Content & digital marketing for international growth: 10x sales in 2 years' time for iController
iController is a fast growing Belgian software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, founded in 2007. The company is specialized in credit management, i.e. the follow-up of outstanding invoices and risk management of debtors.
After iController had invested more than a decade in honing the product and had gained a strong position on the Belgian market, CEO and founder Peter Janssens started looking for a party to support its international growth in 2019.
The choice fell on FINN.
Peter Janssens, CEO and founder iController: "Not many agencies in the Belgian market have a thorough knowledge of fintech and SaaS. You guys do."
iController was looking for a partner who could support the company in strategy and positioning, but also in the rollout of an integrated communications path, with content marketing as well as corporate communication and PR.
The work & results
As a SaaS company with international ambitions, it made sense for iController to follow a strong content marketing strategy, with the following components:
- content that shares knowledge (expert marketing and thought leadership);
- high visibility on social media;
- SEO content to capture search queries;
- a strong explainer video that demonstrates the company's positioning;
Peter Janssens reflects, "When I look back, our best decision at the time was not to start with a new website and a refreshment of the brand. That was our plan at the time, but we didn't do it on your recommendation. You said, ‘Let’s first focus on traffic to the site and to blogs - and only then tackle the visual identity and the website.’
That felt a bit awkward at the time, and it required patience. Producing content takes a while, and then the traffic still needs to pick up. There are times when you think: we need to change the approach. But in the end we stuck with the strategy, and it paid off."
"LinkedIn: x5, website: x3, sales: x10"
Within a year or two, the content marketing and social media campaigns had resulted in a fivefold increase in the number of LinkedIn followers (x5) and a threefold increase in the number of website visitors (x3).
FINN, meanwhile, worked with iController to develop an explainer video that explains exactly how iController's intelligent software helps customers do their jobs faster and with more quality. That work also produced a crystal-clear tagline for the brand.
Credit management is a vague concept for many people. But every business owner understands how important cash is, and that an invoice is the last step before an order results in cash in the account. An invoice sent is almost cash, but not quite.
That's why FINN proposed the tagline: "Turning almost cash into cash."
With that tagline iController has been going to customers ever since - with success.
All this contributed to a tenfold (x10) increase in the number of new customers per month in two years' time. In 2020 iController was honored as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Belgium (Deloitte Fast50); no mean feat for a company that did not raise any venture capital but grows organically.
Peter Janssens comments, "It has really become much easier to find customers in the last two years. I looked it up recently: back then we were getting about two new customers a month. Today there are ten times as many: twenty per month. But our influx of candidates for job openings has also increased enormously - which has also significantly reduced our cost of recruitment."
"We have grown as a company, and people tell us: you are very present, in a professional way. For me, that has been the most important lesson of the last few years: marketing and communication are connected to everything."
The work is not done yet. iController already had a presence in the Netherlands and will soon open its third office in London. In 2019, iController had a marketing team of one person. Today that has grown to three people - with FINN providing strategic and operational support.
"FINN is not just a supplier for us, but an important strategic partner"
Peter Janssens notes, "An agency represents a cost, so I had originally thought: one day we can do it all ourselves (laughs). Today I realize that FINN is not an ordinary supplier for us, but an important strategic partner. Everyone knows the principles of marketing, but you always manage to bring our questions back to a strategic basis and help implement them in a way that works."