Improving Lead Generation in the Petroleum Refining, Gas Processing and Chemical Industries
Merichem has been in business for more than 75 years with a global footprint providing technology solutions for sulfur removal, reduction and spent caustic treatment. It’s also the industry leader in spent caustic management via beneficial reuse—turning would-be waste into a valuable and viable substitute for other commodities.
The process technology projects they do are comprehensive, and the sale cycle can be long. Merichem found their website and inbound marketing efforts weren’t generating the quality leads they wanted.
The company needed an overhaul not just on its web design, but the way they marketed themselves digitally.
Crafting a Comprehensive Strategy for Online Engagement
To start the process, S.O. Creative conducted an in-depth strategy workshop with the company’s entire executive leadership and sales teams. This process clearly defined the target audience, buyer’s journey and identified the primary content pillars needed to move prospects more efficiently through the marketing funnel. We also performed an online competitive analysis to yield more information. Using the insights gleaned from these efforts, our team crafted a comprehensive strategy playbook for website development, content marketing, and lead generation.
The strategy also defined the company’s competitive advantages. Our next challenge was to take two business units with distinctively different target markets and forge a consistent brand message to highlight three core competencies:
- Proven process technology solutions for the reduction and removal of sulfur and sulfur-related contaminants
- Safe and reliable handling of spent caustic and off-spec chemical products
- The beneficial reuse of waste products to improve the sustainability of product lines and reduce waste reporting
Positioning the Brand’s Competitive Advantage
For over 75 years, Merichem has been delivering innovative solutions through robust technologies, excellence in quality and service, and commitment to sustainability. This history has positioned them as the experts in sulfur removal, reduction and spent caustic reuse.
Yet, the story wasn’t being told effectively.
Marketing in highly technical fields can be a challenge for many companies and digital agencies. You often find engineers writing for other engineers. While marketing materials must include technical information, they also need to resonate with CEOs, CFOs, and procurement officers.
S.O. Creative found a compelling way to communicate the brand’s offering and competitive edge in a manner that was accessible to everyone while still providing the detailed resources necessary for engineers. A basic storefront website was replaced by an in-depth warehouse of detailed information, videos, graphics, and technical papers wrapped in an attractive and user-friendly website.
Customer-Centric Strategies for Lead Generation
The website was built from the outside looking in. In other words, the way a visitor would use it. We performed an in-depth online competitor analysis to gain an understanding of the standard user experience within this market. By doing this we identified key user pain points the competition failed to address and used them to our advantage.
An innovative search tool was developed for the home page to help visitors quickly search and compare solutions from an easy-to-use-drop-down menu with a single click. This tool reduced the amount of time it took users to find the appropriate product or service by up to 90%.
Because visitors often enter websites through interior content pages when searching online for technical information, each page was optimized to provide relevant brand and benefit-oriented content. To increase lateral movement within the site and generate leads, we wove in downloadable content, lead capture forms, and calls-to-action.
To improve organic web traffic and search rankings, we employed SEO best-practices in every facet of the project to improve organic web traffic and search rankings. Understanding the target audience, S.O. Creative built a Resource Library with content to satisfy those digging deep into the details. Technical papers were converted into downloadable files to generate and nurture leads.
Every page on the website tells the story of the brand, the benefits, and innovative solutions they offer. It evolved from a static website to a dynamic hub for all of Merichem’s marketing initiatives.
To help build brand awareness within the target markets, we also developed an ad campaign with a consistent and progressive style that juxtapose product images with abstract representations of what each product or service does. These ads were written for CEOs, CFOs, and engineers with a clear explanation of the product benefits and competitive advantage. Every ad drives back to the website for 360-degree marketing.
The Results: Dramatic Gains in User Engagement and Lead Generation
Prior to the overhaul, the previous website got a lot of traffic from universities looking for information — but not a lot of viable leads. Within the first 78 days since the launch, the results were remarkable. Merichem’s website had 7,220 unique visitors and 21,405 page views. More important, 48.56% of those were first-time visitors exposing the company to new potential leads. Visitors are spending more time on the site, with an average session duration of three minutes.
The new brand messaging and improved user experience have led to an increase in the quantity and quality of leads generated through the website. During the first months, the new website generated 47 requests for quotes, 38 general contact-form submissions and 87 downloads of technical papers. Merichem feels confident it will receive a complete ROI on the investment made for the website (and then some).
Merichem’s thoughts on S.O. Creative:
“Overall, our new website project was a great experience! Professional, creative, responsive and detail-oriented team of experts at every level.”
“S.O. Creative had a proven, methodical process that kept our teams on track and on budget. Merichem is a provider of technologies, chemicals and services in the oil and gas industries. The major challenges were learning and understanding our products and services and different customer personas to develop a comprehensive brand strategy that enhanced our One Merichem brand.”
“We highly recommend S.O. Creative for any brand development project or integrated B2B marketing. Their great customer service during and after the website was launched was icing on the cake.”
– Kendra Lee, Chairman and CEO
– Gordon Kato, Vice President, Corporate Administrative Services