Vishal Khanna who is Digital Marketing Director at Wake Forest Innovations and 2015 Content Marketer of the Year sat down with Alan Hart, founder of Avid, for the Avid Impact Podcast. Vishal discusses how the content marketing at Wake Forest Innovations produced ROI results that beat out IKEA, Marriott, Emerson, CSC and GoPro. The results were 600%+ increase in marketing qualified leads and a doubling in revenue. Content development, SEO, inbound marketing and email all played a role.
Find out what you need to know in this episode of the Avid Impact Podcast.
Wake Forest Innovations
Wake Forest Innovations, is one of the fastest-growing urban-based districts for innovation in the United States. A medical center located in North Carolina is one part hospital network and one part school of medicine. As funding sources for research have decreased in recent years, universities are looking in a different ways collaborate with industry and diversify funding sources. Wake Forest Innovations was started in late 2012 to do exactly that. First was to work with in-house experts to develop licensing opportunities around technologies from software to data to new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s diseases or Cancer. Secondly, Wake Forest Innovations began working with industry when they are developing the actual drug or device or vaccine or diagnostic. They help industry in every stage of the drug and device development life cycle.
Wining 2015 Content Marketer of the Year
Vishal edged out stellar competition like IKEA, Marriott, Emerson, CSC and GoPro to win the recognition of 2015 Content Marketer of the Year. “Being in the same category as this group is an award in its on right.” His team sees the award as a validation and helps to motivate the group. They were navigating a new landscape and we’re not totally sure if the strategy would work or not, because a lot of what they were doing had really not been done before.
The Work that Led to the Award
A lot of the work that led to the award was directly connected to our research services operations. The marketing team partnered together with the sales team in 2013 when they were both hired. It was novel to launch an aggressive digital marketing team and sales team inside of the university. We worked pretty close together develop an inbound in content marketing program to engaging with 8 to 9 thousands potential buyers in the pharma and medical device space. They used a range of tactics including email marketing and content marketing. A lot of ebooks, white papers and articles were developed to create engagement with our target audience and move them through the sales cycle. In a years time we double the revenue of a lot the areas we were focused on. The greatest success a by four was SEO, even bigger than inbound email marketing. SEO just did a fantastic job in deliverer leads. They delivered $10MM in potential sales opportunities with 2 full-time resources.
What advice would you have for others?
Khanna says, “[it is ] absolutely key across the board is to have content experts and the ability to tap into the expertise of whoever those subject matter experts are is the first challenge you have to solve.” Khanna mentions there are a lot of solutions out there were you can tap into writers who can create content for you, but given his technical needs he has actually had a lot of problems with outside writers.