Client: Asterra

Services: Strategy, SEO, Paid Media, Social Media

Generating Demand for ASTERRA


Very few agencies ever have the honor of working with a company whose claims of a “game-changing” technology are actually true. They are true for our client ASTERRA.

ASTERRA developed a technology that allows it to locate leaks in underground pipes carrying drinking water and wastewater and to assess the condition of those pipes — from space. Using orbiting satellites to emit radar signals that penetrate Earth's surface, they see 1,400 sq. miles at once. And then create maps of underground leaks across entire systems so they can be speedily repaired.

Nothing even close to this capability had ever existed before, which is why the U.S. loses more than 2 trillion gallons* of processed drinking water to leaking pipes every year. If ever a game-changer was needed…

Key Results


Increase in contacts


Increase in site traffic


Increase in MQLs (over a 3 month period)

A new round of funding and other motivating challenges

Generating demand for ASTERRA offered challenges on multiple fronts:

  • Almost no one knew the capability existed to create natural demand
  • Skepticism did come naturally: You find underground leaks from space? Seriously?
  • Recently rebranded by VSSL from 'Utilis,' ASTERRA was now an unknown name on top of an unknown technology
  • And there was that new round of funding

Their second round of funding meant their technology had proven its viability and promise. But it also meant that expectations were now much higher. Prior to the name change, Utilis handled their own lead funnel. But their expertise was the science of Earth observation, not the art and science of digital demand generation. And with the new brand launched, it was time to let VSSL scale up their demand-gen program to meet ASTERRA's and their backers' new expectations.

Reaching ASTERRA's ideal customer

With the new brand announced, ASTERRA needed to see action fast, and we assembled an immediate demand-gen campaign around their existing assets. As that began to show results, our longer-term strategy was launched.

VSSL's demand-gen strategy was aimed at ASTERRA's 'ideal customer profile,' which we had worked with the client to define during the course of the rebrand. Identifying their ideal customers included interviews and extensive research into their prospects' professional roles, priorities, interests, vocabulary, and media habits.

Understanding the customer, and potential customers, is the most basic part of an effective demand-gen strategy. For one, it tells us where to reach our best prospects. LinkedIn? Google? Other platforms or media? We do extensive keyword research. And when we connect with potential customers, we know how to make our messages relevant. Even in the digital age, effective communication is human communication. It talks to people about what matters to them. Or it gets ignored.

Optimizing leads. Raising expectations.

As part of the new strategy, VSSL is using every available asset to attract attention, build the brand, and generate demand for ASTERRA's technology. We deploy webinars of successful engagements, scientific papers, videos, conference visits, and more as content in digital media to make the point that ASTERRA is here, it's real, and is already making its impact felt.

Within a few months of launching the new brand and demand-gen strategy, site traffic was up 58%. And the number of monthly contacts rose 300% from Sept '21 to the following January, using a balance of organic and paid search and social, content syndication, and direct communications.

But meaningful growth needs quality contacts. First, spam/deletes were quickly reduced by 34% and MQLs rose by 260%! With the funnel now growing vigorously, the focus is on using data to continually refine our tactics and pull in only genuine sales-qualified leads (SQLs), up 267% with the new program. Making sure every lead that comes in is worth going after is the expectation now.

According to the radar, there's so much growth ahead

Helping the world learn about this groundbreaking new technology and generating interest and demand is a project we're proud to be part of. What ASTERRA has done, and what VSSL is doing for them, is really at its dawn. And there's much more light to shed on the impact our client is making.

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