FoundationDB developed revolutionary NoSQL database software, but they were competing in a crowded field with companies 10x their size. FoundationDB had no reliable process for generating leads and converting leads into trial users and eventually customers. Sales reps had to constantly chase prospects and inbound opportunities were limited.


Within 3 months, we increased their monthly trials from approximately 750 to 3400, a 350% increase, and decreased cost per trial by 75%. During the same period we were able to increase traffic by 100% without increasing marketing spend.

*FoundationDB was successfully acquired by Apple in early 2015


  • Previous marketing service provider was using trademark infringement and trickery to boost clicks.
  • 95% of trial download via previous marketing companies originated from 3rd world countries (largely wasted money).
  • An estimated 20% of all trial downloads prior to working with Van Bram were bot traffic or fraud.

Despite these problems, Van Bram was able to increase FoundationDB’s monthly trials in absolute terms by about 350%, even with fraudulent trials included in the previous benchmark!

Increase in Monthly Trials


Paid Search:
Paid and organic search campaigns brought in-house. Created custom campaigns for each facet of the brand.

Content Amplification:
Promoted long-form non-branded blog content across similar content publishers. Lowest cost/session of any paid medium.

Display Advertising:
Upgraded display advertising campaigns from self-service tools to an enterprise platform, AppNexus, which offered better targeting, optimization, quality controls and huge cost savings.

Dynamic Retargeting:
Dynamically retargeted audiences based on site behavior across various advertising channels using AppNexus.


Competitor Comparisons:
Developed compehensive comparison materials and landing pages (vs. Cassandra, Datastax, Riak, Redis, HBase, BerkeleyDB, MongoDB, etc.)

Analytics & Tracking:
Incorporated a tool in Google analytics to allow more granular time-on-site measurement. Linked AdWords and Analytics accounts for in-depth AdWords data directly into Analytics. Organized UTM tracking across all mediums.

Site Optimization:
Added Optimizely to the website for A/B testing and custom content targeting to users.

Created a branding guide (brand book) and customer-product intersection model to focus FoundationDB’s message on the top value drivers and make all marketing collateral consistent.


Growth of total monthly downloads:
748 to 3374 = 351% increase (500% annualized)

Monthly growth rate of total downloads:
16.3% increase (monthly avg)

Overall cost per download:
75% decrease

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