B2D marketing helped Braintree become an irresistible target for acquisition
Fresh off a capital raise, Braintree was poised to disrupt decades of terminal processors and a mess of out-of-date transaction rails. They were a first mover, but they weren’t alone. Stripe also entered the market with a similar positioning, and the race was on. While acquisition was on Braintree’s mind, both needed to rapidly build traction with with developers to secure their place at the forefront of the e-commerce revolution. Braintree had steadily amassed a dedicated following within the Ruby-on-Rails community. But to capture market share with enterprise merchants, they needed to scale developer buy-in significantly.
From early sandbox email nurturing to running paid media across four continents, we helped build Braintree into a category leading payment processor. By raising the collective profile of its most active audience, our efforts focused on empowering their community and placing their work in the public eye. On top of that, we armed them to influence financial check writers at larger organizations. And as the developer community grew, customer acquisition metrics spiked across the board while dramatically decreasing acquisition costs.
Increase in MQLs per month
Improved avg. CPA
Increase in avg. monthly conversions
Over 4 years, we built a groundswell of support within the developer community, and buy-in from financial decision-makers, leading to an $875M acquisition by PayPal.
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Braintree had a foundation of support. But to take this to the moon, we needed a scalable marketing approach with an audience highly skeptical of marketing. So we dug in deep to truly understand developer mindset and their role in solution selection, particularly when it came to larger enterprise organizations.
We hopped into the sandbox and went straight to the devs already playing, as well as Braintree’s own engineers, to paint a picture of this collective. Talk about first party data!
What we prioritized out of this effort:
Meet em’ where they’re at - Devs set a high bar for the platforms and media they consume.
Authentic and intentional, always - The BS detector is strong with this community so we had to ensure all messaging was to-the-point and unobtrusive.
Buyer or barrier - Braintree had experience with earlier stage companies where devs ruled the roost. But in targeting enterprise, we need to paint a picture of a customer journey and their place in it at larger organizations where financial leadership may be making the final decision.
Let’s be “thoughtful”
More than anyone, developers and engineers actively try to sniff out disingenuous marketing. Efforts to speak to them must be straightforward, clear, honest and above all — useful. Content with purpose is far more compelling to engineers than content without inherent value, so each and every campaign had to have a use case.
Additionally, messaging to this point had focused purely on product features. So we needed to evolve this approach towards more benefit centric.
We achieved both of these objectives, with enthusiastic buy-in, through our “Thoughtfully Braintree” campaign. Every statement, every experience, every publisher was approached with "being thoughtful" as the mantra, and it paid off big time.
Crue played an instrumental role in the success and growth of Braintree. Their partnership with our marketing team, and deep understanding of payments, allowed us to develop campaigns that drove positive ROI and positioned Braintree as a fintech leader.
Content and automation fun
As the organization scaled, sales resources stretched thin and their effectiveness suffered. Nurturing leads into converted customers became a paramount challenge. We established the organization's first automated email program by integrating Silverpop into Salesforce. We then delivered MQL prospects from the developer sandbox into actual transacting customers.
Utilizing drip content education, we provided our dev community influencers the ammunition required to convert C-suite decision makers. Implementation of these efforts saw a 60% decrease in overall sales investment into converting clients while improving the organization’s close rate by 13.9%.
As Braintree expanded capability across the globe, we extended their reach running media programs on four different continents. At its peak, the agency was managing a program investment of more than $1 million per month.
Demand gen began to truly impact bottom funnel performance, establishing Braintree as the payment platform of choice globally and PPC seeing significant gains across Australia, Canada and the EU.
Hello Venmo. Certainly a boost to overall valuation, Venmo created an array of opportunity and integration challenges as the company worked to integrate brand and product real-time. From a marketing standpoint, we were given an entirely new value proposition to re-energize programming and push towards acquisition.