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Customer story

Vapaus

Strategic marketing and ICP (re)definition to grow in Finland

About Vapaus

Vapaus offers a benefit bike service for employers. Through Vapaus: 

  • Employees can get a quality bike at a lower price than on the market as well as a service package for maintenance.
  • Companies get to support their employees’ well-being and help them to lower their carbon footprint. 

Vapaus’ ultimate goal is nothing less than to contribute to a global mobility revolution by providing sustainable mobility solutions that do not produce direct emissions. They want to benefit companies and employees—both at work and during their leisure time.

Our collaboration with Vapaus began in 2022, with monthly HubSpot support. Shortly after, we became their strategic marketing partner and our partnership extended to marketing and sales operations.

In the time, we have worked together, we’ve built a rock-solid marketing strategy, refocused Vapaus’ ideal customer profile, clarified their offering and messaging, and begun to work in agile sprints.

Services provided

Marketing & advertising strategy
ICP research, positioning, messaging
Content marketing
Marketing as a Service

Starting point

What Vapaus needed help with

  • Vapaus is a young and fast-growing company. For most of 2021, they had been building processes for marketing, sales, and customer support. There was no time to actually do marketing.
  • Vapaus had so many marketing needs that it had become difficult to see the forest from the trees. They wanted a partner who could help them identify and prioritize what needed to be done and work on what was crucial for the business now. 
  • They were also looking for a partner who could suggest and deploy a wide variety of ideas and actions. In other words, they wanted a partner who could build a strategic marketing mindset into their entire marketing operations. 

Why Vapaus chose Advance B2B

  • They enjoyed working with us on their HubSpot development – so it felt natural to expand our cooperation.
  • From the negotiation phase, Vapaus felt that we understood their business.
  • Vapaus liked that they got solutions and suggestions on how to build their marketing operation already in the offer they received from us. They felt confident in the expertise of our marketers.

Building the first marketing strategy

Vapaus had been moving so fast as a company that they did not have an updated written business strategy at the time our collaboration started.

Usually, we base our marketing strategy on the business strategy to ensure that marketing is aligned with the business.

Despite this situation, the strategy process went smoothly thanks to a couple of things:

  • Even though the business strategy was not written down, Vapaus’ management, marketing, and sales had a common understanding of their business, which allowed us to build a marketing strategy that was aligned with their goals.
  • Everyone at Vapaus was eager and committed to the strategy process, which was instrumental in getting things moving quickly from the start.

"The entire strategy work went really smoothly. I was surprised by how quickly things progressed and strategy materials were delivered to us. It was all done in a couple of sprints. It was quick, comprehensive, and clear.”

Lotta Vänskä
Growth Lead

Lotta Vänskä

Influencing Vapaus' business strategy 

Marketing and business strategy need to be aligned.

In most cases, the marketing strategy comes after the business strategy. In this scenario, and because the business strategy wasn't yet properly formalized, our marketing strategy helped to refine parts of Vapaus' business strategy.

The management team found new angles and ways of crystallizing their mission and vision as well as who their clients are.

That has not always been the case. As a young start-up, funding is crucial at this stage of its growth. There have been moments when balancing funding and investing in marketing has meant tough decisions. But making them has also been educational for the company.

"If your management is missing a person with a strong marketing background, marketing is the first thing to suffer during tough economic times. I do not recommend that to anyone. If you downgrade your marketing, your entire business suffers.”

Lotta Vänskä
Growth Lead

Lotta Vänskä

Expanding the ICP

The ICP workshop and customer research made Vapaus realize that their target audience was too narrow.

As part of our marketing strategy process, we:

  • ran an ideal customer workshop,
  • interviewed Vapaus’ best customers,
  • aggregated the interview data into an in-depth ideal customer profile (ICP) to fuel our every move.

They focused on cyclists who are passionate about biking, ride all year round, and have the means and willingness to invest in expensive gear.

The research made them understand that there is a wider untapped potential: everyday cyclists who enjoy biking but who don’t need to be spandex-wearing triathlons.

"The customer research helped us to see the wider potential. It was also really well written out in the strategy. So well that we copied it straight to our new business strategy.”

Lotta Vänskä
Growth Lead

Lotta Vänskä

“I enjoy our cooperation and want to expand it. I like my AB2B team and I hope we get to work together for a long time.”

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Providing structure with agile sprints

Working in an agile model is not always easy to dive straight in.

In Vapaus’ case, the 4-week sprints have helped their growth team find a structure for their work, and they have adopted the sprint model in internal Growth work, too. Vapaus learned to: 

  • Set realistic timeframes and deadlines. 
  • Bring in other experts to work on a project and make sure that everyone is working towards a common goal. 
  • Get buy-in and commitment from everyone involved in a project
  • Ensure that they prioritize and do the right things

Working as one team

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why Vapaus chose us as their partner was how well we worked together initially on HubSpot projects. This chemistry between us and the people at Vapaus has continued and even deepened along the way.

One of the secrets of working as a team comes from the fact that our clients get a team of marketers who all have their expertise and roles but are not tied by those roles. No matter the role, everyone in the team can voice their opinions and challenge the opinions of others.

“As the only marketer at Vapaus, I feel that AB2B is my team. They are a group of experts from whom I get support. I get deep expertise from them that I don’t have in-house.”

Top highlights so far

Since the strategy phase, we have been systematically working towards the goals set in the strategy. This work has included things like: 

  • Improving SEO
  • Clarifying messaging 
  • Creating conversion paths on the website
  • Building an email list and launching a newsletter
  • Raising awareness among employees

What’s next for Vapaus and Advance B2B?

Our cooperation is still in the early stages but the strategy is solid, the goals are clear and the world is full of bikers. 🚴

Over the next few months, we’ll continue to execute the tactics set out in the strategy and work towards making marketing part of Vapaus.IO’s growth wheel. 

“I enjoy our cooperation and want to expand it. I like my AB2B team and I hope we get to work together for a long time.”

Let's have a talk!

If you’d like to talk to us about working together, your best bet is our calendar below. Find a time that's most convenient for you and simply book it! You'll be booked with someone from our sales team.

Alternatively, you can fill out this form and we’ll hit you back with an email within the next 24 hours (unless it’s the weekend or a national holiday, in which case we might take a tad longer, you know how that goes).