BrandAction Agency 1 E Erie St Suite 525-2297 Chicago, IL 60611


Launching an odyssey to shift how an organization goes to market.

What we did

Qualitative research   |   Market analysis and opportunity scoring   |   Market profile development   |   Persona development   |   Sales training presentations   |   Message maps   |   Marketing automation strategy   |   Content creation   |   Sales aids and collateral   |   Direct marketing   Infographics   |   Animated case studies

The challenge

Gates provides several application-specific fluid power and power transmission solutions to clients in various industries such as agriculture, automotive, food and beverage, and oil and mining, to name a few.


However, Gates’ products’ versatile applications related to specific industries were missing from their messaging to the end-user. Distributors continued to rely on price points and product features rather than leading with solutions and addressing the target audience’s pain points.


Our challenge was to help Gates transition from product and price-focused selling to a “how can we make things better for you” mindset that would ultimately help their sales team relate and respond better to their clients’ needs—by stepping in with the right solution at the right time.

The insight

Through qualitative research with Gates’ sales, marketing, and management teams combined with a thorough quantitative review of secondary data from business sources, we identified eleven niche markets which were prioritized and scored based on the size of the opportunity, drivers/barriers, target mindset, key messages and communication preferences.

This approach enabled us to successfully change their database’s orientation to the markets they were targeting instead of the product they were selling.

Leveraging our research findings, we launched Project Odyssey, an integrated marketing communications plan inspired by a “them, not us” philosophy from the book “The Challenger Sale.”

With customer needs at the core of all efforts, our content marketing strategy conveyed a sense of identification with the customer’s business problem and what they are currently doing, highlighting what they are missing. Finally, it describes a new approach that leads to a solution.

We supported sales and marketing efforts with various creative touchpoints, including marketing automation emails, white papers, animated case studies, expert tip videos, market-specific infographics, dimensional direct mail, and leave-behinds.


By creating a marketing council we helped improve sales and marketing alignment, a market guide informed distributors about key players, and a conversion guide helped guide the sales conversation.


The outcome

Project Odyssey wasn’t an “odyssey” by any means. For one reporting period, defined as one fiscal quarter, it generated 4000+ leads, 6% qualifies conversion rate, and 8% funnel conversion rate.

It generated a combined estimated $41,426,336 in closed-won sales across aggregates, continuous, longwall and surface mining, drilling, snack food, beverage, and meat processing end markets, making Project Odyssey one of the most successful campaigns Gates has executed to date.

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