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How RStudio educates their ICP market with Clearbit Advertising

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RStudio builds great software for data scientists. Their early adopters were a passionate bunch who eagerly raised hands, downloaded free trials, and responded quickly to outreach.

But as the business grew, RStudio had to shift focus from converting existing demand to generating new demand.

"Our products and buyers got more complex," RStudio's Head of Demand Generation, Robert Bethell, explains. "The typical lead gen programs didn't appeal to mature organizations. The people we wanted to speak to weren't filling out forms or immediately responding."

The new key to cracking RStudio's growth was to invest in massive awareness efforts — paired with cost-effective, high-quality lead generation.

"To think we were going to drive business by meeting people once a year at a Gartner event or only over email didn't make sense," Rob recounts. "We wanted to get smarter with an omnichannel approach to be wherever our audiences are."

Rob and his team set out to distribute relevant content to people who could influence and make buying decisions. They tried LinkedIn but found the cost — up to $30 a click — too expensive to scale brand awareness and acquisition.

Scaling with Clearbit Advertising

Rob turned to Facebook and Instagram, which dominate browsing habits. (In the U.S. alone, the average user spends 38 minute per day on Facebook and 53 minutes per day on Instagram.) "To not advertise on Facebook or Instagram just seems silly," says Rob, especially if they could do it at a cost that actually scaled.

Since Facebook only has lo-fi B2B targeting options, Rob started using Clearbit Advertising to create qualified audiences of his choice and sync them to Facebook. He started seeing results like:

  • 6x qualified site traffic to industry-specific pages
  • 2x qualified leads, with 20x a cheaper acquisition cost
  • $500K in deals closed within months, directly attributable to Facebook ads

I can be confident that we are putting digital dollars into targeting accounts that we know will have an impact on our sales metrics.

Robert Bethell
Robert BethellHead of Demand Generation, RStudio

RStudio started seeing so much success on Facebook and Instagram that over the past year, they moved over ad budget that had previously been dedicated to LinkedIn.

"We could do the same thing on LinkedIn," Rob explains, "but if you take into consideration deal size and time to close, and you're paying $15-30 a click on LinkedIn, these decision makers need to be booking calls at a high rate, closing quickly, and big.

"If you can get that same traffic on Facebook and Instagram for 50 cents, $1, $2 a click — and sustain that meeting rate — the math just works out so much better in our favor."

Let's take a closer look at what RStudio did on Facebook to make that math work so well.

How to turn dollars into pipeline

Moving their spend to Facebook campaigns using Clearbit Advertising audiences allows RStudio to flood their ideal customer profile with a two-pronged approach: (1) brand awareness and (2) acquisition ads to bring in quality leads.

"Clearbit is a critical tool for operationalizing our ideal customer profile," Rob explains. "When we target digitally on Facebook or Instagram, our audience segments can map to our ICP criteria — from industry, geography, company size, and more."

For example, Rob used Prospect Audiences to drive the right people to Solutions pages that RStudio built for target industries. They saw an increase up to 6 times the website traffic of qualified visitors than they would have seen organically.

"The best part is they don't even have to click on the ad unit," he comments. "Just to be able to get the messaging in front of these folks is worth it when you measure out the spend and gain."

R Studio ad example An example RStudio ad

As for lead acquisition, the proof was in the record-breaking numbers.

"We used Clearbit Advertising to promote our last webinar and got a record number of registrations — over 8000 registrants versus our previous record of 3500. That's over 2x and within our ICP," Rob reports, thanks to "the ability to get messaging about the webinar in front of people we know would be interested, in a cost-effective way."

With previous webinar promotion programs on LinkedIn, Rob had consistently seen $10 a click and $50-100 per registration. "Whenever we use Clearbit Advertising audiences in Facebook and Instagram, we're looking at 50 cents, a dollar per click and cost per registration at $5-20 — literally fractions cheaper for the same exact quality."

With Clearbit, Rob says, "I can be confident that we are putting digital dollars into targeting accounts that we know will have an impact on our sales metrics."

Target audiences + low cost = scale

Clearbit Advertising helps RStudio leverage Facebook and Instagram to expand their reach into their ideal customer profile audiences at a low cost that lets them scale.

Rob can already point to nearly $500K in closed deals that directly came from Facebook and Instagram over a span of just months. Plus, these newly won customers are in a very specific segment — life science companies doing complex data science projects.

With these kinds of numbers for all different kinds of campaigns, Rob can put more money into their paid programs and get great results. "We can distribute great content to many more decision makers per day, per week, per month, per quarter, per year than we can with LinkedIn.

"Being able to scale our ad operations to reach our target market with our budget has been impactful. We just wouldn't be able to replicate that on LinkedIn. Clearbit Advertising enables our Facebook and Instagram advertising machine."

I've tried a lot of solutions on the market. Clearbit is the best digital advertising solution if you want to leverage the intersection of your website traffic, your CRM data, and Clearbit's data points in an efficient, effective way. Clearbit Advertising is a no brainer.

Robert Bethell
Robert BethellHead of Demand Generation, RStudio

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