It’s a common challenge—if not the challenge—that growth marketers face when joining a startup: build the plumbing and scale fast. And that’s exactly what Ben Pollack found on his plate when he joined ChartHop as Head of Growth Marketing. The company, which creates software for centralizing and managing employee information, was looking to ramp up efforts to hit aggressive growth targets.
“I knew we needed to go to market and scale without having a strong brand baseline or a track record of previous campaigns and tactics,” says Ben. So Job #1 for him was creating an operational infrastructure. He called on the usual players — HubSpot, Clearbit, Salesforce, Outreach—got ChartHop’s content and demand gen engines fired up, and drove budget into paid social, paid search, webinars, and field marketing.
“Two or three months into my job,” comments Ben, “we're creating pipe, it’s scaling fast, some of it’s closing, and things are starting to seem like they might really click.” Ben’s following the playbook, and everything’s going great, right? But it wasn’t enough for him.
Ben Pollack from Charthop shares how Primer matched 90% of their paid social audience
At this point, Ben was running multichannel campaigns at scale, but LinkedIn was the only platform that let him create audiences by filtering for professional criteria. Facebook and others had the massive reach he wanted, but they didn’t have the professional filtering he needed to create audiences.
It’s one thing to enrich an audience — it’s another, very expensive one, to trust its validity.
Paid channels and traditional enrichment platforms were only going to get him so far. So Ben started looking at what he could add to his arsenal to turn up the dial. A friend who had recently graduated through Y Combinator mentioned a new tool called Primer that was working wonders for his ad campaigns. Ben’s interest was piqued, and he scheduled a call.
While he’d explored audience enrichment tools in previous jobs to enable efficient ICP targeting on Facebook, he wasn’t totally sold. It’s one thing to enrich an audience—it’s another, very expensive one, to trust its validity. Still, the tech behind audience enrichment still intrigued him. So Ben decided to give Primer a test.
The key to getting past that growth marketing plateau is improving match rates. While most businesses like ChartHop have prospect lists, they contain fairly limited information like name, business email address, and office phone number. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google provide the ability to reach those prospects, but matching your lists with theirs is mostly impossible. If you have a prospect’s business email, and social platforms have their personal email addresses, there’s no matching. That’s where Primer comes in, using compliant data providers to enrich lists and append ad network matching data.
We were expecting 30–40% match rate. We got it to 90% plus on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
“We started segmenting all of our outbound leads, enriching them with work emails and ad profile data, and sending them to paid social channels,” says Ben. “When I joined ChartHop, we had only a thousand leads in Salesforce. We then hired our first BDR, started prospecting more aggressively, and that number quickly grew to over 10,000 leads. “We push an enriched audience to an ad platform, and were expecting 30–40% match rate, right? We got it to 90% plus on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I couldn't believe my eyes. And I was like, let’s let performance do the talking here. We ran our initial campaigns with the enriched leads, and all of the sudden our BDR manager sees all of his outbound leads requesting demos, downloading content. This is too good to be true.”
“Egregiously Above the Industry Average”
But that’s just the beginning. Next was curating new audiences, going beyond their Salesforce data to identify new markets and segments. Using Primer, Ben created a hyper-targeted audience of HR leaders at 200+ person companies. With just a few clicks, he was able to target these people on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. His audience started seeing a video pushing ChartHop that made an impression—not so much to drive signups, but to get the product stuck in their heads. ChartHop followed up with that audience the next day by sending an email to reinforce the message, and Ben says that, combined with other brand-building activities, “our response rates were egregiously above the industry average.”
“Primer is the juice, and this is the juice I want to be drinking.”
The next step in the journey? Using Primer to automatically create audiences based on the signals they care about—specific parameters like title, headcount growth, and fundraising amount—and pushing them into their ad audience every week. Just a month later, they were seeing results. Massive results. In this automatically generated audience, ChartHop pinpointed a company increasing headcount 100% period over period. Employees saw ChartHop’s ads, BDRs reached out, and within three weeks they closed a five-figure deal worth five times their annual spend on Primer. “That was a sign to me,” says Ben. “Primer is the juice, and this is the juice I want to be drinking. And hold the gin, honestly—I’m good with just the juice.”
Primer is now a fundamental part of ChartHop’s growth marketing operations. The traditional, “spray and pray” approach to broadly targeting leads and automating outreach is nowhere to be found. Gone are the days of clunky, imprecise targeting on paid social, followed by manual, individual rep-driven follow-up with often unqualified leads. With Primer, Ben’s team can now build hyper-targeted, high-converting audiences, test new signals and markets, and automatically push high-quality leads to his sales reps for outreach. Put simply, they can combine inbound and outbound motions, aligning the GTM cross-functionally throughout the organization, reducing wasted resources and improving conversion dramatically.
“Primer’s not a typical ‘account-based marketing’ tool. It’s an investment in both our inbound and outbound motion that empowers efficient sales and marketing growth.”
As Ben puts it, “Growth marketers need help creating a virtuous cycle, an ideal rinse and repeat multitouch engine. That’s why Primer works so well. It's not your average account-based marketing tool. It’s an investment in both our inbound and outbound motion that empowers efficient sales and marketing growth.” To Ben, advertising on paid social without a tool like Primer is a huge missed opportunity: “Some folks would say Facebook and Instagram aren't business-centric platforms. Looking at it as consumer from my own buying experiences, if I see a cool ad about an amazing product on Instagram, I'm going to click it. It doesn’t matter if I'm really there to look at the Celtics highlights. For me, that's still a place where brands can build strong sentiment and agency, albeit in a fun and engaging way.” ChartHop’s now operating with 20 AEs and 20 BDRs, plus 18 marketers, all using Primer to help operationalize account signals and go to market. “I definitely believe in levering more into products that I find to be successful,” he adds. “The support the Primer team gives me, the way in which we work, and most importantly, the belief I have in the product to get my business’ outcomes achieved—that's why I continue to invest in Primer.”