Campaign title: The State of Digital Commerce 2017

Client/Entering Company: Wildfire PR

Company Name: Episerver


As a web content management system provider, Episerver operates in a crowded market. Brand awareness is not enough. Episerver intrinsically links every investment in marketing to lead generation and sales, so any PR activity must deliver a return.

Wildfire’s State of Digital Commerce campaign demonstrates the power of a hero piece of content in driving engagement throughout the sales funnel. A PR programme to launch and sweat the content asset generated high-impact media coverage, high-intent leads and qualified sales opportunities.


Episerver operates in a mature and crowded marketing technology (martech) market, offering web content management systems. The company needed to differentiate itself from the competition, positioning itself as ahead of the market. Wildfire was tasked with creating a 2017 campaign vehicle for Episerver that would drive engagement with target audiences right across the customer sales journey, in the following ways:

Awareness (outputs)

  • Generate articles and profiles in the influential media titles that are read by target audiences, with a minimum of 30 pieces of coverage

Interest (out-takes)

  • Drive traffic to the Episerver website, with a minimum of 500 page sessions on the campaign landing page attributable to the PR activity

Consideration (outcomes)

  • Create opportunities for target audiences to engage with and find out more about the Episerver proposition by generating a minimum of 300 content downloads

Lead generation (impact)

  • Generate qualified marketing and sales leads, with a minimum of 10 high-intent leads and one qualified sales lead

The 2017 campaign was delivered within the PR budget of £3,250 per month from January to June 2017. A budget of £4,000 was allocated to conduct two sets of research, among 2,000 UK adults and 100 in-house marketing professionals, respectively.


Episerver sells to marketing decision makers, focusing on those who own or influence the development of omni-channel commerce experiences. Through interviews with 15 marketing directors, focused LinkedIn research and an analysis of Episerver’s archetypal commerce buyer, Wildfire identified three key insights into its target audience to drive the strategy of the campaign:

Marketers are ambitious and want to burnish their reputation

INSIGHT: The target audience wants to try new things, but make the right decisions that deliver an impact – quickly

Marketers are major consumers of content and crave information, but they have short attention spans

INSIGHT: Content must be short, but impactful, with easy-to-understand and actionable insights

Marketers are focused on metrics and want to know how to deliver results

INSIGHT: The target audience wants to know what best practice looks like and access evidence-based examples

Wildfire’s campaign strategy:

  1. Commission research with an independent research house into current consumer demands and marketing strategies to bring fresh insights and data to the market
  2. Use the research as the basis of a compelling, insightful and contentious report to give Episerver a brand vehicle that speaks directly to the challenges and ambitions of its target audiences
  3. Follow the content launch with a hard-working, six-month PR programme, focused on sweating the content asset through news angles, thought leadership and message amplification


Research approach
Our research – carried out by Censuswide with 2,000 consumers and 100 in-house marketing professionals – explored:

  • Consumer usage of mobile sites and apps for commerce
  • The technologies consumers want to see in their shopping experience
  • When marketers will introduce new technologies, such as drones, augmented reality and virtual reality into the commerce experience
  • The largest barriers to a seamless omni-channel approach
  • The challenges of delivering a mobile strategy

Beyond Mobile: The State of Digital Commerce 2017
Wildfire created the definitive guide to digital commerce, designed around the audience insights, bringing together:

  • Fresh insights and data from the research findings
  • Seven mobile commerce trends of 2017
  • Recommendations on developing commerce marketing strategies

The content was hosted on a campaign landing page as a downloadable gated content asset.

We launched the content in February 2017 via a press release, with a controversial headline that seemingly negated a move by marketers to mobile commerce: 66 percent of marketers no longer incorporate mobile apps into campaigns. The release included links to the Episerver campaign landing page where the report was hosted, to encourage backlinks.

Maintaining a news drumbeat
Wildfire maintained a drumbeat of news angles and media pitching from February to June 2017, re-purposing the research data multiple times to bring a fresh perspective to topical themes, including omni-channel, email marketing, personalisation and technology trends:

  • One in three UK retailers doesn’t have a mobile app – February
  • 62 percent of marketers are not using personalisation – March
  • Virtual changing rooms: one in five shoppers wants an AR changing room – May
  • Email is still king when it comes to mobile conversion – June

Effectiveness of Assignment

The Episerver campaign engaged target audiences at every stage of the sales journey, from awareness to interest to consideration to intent. Using a combination of analytics, marketing automation tools and measurement systems, including Google Analytics, Marketo, Meltwater and Salesforce, Episerver and Wildfire were able to assess the success of the PR campaign against every objective.

Awareness: generate articles and profiles in the influential media titles read by target audiences

Wildfire generated 40+ pieces of coverage in titles that are read by the target audience of marketing and commerce decision makers, including: econsultancy, Netimperative, Digital Marketing Magazine, Internet Retailing, Retail Systems, Retail Technology Review, Digital Strategy Consulting, Database Marketing, EngageCustomer, Retail Focus, Market Research World (against a target of 30)

Interest: drive traffic to the Episerver website

Backlinks from the Wildfire-generated media coverage directly contributed 1,581 campaign landing page sessions (against a target of 500)

Consideration: create opportunities for target audiences to engage with and find out more about the Episerver proposition

Wildfire’s campaign generated 703 content downloads

Lead generation: generate qualified marketing and sales leads

The campaign generated 59 leads qualified as “high intent” (against a target of 10) and five qualified sales leads (against a target of one)

“The mobile commerce reports have been instrumental in helping Episerver to raise brand awareness, create interest and, critically, generate qualified, high-intent leads for our sales team, ensuring we can clearly demonstrate the value of our marketing efforts.”

Danielle Marshall-Manifold, Senior Marketing Manager UK and Ireland, Episerver


Episerver didn’t need multiple pieces of content to stand out in the crowded martech market. It needed one great piece of hero content to provide a platform to engage its target audience of marketing decision makers and incite them to take action.

With the creation of one compelling, insightful and contentious report, Wildfire gave Episerver a brand vehicle that spoke directly to the challenges and ambitions of its target audiences. A hard-working, six-month PR programme focused on sweating the asset through news angles, thought leadership and message amplification.

The result is a brand vehicle that delivered measurable results right through the sales funnel, from awareness through media coverage, to traffic to the Episerver website, to content downloads and the generation of 59 high-intent leads and five sales opportunities.