Turning up the heat with marketing automation.
Trane builds dynamic new customer journeys in less than an hour with Adobe Marketo Engage.
Reach customers and prospects at scale with relevant messaging
Coordinate marketing efforts across North America
Bridge the gap between sales and marketing
Eliminate customer data silos
10x new marketing programs created in one year
3x faster to create a new marketing program compared to previous solution
Turnkey integrations eliminate months of development
Reach specific audiences more effectively with dynamic lists
For Michele Prather, intelligent and creative messaging is just one element of great marketing. Automation also plays a major role in making sure those perfect messages reach more people at just the right times.
“When I first joined Trane, we had a team of 54 marketers across North America, each working on programs to nurture prospects and engage current customers in their specific region or focus,” explains Prather, Trane senior digital marketing and technology manager. “They were doing a fantastic job, but every marketer was expected to do everything themselves: design the campaign, identify target customers, build emails and landing sites, monitor results, and maintain their own customer database. What they needed was a strong foundation of modern tools — including a solid marketing automation platform — to build better customer experiences in a scalable way.”
Trane — by Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator — creates comfortable, energy efficient indoor environments for commercial and residential spaces. The company typically sells to commercial customers, either directly or working through one of its global partners. This means that Trane communicates with many different groups throughout the lead and customer cycle, from engineers wanting to understand the underlying technology to project managers looking for the right HVAC unit for their new building.
Prather had several goals for the marketing automation platform. It needed to serve as a central hub for all customer information, removing the siloed databases previously maintained by each marketing team member. The platform also needed to be easy enough so that any marketer could learn to build emails, understand program workflows, and monitor analytics to create more meaningful customer journeys.
Trane was using Acoustic for marketing automation, but Prather wanted a platform with more robust automation functionality, including the ability to run more programs, view vital analytics, and establish easy integrations with CRM and web platforms. After looking at numerous marketing automation platforms including Oracle Eloqua, Prather chose Adobe Marketo Engage for the way it combines strong automation and functionality with user-friendly operations.
“Compared to other platforms on the market, Adobe Marketo Engage has much deeper and more flexible functionality that allows us to build any type of journey that we want for customers and prospects,” said Prather. “But just as importantly, it’s backed by a fantastic community of users and experts that can help us be autonomous and accomplish anything we need to reach our customers."
As the experts in the Adobe Marketo Engage technology, Trane decided to work with Adobe Consulting Services to implement and train its marketers quickly.
“Adobe Marketo Engage makes it fast and simple for us to build campaigns, but just as importantly we feel confident in any new programs we put out there. We know that they’re tested and proven so that we can focus on creating more targeted communications to reach customers.”
Senior Digital Marketing & Technology Manager, Trane
Robust marketing automation in three weeks
Once the selection decision was made, the next hurdle was to get Adobe Marketo Engage up and running — fast. With an internal deadline a month away, Trane enlisted the help of Adobe Consulting Services to get Adobe Marketo Engage implemented in just three weeks.
“We worked together with Adobe Consulting Services to make a decision on what programs we needed on day one,” said Prather. “They built the technology that was required to stand up the platform, while at the same time helping us understand what we could build in the future.”
Part of standing up the platform also included organizing Trane’s data. With customer data held across multiple databases, Trane was potentially sending out multiple emails to the same customer within a single day without knowledge of it. Adobe Consulting Services unified Trane’s data onto a single platform and provided a clean system of data governance. Now when customers opt in or out of emails, change their preferences, or are suspended, the platform updates automatically to accommodate profile changes.
“In Adobe Marketo Engage, we have it set up with one person as one record,” said Prather. “Through their expertise, Adobe Consulting Services gave us the information to explain the data pieces and keep them clean.”
As Trane migrated marketing automation platforms, Prather also took the opportunity to centralize operations and establish a specialized team of six people that would be trained to build emails and launch programs. To provide this training, Prather looked to Adobe Digital Learning Services.
“Part of our success had been because Adobe had not just been doing things for us but teaching us along the way,” said Prather. “They wanted us to be empowered to take on this new technology and not necessarily rely on support later.”
Adobe experts gave the marketing program team at Trane hands-on training within their newly implemented Adobe Marketo Engage platform. Over two days of training, marketers learned not only how to build campaigns, but also how to harness the flexibility of the technology. Previously it could take at least three hours to create a new email program, from designing individual emails to choosing targets to creating landing pages. With Adobe Marketo Engage, marketers learned to clone an existing program and customize the details as needed. Even when building a new program or making major changes, they learned how the intuitive Adobe Marketo Engage workflows give the team much more flexibility around program design while making changes easily. As a result, the automation in Adobe Marketo Engage now builds out new programs in less than an hour.
“Adobe Marketo Engage makes it fast and simple for us to build campaigns, but just as importantly we feel confident in any new programs we put out there,” said Prather. “We know that they’re tested and proven so that we can focus on creating more targeted communications to reach customers.”
For moments where their skills need a quick refresh, Trane marketers have their questions covered. “The Adobe Marketo Engage community of users also helped us get up to speed during this change,” said Prather. “Most people can find answers to their questions by looking up Adobe Marketo Engage resources or doing a quick search on the Adobe Experience League forums. This means that I don’t need to spend as much time holding people’s hands. They can find the answer they need on their own.”
Most of the company’s marketers no longer need to create programs, but they still work with Adobe Marketo Engage regularly to view programs and analytics. Adobe Marketo Engage now gives them a full picture of how customers and prospects react to campaigns. Instead of spending time building emails by hand, marketers can now look at data, adjust customer journeys, and create dynamic smart lists to target specific audiences with just the right messaging.
With unified customer profiles in place, the messaging means customers are engaged through persona-based nurture campaigns. “Now we’re thinking strategically about the programs we create,” said Prather. “We’re not only making it better for the customer experience, but we’re also making it easier to build and automate.” When an engineer engages with Trane, they become part of a nurture stream focused on Trane’s technology. A contractor enters a different stream. New customers get a series of emails that change frequency based on how much they interact.
“We used to have the mentality of wanting to reach more people, whether it was relevant or not,” said Prather. “Adobe Marketo Engage has really allowed us to have control over what we’re sending.”
“Compared to other platforms on the market, Adobe Marketo Engage has much deeper and more flexible functionality that allows us to build any type of journey that we want… but just as importantly, backed by a fantastic community of users and experts that can help us be autonomous and accomplish anything we need to reach our customers.”
Senior Digital Marketing & Technology Manager, Trane
A shift to virtual programming
The speed and flexibility of Adobe Marketo Engage came at just the right time. Just months after starting to work with the Adobe application, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across North America. Marketers had already started designing programs for a variety events — in-person meetups, training opportunities, open house events, and engaging thought leadership. Suddenly marketers needed to change direction quickly and transition to virtual events.
Using built-in integrations, Trane quickly integrated Adobe Marketo Engage into GoToWebinar to start promoting virtual events. While Prather had previously spent months working with a development team to understand and develop integrations with the old Acoustic platform, with Adobe Marketo Engage, the integrations were set up in minutes. Now marketers can easily capture registration and attendance information and trigger the right communications to help understand who the event reached and how it could be improved in the future.
While Trane initially shifted to virtual events out of necessity, the company discovered that it could reach a much broader audience by going virtual. Each of Trane’s 130 offices typically participated in Engineers Newsletter LIVE, a quarterly event where customers were invited to come into an office and participate in a complimentary learning program. During the pandemic, Trane switched to online training organized on a national level. The first online event was a huge success, with 3,000 people registering for two time slot options. Throughout the remainder of the year the team was able to present quarterly Engineers Newsletter LIVE content to over 8,000 engaged people.
“We reached everyone we wanted to reach with Engineers Newsletter LIVE webinars rather than many small group events,” said Prather. “Adobe Marketo Engage played a big role in the success of the events. We could very quickly create a marketing program to drum up engagement with the right audience. Using the information that we gathered through the GoToWebinar integration, we’re finding ways to make future events even more successful.”
In its first year of use, Trane rolled out 500 marketing programs — more than 10 times the limits of the previous marketing automation solution. But Prather actually hopes to see the number of programs fall in the future.
“By taking advantage of segmentation and dynamic content through Adobe Marketo Engage, we’ll be able to cut down on the number of programs we need to manage while achieving even greater diversity and more precise targeting,” said Prather.
“The past year has seen major changes to how we reach people, but Adobe Marketo Engage gave us the flexibility that we needed to pivot quickly to connect with customers and prospects more effectively.”
Senior Digital Marketing & Technology Manager, Trane
Expanding integrations for stronger customer connections
The next step for Prather will involve expanding integrations. Once Trane fully deploys Salesforce CRM, integration with Adobe Marketo Engage will make it far easier to share information about leads with the 3,000 account managers across the company in North America. The integration will also allow marketers to better understand how programs contribute to successful leads, resulting in even better messaging and targeting in the future. Prather also hopes to start using in the integration between Adobe Marketo Engage and Adobe Experience Manager Assets to reuse assets across marketing communications.
“The past year has seen major changes to how we reach people, but Adobe Marketo Engage gave us the flexibility that we needed to pivot quickly to connect with customers and prospects more effectively,” said Prather. “It was a year of learning fast and on the fly, but now that we have some experience under our belts, the sky is the limit for what we will be able to accomplish with Adobe Marketo Engage.”