May 11, 2020

Charity eGifts improve PubNub’s webinar strategy by 32%


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PubNub is a real-time communication platform designed to solve the key challenges of building and scaling apps. Yet, it was the pandemic that inspired PubNub leaders to pivot into giving instead of simply selling.

With the help of Sendoso, PubNub successfully weathered the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech leader launched a thoughtful eGift campaign which drove engagement with local charities and businesses.

It’s a move that paid off over time.

The world of corporate marketing was turned upside down in the early stages of the pandemic. Daily schedules were upended, home offices became hybrid live-work spaces, and spending suddenly stopped.

But the team at PubNub knew they needed to connect with customers and communities struggling to cope. There was still a way to generate demand and respond appropriately to the changing business world.

Leveraging Sendoso’s eGift option, they successfully made a huge pivot in corporate thinking. They would shift their sales and marketing approach away from selling and look toward giving.

PubNub leadership wanted to be a resource for clients at such a critical moment. Knowing Sendoso had the tools to make it a reality, they made a radical leap. They allocated their entire ABM budget to donations for local and global charities.

The pandemic caused PubNub’s operational marketing approach to screech to a halt. They had to reconfigure to keep leads flowing. PubNub went from an event-heavy focus to a more strategic, account-targeted effort paired with live webinars to adapt during COVID lockdowns.

Director of Demand Generation, Julia Hartwig saw an opportunity.

PubNub already helped power virtual medicine, e-learning, virtual events, and food delivery applications — all solutions during the early shelter-in-place restrictions. But she was also emotionally daunted and wanted to do more.

“Between raising my one-year-old baby girl, and maintaining my professional responsibilities amidst the volatile market, keeping everything running smoothly [became] overwhelming,” said Hartwig.

She found herself asking, “What can I do right now?” and “How can PubNub help?” The answer was Sendoso’s Charity Choice eGift option.

Sendoso’s highly-customizable platform makes it easy not only to give gifts but to give charitably.  The sales and marketing teams at PubNub made Charity Choice part of their webinar registration process. It offered a unique and socially conscious way for PubNub’s webinars to remain relevant.

Right on target, registration and response rates increased. Adding the Sendoso option gave the team a new boost to drive customer engagement. Registrations increased by 32% in two months when participants were given the option to donate to the charity of their choice.

PubNub’s SDR outreach efforts also made the switch. They transitioned from a “Coffee on Us” campaign to “Donations in Your Name.” The team saw a 14% improvement in response rates to key demographics.

Some of the touches PubNub sent were even more personal.

PubNub used Sendoso to send customers Amazon gift cards to buy groceries from Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh to help clients stuck at home. Customers were delighted by the personalized UberEats credits, allowing them to support their favorite local restaurants.

The whole package provided by Sendoso enabled PubNub to think charitably, while aiding the tech company’s demand generation efforts. Sendoso allowed them the flexibility to direct actual marketing dollars to help those in need across communities.

PubNub’s plan to think and act compassionately as a marketing tool worked. However, such campaigns can be tricky due to a lack of transparency. Research shows that the public is three times more likely to trust a car mechanic than a marketer.

People are increasingly wary of engaging with marketing campaigns, fearful that they might be a part of some tech company’s “big data.” Still, marketing is strategically vital and commands huge budgets. But that money doesn’t always have to end up in the pockets of ad platforms.

Solutions like Sendoso show the role marketing can play in a global crisis. If execs believe in the message, they can divert funds to support charities and local businesses. Teams can creatively use budgets as a force for good, and help change the perspective to show that marketing can help make the world a better place.

Generosity like PubNub’s pandemic can begin to permeate local and global business cultures, and initiate a trend of fellow tech companies doing the same.

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