The Ask

While an established 20-year-old+ leader in their space, Heartland had only recently invested in demand gen, having leveraged a more traditional sales infrastructure to fuel growth. As they built their program, the goal was twofold: continue to demonstrate the value of these efforts to encourage increased investment, while also finding a partner that can scale with their various offerings in a highly competitive payments landscape.


The Answer

Through initial conversations among our teams, we aligned on a pilot engagement to demonstrate the potential of our partnership. As a focus for the 90-day pilot, Envisionit was tasked with merging Heartland’s standalone point-of-sale solutions (Mobile Pay, Terminal+ and Register) into a cohesive suite of products that enable independent restaurateurs and retailers to not only compete within the challenging health climate, but also scale with them as they evolve beyond. With businesses in flux, our go-to-market messaging put Heartland at the center of helping these SMBs navigate ever-changing consumer habits.


The Impact

Our pilot was a resounding success, outperforming all projected benchmarks and setting the table for an extensive partnership supporting all lines of business.

Above MQL projections
Lower Facebook CPL than projected
Above estimated clicks for Paid Search

As we sought to demonstrate mutual fit and expand our partnership, we were challenged with achieving the following outcomes:

Reach and engage prioritized SMB targets within Restaurant & Retail — the sweet spot being 1-2 locations with 1-2 units for Register & Terminal+, focusing on scalability and growth.

Test key messages to develop an informed campaign concept for Restaurant & Retail product offerings against our global target audience.

Produce campaign creative assets to support media efforts.

Launch an integrated media campaign with the primary goal and metric tied to generating MQLs. 

Ultimately, showcase our media expertise by meeting/exceeding our pro forma target of 266 MQLs during this 90 day period.

Heartland screenshots

New suite. New value. Let’s find our contender.

Our pilot campaign marked the first opportunity for Heartland to test in-market creative concepts and messaging. We knew we had to ensure every digital touchpoint, allowing us to gain future learnings. Having never truly marketed this solution as a complete offering, we settled on two concept variations to run a test.


Maximizing investment

With a 90-day campaign flight, we were challenged to not only fine-tune Heartland’s existing paid search and paid social channels to work harder, but also tap into new prospecting initiatives that allowed us to get in front of our restaurant and retail targets at a broader scale.

Our efforts centered on the following across channels:

  • Extensive keyword expansion, bid optimization and landing page build outs across Google and Bing
  • Behavioral targeting based on search intent, competitor interest and contextual viewing
  • Custom audience deployment with 3rd party partners
  • Robust 1:1 and lookalike modeling across display & paid social
  • Cross-network, sequential messaging across display & paid social to ensure a consistent, seamless engagement and retargeting

Beyond the pilot

In December 2021, we entered into a larger engagement with Heartland Payment Systems, supporting the organization across media planning/buying, creative strategy & production, as well as SEO.

In addition to supporting “Always On” campaign initiatives, we’re partnering with their marketing leadership and product strategists to support major promotional activities across Heartland’s suite of solutions, including Payments, Online Payments, Payroll and Point of Sale.

As a major first step for paid search, we’ve moved away from previous automated bidding practices and are monitoring campaigns on a daily basis to help us understand campaign performance at the platform-level. We’re also working with Heartland’s marketing leadership to ensure our budget is being utilized against products that yield the highest MQL/SQL rates and margin for the organization.

After just 30 days actively managing the campaign, we saw notable improvements in performance while decreasing spend by 23%.

14% Increase paid search leads
32% Improvement cost per lead

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