Catholic Textbook Project (CTP) produces history textbooks that are authentically Catholic, rigorously accurate, and written in a compelling narrative format. In response to students’ dependence on secular and often biased history books, CTP developed an alternative option. They provide students and educators textbooks that offer the full story of history—books that authentically reveal how Christ and the Church have shaped and influenced history over the centuries.
CTP’s sales were stagnant. The brand was not fully realized. And the marketing strategy and website were not driving as many leads as they had hoped. As a result, CTP was on the lookout for a marketing agency to help them clarify and promote the value of their offerings to their target audience. They were looking to boost their marketing and advertising strategies to generate more frequent and higher quality leads for their sales team. And they also wanted a clearer articulation of their brand, with stronger visuals and more compelling messaging.
Most critically, they wanted a partner who understood the value of their particular mission to educate students in light of Truth. They wanted someone who could combine marketing and technical expertise with a deep and authentic commitment to the Catholic faith.
As CTP’s Vice President, Matt Sumers, puts it: “We have been blessed to find a company that holds the same values as we do—a company whose mission is committed to authentic Catholic teaching.”
We were passionate about equipping CTP with the support necessary to succeed in their mission of bringing Truth to young students.
We began by re-envisioning CTP’s brand, helping it take on a more modern expression in both visuals and messaging. While we did not alter the logo or core brand visuals, after sifting through CTP's current marketing collateral we created a style guide to help steer their marketing and branding decisions moving forward. This gave us an anchor for re-thinking their marketing and advertising strategies.
Thinking back on this phase of our collaboration, Matt recalls the efficiency and clarity that we brought to this exercise: “I cannot believe how fast 5 Stones understood our company’s values, mission, and vision. With this understanding, they were able to present a 5-year marketing strategy that was comprehensive, creative, and visionary. That strategy has propelled us to where we are today—a company on the grow!”
We then looked at their email strategy. Understanding the rich opportunities available on this channel to engage their target audience, we created an automated lead nurturing campaign to share CTP's unique and mission-driven story over a series of targeted emails.
Next, we thought about how to best allocate their spending. We redistributed their advertising budget to focus on social, display, and email ads, in addition to print and event sponsorships, resulting in a more robust and well-rounded marketing strategy.
We then turned our attention to their website. We knew their marketing website needed to focus more on their powerful story and God-given mission. So we got to work and were able to launch a brand new website only a few months after the budget was approved.
Finally, we partnered with CTP on customer service and sales support. After being trained by CTP’s sales team, our customer service team began following up with their leads—both old and new—to help their internal sales team turn them into customers.
When we brought on 5 Stones as our marketing consultants, we had no idea that we would be using their customer service and sales support (which I need to say have brought us great results). We now use 5 Stones for fulfillment services too—a decision we wish we had made years ago.
It didn't take long for our new branding, email, and digital advertising initiatives to hit their stride. Within the first full sales cycle, leads and sales began to rise by approximately 100 percent.
Then once we launched the new, narratively-driven website, leads jumped by another 400 percent. The success of these initiatives allowed us to spend more on digital advertising to keep the momentum going.
Matt reflects on this success again, sharing “When I came to CTP 5 years ago, there were 2-3 sources where our opportunities came from: word of mouth, our annual History Essay Contest, and email campaigns. Today our leads are coming from 10-12 different marketing strategies which has resulted in over 400% increase in potential sales.”
The efforts of our customer service team in partnership with CTP were similarly successful. Our team helped generate new sales and re-engaged previously cold leads almost immediately.
Having partnered with CTP on four of our core services—technology, marketing, design, and customer service—they eventually decided to take advantage of our Fulfillment service, moving their inventory and logistics operation to our warehouse.
Ultimately, our partnership with Catholic Textbook Project has been tremendously blessed—and one for which we’re extremely grateful. They have grown steadily since we began working with them a few years ago, and the last four years have been the most prosperous in the company’s more than 20-year history. We’re happy to report that CTP continues to partner with us on all of our five services.