Buy vs Build whitepaper


Orion First offers full-service loan and lease portfolio management, credit scoring and decisioning products, commercial collection services and strategic advisory to the small business commercial lending industry. But the industry is changing.

The Challenge

Orion initially assumed its competition was other loan and lease portfolio servicers. But a surge in available software products has led many commercial lenders—Orion’s customers—to buy expensive portfolio management programs. Our analysis showed the bigger threat to be indirect: the increased pressure these lenders feel to buy their own software, as opposed to contracting with a third-party servicer like Orion. 


How do you effectively respond to indirect competition? 

The Solution

Change the conversation.


By approaching the problem from an outcomes standpoint, we saw that Orion’s customers might be shopping for software—but the problem they are looking to solve isn’t a lack of software. They want an undemanding means to provide better customer service while ideally lowering their operational costs.


And that’s just what they think they’re getting when they try to build in-house software solutions. Orion simply meets these outcomes better.


We developed a yearlong “Buy vs. Build” campaign to educate small business lenders on the challenges and risks in building an internal management system, and compared those to the benefits of outsourcing to a third party portfolio servicer like Orion.

Device Frame

While software companies were placing ads in industry publications competing with each other over who had the best system or the latest upgrade, we placed ads proposing a new alternative to purchasing software. We changed the question from “which software?” to “why software?’’ 


We also coordinated a direct mail campaign using LinkedIn’s InMail feature.


By changing the conversation and shifting customer focus from products to outcomes, we highlighted the clear advantages of a third-party loan and lease servicer.

White Paper

We developed a white paper and promoted it via email campaigns, sponsored social messages, digital and print advertisements, in-person at industry conferences, and polypacked with industry magazines and mailed to subscribers. 


A landing page captured leads when prospects downloaded the white paper. An automated email workflow followed up on the salesperson’s behalf while simultaneously assigning leads to the appropriate sales staff in SalesForce. Our LinkedIn campaign linked directly to the white paper landing page.

The Results

Prospects praised the white paper, which helped to shorten Orion’s sales cycle. In the first year alone, Orion added 68 qualified opportunities, an increase of more than five hundred percent. Citing the white paper as an influence, new clients helped Orion reach a recent milestone of more than one billion dollars under management. 


The Buy vs. Build landing page was responsible for 28.49% of all incoming web traffic in 2019—the second highest entrance page after the home page, and nearly the same volume.



207 unique leads $1.35 cost per lead



589 impressions on LinkedIn Campaign

We change the conversation to drive engagement.