A new approach to an emerging market, targeting end users

Global water leader Pentair’s foodservice division wanted to drive demand at the user level to create pull for its distributors – a first for its marketing and sales teams. To accomplish this, it needed to lay the foundation for digital lead generation programs, which was something it had experimented with, but not yet heavily invested in. For Pentair, this meant implementing a marketing automation platform and running a successful campaign it could leverage for future learnings.

While Pentair is a well-known company, its foodservice division’s Everpure® brand, which features water filtration solutions, had yet to reach its desired share of specific emerging markets. 90octane and Pentair Foodservice worked together to identify and prioritize target audiences for its digital lead generation efforts.

Grocery stores and QSRs are using more water than ever in day-to-day operations – from beverage dispense to produce misters to combi ovens – making them a high-value audience for Pentair. So together, 90octane and Pentair Foodservice decided to target end users in grocery stores and QSRs with educational content. Using 90octane’s Lead Calendar™, which took into account budgets, revenue objectives, and anticipated return, we set a goal of generating 452 inquiries tied to marketing efforts.

  • Strategy
  • Storytelling
  • Design
  • Social Media
  • Media
  • Email
  • Marketing Automation


Develop a highly targeted lead generation campaign with a follow-on nurture email series.

Water quality can vary by location – even by pipe – and when water isn’t treated properly, contaminants can cause equipment problems and unanticipated maintenance time, and affect the quality and consistency of food and beverages. Many end users don’t understand the enormity of water quality’s impact on their products, customer retention, and ultimately, profits.

To reach and educate the operations, facilities, and maintenance personnel at grocery and QSR organizations about how water quality impacts profits, 90octane created a highly targeted lead generation campaign with a follow-on lead nurture email series.

First, we built the foundation of the program by implementing Marketo – a marketing automation platform – to capture and track leads. Then, we created and executed a media plan that consisted of paid social, content syndication, and placements in niche industry publications. Because Pentair didn’t have very many segment-specific assets targeting end users, we drafted new, tailored educational assets including white papers and an FAQ guide. We also were able to incorporate existing offers into the program, such as a water testing kit and product catalog.

After launching the plan, we continuously optimized the program, updating banner ads, combining assets into a single high-value offer, and being nimble with budgets. If one tactic wasn’t performing, we’d optimize it or move the money to another higher-performing channel.

Once a prospect engaged with the media program, they received a six-email lead nurturing series, which featured relevant content and assets to help them advance through the buyer’s journey. We scored their engagement level in Marketo, passing marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) to the sales team for further conversations.


The program not only met the overall campaign goal, but exceeded it by 62 leads from targeted titles in high-profile companies.

Building the foundation for digital lead generation campaigns and targeting a niche audience allowed us to gather several media, targeting, and messaging insights that Pentair will be able to leverage for future campaigns.

The program has generated 514 leads from over 300 top QSR accounts.

Snapshot of companies and titles that engaged with the campaign:

Dunkin’ Donuts
Giant Eagle
Dairy Queen
Jamba Juice
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Corner Bakery
Domino’s Pizza
Director of Installation/Maintenance/Repair
Director of Operations
Manager of Quality Assurance/Safety
Foodservice & C-Store Equipment Specialist
Director of Facilities and Construction

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