Case Study: Using thought leadership to generate sales leads

Tessella: AI and Data Science

Case Studies

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We run a content programme for Tessella, a data science and AI consultancy. 

This involves creating ‘big-ticket’ reports and whitepapers which provide expert insight into delivering AI projects, combined with ongoing thought leadership on AI challenges and opportunities. Our content underpins a targeted marketing and lead generation programme run through HubSpot.

The Objective

Tessella delivers highly specialised AI and data science projects to large companies in science, technology and engineering. Buyers are usually VPs, CTOs, CDOs, and Heads of research/analytics/AI/data science at these companies.

Projects tend to be high value and bespoke, so Tessella’s marketing is focussed on consistently generating small numbers of relevant leads. In 2019 they transitioned from a broader ‘awareness raising’ approach using PR and digital marketing, to delivering highly relevant content to targeted contacts. The result has been a notable increase in good quality leads.

Developing Strategic Content

It is critical that the content which underpins these campaigns is useful and insightful. It must grab the attention of this time poor audience by speaking to their business challenges, and ensure that they are left with an understanding of Tessella’s hard won expertise.

To create the content, we interview Tessella’s experts and customers to understand the evolving challenges faced by industry in building and deploying AI and data solutions, and how these problems can be solved. This generates insight rooted in experience and expertise, with actionable conclusions that readers can immediately use in their business.


Our in-depth reports and whitepapers are gated and hosted on Tessella’s Resources Hub. Other activity drives relevant traffic and downloads, generating leads.

Regular articles on their Insights Content Hub projects insight to the market, whilst also creating a gateway to in-depth content. Examples include pieces on Explainable AI and Bias in AI.

Insights and Whitepapers are promoted via email nurture campaigns to subscribed databases, or via LinkedIn adverts targeted at named contacts or job roles.

Relevant traffic is also driven through social media, and occasionally through trade media, such as The Engineer (Rail), Drug Discover World (Pharma) and Disruption.

This is all tracked through HubSpot, which allows Tessella to automate campaigns, track downloads, and qualify prospects which are passed to sales teams.

Inbound Marketing Partnership

We partner with Blend on this work, who designed and created the new Tessella HubSpot powered website, and who support Tessella to manage HubSpot and run their inbound marketing campaigns. Blend share our commitment to quality content which resonates and generates leads.


The website switched to HubSpot in August 2019, marking the true beginning of this new approach, and is already having a significant impact.

Example campaign 1: Content driven lead generation

A whitepaper developed by Memetic, How to build, train and deploy AI into the enterprise, was launched in October 2019.

This has been promoted via a series of three articles on Tessella Insights. These give a taster of the insight in the whitepaper, and prompt the readers to download it. Each article has its own promotion campaign on social media and via LinkedIn. Since launch there have been 356 views; 57 downloads, and 12 sales qualified leads, including from major pharma and energy companies which Tessella count as its primary audience (as of November 2019).

Example campaign 2: Highly targeted nurture campaigns harnessing existing content

Our existing bank of insightful content – which is designed to have longevity - allows Tessella to run multiple, small targeted campaigns as the wider business demands.  

For example, a Tessella sector lead approached marketing with a brief to generate interest from a particular company. Marketing designed a 10-week ‘Awareness, Consideration, Conversion’ approach, using LinkedIn to reach a small targeted list of specific prospects.

This started with a Tessella video which raised awareness of the company, then used an industry specific text wrapper to push them towards the whitepaper 11 Steps to Maximizing Value from AI, and drive consideration. Two serious senior level decision makers, who had actively engaged with the content on multiple occasions, were then followed up with by sales teams for conversion.

This programme is still new, and this case study will be updated with further results in 2020.

Julian Fowler, Head of Marketing and Communications at Tessella says

"This year has been transformational for us; we are now really seeing our comms spend delivering leads for the business, and we can actually measure success. We are no longer throwing content out there and hoping it sticks, we are being relevant, targeted, and measurable”.

“The absolute essential part of this is that we get the content right. There are a lot of companies putting content out there, especially on AI. We need to ensure what we say has a clear proposition to prompt downloads, but also that it is highly valuable and contains actionable insights. It is vital that the marketing does not stop at the click or download, but continues to demonstrate our expertise when the content is read, so that prospects are receptive when the sales follow up comes.”

“Memetic is a critical partner. They understand our complex business offer, and have become adept at turning our insight into content which is truly valuable to the senior decision makers we want to influence”.

If you are interested in how thought leadership can help you engage, influence and generate leads, please get in touch using the form at the bottom of this page.

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