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First came Twitter. Then came inbound marketing. Then, the leighton leads.

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The beautiful thing about networking is that it actually works. That’s how the relationship between Leighton Interactive and Marco began. Someone from Marco connected with someone on our team and asked if we could visit their office and offer an overview of Twitter and its components. Both companies were gradually building up separate momentum toward growth and opportunity in the community, so collaboration seemed like a great idea.

We made the meeting, we presented Twitter. It was after Marco thanked us that we asked if Leighton Interactive could continue to develop a relationship with them.

  • HubSpot
  • Content Management System
  • Email Marketing


-Barry Opatz, Vice President of Marketing at Marco

What they needed & how we could help

Marco is a technology company, plain and simple. Except there is neither plain nor simple when it comes to this company of over 830 employees in 40 locations across six states, with its corporate headquarters located here in St. Cloud. What began as a two-man typewriter shop over four decades ago evolved into what Marco is today- one of the top five technology providers in the nation.

Beyond print technology and tangible services, Marco manages voice, data, and video services. Not plain. Not simple. After the initial consultation with Leighton Interactive, Marco assessed what their current strategies were. What was working, what they loved, and what they needed from us.

The goal was making Marco’s website better without completely overhauling it. They had established leadership and technology blogs. They had a Facebook account. They utilized some email marketing and Google Analytics, but asked us how they could be using them better. During our discovery phase, we noticed gaping holes in their strategies.

Holes that Leighton Interactive knew Marco could fill with our help.

Educating Each Other

Technology is a different animal, as it’s the fastest-growing and evolving industry. We knew we had our work cut out for us when it came to Marco. The holes in their marketing strategy weren’t intentional on their part. We pointed out Facebook, for example. There wasn’t any lead generation or customer focus, and at that point, most of their 500 “likes” were tied to their employees, which, we would get to in time. Their website didn’t have forms on any of their pages, and it was more of a brochure site. Having plenty of content about who they were (giant technology company), what they did (giant technology stuff), and what they were good at (giant technology things). We assured Marco it was OK to ask for things from the people looking at the site, and interacting with their company. It was OK to have their leads earn the offers.

It was more than OK, in fact. It was critical.

Inbound marketing utilizes the cocktail party rule, which essentially means 80 percent of the time; you should focus on your audience. Keep the other 20 percent about yourself, and what you can offer them. We followed that rule, and got to work where Marco was concerned. We really did our research. We made sure we knew jargon from fluff. We developed personas and strengthened Marco’s voice. We conducted the biggest, most challenging SEO development we’d ever undertaken for a client, regardless of industry.

And, we finally learned what the Cloud really is- a storage unit. It’s a storage unit.

Numbers don't lie

We shared the inbound marketing methodology with Marco, taking them through the Attract category, showing them how their leadership and technology blogs could generate leads, and the same went for Facebook. The Convert phase is where Leighton Interactive added CTAs, landing pages, and forms to their existing site in order to usher their visitors to leads. The Close for Marco looked like this: an email marketing plan for converted customers complete with lead-nurturing workflows. Then naturally, we saved the best category for last with delight, which turned Marco’s customers to promoters.

And those promoters? They already existed. We just gave them a voice.

Marco was doing so many things right as a company, a skill they’d been honing for over 40 years. Since 1994, 90 percent of customers surveyed say they’d recommend Marco. The company is 100 percent employee-owned, one of the state’s first ESOP programs. Five percent of annual profits are invested back into the communities in which they serve. Marco maintains a 98 percent live call answer rate. Numbers don’t lie, and we had the recipe to capitalize on them.


That's where we shine - continually challenging our clients to think bigger and better


No, numbers don’t lie. We began a 12-month campaign and watched Marco delight in the successes inbound marketing and Leighton Interactive brought them. After seeing the success they achieved by simply altering their existing site with our help, the genesis included us launching an entirely new, comprehensive Marco site.

There’s a Walt Whitman quote that sums up the Marco-Leighton Interactive team, “We were together. I forget the rest.” But the rest is the best part.

Marco’s lead count increased 155% and Marco coined the phrase “Leighton Leads” in response to the overwhelming number of leads generated directly from our inbound efforts. Total marketing reach grew 19%. Their email database reached 13,500 contacts. Oh, and we have generated over $1M in revenue for them in just over those 12 months- the Leighton Leads is our proof. Marco states its culture as being akin to someone walking into their office for the first time, and requesting immediately to apply for any and all open positions. They’re that company.

And now they have the online version of that, too.

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