What WORKS when Marketing to Corporate Training & HR? by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Sep 17, 2018 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Principles of Success, Training and HR

After almost 20 years in this industry, we know a thing or two about what works when marketing to Corporate Training and HR. As a matter of fact, working with our clients has provided us with some incredible insights regarding the secret to sales and marketing success in this industry. This week, we are excited to reveal the secrets behind how Acumen Learning leveraged the MTG database to yield some incredible results! 

Using a multi-faceted marketing approach, in their six years using the MTG database, Acumen has achieved the following results:  

  • Invoiced more than 21 times the cost of the list
  • Attained a whopping 2000+% ROI
  • Developed countless new sales opportunities currently being pursued by the Acumen sales team

Mentor Tech Group’s stellar database service provided us with the exact decision makers we needed to make quick inroads into the Training and HR space. Their unique ability to determine a contact’s specific area of responsibility was hugely helpful to identify and target the right people to promote Acumen’s business.

I highly recommend the MTG database to anyone seeking an accurate, high-quality list in this industry.

VP Marketing, Acumen Learning

Let’s explore Acumen’s marketing and sales strategy and tactics in more detail to better understand how they achieved these results.

Company Background:

Founded in 2002 by Kevin Cope and Stephen M. R. Covey, Acumen Learning is one of the world’s leading B2B business acumen and sales training companies. Their goal is to teach any professional, from any industry, about “the business of their business.” Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, all seeking to improve business results.


To promote the release of Cope’s book, “Seeing the Big Picture,” a huge marketing push was developed to get the book into the hands of key learning and development leaders. However, successfully launching a business book can be a challenging endeavor, especially when the book is being self-published. Such was the case with Acumen’s release of “Seeing the Big Picture” (which eventually became a #1 best seller!).

Acumen leaders knew they had to create a huge marketing push to get the book into the hands of the right business professionals – namely, key learning and development decision makers. To achieve this, Acumen needed to reach outside of the company to secure a high quality list of the exact decision makers being targeted in their marketing strategy.


Mike Wright, VP Marketing of Acumen, knew of Mentor Tech Group from attending various Training and HR trade shows throughout the year. After reaching out to MTG and discussing Acumen’s needs with his MTG Account Executive, Mike determined Mentor Tech Group had the precise contacts needed to promote the book. 

Mike knew that unlike other list companies, Mentor Tech Group’s lists are compiled by gathering information via direct phone calls made by MTG’s Marketing Intelligence Consultants, resulting in highly accurate data.  As a matter of fact, each contact in the MTG database is verified and updated every four months, providing clients with fresh information for their marketing efforts. Every MTG list includes decision-maker contact phone numbers (often direct-dial numbers), mailing addresses, email addresses, and/or additional notes whenever possible. Mike was thrilled that by investing in a Mentor Tech Group database, Acumen would receive free list updates every four months, providing updated contact information as well as contact details for a number of brand NEW database contacts!  

Acumen invested in their initial Mentor Tech database in 2012.  Since then, they have continued to renew with MTG each year, implementing the four month updates into their CRM system to keep the data current and fresh. Mike loves receiving new contacts with each update, giving a little boost to every marketing outreach effort.


Acumen’s implementation of the Mentor Tech Group was a bit unique due to their need to market and promote their recently published book. As a matter of fact, the initial marketing push behind the release of this book was so robust that they sent a book to each contact in their Mentor Tech Group database and actually shut down the company for a full week to call on each book recipient.

The results were phenomenal and Mike attributes much of that success to the high quality of the MTG database, “The list was GREAT! This was a hugely successful campaign for us.”

Since then, Acumen has replicated this process multiple times in a smaller format. This involves the sales team sending books to key people on the MTG list and following up with phone call to be sure the book was received. In addition, throughout the year, they perform “total recall campaigns,” going back through and calling all the book recipients they haven’t yet connected with over time.

Each time Acumen receives the updated MTG database, they perform a new “book campaign,” providing books to any new contacts on the list. These book campaigns involve the following three key steps:

  1. An email is sent out to each contact saying, “We’re sending you a book…”
  2. The book is then sent to the recipient
  3. The sales rep calls to follow up to be sure the book was received and determine if there are any needs/interests, etc.

“While our book campaigns have been highly effective, it is important to note that all book recipients who have not responded are also added to an email marketing drip campaign, receiving regular Acumen emails containing value-added content.” Mike adds, “These emails are customized and provide educational, relevant, thought leadership content. We are selling a high value offering with a long sales cycle, so it makes sense for us to provide this kind of high value touch interaction with our prospects.”

Noting that Acumen’s marketing approach is multi-faceted, Mike emphasizes, “We use a variety of methods to generate qualified leads, including the use of Google Adwords, email marketing, direct mail, phone follow up, as well as attending Learning and Development conferences. It’s hard to attribute a sale to one specific lead source because it really takes 6-12 touches, sometimes over two years or more to develop an opportunity and close a deal with a client.”

“As I tell people, often times it takes time to set meetings, follow up, develop trust, determine when the timing is right. You must have long-term thinking with a strategy around it. And,” Mike notes, “Even though the Mentor Tech Group database is a critical part of the mix, it is not the only ingredient. The other key piece involves actively making use of the data through various outreach methods – email, direct mail, phone – all integrated with other events or marketing endeavors that are underway. This is why having a strategy is so important to the success of any marketing undertaking.”


As with all successful Mentor Tech Group clients, Acumen’s well-planned marketing strategy and sales follow-through approach has lead to their incredible success.  Due to the high quality and accurate nature of the MTG database, instead of spending time digging for leads, Acumen has been able to concentrate energy and focus on its marketing and business development process.

As Mike states, “You have to actually USE the MTG list regularly as part of an overall marketing and sales strategy to achieve success. There is no magic bullet, but MTG has the most accurate and vetted contacts in the training space that we’ve come across.. ”

Having used the MTG database for more than six years now, Acumen’s marketing and sales departments continue to develop high quality business directly from the MTG database – and they show no signs of stopping. The results have been nothing less than remarkable.

Mentor Tech Group’s stellar database service provided us with the exact decision makers we needed to make quick inroads into the Training and HR space… I highly recommend the MTG database to anyone seeking an accurate, high-quality list in this industry.

If you’re looking for a high quality, accurate database of decision-maker contacts in corporate training and HR, please contact Mentor Tech Group today at: 651-457-8600, Ext. 1. We’re here to help you, whenever you’re ready!

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