Driving Columbus’ lead generation with Industry 4.0

  • 73ksocial media impressions
  • 770report downloads
  • 90ideal prospects
The dawn of Industry 4.0 created an opportunity for Columbus to reimagine its approach to content marketing.

With new technologies transforming the global supply chain, Columbus' head of marketing knew there had never been more reasons to embrace enterprise resource planning.

To cement her company’s place at the forefront of this conversation, she resolved to create a seminal report that would show its audience of senior manufacturing professionals how their peers are harnessing new technologies to shape the future of the industry.

Having worked with Raconteur during her time at Swedish software giant IFS, she knew we would be the perfect partner to realise her ambition.

Services provided

  • Creation
  • Distrubution
  • Measurement
  • Optimisation

The challenge

Columbus wanted a fresh approach for its content marketing.

The enterprise resource planning giant knew it would need to provide genuinely meaningful insights to engage its audience of senior manufacturing and engineering professionals. But having never created a report like this before, it lacked the skills to execute the project effectively.

Raconteur Agency was tasked with delivering a targeted thought leadership campaign, including a full digital ecosystem to showcase Columbus’ content and track the campaign’s ROI.

Achieving this goal would mean combining incisive content with striking design to create an editorially-driven lead gen report. From there, we would need to use our publishing expertise to package and distribute this content to engage the company’s target audience.

“It was a completely different approach to campaigns that we had produced previously,” the company's head of marketing explains. “Raconteur was able to expose us to avenues that we wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.”

Our solution

To position Columbus as a genuine thought leader and authority on the future of manufacturing, we created the Manufacturing 2020 report.

As a former Financial News editor and Wall Street Journal executive editor, Raconteur managing editor Gren Manuel was perfectly placed to develop a report with the authority to engage Columbus’ core audiences.

Using Columbus’ relationships with top industry influencers, Manuel curated ten forward-thinking infographics and articles on topics that would resonate with the engineering community.

At the same time, our design team developed a distinctive illustrative style to reinforce the report’s editorial message and help it stand out in a crowded content landscape.

The end result was a 24-page digital report featuring a stunning double-page infographic and contributions from Microsoft’s Colin Masson, Aston Business School’s Tim Baines and JJ Churchill’s Andrew Churchill.

“We had a very tight timeline,” says Columbus' head of marketing. “I was particularly impressed with [Raconteur’s] positive attitude and extensive efforts to help meet our deadlines while also producing some quality copy and design work.”

She adds: “Raconteur embraced and supported a different way of thinking, adding their own thoughts and experiences to ensure that the campaign would really resonate with our target audience.”

With the report complete, all that remained was to promote the content and attract downloads from Columbus’ ideal prospects.

To achieve this, we hosted Manufacturing 2020 on a purpose-built landing page behind a data capture form. We then ran targeted paid social media campaigns to get this page in front of senior manufacturing professionals in finance or engineering roles.

At the same time, we published Manufacturing 2020’s lead articles on raconteur.net to boost awareness of Columbus’ brand and deployed strategic display ads to encourage readers to download the full report.

“Raconteur became an extension of our team throughout our campaign,” the company's head of marketing adds. “They were always on-hand with great ideas and recommendations to get the most out of our report.”


Manufacturing 2020 was met with critical acclaim from the manufacturing and engineering communities.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management shared the report on Twitter and The Manufacturer MD Henry Anson described it as “a tremendously important contribution to the debate about the future of our sector”.

The campaign generated more than 73,000 impressions on social media, resulting in 6,015 landing page views and 770 report downloads.

Crucially, our analysis revealed that 90 of those downloads were from senior decision-makers in finance or engineering functions at large manufacturing companies – Columbus’ ideal prospects.

Columbus' head of marketing concludes: “From the outset the Raconteur team has always been available to share their expertise, which has been invaluable for not only the content of the report itself but also the promotional activities supporting it.

“I am very happy with our results so far and look forward to working with Raconteur on future projects.”

Find out more today

Get in touch