How We Grew a CRO's Web Traffic and Sales Pipeline by 700% in 8 Months


Numbers & Highlights

Timeline: 8 months

  • New corporate identity, including logo, tagline, website, and associated materials such as business cards and sales presentation decks
  • Over $10 Million is sales pipeline value generated from Bracken Marketing activity
  • 7,950 new pageviews to website
  • Average month over month traffic growth: 30%
  • Organic search traffic growth: 126%
  • Pageviews acquired from social: 1,101
  • In the 8th month of the program, 23 inbound sales leads were generating from digital marketing activity
  • All new digital marketing and sales infrastructure in place including Squarespace, Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing Software, and HubSpot CRM
ClinSmart's Website Traffic Over the Last 3 Months

ClinSmart's Website Traffic Over the Last 3 Months

Services Included

The new Click to enlarge.

  • Marketing Plan
  • New Brand Styleguide
  • New Logo and Tagline
  • Sales Presentations Developed
  • New Website
  • Social Media Optimization
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Lead Generation Optimization
  • Blogging Program
  • Social Media Marketing Program
  • Email Marketing Program
  • Event Marketing Support
  • HubSpot Marketing Software Implementation
  • CRM Implementation
  • Marketing and Sales Reporting
  • Lead Management and Business Development Support

More details on exactly what went into each of these activities in in the Services Breakdown section below.



ClinSmart is a small CRO in the Philadelphia area, who had tried a variety of methods of growing their revenue to no avail. They had stuck to traditional biopharma sales and marketing tactics to win new contracts, but this strategy became less effective over time. At the same time, existing contracts were coming to a close, and something drastic had to take place in order to close the gaps.

In 2016, ClinSmart approached Bracken Marketing to explore if a revitalized company image, and modern marketing and sales approach could bring the sales pipeline growth they needed. This case study outlines the results of exploring their challenges, goals, and potential.

Within the first 8 months of ClinSmart’s new sales and marketing program goals for the year have been exceeded, with over $10 million in sales pipeline generated, and over 30% traffic growth every month since we have serviced their account.

We approached the ClinSmart program by conducting a thorough analysis of their internal strengths and weaknesses, and the market landscape. We asked ourselves and ClinSmart questions like, “where in operations are the largest improvements needed?”, “what is our largest market opportunity?’, and “what do prospects think of when they hear ‘ClinSmart’?”

The new program kicked off with a 15-page marketing plan packed with data, such as the expected market growth for contract research organizations over the coming years. We dissected the methods by which sponsors are outsourcing clinical research, and put together a detailed 1-year plan on how to combine strengths and opportunities to capitalize on a winning strategy.

Then we started the process of creating ClinSmart with a new corporate identity. Countless logos, taglines, and color pallettes were brainstormed, until the logo you see associated with ClinSmart today was finalized. From there we worked on putting together a brand new website, complete with new messaging and new market positioning. The launch of this website marked the launch of a new blogging program, social media program, email marketing program, business development process, and much more. Read below for details on the services we provided to reach such successful outcomes.

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Services Breakdown

Marketing Plan

  • We wrote and delivered a 15-page marketing plan that analyzed the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and market opportunity
  • This marketing plan was packed with data showing expected market growth rates over the coming years, to benchmark baseline and best-case marketing success
  • The plan outline methods by which clinical trial sponsors are outsourcing clinical research, and provided details on the kinds of individuals who make these decisions.
  • The marketing plan included a 1-year plan with milestones, that combined most of the services you see below, along with newly acquired market data, to assemble our winning strategy.
Excerpt from the new ClinSmart Brand Styleguide

Excerpt from the new ClinSmart Brand Styleguide

New Brand Identity

  • New logo developed after rounds of logo brainstorming, design, and feedback
  • New tagline: Personal. Focused. Results.
  • We delivered an official ClinSmart Brand Styleguide document, which employees use to make sure any client facing materials such as Microsoft office documents or web pages adhere to specific colors and fonts.

New Branding Material

  • Business cards were designed, printed, and distributed to the team
  • In-office supplies such as guest sign-in passes were branded with the new logo

Sales Presentations Developed

  • New Microsoft Office template file was created to adhere all documents to brand fonts and colors
  • A new Powerpoint template was designed and delivered
  • A new capabilities presentation was developed, with custom diagram
  • 51 slides were developed to fit a number of bid defense scenarios
  • A “diagram deck” containing a library of useful diagrams were developed, allowing employees to put together their own presentations for any sales, marketing, or client management scenario

New Website

  • A new 28-page website was developed matching the new corporate identity
  • Research was conducted to inform the key messaging used on the site
  • Local S.E.O. tactics were used to improve the search performance of the company in their local area
  • The site was developed on Squarespace so stakeholders could easily go in to edit content without affecting the site code, and website user permissions could be controlled.

Social Media Optimization

  • Company profiles were revamped with new corporate branding assets.
  • Custom social media images were developed such as the Twitter cover image, Facebook cover image, and Linkedin background image.
  • All sales, marketing, and client facing employees’ Linkedin Profiles underwent optimization to improve visibility and keep company messaging consistent
  • Third party tools were implemented to automate new social media monitoring and publishing workflows

Search Engine Optimization

  • We crawled the entire website to identify elements such as URL structures, titles, and metadescriptions that could be improved for performance of target search keywords
  • Sitemaps of the new website were submitted to Google and Bing Search Consoles
  • The new site, the company address, and new logo files were verified with Google MyBusiness
  • URLs affiliated with the old site were identified and redirected to fix broken link penalties
  • A section of the site about the company’s local presence was developed, including an embedded section of the office on Google Maps, to improve local search engine performance
  • A blog was attached to the site, and blogging program initiated (more on the below) to make sure content was developed on an ongoing basis, and continually indexing target keywords to the website.

Market Research

  • Researched demographic and psychographic information for target market, including common geographic areas, years at company, years in industry, and social media behavior
  • Produced a list of key Linkedin Groups for employees to stay active in, based on the company’s target locations and job titles

Lead Generation Optimization

  • Relevant calls-to-action were placed in strategic positions on the site to improve the rate of contact information collection.
  • Using 3rd party tools such as MailChimp and HubSpot, new contact information submitted on the site is sent to the marketing and sales team for follow up
  • Intelligent Calls-to-Action, such as those popping up on key pages after a user has scrolled more than 50%, were placed on the site

Blogging Program

ClinSmart Blog
  • 16 blog posts have been published in 6 months
  • ClinSmart is now on a once per week blog post schedule, overseen by Bracken Marketing
  • Blog posts start with a topic ideation process. We brainstorm topics in spreadsheet visible to the whole team
  • Blog post topic ideas are prioritized, and their publish date is scheduled accordingly
  • We have assigned a designated BrackenMarketing writer to author new posts in employee’s names, once per week
  • ClinSmart is generating a dedicated audience via an email subscribers list at an increasing rate, currently 5 per month.
  • An email with the new blog post goes out to subscribers once per week
  • All blog content is routinely shared on social media outlets, and within target Linkedin groups

Ongoing Social Media Marketing Program

  • We produce 90 tweets per month on ClinSmart’s behalf
  • These tweets are curated on a spreadsheet visible to the marketing team, then bulk uploaded using HubSpot
  • We monitor twitter for keywords, hashtags, and relevant content from industry influencers to be shared by ClinSmart’s twitter handle
  • 2 Linkedin blasts take place every week. A blast comprises of posting blog content on the company account, key employee accounts, and within all Linkedin groups identified from market research
  • When published, new blog posts are automatically shared on Facebook and Google+ using HubSpot.
  • We use a third party tool to automatically follow, and encourage following, from twitter users that use preset keywords. This grows Twitter following at a rate of about 100 followers per month.

Email Marketing Program

  • The email marketing program started with cleaning up the contact database and used 3rd party tools to create a mailing list of 900 targeted contacts
  • We have segmented the contact database by job titles, location, and company size to better personalize outreach
  • One email blast goes out per month. We use HubSpot to automatically identify who opens the email and who doesn’t, which we have programmed to carry out followup emails accordingly.
  • We are tracking all email metrics such as send time, open rate, and click rite to optimize future sends.

Event Marketing Support

  • We have supported the ClinSmart team at 2 industry events to-date: DIA Global in Chicago, and their first homegrown Biotech Fundraiser Happy Hour
  • At DIA we were able to introduce the team to our network of industry contacts, which resulted in sales conversations
  • The homegrown biotech happy hour was a great success. Over 50 local biotech professionals attended, money was raised for the ALS Foundation, and sales conversations took place as followup
  • We recapped the happy hour event on the ClinSmart blog and emailed to event attendees to get them on the ClinSmart website after the event.

HubSpot Marketing Software Implementation

  • We setup HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software for the ClinSmart team
  • This enables us to collaborate with the team on work involving the contact database, calls-to-action on the site, creating landing pages, publishing and optimizing blog posts, email marketing, social media marketing, and lead-based reporting
  • The software also gives employees access to online courses about inbound sales, marketing, and design
  • Because of our status as a certified HubSpot partner agency, we waived the onboarding fee for ClinSmart’s purchase of the software.

CRM Setup and Implementation

  • We set ClinSmart up with HubSpot’s CRM so it would integrate flawlessly with their new marketing software
  • Sales stages and contact properties have been customized to align data collection and tracking with ClinSmart’s sales process
  • ClinSmart conducts weekly business development meetings where they use the CRM to track the movement of sales opportunities through their sales process
  • Emails, phone calls, and meeting notes with sales opportunities are logged into the tool so everyone who might influence a deal has access to the same information
  • Emails, phone calls, and meetings, in addition to sales opportunity value and length of sales process is all tracked automatically to provide insightful sales reports

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Marketing + Sales Reporting

  • We setup a reporting Infrastructure using HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot CRM, and Google Analytics
  • The implementation of tracking code was facilitated by SquareSpace, the system on which we built the new website
  • We provide monthly marketing reports to ClinSmart with insight into website traffic, traffic behavior, blog post performance, social media engagement, email marketing metrics, new blog subscribers, and new leads generated
  • The CRM we implemented for ClinSmart provides insights into sales activity such as outbound calls and emails, sales pipeline growth, sales cycle, and more.

Lead Management and Business Development Support

  • ClinSmart and Bracken Marketing meet weekly for a business development meeting
  • We assist in the strategy of moving sales opportunities through the sales process
  • Our inbound marketing activities are generating 15 new leads for ClinSmart per month
  • Using HubSpot CRM’s prospecting tool, we identify which companies have individuals visiting the site. We then find appropriate contacts on Linkedin, and assist in finding their contact information, to start a new sales outreach
  • Trigger events, such as new funding or a new executive hire, are tracked to identify the right timing to reach out to sales prospects
  • We work with ClinSmart’s sales team to optimize call scripts and emails for maximum success
  • We work on sales presentations for every sales deal
  • We assist in the closing of deals and creation of contracts
  • Outside individuals from our network are asked to influence ClinSmart sales when it’s a value add for all parties involved


We continue collaborating on all the above services with the ClinSmart team. It has been exciting to watch these results come in. We value their partnership, sincerely enjoy working with them, and highly recommend their services to any biopharma teams looking to outsource clinical research.

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