Calm, driven project management
When it was established in 2011 Millpond brought a new approach to project management. The company’s modus operandi was neatly summed up in its name – a millpond is a hydroelectric dam in miniature; a calm body of water that powers the operation of a mill wheel.
Millpond would be that calm driving force for its clients.
Over the years Millpond has grown an ever-more impressive client base. They have assisted a diverse range of New Zealand’s largest organisations with managing projects, including the country’s largest gold mine OceanaGold, leading resolution organisation FairWay, the South Island’s largest port, and public housing initiative Kāinga Ora.
How to convey Millpond’s expertise?
Such growth and success didn’t come without challenges. The most pressing for Millpond was conveying the solutions they offered and value they brought to clients.
Initially the company saw an opportunity in producing case studies; succinct stories that they could share with potential clients that outlined the proven value they could bring, wordsmithed in a way that made that value perfectly clear.
“We were doing all this great stuff, but no one knew about it. We wanted a way to tell people about the kinds of things we do,” says Bronwyn Wyatt, Millpond’s Shared Services Manager. “It’s all very well us typing it up, but it’s probably not going to be the right language.”
While the search for marketing help was prompted by the desire for case studies, a range of other needs were soon revealed. It became clear that Millpond could benefit from the assistance of a marketing partner who brought a deep technical and strategic understanding, who could guide and implement their marketing and thought leadership efforts, and who could support Millpond on what they hoped would be an international growth trajectory.
It was at this point that Millpond got in contact with Traction. They instantly felt a connection, as Bronwyn explains:
“We look for personability and a sense of partnership in the third parties we work with. We were looking for someone who showed genuine interest in our business and what we did. What separated Traction was that they seemed very interested and engaged; that they wanted to work with us. What’s more, in the very first meeting they came up with some very thought-provoking ideas, so we could tell they knew what they were talking about.”
A true marketing partnership
Once Millpond engaged Traction as their marketing partner, the marketing cogs, or perhaps more aptly the marketing millwheel, started turning.
“Traction asked lots of questions. They solved the initial need – the case studies – but also offered up lots of other ideas in terms of our marketing plan, communications and budget. They listened to our goals, offered input and ideas, and came up with the goods! It was every bit the partnership that we imagined it would be.”
When asked what in particular she appreciated about the Traction approach, two aspects stuck out in Bronwyn’s mind.
“For one, the communication and approachability – on top of monthly meetings, we know that we can always pick up the phone or flick over an email and get a reply. There’s also a real sense of flexibility and adaptability – Traction recognises that there will be a need to ramp up from time to time, and they’re always ready to do so.
A new marketing approach, new levels of growth
Where did this marketing partnership lead Millpond? “Traction brought structure and clarity of focus to our marketing,” shares Bronwyn. And the results can be seen in the hard numbers.
The establishment of a marketing funnel meant that Millpond saw an increase in the number of enquiries and qualified leads coming through, which resulted in an incredible return on their Google Ads investment. Where previously they would expect an average of 4-6 people to secure a spot in each project management short course, they’re now accepting an average of 12 – two to three times the amount of bookings.
By combining this paid advertising with a combination of on-page and off-page SEO, Millpond has seen website visits more than quadruple.
Traction also highlighted the importance of social media, particularly LinkedIn, to a B2B organisation like Millpond. Thanks to Bronwyn and her team doing the appropriate groundwork, publishing thought leadership content and consistently engaging with their audience, Millpond has seen its LinkedIn followers double in the past year.
Asked to sum up her experience working with Traction, Bronwyn is glowing.
“As a company excited about our growth, we were looking for interest and encouragement. That was Traction. They become an extension, another arm, of our team. A marketing partner needs to be interested in seeing us succeed for it to work. There needs to be that buy-in, a shared belief, a matching of values and wavelengths – Traction brought all of that and more.”