 600 percent and boosted overall revenue by 50 percent within three months.

Since 1989, Knowledge Source (www.knowsource.com) has delivered healthcare business information and market reports to executives seeking a competitive edge.

Knowledge Source provides healthcare data, syntheses, analysis and presentation services through market research reports and custom research. The company's core market includes busy managers who seek pertinent market knowledge about clients, competitors, industries or markets in a world with an overwhelming abundance of data.

Project Goals

The Internet has fueled a fundamental shift in the way executives seek and purchase market data. Whereas they once relied on internal research departments for information, executives now discover and download data instantaneously. As a result, search engines have become the number one research tool for busy executives. Qualified buyers use specific search phrases to pinpoint desired information. Knowledge Source sought a partner to help it profit from this paradigm shift and to anticipate future market changes. The company approached ECNext with several goals:

  • Employ search engine marketing to drive more traffic to its Web site
  • Increase Web-driven sales
  • Broaden its market base
  • Create a competitive advantage
  • Expand market share

The Challenge

Knowledge Source had traditionally sold comprehensive healthcare industry overviews and company specific analyses to pharmaceutical sales executives. Existing market channels required a lengthy sales cycle to build relationships within each company.

Knowledge Source wanted to expand its market base and to shorten its sales cycles. By making its data visible to healthcare executives searching the Web for precise information about clients, competitors, and market trends, the company also hoped to significantly increase sales.

To content publishers like Knowledge Source, the Internet presents both opportunities and challenges. These companies amass highly sought-after information. Yet, their data drifts in a sea of more than 3 billion Web pages indexed by major search engines. Without an effective search-marketing platform, decision makers seeking critical business information cannot find the company's content.

Typical search engine services involve inserting meta-tags and keywords manually into each Web page. However, coding pages by hand is impractical for publishers offering an extensive catalog of information products. More importantly, maintaining hand-coded pages to keep up with changing search engine algorithms becomes difficult if not impossible. ECNext's platform and accompanying tools automate construction and maintenance of product pages, creating a scalable method of driving Web traffic and profits.

Like many content providers, Knowledge Source lacked the expertise to capitalize on the power of the Internet to expand its market base. Generic search engine marketing delivered insufficient traffic. Only about 20 percent of sales came from the Web - and much of that volume came from existing customers.

To meet its goals, the company needed each granule of its critical business information to rise to the top of the search engine results for specific market intelligence keywords.

The Solution

Knowledge Source turned to ECNext for its new e-commerce site. "I chose ECNext because they offered the most proven platform and services to propel my Web commerce business forward," said Knowledge Source President John Santilli. "They provide the expertise and management skills that our in-house team lacks."

ECNext specializes in search marketing for content publishers. The company's proprietary e-commerce platform includes built-in search engine optimization to improve natural rankings on Google and other major search engines.

Web searchers tend to be project driven, looking for specific information. When they find what they need, they want to purchase it immediately.

Executives searching the Web using relevant keywords and search phrases find matching information from ECNext clients high in their search results. They can then quickly purchase exactly the information they need.

When it approached ECNext, Knowledge Source sold about 125 different market reports, with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

ECNext began by working with Knowledge Source to separate and repackage this content into more marketable pieces of information. They divided each report into dozens or even hundreds of report segments.

The ECNext platform then merchandised each segment on its own product Web page. The highly specific key words and phrases on each product page deliver first-page ranking in Google and other search engines. Eventually, the site will feature nearly 10,000 separate information product pages. Each page allows purchase of the full report or its segments. Pricing of segments now begins at under $100.

Separating the reports into more marketable fragments enabled Knowledge Source to boost Web sales by:

  • Exposing a greater volume and more specific level of content to search engines, which improved search marketing performance.
  • Improving conversion rates and sales through a variety of attractive price-points.

Knowledge Source now employs ECNext's publishing tool to manage and update the expanded product offerings on the new site. Prospective customers can quickly find and purchase the exact information they need.

Knowledge Source also retained ECNext to take over management of its e-mail marketing. The process was overly time-consuming for in-house staff, and their campaigns failed to yield adequate response. ECNext integrated e-mail marketing into the company's overall strategy. As new customers and leads opt in to the Knowledge Source's house lists, the company gains a platform for cross-selling and up-selling additional products.

ECNext sends two e-mail campaigns each month to the Knowledge Source house lists, manages list additions and unsubscribe requests, and ensures compliance with CAN-SPAM Act regulations. What used to take two days now takes only about half an hour.

Results

Knowledge Source has realized tremendous gains in traffic and sales, which increase month by month. Within six months of the new site launch, Web-based sales rose to 50 percent of the company's total volume, compared to only 20 percent in the past.

Knowledge Source also penetrated new markets. Historically, the company sold 75 percent of its data to pharmaceutical executives. Now, sales to managers in other healthcare industry segments average 50 percent of overall sales.

Before Knowledge Source moved to ECNext's platform, Web-based marketing strategies drove 30 percent of the company's total revenue. Now, sales from search engine and e-mail-campaigns account for 60 percent of total online sales revenue.

The revamped Web site:

  • Accelerated site traffic from search engines by 600 percent in the last three months.
  • Expanded the number of pages indexed by search engines by 400 percent.
  • Increased revenue from new customers by 200 percent within three months.
  • Boosted overall revenue by 50 percent

"With our ECNext-powered e-commerce site and search marketing services, our healthcare business information reaches the hands of more executives who value a competitive edge," said John Santilli, Knowledge Source President. "As we continue to leverage ECNext's expertise and services, we expect to serve our existing clients and increase our customer base."

Santilli praised the ongoing support he receives from the ECNext team. "We have a great working partnership," he said. "It's almost as if we have a technology group a phone call or e-mail away any time I need help. Problems almost magically disappear."

 

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