Background
Case study

Ahlstrom-Munksjö Reinvented Its Marketing Efforts Using Livestorm

We interviewed Estelle Seibert, the committed and passionate Marketing Specialist at Ahlstrom-Munksjö, to find out how she used Livestorm to reinvent their marketing efforts and successfully engage with a highly niche audience.

Industry

Manufacturing

Size

501-10K

Location

Worldwide

Use case

Live Events

Introduction

Paper and fiber-based solutions for the world

Ahlstrom-Munksjö is one of the world's leading players in sustainable and innovative fiber-based solutions employing over 7,800 people in 14 countries. The company’s mission is to provide its customers with products that are backed by sustainability, innovation, and quality. You can expect to find Ahlstrom-Munksjö-produced materials right under your nose, including coffee capsules, tea filters, food packaging, face masks, healthcare materials, products for diagnostics, abrasive papers, and much more.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö plant
Background

A traditional industry with time-honored practices

We had the pleasure of interviewing Estelle Seibert, Marketing Specialist at Ahlstrom-Munksjö who boasts a career of over 15 years in the paper and abrasives industry. “I love what I do because I never get bored,” she shared with us. Estelle started at the company in 2004 and manages, with her collaborator Paul Costenoble, all the marketing efforts for Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s abrasive backings business, which centers around a particularly complex and technical range of products. Doing marketing for such a niche business also meant needing to reach a niche group of customers.

Until recently, traditional channels of promotions and communications, like industry trade shows or printed newsletters, were leveraged by their industry to reach this audience and Estelle recognized this approach to be “old-fashioned”. She explained, “For the longest time, we didn’t want to share too much technical information online with the public, because it was so targeted and we wouldn’t want the competitors to see it.”

Ahlstrom-Munksjö quality assurance
Problem

The marketing landscape had changed

It was not until 2017 when Estelle returned from a hiatus inspired first by motherhood and then by an intensive marketing program, that she saw just how much the online marketing landscape had changed. Digital platforms and social media channels made it so that information could now reach targeted audiences very easily, and there was a lot of power in value-added content that Ahlstrom-Munksjö developed in the abrasive business that they were not capitalizing on.

For the seasoned marketer, the challenge then became one of building out their content and choosing the most accessible communications channel on which to engage their niche audience at scale. “Our objective was to deliver technical content in an interactive way to a global but targeted audience,” Estelle explained. They needed to think about how to add value to enrich the content that would be shared and make it more memorable. Success depended on the right tools and creating value-added, didactic content.

Solution

Innovative virtual events powered by Livestorm

Estelle decided to modernize the abrasive strategy from a product-focused to a more customer-focused approach, concentrating on producing content that provided support, explanations, and solutions that anticipated their customers’ most common concerns. She explained how they introduced inbound marketing and a series of carefully curated webinars to help interact with their customers.

Estelle chose to follow the recommendations of her mentor and digital marketing instructor Stéphane Truphème and decided to try a video engagement platform called Livestorm. The platform’s clean user interface and engagement features helped to win her over. “You have a truly integrated marketing platform that’s easy to use. The fact that I can customize emails and follow-ups, such as sending a different message to registrants who have joined versus those who haven’t joined, has added value to the customer journey,” she said.

The abrasive team proceeded to launch an educational webinar series on Livestorm called the Coffee Break Sessions that ran from June to December 2020. This series honed in on four big topics seen in the coated abrasives business and customers were invited to book private sessions. “These sessions allowed our customers to invite stakeholders from within their own organization and ask questions openly knowing that the slot was not shared with potential competitors,” explained Estelle.

In May 2021, Estelle and the team upped the ante, hosting a disruptive digital trade show dedicated to the abrasives industry called DediCOATED 3.0 - it was the first online convention of this kind. Ahlstrom-Muksjö gathered five key market players from the coated abrasives supply chain to answer the question “How to improve coated abrasive quality?”. By coupling Livestorm with a virtual environment built by Synthes3D, they were able to simulate the trade show experience and offer conference lecture halls with exhibits.

Guests were invited to participate in various DediCOATED 3.0 seminars and discussions that ran as live events - the aim was to inspire the sharing of expertise and ideas. Although the webinar sessions were all public, private questions were enabled to ensure that attendees were able to pose questions to the Ahlstrom-Munksjö team without their competitors seeing.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö virtual trade show
Results

Two major initiatives in one year that engaged over 700 attendees

In the span of 12 months, Estelle and her team succeeded in launching two major marketing initiatives with Livestorm that delivered technical content in a captivating way to their target audience around the world. The chat and Q&A features helped them create interactive exchanges that added value to the information that was being shared. “Everyone has seen the positive impact of digital events and we’re convinced that sharing content this way is a must,” explained Estelle, adding “Our customers now expect it.”

For the Coffee Break Sessions, Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s first webinar series, Livestorm helped the team strike the right balance between one-to-one reach and one-to-many conversations. The team was able to target customers worldwide, securing 63 private webinar sessions with 400 highly qualified attendees from 28 countries. This was done in the span of 7 months. The recordings are now being used as evergreen content to generate leads on their website.

The DediCOATED 3.0 virtual trade show that leveraged the partnership between abrasives co-suppliers generated 337 conference attendees from 35 different countries in only two weeks! “Even though this event was virtual, our audience felt like they were all in the same room with us because they were able to engage with us directly. It was a huge success!” said Estelle.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö DediCOATED 3.0 event
Looking Ahead

New webinars series to come

Never skipping a beat, Estelle told us that Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s abrasive business has already planned another Coffee Break series for the end of 2021. She added, “Focusing on very specific and technical topics has proven to be very powerful. There is an audience for this and holding webinars is a great way to reach a highly qualified segment. It also develops the team spirit and places the team’s expertise at the forefront to capitalize on our expertise”

If you want to contribute and help build coming sessions, follow this link.

I recommend Livestorm because it’s very easy to use and is capable of efficiently delivering targeted content to a niche audience. We’re convinced that sharing content this way is a must.

Estelle Seibert' Avatar

Estelle Seibert

Marketing Specialist

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