How Thomson Reuters is driving new marketing accountability

Director of marketing and customer experience at Thomson Reuters details how the legal information business is using marketing automation to change the way it interacts with customers

Morag Latta
Morag Latta

To date, Thomson Reuters locally is using Eloqua for all email campaigns, as well as delivering segment-specific content to customers. Phase two, which is due to be completed by the end of 2015, will bring in more behavioural data to acquisition and lead nurturing campaigns, as well as enable “fun stuff” like content washing, she said.

Alongside SAP/Salesforce integration, a major challenge was the data legacy mindset Thomson Reuters was transitioning from, Latta said. As a result, some connectivity established at the start of Eloqua implementation had to be reviewed.

Less of a hurdle was selling marketing automation to the executive team. “It’s hard to argue with the maths, and the fact that we had examples in the global business and could show the results,” Latta said.

While it’s too early to share local results, Latta said global pockets across the Thomson Reuters business who’d already implemented the platform had seen an average 20 per cent increase in marketing leads passed to sales.

“They also saw at least 10 per cent improvement in closed business deals when leads were passed to the sales team,” she said. “My KPI for this year is to ensure the value of leads passed over to sales that are closed shows 10 per cent growth. Based on first-half numbers, we’ll easily achieve that. The other part of this is that we are driving the ecommerce sales channel as a marketing group, and while we have some stretchy targets there, we are tracking at 12 per cent growth in terms of revenue.

“It’s not all down to Eloqua, but we are definitely seeing an increase in clickthrough rates on emails as we are rendering more relevant content; we have seen a drop in the opt-outs, which indicates we’re having the right conversation with people at the right time; and we’ve seen growth in sales and revenue.”

Changing mindsets

One less measurable but beneficial aspect of the project has been challenging the marketing team to think more about what they are trying to do, Latta said.

“Yes, we have to be agile and make changes as we go along, and jump in as we have business imperatives, but we shouldn’t assume that because we have a product issue we immediately need to have a marketing initiative around it,” she said. “It’s been a great reset for marketing, but also in communicating back out to the sales group.”

In addition, the team has revised campaign activity objectives. “We’re moving into more of a content focus as we go through this solutions journey. Content is not a luxury, but an important component of our campaign structure,” Latta said.

“That has driven us to render appropriate content and follow-up not because it generates a direct sale, but so we can start those conversations. We’ve also thought more carefully about who we speak to when, and rather than just having a weekly email, cut back on some information. As you add in more behavioural information to how you structure content, less is more, particularly in a legal business.”

To ensure teams gained the right skills, Thomson Reuters invested in training as well as several marketing automation superusers. These include a specialist in the digital and commerce team, one in Web programming, and two marketing executives. In terms of campaign execution, most staff with EDM responsibility now have access to the platform, Latta said.

“They’re also much more accountable around the ROI of an individual campaign,” she said. “It’s driven real accountability and responsibility in the marketing group.”

Training is now focused on plotting out buying personas and journeys and getting people to think about customer engagement differently, Latta said. Social integration is another priority.

Thanks to the success of the Australian implementation and international instances, the company is planning a rollout in New Zealand, and there’s a long-term vision to have everyone operating on the platform, Latta added.

This article originally appeared in the CMO, Issue 2, 2015. To sign up for a complimentary subscription to our print title or digital edition, please visit:

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