Web & App Development for Water Solutions Company
- Mobile App Development Web Design Web Development
- $1,000,000 to $9,999,999
- Nov. 2011 - Ongoing
- Willing to Refer
"We got a great lift in brand awareness, as well as a lift in revenue from their support."
- Cary, North Carolina
- 5,001-10,000 Employees
- Phone Interview
A water solutions company hired Blue Flame Thinking to build and develop their digital marketing efforts, which include web design and development, mobile app creation, and CRM integration.
Partnering with Blue Flame Thinking resulted in gaining $100 million dollars in incremental revenue, on an $8 million budget. The company is able to achieve a 300% increase in retail ROI, as well as over 4000% in e-commerce ROI. The client cites the team as a true extension of their brand.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the director of enterprise marketing services for a water solutions company. We do a variety of different applications from residential to commercial, industrial water treatment, pool equipment, and oil and gas separations.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Blue Flame Thinking?
Most of my involvement with Blue Flame was in my prior role when I was the head of marketing for our pool equipment division. The challenge that we were facing was we needed to find a way to engage customers and homeowners. Most of the business that we did was B2B, so we were looking to explore further into B2C marketing.
We knew B2C wasn’t going to be a big component of what we had, but we needed to at least start that engagement and build upon it.
What was the scope of their involvement?
The range of services Blue Flame provides for us includes website development, maintenance, content creation, photography, video production, tradeshow support, media partners interaction, ad-buying, and social media support.
We asked them to build two sites for us — one is on one CRM that’s more “custom”, the other is migrated to a new CRM that they helped us build from scratch. In addition, they also helped us create a couple of different apps for our sales team and our channel partners. The website and app they developed ended up winning creative awards.
For the app, we were looking for a way that our sales team and channel partners could easily articulate the value proposition of some of our products. Blue Flame helped us develop a visually striking app that highlights its features and benefits in a very interactive way.
For the website, we were looking for a way to change the way we talk about our pool equipment. Most other manufacturers were very focused on B2B experience, so transformed that and put the language in layman’s terms — something more consumer-friendly. Blue Flame helped us craft a completely new experience that talks about the key components of a pool to focus more on the experience of enjoying it, rather than the equipment itself.
Each year we would do an agency review to make sure we’re still comfortable with utilizing the agency. We determined that we’ve spent so much time with this team that even with a little bit of management turnover, the majority of the team would still be very familiar with our business. They know our industry, customers, they speak the same language, so it’s very easy for us to continue to stick with them.
What is the team composition?
At the time, we were a significant portion of Blue Flame’s revenue, and that’s how we grew together. I would say that most of their resources were assigned to our account. I’m not sure about the exact numbers, but if I had to guess, I’d say there are probably around 10–15 people working on our account at once.
How did you come to work with Blue Flame Thinking?
The company was already in a relationship with Blue Flame when I first joined the company. They had a different name when I was engaged with them. The company formed Blue Flame and it was ultimately sold to a new owner.
How much have you invested with them?
During my time, we were probably spending anywhere from $1 million–$3 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
Personally, my partnership with them started in November 2011, and they're still working with the company.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The one that sticks out the most with me is the campaign they helped us with to engage with customers. We invested about $8 million into this campaign that ran for a 4–5 year period, and it resulted in over $100 million in incremental revenue. Our ROI was north of 300% at retail, and about 4000% over e-commerce.
The app helped our sales team and our channel partners and retailers sell significantly more variable speed pumps because the value proposition would be right in front of them. The team would just show the calculations on how much the customers could save annually by switching to one of our products in person, and more often than not, people will buy it then and there.
They’re very instrumental in helping our business performance. They became less of a vendor and more of a partner — they’re an extension of our brand. We got a great lift in brand awareness, as well as a lift in revenue from their support.
How did Blue Flame Thinking perform from a project management standpoint?
The project management is done well. I can’t remember the tool anymore, but we have a platform where my content leaders and specialists would log in to review Blue Flame's creative works. We also go back and forth over email and the revisions while the feedback would take place in that system.
However, what they’re really phenomenal at is budget management. I would give them our annual budget, break down our initiatives, goals, and objectives and our big projects and product launches — we put that out every quarter and have a content calendar in place that works better.
It was all done through a spreadsheet, but they also used a specific software and system they helped create where I’m never off-budget. In my ten years of working with them, we stayed on budget, and I’m extremely proud of that track record.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’ve worked with a lot of providers, and I would say that the key differentiating points for Blue Flame are their leadership, talent, and the way they connect with our business and team. it‘s not just about the creative works or them getting revenue, they were truly invested in the success of our company.
When you find a partner like that, it’s hard to move away from them. I’ve never found these qualities from other vendors, and my back and forth with Blue Flame is genuine — the leaders and I actually turned into really good friends.
Even though I don’t have to work with them anymore in my new role, I still reach out to them to stay in contact. It became more than a partnership through business. We’ve even taken that relationship, and applied it within our business to our customers — we treat our customers the same way Blue Flame has treated us. That kind of relationship builds loyalty, strength, and growth.
In addition, our revenue has definitely exceeded the majority of our benchmarks over a period of time.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Like any other business, there are always opportunities for improvement. We had moments where I used to ask them to push the boundaries on their creative efforts. However, it wasn’t because they weren’t being creative, it was because we had brand guidelines that would put them in a box. I would still challenge them to get us to see beyond those guardrails despite the standards that we’ve put in place.
A few times, we had to poke and prod to encourage them to challenge us in our way of thinking. Once we got past that, it became the norm.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
You will get the most of them when you partner with them to create very specific and creative briefs. Additionally, leave open lines of communication, and challenge them to challenge the way that you think. Aside from being a creative partner, they can also be a strategic partner.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
Willing to Refer5.0