Already a leading provider of business software for SMEs in Europe, Exact needed to take its profile and growth to the next level. Integrating brand building and lead generation on LinkedIn enabled it to maximise engagement, substantially reduce Cost per Lead (CPL) and transform the value of its new business pipeline.

The Challenge

  • Increase brand and product awareness
  • Increase number and quality of leads
  • Monitor ROI and optimise activity throughout the funnel

Reversing the funnel to build reach and momentum

To fulfill its ambitious growth strategy, Exact needed to drive awareness and generate leads on a whole new scale. Global Digital Strategy & Innovations Director, Karsten Mosterd, saw how integrating these two areas of marketing could multiply the impact of both.

“With only small budgets available, we were struggling to get the reach we needed,” Karsten explains. “On LinkedIn we could invest in Sponsored Content that increased awareness at the same time as driving leads directly. We were able to bring all of our brand and communications teams together and give them a reason to buy into this activity – and we could be confident in our ROI because we were able to track the impact of our activity throughout the funnel.”

Karsten opted to build momentum for Exact’s LinkedIn activity by approaching the traditional marketing funnel upside down. “It made a lot of sense for us to focus on the low-hanging fruit first,” he says. “And so we used the LinkedIn retargeting capabilities to focus on visitors to relevant pages of our website and secure leads there. We then worked our way up the funnel, reaching new audiences by leveraging LinkedIn profile targeting.” 

It helped that Exact had content assets that Karsten knew would command attention in the LinkedIn feed. “You have to make content compelling and worthy of attention,” he says. “The brand partnership with Max Verstappen was really key to our success. It was perfectly timed with his rise in Formula 1 and we were able to combine that great brand asset with the ability to target very specific audiences and drive a really strong click-through rate.

The Solution

  • Sponsored Content in the LinkedIn feed
  • Creative leveraging Exact’s partnership with F1 driver Max Verstappen
  • Retargeting of website visitors through LinkedIn Matched Audiences
  • Conversion Tracking
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Linking awareness to leads and revenue

Tracking how engagement on LinkedIn contributed to later conversions was key to Karsten’s approach. “This identified the quality of traffic that LinkedIn was driving and the additional value of engagement on that platform,” he says. “A wide-ranging programmatic buy could deliver you 50,000 website visitors but perhaps only two leads. On LinkedIn, we’d drive less traffic but it would result in many more conversions and assisted conversions. LinkedIn traffic outperforms all other channels in terms of time on site, lowest bounce rate and greatest page depth. The value of generating awareness on that platform is therefore much, much higher.” 

When Karsten added LinkedIn Lead Gen forms to Exact’s Sponsored Content, the value of engagement on LinkedIn increased further still. “The flow of leads increased by around 300% with the CPL dropping dramatically,” he says.

Removing friction from the lead generation process is just one form of optimisation. “Being a good digital marketer means testing every option,” says Karsten. “We have experimented with different approaches to the creative content, to our bidding strategy and to our targeting – and we’re able to track the impact of these all the way through the funnel, not just in terms of click-through rates and engagement but eventual conversions as well.”

This commitment to optimisation – and to finding ways for brand and performance marketing to complement one another – has driven exceptional results for Exact. The 0.6% engagement rate for its Sponsored Content on LinkedIn is 142% higher than the industry benchmark, and a 20% increase in leads has seen LinkedIn content driving 255 direct and 308 aided conversions. 


  • Sponsored Content engagement rate of 0.6% (142% above benchmark)
  • 20% increase in leads, driving 255 direct conversions and 308 assisted conversions
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms reduced CPL by 100%
  • LinkedIn provided the highest-quality traffic of all Exact marketing activity (longest time on site, lowest bounce rate and highest page depth)

About Exact

Exact builds cloud business software for SMEs and their accountants. We are a global player with 400,000+ customers and 1,400 employees in 14 countries.

INDUSTRY:  Computer Software
NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 1,001-5,000
HQ LOCATION:  Delft, Netherlands
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Karsten Mosterd
Karsten Mosterd
Global Digital Strategy & Innovations Director