Amandeep Sandhu, Senior Director of Marketing
Uses Tray Platform to integrate website events, event software, marketing platform, and CRM
Creates automated workflows to rapidly enrich thousands of leads and flow them back to marketing and CRM to speed campaign execution and lead follow-up
Increases top-funnel marketing inquiry to MQL conversion rate
Saves hours per week of manual lead management work
What started with the first commit (a saved version of a software program during the coding process) in 2007 has since become the world’s leading software development platform. More than 36 million developers worldwide visit GitHub’s massive community to collaborate, code, and create new software products and features.
However, extraordinary success frequently brings extraordinary challenges. While GitHub has extremely light-touch user activation to encourage developers to quickly join its community, this light touch user experience makes it challenging to follow up with users who might need GitHub’s enterprise products.
“We capture thousands of leads daily from many sources, such as through our website and our many marketing campaigns, as well as at events in the field. Not all of them are fully-formed, and without completely-baked contact information, we can’t always follow up with them immediately for our marketing and sales programs,” explains Amandeep Sandhu, Senior Director of Marketing at GitHub. “I expect that this story, at least so far, should sound pretty conventional for most marketing folks.”
The unconventional challenge GitHub faced was that the popularity of its developer community led to a significant delta between the size of its marketing database, which contains millions of prospects, and the amount of information the company had captured on each of them. “We have, as you might expect, an enormous database with literally millions of people we could be talking to, but with how little information we often capture at first touch, we found ourselves unable to immediately follow up with all of them,” Sandhu says.
The initial solution to this challenge was to look into lead enrichment software to fill out missing information for incomplete leads. “We use a variety of tools to capture top-funnel inquiries as we convert them to qualified leads over the campaign process,” says Sandhu. “So we added a tool for lead enrichment to handle incomplete leads, which was obviously helpful. But then, we realized we had another problem.”
GitHub’s marketing team uses a marketing automation platform to run campaigns for top-funnel prospects, and a CRM as a system of record. Unfortunately, neither of these tools offered robust, customizable native integrations - software-level connections that let other apps flow data to or from them.
In plain English, this means that even though GitHub was capturing its leads as normal via its website, and other channels, there was no way to directly flow those enriched leads for campaign follow-up, or to preserve marketing attribution. Effectively, each did their job, but neither of them connected natively to the other.
More importantly, existing leads weren’t getting enriched with any previous event or touchpoint data recorded, nor was there any way to automatically run regularly-scheduled enrichment “jobs” to ensure an ongoing, uninterrupted flow of enriched lead data. This meant that potentially hot leads that had engaged with GitHub in the past weren’t being recorded as such, or picked up with any kind of regularity...which potentially cost the company’s revenue team real opportunities.
“As I mentioned, we have thousands of inquiries and a large database. There was no possible way we were going to try to transfer these leads across the different apps in our tech stack by manually copying spreadsheets,” explains Sandhu.
“All marketing automation users also have Cloud-based apps. So is it the responsibility of that company, to build a native integration for every app? Really, to solve this problem we had to ask ourselves the ‘Build vs. Buy’ question.”
In order to solve this important marketing pain point, GitHub’s marketing team would have to make the decision between purchasing an external solution to its problem or requesting valuable development resources the company could be spending on making better products instead. That’s when Sandhu’s team found the Tray Platform, a General Automation Platform with the flexibility to deeply integrate any combination of Cloud-based apps and seamlessly flow data among them, and the power to create automated workflows that rapidly execute important business tasks.
The GitHub team used the Tray Platform’s deep integration abilities to connect the different elements of his marketing and sales tech stack. Specifically, GitHub integrated lead sources to pass lead data seamlessly across the different apps.
Working with the Tray.io team, GitHub’s marketing team built automated workflows that pulled in leads from multiple sources, including event-based leads, to enrich them, and then flow those enriched leads directly for follow-up and to its CRM for recording purposes. “Working with the Tray.io team is always great - they’re very hard-working and responsive. They provided tons of help getting us up and running.”
As a result of working with GitHub’s marketing team has observed real improvements to process efficiency, as well as to the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns.
By integrating its previously siloed applications to unify, enrich, and flow lead data to and from its marketing platform and CRM, GitHub’s marketing team saves hours per week on what would have been time-consuming manual labor.
More importantly, the company has observed substantially higher engagement on its marketing campaigns, with a conversion rate increase from top-level inquiry prospects to marketing qualified leads (MQLs)...without having to commit valuable dev resources. “The Tray Platform helps us significantly improve conversion rates and helps our devs focus on building better products, rather than closing operational gaps,” explains Sandhu. “The weekly time savings are nice, but what’s even better is the business impact of increased engagement.”
Going forward, GitHub plans to continue using the Tray Platform to close operational gaps and optimize marketing processes across his team, without having to commit development resources. “The Tray Platform helps us significantly improve conversion rates and helps our devs focus on building better products, rather than closing operational gaps,” says Sandhu. “Before, we sought out the Tray Platform to help us solve the problem at hand. Now, we solve our problems with the Tray Platform in mind.”