Category Archives: Tips

 

The beginning of a new year can be a magical thing. It’s a time of new beginnings, a reset on personal and professional goals, and hopefully new marketing budgets! If you’re anything like us, you’ve been prepping for the new year for a while—reviewing your year-end results, building out your marketing plan, and outlining SMART goals for your teams that support overall company and sales goals.

 

But, if you’re feeling a bit behind in your new year planning already, that’s OK too. We’ve put together a quick guide to getting your marketing team setup for success in January and beyond.

 

Understand where you’ve been successful.

It’s hard to know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been. Take some time to measure what campaigns were most successful across email, social, your website, webinars, and events. Look at your standard engagement metrics and connect your opportunities and closed business back to the campaigns your customers interacted with to paint a picture of your customer journey and the supporting marketing campaigns.

 

 

Take stock of the marketing metrics at your fingertips, and those you’re missing.

If you’re missing pieces of the puzzle when looking back at what success was like for you in the previous year, start asking what metrics you could track to fill in the blanks. Are there fields you can require in your CRM system that will fill in data points you don’t currently have? Do you need to make sure UTM parameters are added to your links on social so you can connect content created by marketing to where they’re most accessed and shared? Think through what data will help you prove the success of your marketing initiatives, and start tracking now!

 

 

Establish a baseline.

Once you know what’s worked and how you’re going to measure to prove it, you can establish a baseline. If your average incoming marketing qualified leads number per month was 50 when you ran 5 campaigns that month, you know you probably won’t be able to double to 100 MQLs and do 5 similar campaigns. Use the data you have to tell a story, to give you benchmarks to measure against, and set realistic monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.

 

 

Always keep your end goal in mind.

At the end of the day, marketing’s goal is often to support sales and overarching company goals. So you need to understand what those goals are and where marketing is responsible for driving them. If you’re only responsible for sourcing 20% of new opportunities, and sales is responsible for sourcing 80%, your measure of success will look a lot different than if the equation was flipped.  With sales sourcing the majority of leads, marketing efforts will likely focus more on middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel supporting activities to help your sales teams close more business. Understanding sales and the leadership team’s expectations of you will help you prioritize and focus your marketing plan for the year.

 

 

Schedule in regular reviews, and be flexible to change.

Just like your new year gym schedule will probably change a bit come March, your marketing plan will, and should, too! Establish a regular schedule to review the metrics you have (this will help ensure you are consistently tracking data so it will be easier to set benchmarks for next year too). Discuss what’s working and what isn’t, based on what the numbers are showing, and don’t be afraid to make micro changes to your plans accordingly. The best marketing campaigns start out experimenting with a hypothesis, and it’s better to have built agile processes that you can switch up when something isn’t working, than go the whole year with a faulty campaign and have to suffer the consequences come December.

 

Looking for more guidance on making sure your marketing and sales processes are setup for success in the new year?

 

Reach out to our consulting team, we’d be happy to share our best practices metrics dashboard, provide suggestions, and even help with campaign execution to make sure you hit your goals this year.

 

Category Archives: Tips

Emoji use by brands in campaigns has risen a huge 609% year-over-year (from 2016 to 2017) in digital communications – Email Marketing Daily

Emojis are, for better or worse, a huge trend for consumers. So it’s no surprise that more and more brands are choosing to incorporate emojis into their email subject lines. But do they work?

A couple studies have come out recently saying they do, if used appropriately.

Emojis have some pretty clear benefits for email marketing. By using emojis in place of some text, you’re able to convey more in less characters. The average mobile inbox only shows 30-40 characters in the subject line. By incorporating one or two emojis, you can take full advantage of that space.

Plus with a couple of emojis in a sea of text subject lines you’ve got a better chance of grabbing your reader’s attention without affecting deliverability. 

According to the Emoji Use in Email Subject Lines report, which looked at emojis in emails compared to text-only subject lines throughout one year, subject lines using emojis has a higher read rate than comparable text-only subject lines.

However, there is a risk of emoji email oversaturation as emojis become more and more popular for brands. In a recent Mailjet study using a/x testing (testing up to 10 variations of the same email) they found that overall open rates with emails using emojis went slightly down from 31.5% in 2016 to 28.1% in 2017. The ❤️ emoji being the top emoji for open rates.

 

2016-2017 Emojis

(Source: Mailjet)

 

So how do you make sure your emoji-laden email is one that gets opened?

  • Stay consistent with your brand and tone — as a marketer you know your organization and audience better than anyone, if an emoji isn’t in line with your brand, stick to your gut and take it out!
  • Test, test and test again before sending. Verify whether the emojis you want to use will render correctly across email clients and browsers.
  • Implement A/B testing for your email campaign with a subject line using emojis and plain text to collect performance data.
  • Don’t overdo it! Use emojis in moderation so you’re not oversaturating your audience.
  • Make sure your emojis have a purpose. Whether they’re conveying an emotion, visualizing your brand, or just telling a story, don’t just add them because you feel like it.

Do you ❤️  the idea of emojis in subject lines? Check out the Emojipedia for a full encyclopedia of every emoji that you can copy and paste into your email subject lines. You can also see how certain emojis should render on different devices or browsers.

If you’d like more tips on using emojis for your audience or have some examples of brands doing emojis well, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Data-driven marketing is no longer an option in today’s world, it’s a requirement. Modern marketers know that in order to successfully engage their customers, they need to understand them inside and out, and communicate with them according to their needs and expectations along the customer lifecycle.

This approach generally means collecting a lot of data – from IP addresses cookied on your website, to form fills and social media interactions – marketing is often the owner of the customer profile data used for ongoing marketing campaigns to prospects, customers and partners.

Now, for organizations with any kind of activity or customers in the EU, the regulations around how that data is collected, stored, and accessed are becoming more stringent with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Does the GDPR affect your business? If it does, how will you have to change your marketing activities in the future? What is the deadline for compliance? We’ve got these answers and more below where we compiled the highlights you need to get ready for the GDPR.

If you’re looking for a deeper dive, check out our on-demand webinar for more specific tips on how GDPR will affect your business, and what you can do to prepare.

What is the GDPR

The GDPR is a digital privacy regulation from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. It was created in April, 2016 and will become enforceable on May 25th, 2018. Failure to comply after that could entail up to €20 million in fines or 4% of your global turnover.

The intent of the GDPR is to give EU citizens more control over their data privacy and standardize regulations for any business working with an EU citizen’s data (whether the company is located in the EU or not). The last time the data privacy laws in the EU were updated was in 1995. A lot has changed since then with the rise of social media, smartphones, and marketing so it follows that the personal data privacy laws needed a refresher.

Who does the GDPR apply to

Once you start digging more into the language of the GDPR, you’ll see reference to three main entities that the GDPR involves:

  1. The data subject – This is the person whose data is being collected. If your data subject resides in the EU, then the GDPR applies to your company regardless of whether you are located in the EU or not.
  2. The data controller – This is the organization that is collecting or housing the data subject’s data (ie your company!).
  3. The data processor – This is the organization (or software) that processes data on behalf of the data controller. For the majority of our marketing clients, the data processor is Marketo (or any marketing automation platform) and Salesforce (or any CRM).

What data does the GDPR apply to

The GDPR applies to a pretty broad sense of personal data. According to the European Commission, “personal data is any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

What the GDPR means for marketing

By now it should be clear that digital marketers are involved with a lot of the data the GDPR applies to. So it follows that there are a couple specific areas where the GDPR is going to change marketing processes.

1.Explicit Opt In

Under the GDPR, your contacts must now explicitly give consent for you to collect any of their personal data. Consent is clearly defined by the GDPR as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes” using  “a clear affirmative action.”

What does this mean in layman’s terms? Basically, assuming that anyone who fills out a contact us form can now be marketed to is no longer going to cut it. You need to collect explicit opt ins for any further communications.

Here’s a great example of a GDPR compliant opt in form versus a non-compliant form. Note the explicit check box (not just a message at the bottom of the form) that allows contacts to opt in to receive future marketing communications.

gdpr-compliant-web-forms

Source: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr-marketing/

2. Data Transparency

Your contacts under the GDPR will have more control over how you collect and use their data. This includes their right to request a report of where their data is being used, and taking that a step further, requesting that you completely erase their data from your records.

This means that you will need to provide contacts with access to their data and the ability to rescind consent. Marketo will require an unsubscribe link in any email you send, but you can also customize your unsubscribe and preferences pages to give your contacts more control about how they receive communications from you.

3. Data Justification

GDPR requires you to legally justify the processing of the personal data you collect. This means you’re only collecting data from your contacts that will directly relate back to the value you are providing them as a company. Just like in the above two requirements, you will need to be prepared to come with receipts. During an audit, you must be able to prove not only what data you have (#2) but why you have that specific data and what value it brings to that contact. At the end of the day you need to prove the data you are collecting is always in the best interest of the contact.

How is Marketo responding

As the data processor, your CRM and marketing automation systems have specific responsibilities for compliance with the GDPR. Marketo has stated on numerous occasions their full commitment to compliance with the GDPR as a data processor:

“Marketo will be in compliance with the GDPR by May 25th, 2018 and Marketo’s services already include the functionality necessary for our customers to comply with the GDPR’s consent requirement. We have carefully examined the relevant provisions of the GDPR and we are closely tracking applicable GDPR guidance issued by regulatory authorities. These steps are helping us to develop tools for our customers relevant to GDPR-compliant use of Marketo’s services.”

The main responsibility as a data processor under the GDPR is data protection. One way data processors comply with full data protection is by implementing pseudonymisation to their data. The GDPR refers to pseudonymisation as “the processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information.”

One example of of pseudonymisation is encryption, which essentially makes it so that the original data cannot be read without a decryption key. Under the GDPR this decryption key must be kept separate from the pseudonym data.

Getting started with compliance

So you’ve established that the GDPR applies to your company. While many of the compliance activities we’ve covered in this post involve marketing, ultimately it will be a company-wide data governance effort to make sure you are fully compliant with the GDPR. So where do you start?

  • Start building your data governance team – Work with company leadership to prioritize a committee for GDPR compliance to ensure that the effort extends across your entire organization.
  • Assess your current compliance state – Evaluate your existing data processes. What systems are currently processing any type of personal data? What’s the process for updating and removing data from these systems? Document where you are or aren’t compliant with the GDPR within these systems and use that as a baseline for where to focus your efforts.
  • Create your data opt in and request processes – This is where you’ll get into the meat of designing your full GDPR compliance. Walk through everywhere you collect personal data, and make sure you’re posting privacy notices and are fully compliant with explicit opt ins for data consent. Evaluate any issues with security and document how you will detect and respond to any breaches. Determine the process for when your contacts request to access or delete their data. Start outlining how you will train the rest of the company on all of these processes.
  • Compile documentation – Under the GDPR you’re required to supply copies of all of the above processes. Start collecting your documentation for your opt in forms, privacy notices, employe trainings, and any other processes you have in place to handle the processing of personal data and requests from contacts.

Have a question about the GDPR or just looking for some help in making sure your company is fully compliant?

Check out our on-demand webinar, “Spooked by GDPR” or contact us for more information.

 

Category Archives: Tips

Originally Posted on CMOnation by Marketo. 

Bringing marketing automation into any organization requires buy in from a variety of executives. For marketers to make a case for an automation platform at an executive level, it is important to outline a plan that considers the benefits and ROI that apply to the entire organization.

Recently, Leadous hosted an event featuring marketing leaders from across the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to talk about just that – how your marketing team can convince your C-Suite to see the true value of marketing automation for your company.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the panelists:

  • Angie Franks, CEO/Chairman of the Board, Central Logic
  • LeAnn Case, EVP of Marketing, CU Companies
  • Sam Archbold, Director of Digital Marketing: B2B, US Bank

Getting your C-suite to pay attention

The key question to ask (and answer!) when getting your C-suite on board with a new technology purchase is, “What problem will this help our company solve?”

“Technology does not solve problems, it enables your team to solve problems,” said Angie. Make sure you bring that specific problem (and the way the technology will enable your team to solve it) when you are suggesting marketing automation as a solution; don’t just present it as a piece of technology you’d like to have. At the end of the day, “trust from your senior leadership is important,” added LeAnn. “They should trust your judgement in this investment, and know what to expect from your decisions.”

Stay focused on the data

At the end of the day, marketing automation is providing you with a tool to interpret and act on data. “That data can support decisions across the business, even if everyone doesn’t like it,” said Sam. How your team may talk internally about products and services differs from how customers interpret it. Use the tools within marketing automation like A/B testing to know what customers are actually responding to versus what we think they’ll respond to.

Marketing automation broadens the effect of marketing on the business

Beyond just lead generation, marketing automation allows for a multi-tiered marketing approach for all stages of the customer funnel. “From onboarding new customers to upselling additional products and services, marketing automation is a tool that can help support the entire lifecycle of your customers,” said Sam. “Provide cross-sell and upsell opportunities, go through onboarding, specific content tracks, and other activities that go way beyond lead generation as supporting documentation for the value of marketing automation. It can become a communications distribution tool for all stages of the funnel.”

By presenting marketing automation as a versatile tool across the lifecycle of the customer, it also becomes more of a problem solver (see “Getting your C-suite to pay attention” above) to support the broader organizational goals. The more departments you can get on board with your overall marketing strategy, the more agile and invaluable the work you’re doing with marketing automation will become, and you’ll have fewer silos across the organization, along with a more cohesive brand identity. That’s a win for everyone.

A new relationship between sales and marketing

Marketing automation has the potential to truly change the game between sales and marketing. It arms sales with new data “to understand who they’re calling and why,” says Angie. By understanding the value and lifetime per client, you can determine how to best replicate the buying behavior through marketing paths and bring your sales team more qualified leads, more efficiently. What sales team wouldn’t be on board with that?

The number one takeaway

“Go beyond simple lead generation to focus on your overall company’s growth strategy and how marketing automation can support that,” Angie said. Look at where there are specific problems and inefficiencies and how marketing automation specifically solves those problems. By translating marketing automation into a company problem-solver (not just a marketing department problem-solver), the C-Suite will see the true value that marketing automation can deliver.

Once you’ve convinced your C-suite to get on board, your next step is a successful implementation to make sure you’re set up for success.

For top insights and assistance with the marketing implementation and optimization process, click here.

Category Archives: Tips

The age old question – to outsource or not to outsource – is a constant struggle, especially in marketing. The marketing world is changing as quickly as the technology is. True experts in marketing automation are in high demand and experience high turnover, which means it can be expensive and time consuming to hire. But the same can be said for finding the right fit for an agency to work with. So which do you go with?

We say both…just hear us out!

Marketing automation is a relatively new concept, the percentage of companies that don’t use marketing automation is greater than those who use it.   And for those that do, we’ve often found they’re only scratching the surface of what they can truly accomplish with marketing automation. A consultation partner can fill the gap when getting your team trained and supported and make sure there’s a consistent and effective implementation of your marketing automation system.

The best partners will also show you how to leverage the components that are right for your business (not just try to sell you everything you don’t need) and keep you up to date on new and changing features. They take marketing teams from novice to experts and can help support more complex automation strategies that could take a beginner months to get started with. By building and supporting the framework for your marketing automation system, they help make sure your team is set up for success no matter their experience level.

Essentially, getting marketing automation to work for your business involves a team of people working together inside and outside of the company:

  1. Executive support who has visibility into the analytics coming from the system, and what those trends mean for the business as a whole.
  2. Campaign level team members who understand the ins-and-outs of the company and have quick access to internal resources like IT, product and sales to get questions answered quickly.
  3. A partner that helps guide, drive and recommend changes to help drive quick return and problem solve with your marketing team.

The value a partner provides goes beyond just knowing how marketing automation works, they should be offering true consultative services that analyze your business and how they can best support you, whether you have 1 or 20 people on your marketing team.

If you’d like more information on how Leadous serves as a marketing automation consultation partner to companies looking to up their marketing game contact us.

Category Archives: Tips

Marketing automation platforms understandably receive a lot of hype among marketers today as the “silver bullet” that can magically grow your revenue and increase the impact of marketing.

While marketing automation platforms can yield awesome results, the reality is, there is no one silver bullet for marketing. There’s no easy button to push on a marketing automation platform that will instantly flood your inbox with leads and grow your business exponentially, unfortunately.

The expectation of instantaneous results from marketing automation is a dangerous one. It’s not good for your marketing team, especially since you’re justifying the dollars you spend and are on the line for the results you bring into the company.

Here are a couple misconceptions about marketing automation to avoid when you’re considering (or in the midst of) implementing your marketing automation system.

1. Once you’re implemented, you’re done.

This takes us back to the easy button. In order to implement a successful marketing automation platform, it takes careful planning, analysis and iteration on what seems like a daily basis based on the data your platform is collecting. The process of optimizing your platform is never really done if you’re doing it well!

2. All you need is Marketo. Or Pardot. Or Hubspot. Or Eloqua. Etc.

Marketo is an enormously robust platform. But if you don’t have have a database of targets or a content portfolio that you can leverage, you are seriously limiting the impact you can make. Marketo shines in its ability to handle large swaths of data and personalized content paths that engage your audience based on their behaviors. So if you don’t yet have much of an audience or content to engage with, you might want to think through some of the supporting marketing activities that will make your marketing automation platform truly sing.

3. Marketing is the only team that needs to be involved in the purchase of marketing automation.

I don’t know what your marketing-sales dynamic is. You could be besties. Or constant frenemies. Either way, you know that both of your successes are tied to one another, which means with a platform as important as marketing automation, you need to have sales involved in the decision, setup and calibration of the platform. It’s important to understand what goals you are trying to hit for sales and get real time feedback on incoming leads so you know how to best deliver quality leads that they can convert. At the end of the day, you’ll both be better off for it.

Marketing automation is an amazing strategic tool that can change how you market. It won’t however replace a great product, tight process or grit. If you want help getting started or optimizing your Marketo platform, contact Leadous!

Category Archives: Tips

 

On our blog we’ve covered all things lead scoring with Marketo from what lead scoring is, to where to begin scoring leads at your company, to common mistakes made when scoring. Now it’s time to get into some of the more advanced techniques you can employ when lead scoring with Marketo. Moving beyond just behavioral and demographic lead scoring for a minute, there are three additional strategies you can use to better predict which leads are most likely to buy, giving you more insight than ever into your prospective buyers.

 

1) Product Scoring

 

Product scoring can be a complex strategy to implement depending on the size and scope of the product offerings at your organization. The concept, however, is simple. Product scoring measures a lead’s interest and fit for a distinct product or service (assuming your company offers more than one).

 

By scoring based on product interest, you can also prioritize your most popular (and profitable) products to steer your prospects into a lead nurturing campaign with a cohesive message that shows your company and products in the best light possible.

 

2) Account Scoring

 

Most of the time a purchasing decision is not made by one person, but a team of people. Depending on the cost and industry, there could be a whole buying committee reviewing your product. That’s where account scoring can come in handy.

 

If multiple contacts from one account are engaging with your marketing, you (and your sales team) want to know about that quickly and easily without having to wade through the data to figure it out. Using account scoring, you can group together contacts from one account to track their activities and determine sales-readiness. More on account scoring from Marketo can be found here.

 

3) Score Reduction

 

In marketing, you could argue that one of the most important things to focus on is a clean database. And your scoring model is no exception to that rule. With lead scoring, it’s easy to focus on the positive/action-driven scoring models. But you also need to think about leads who may be giving you all the signs that they’re engaging with you, but aren’t actually sales prospects. These could be job seekers for your company downloading brochures and visiting your careers page. Or they could be prospects who became clients. Or prospects who won’t be ready to purchase for a long time.

 

Either way, you’ll want to set boundaries on your lead scores to ensure a clean marketing pipeline. Putting a scoring reduction model in place that caps or removes scoring points after a lead is inactive for a certain number of days, visits the careers page of your site, becomes a client, and so on is an essential strategy to keep your pipeline accurate.

 

These three advanced strategies will help give your marketing and sales teams a crystal clear view of your lead pipeline and the prospects who are ready to buy.

 

Want some help employing some of the more advanced lead scoring strategies using Marketo at your company? Give us a shout!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

In our last few blog posts, we’ve talked about what lead scoring is and how to get started with a lead scoring program. Lead scoring programs take quite a bit of initial effort to get up and running, and you want to translate that work into results! To support that effort, here are the top 5 most common lead scoring mistakes we see in our clients, and how you can avoid them.

 

1) Asking the prospect too many (or too detailed) qualification questions in forms

 

It’s tempting to ask your prospects every question possible in your forms to qualify them as sales ready leads. Remember to consider that prospects may not be filling in fully accurate information, especially if you’re asking for details they might not even know (such as trying to determine their sales ready status by asking BANT information — Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline). Try to use progressive profiling, and only ask information appropriate to where they are in the sales cycle.

 

2) Assuming bigger is always better

 

A Director (not a VP) may be your decision maker. A coordinator may be your main researcher. A mid-size company could be a better fit for your sales cycle and timeline. Don’t just assume in your lead scoring program that you only want CEOs and Fortune 500 companies receiving the coveted high scores. Make sure you’re taking into account the personas of your influencers and decision makers beyond senior leadership that reflects your prospects’ buying behavior.

 

3) Scoring email opens

 

Open rates tend to mean that the reader’s email server downloaded an image from the email. This could be in a preview, or even while they’re clicking the delete key. So while open rates can be a good macro trend to look at, don’t place too much weight on the value of the open. Go for engagement-centric metrics like click throughs and form fills, where you know without a doubt the prospect is engaging with your marketing.

 

4) Scoring either demographic OR behavioral values

 

You can’t have a good sales ready lead if they’re not a good fit for your organization. Just like you can’t have a sales ready lead if they’re not ready to buy your product or service. Don’t just score on one value (demographic) or the other (behavior). In order for your program to work properly you need to examine both customer fit and sales readiness based on behavior. More tips on that here!

 

5) Not allowing sales to adjust scores

 

Creating a lead scoring program in a vacuum, or carving it in stone means it won’t last long. Sales should be allowed to adjust the scores of their leads, whether higher or lower, to reflect where the leads actually are in the sales readiness cycle. At the end of the month or quarter, you can review the adjusted leads to determine larger scale updates you may need to make to your lead scoring program.

 

Want to make sure you get your lead scoring program setup right the first time and avoid these common mistakes? Contact us and we’ll help you get a lead scoring program up and launched  successfully.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

In our last blog post we reviewed what lead scoring is (and why it’s important). Now it’s time to get to the good stuff–how do you implement it at your company?

 

Because lead scoring requires the collaboration of sales and marketing to rank leads by sales-readiness and product fit, the most important place to start is setting a meeting for your sales and marketing teams to come together to create your company’s ideal buyer persona.

 

To prepare for that collaboration, make sure you review and bring to the table all the data you have that show the process leading up to when prospects are ready to buy your company’s products or services: pull data from your CRM and website to get a full picture of how deals are moving through the pipeline, what campaigns are influencing deals to close, and what common features closed deals share.

 

Marketo has provided a useful checklist of more than 50 explicit scores and 200+ implicit scores to help you start to map out the important data points to consider for your lead scoring program. In particular you’ll want to review with your teams the following behaviors and attributes to determine what scores are critical to indicating a sales ready lead:

 

Explicit Scores (positive)

  • Individual-specific demographic scoring rules (job title, years of experience)
  • Company-specific demographic scoring rules (# employees, industry, location)
  • Relationship scoring rules (account type, lead source, current products)

Implicit Scores (positive)

  • Livestreamed event attendance
  • Survey fills
  • Tradeshow attendance
  • Web page activity
  • Search activity
  • Podcast/video views

Implicit Scores (negative)

  • Email unsubscribes
  • No website activity in multiple months
  • Negative social media interaction

 

Once everyone is on the same page, assign actual scores to these behaviors and attributes in order of importance. See Marketo’s examples in their Definite Guide to Lead Scoring for more information.

 

After you’ve laid out your explicit and implicit scoring model, add them together for a total lead score. Make sure that demographics are less than half of the total score (although leads may fit your target demographics perfectly, if they aren’t yet engaging with you, they’re not sales ready!).

 

The final step of building your initial lead scoring program is deciding (in conjunction with sales) the threshold for handing off a lead from marketing to sales. Is it leads over a score of 45? 75? You want to make sure you’re making the process efficient for sales (don’t pass over too many leads that may not be sales-ready), while still providing them with a healthy pipeline (don’t have a number that’s too high to hit consistently). It will likely take some time to test and determine the right number for your business and scoring model. To finalize your number, try testing a random sample of contacts in your CRM. Compare closed and lost deals to their scores and see if the corresponding numbers match up to your threshold.

 

As with any marketing program, once you push it live, you always want to revisit and readjust. Setup a quarterly meeting to look at your sales wins and losses and make sure you review lead scores to ensure your numbers are aligning with the deals.

 

Need some help getting started with lead scoring, analyzing the right data points for your business model, or simply optimizing your lead scoring program in Marketo? Feel free to contact us, we’re here to help!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Propensity to buy and product fit–when it comes time for marketing to hand off a lead to sales, these are two important measures that your sales team will want to know to prioritize their time and set them up for success.

 

  1. Propensity to Buy: Where are the prospects in the buying cycle? (Are they ready to purchase your product tomorrow or two years from now?)
  2. Product Fit: Are the prospects a good fit for your business? (Should sales be putting in the same level of effort to engage them if they won’t be able to use your products or services to the fullest extent?)

 

Fortunately, many of those questions can be automatically answered for your sales team using Marketo lead scoring.

 

Lead scoring is the collaboration of sales and marketing to rank leads by sales-readiness and product fit. By setting automated rules in Marketo to rank leads by A, B, C, or D (or hot, warm, cold), your sales team can gain more insight into which leads are ready to engage, and which ones need more nurturing from marketing.

 

Getting the Basics Down

 

There are two components of lead scoring you need to understand to build out a successful lead scoring program: explicit scoring and implicit scoring.

 

With explicit scoring, prospects tell you information about themselves. This can be through a form fill where a prospect tells you her job title, company size, geographic location, and so on. Explicit scoring is usually determined by your company’s sales targets. Which job titles or company size are the best fit for your company? Are you only accepting leads in certain areas of the world? Scoring a lead based on these factors tells your sales team how qualified this lead is by set factors in your target demographics.

 

With implicit scoring, you infer information based on the prospect’s behavior. This can be through webinar views, white paper downloads, web page visits, and so on. You can assign specific scores so that when a prospect fills out a contact us form she gets more points than say, downloading a white paper. Or on the flip side, if a prospect unsubscribes from an email list, points are removed. These are all key behaviors that signal how ready a prospect is for your business.

 

In case you’re not yet convinced that lead scoring can help improve your sales and marketing processes, here are 4 benefits of lead scoring that many of our clients see:

 

  1. Better align sales and marketing, so only qualified leads are going to sales and leads that need more time are being actively nurtured.
  2. Define a lead hand-off process that makes both sales and marketing more efficient and productive.
  3. Better estimate the deals in your pipeline so you can plan according to what deals are more likely to close, and when.
  4. Save your sales team time and effort by making sure they’re focusing on the contacts and accounts with the best fit for your business.

 

“A solid lead scoring approach not only helps to rank prospects against one another, but can smooth the lead flow and serve as the baseline for building a range of business rules that include ownership, role and activities.” -SiriusDecisions, What’s the Score

 

Lead scoring is a great foundation to build better alignment between your sales and marketing teams, and strengthen the impact of your marketing efforts. By ensuring you’re only engaging with prospects at a time when it will resonate the most, you’re saving time, money and effort!

 

Stay tuned to the blog for more about creating the basics of a lead scoring program at your organization. In the meantime, if you have any questions about getting started with lead scoring or maybe taking your lead scoring to the next level, contact us.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

If your marketing campaigns are bringing in leads, but you don’t know which campaign or channel the leads came from, is your campaign a success?

 

The most successful marketing and sales campaigns are the ones you can track. The more you track, the more you can repeat (or retool when you want to improve campaigns results!). When you know where the quality leads are coming from, you can be smarter about where your marketing department allocates time and money to continue to bring in revenue.

 

Tracking your lead sources in Marketo is a simple 2-step process, but it starts with understanding URL parameters.

 

A URL parameter is a tag you place in your landing page link for tracking purposes. You can spot URL parameters easily, because they come after the ? in any URL. For example:

www.leadous.com?Source=Blog

 

The first part is the actual URL used to navigate to the website. The second part (in orange) is a query string that contains the URL parameter. It won’t change the destination of the URL at all, but it will pass data along so you can track if someone is visiting your landing page from a specific source or campaign that you define. When someone clicks the link above, we know that they visited our homepage from one of our blog posts.

 

To track various campaign data associated to your landing pages, you can add as many parameters as you need. With the example above, we could add another parameter after the Source, like “SourceDetail=Blog8” to track exactly which blog post the link click originated from.

 

Many of our clients will use URL parameters to track the effect of different sources for a particular campaign. For example, if you share a new white paper to Twitter, LinkedIn and in an email campaign, you can create different links with specific URL parameters (?Source=Twitter, ?Source=LinkedIn, and ?Source=Email) so that when someone downloads that white paper, the source is automatically collected and you can report on which sources are furthering your marketing efforts.

 

Now that you know what URL Parameters are, here’s how to set up your parameter tracking in Marketo.

 

Step 1 – Add the URL Parameter as a hidden field to your form.

 

When you create a form for your marketing campaign, you want to make sure to add a hidden field for the URL Parameter.

 

If your URL parameter is Product Interest, like in the Marketo example below, you would add a “Product Interest” field and set the field type to hidden. Then, in order to make sure the data will pass through the link, you have to set the autofill behavior option to “URL Parameter”. Make sure to name the parameter for the field you are tracking (ie Product Interest; Source; Campaign).

 

For step by step instructions to create a hidden field in your form, check out the Marketo Docs article here.

 

leadsource1

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Step 2 – Create Landing Page links with URL Parameters

 

After your form is created with a hidden field for the URL parameter category you’d like to track, you need to actually create the different links with various parameters.

 

Once you’ve created your landing page, go into URL Builder (under the URL Tools menu option). Enter one of the parameters you’d like to track and click “update URL”. Marketo will automatically update the landing page link for that parameter, which you can then copy and paste. For example, if you enter “Twitter” in the field to track leads coming in from Twitter, the URL will update with ?Source=Twitter at the end. You can use that link for all your Twitter posts for that specific marketing campaign and later track how many leads were sourced from that channel.

 

For step by step instructions on creating landing page links with URL parameters, visit the Marketo Docs article here.

leadsource3

leadsource4

 

Tracking your campaign lead sources takes a little setup at the beginning, but once you get into a rhythm of creating your lead and campaign sources for every marketing campaign, you’ll soon be collecting all the data you need to make smart, marketing decisions that help you reach your sales targets.

 

Need help tracking lead sources or just looking to get more insight into your Marketo campaigns? Contact us and we can help!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

If you’re a marketing automation company that is essentially marketing to marketers, you probably have a pretty solid marketing strategy.

 

It should come as no surprise that Marketo, one of the top marketing automation platforms available, has mastered how to market itself. And we’re not just saying that because we’re Marketo partners. Marketo has a firm understanding of content marketing – sharing content that engages their audiences, and using marketing automation to move that audience through the sales funnel.

 

Jon Miller, VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo, gave a presentation in 2013 that summarized 5 of the marketing best practices Marketo follows to make their efforts more efficient and drive more revenue (summarized by KickStart Alliance originally here).  And although it’s dated from 2013 we find that these best practices still ring true today.

 

  • Tailor content to your buying cycle

 

It’s important to tailor your content and campaigns to where your prospects are. And that doesn’t just mean what social media channel they’re using. It means no matter where the prospect is in the buying cycle, you have an experience tailored toward them.

 

If it’s a completely new prospect to your company, you want to make it easier for them to find you and get hooked into your content (shorter, “viral”-ready content with no forms to download). When you are in the middle of engaging a prospect and they’re interested in learning more, or researching your solutions, that’s when you want to offer the meatier content that will give them the justification to choose your product (and start to collect more information about them through forms).

 

  • Incorporate social sharing into every campaign

 

Adding a social component to your campaigns can easily increase the success of your marketing efforts. Marketo sees up to an 11% increase in reach and engagement of their content just from social media. Measuring the social impact of your campaigns is just as important as having a social media presence. Gathering the analytics from your social campaigns also means you know where to continue to focus your marketing efforts if it’s successful or not.

 

  • Automate lead nurturing

 

According to KickStart Alliance, Marketo’s sales process is complex: “buying committees have anywhere from 5 to 21 people, it takes 120 days to move a name to an opportunity and an average of 7 touches to convert a cold lead to a sale.” Marketo uses lead nurturing, and scoring, to automate this process and make sure good leads move through the sales cycle more quickly.

 

In particular, Marketo uses a 4.1.1 approach to qualify and score leads: “4 pieces of content that are educational, yet entertaining. Then 1 webinar invitation (soft sell) and 1 demo invitation (hard sell).” Throughout this process, Marketo scores leads based on “fit, interest, and buying stage” to better indicate to sales which leads should be higher on their target list.

 

A sophisticated campaign approach like Marketo’s make take awhile for your team to build (although with drip campaigns you can build as you go!) but once you have the process of scoring and automated lead nurturing in place, you will be well on your way to delivering higher quality leads to your sales team, with less work on their part.

 

  • Hire sales development reps

 

Sales Development Reps (SDRs) “call all prospects with a lead score of “Target” to determine if the prospect meets the criteria for a Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)”. This qualifying step can make a world of difference by strengthening the hand off between marketing and sales – solidifying the relationship with the prospect and saving the sales team time by making sure they are only working with qualified leads.

 

It also ensures that every lead is followed up on. Because if you’re trying to increase your revenue – making sure you’re not letting any leads fall through the cracks is a no brainer!

 

  • Make your marketing smarter (and bring in more $$$) with analytics

 

The great part about using Marketo for your marketing campaigns is everything is tracked. For Marketo, they consistently analyze “reach (size of long term revenue), flow (from one stage to another), conversion and velocity of the pipeline” to better report on the impact marketing is having on revenue – and analyze where those efforts can be improved to save money and grow revenue. By taking the time to be smart about setting up and reporting on your marketing efforts, you arm yourself with the knowledge to continue to improve and grow the impact of your programs.

 

If you want to put these tips to work, but need a little help to start marketing your company like Marketo does, we can help! Contact us for more information on our Marketo execution and marketing automation strategy services today.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Sales and marketing departments lose approximately 550 hours and as much as $32,000 per sales rep from using bad data EVERY YEAR (DiscoverOrg).

 

It’s pretty clear a clean database is important to the success of your marketing and sales efforts. No sales or marketing rep wants to waste a campaign on contacts that don’t exist.

 

So what do you do about it? Do you delete every lead at first sign of decay? Routinely skim your lists for dupes and inactive leads? Per usual, the answer is a bit more complicated than that.

 

If you’re deleting inactive leads, you could be losing the data and insights into why you’re losing those leads, and the data to later point you toward which marketing and sales activities are successful. You’re also losing the potential to eventually reinvigorate leads later with win back campaigns.

 

But if you’re keeping incorrect data in your database, you may be wasting time contacting leads that don’t exist or qualify for your products and services in the first place.

 

Here’s one trick that works for us when cleaning our database, with our finger on the delete key.

 

Stop for a minute and imagine this situation: if this person contacted you again (at a new job or with a correct email address), what data from this interaction would you want to keep? Would it help your sales team to know any of this historical information?

 

Imagining future re-interactions with your company gives you a good gut check on whether to delete or not delete. If it’s a duplicate account that offers no future value, and is just messing up your reporting values, by all means delete! But if there’s information that can be salvaged, consider taking the time to fill in data instead. If a contact is inactive because they changed jobs, can you find their new email? Connect their social media account for a more complete picture of their activity? Does your customer service department or accounting department have better data you can pull from?

 

Here are a few more tips to transform delete-worthy data to lead-worthy data:

 

  1. Setup duplication alerts. If a lead comes in your platform with a similar company and last name, have your marketing automation system alert you. Then you can go in and decide if you want to remove the lead, combine it with another, or create a new contact.
  2. Use smart campaigns to your advantage to automatically identify records with false email addresses or missing information, then set your data team on appending and fixing this information, or suspending the contact until they fill in more information.
  3. Re-evaluate your lead and contact statuses. Do you have contact statuses identified for no interest, no response, send back to marketing for your leads and contacts? Determine the different situations (like the exercise above) where you may want to keep a lead’s historical information or data for later use, and determine which status (mailing list is a great one) you’d like to place them in until a later date.

 

Good, successful marketing takes thoughtful processes. And sometimes, in the case of keeping a clean CRM, it takes a lot of time and work. Consider enlisting help to better structure your data collection and review process. And don’t forget, we can lead you.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

If you are new to the CRM + marketing automation game, you and others in your sales and marketing department may find yourselves asking, “We already use a CRM- why do we need to use another tool?” While marketing automation works closely with your existing CRM, it is important to note they are not one in the same. CRMs are a wonderful tool to track new and existing customer touches and interactions, but it is not a one-stop shop for hitting your sales goals. Adding marketing automation into the mix can give your teams the boost needed to land your organization in revenue paradise.

 

CRM_MAP Blog Image

 

CRM

  • Used by the sales team.
  • Primarily a DATABASE used to store every bit of information on your customers.
  • Assists the sales rep in managing personal interactions with customers. CRMs can remind the sales rep when calls are scheduled or even when the customers birthday is approaching.

 

Marketing Automation

  • Used by the marketing team.
  • Master execution tool. Not only can your marketing automation tool streamline and schedule communications for your leads, but it can also personalize emails based on the current situation or status of the individual lead.
  • Lead behavior based scoring and outreach. Did your lead click a link in an email or visit a key webpage? Great. Now you can award points and/or send a message with more information.
  • Tracks ROI for campaigns. Post campaign analytics in your tool can make proving the value of marketing initiatives as easy as a click.

 

Your CRM has great information and so does your marketing automation platform. The two tools not speaking to one another would be a major disservice to your organization. Be sure to think integration. Does the CRM you have link well with the marketing automation software you have in mind? If this is a mystery to you- no worries – Leadous can help your organization can get the two working together like peanut butter and jelly.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Chances are if you have (or are considering having) a marketing automation platform, the idea of “automation” is a pretty important one for you. One of the crucial differentiators between a marketing automation platform and any other email sender is the ability to automate sophisticated, targeted campaigns across the lifecycle of your customer’s journey, easing the effort on your marketing and sales teams by engaging more people, more frequently, automatically.

 

So you know automation is important to your marketing strategy, but where do you start?  Here are just a few ideas.

 

Welcome

 

Building your digital audience is an important part of your strategy. So what does your organizations do with the email addresses and contacts collected on your website, at event booths, through online ads? As you add new contacts to your database, consider automating a welcome campaign, where you deliver specific content introducing contacts to your company, setting them up for your customer journey. For inspiration, check out these “21 Welcome Emails to Inspire Your Lifecycle Marketing”.

 

Resend

 

After you send out a piece of content, do you go back and see who didn’t engage with it? Do you retarget campaigns to those unengaged subscribers? If you’re sending out a lot of content or simply have a lot of other responsibilities, you might not have the time to go back after every email send and schedule a resend of content. Automated resend campaigns can be setup in Marketo to resend emails to people who didn’t open, click or otherwise aren’t engaging with your offers without the hassle of setting up new campaigns each time.

 

Follow Up

 

If a prospect takes the time to meet with you, visit your tradeshow, or begin the process of purchasing something on your site, they’re already engaging with your company, and could be just a few crucial follow ups away from a conversion. Automate follow up campaigns to send after you attend events, hold meetings, or even for customers who “abandon cart” on your website, so that you never miss the opportunity for a sale again.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to setting up automated, sophisticated marketing campaigns for your organization. Keep in mind, as you turn on more automation, it’s a good idea to revisit, analyze and retool based on the data you’re collecting on the behavior of your audience, you may not always get the frequency or message right the first time (but that’s what we’re here to help you do!). If you’d like a full assessment of how your organization can better market to build a better relationship with your audience and increase sales, contact us.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

You know something needs to change in your organization and the way you drive leads. You have a complex process that needs a simpler solution. Your marketing team is maxed out. Your sales team is hungry for leads.  You’ve been researching, looking at marketing automation platforms to help take off some of the burden and improve your team’s processes. Any of this sound familiar?

 

So what’s next? How do you know when it’s truly time to take the leap into marketing automation? Or if that’s even the right step for your specific needs?

 

Marketo has a great worksheet in their definitive guide to marketing automation (here). Basically it walks you through your marketing needs and based on your score, you can evaluate whether it’s time for marketing automation! If your situation is more complex, you may need some help to walk through the needs and solutions for your business (if that’s the case, contact us, we can help).

 

Can you relate to these situations? Does your company have…

 

  • A complicated revenue process, with multiple touches from Marketing and/or Sales
  • Many different types of buyers performing a lot of research on your company
  • A thirst for insight into the value of your marketing efforts
  • Little to no personal relationships with all buyers
  • Too many leads to personally reach out to
  • New leads that aren’t ready to engage
  • Little marketing impact on sales results
  • Data-driven marketing practices
  • A library of personalized content waiting to be used by marketing

 

So is your company ready for marketing automation? Complete the full Marketo worksheet, and let us know your score. We’d love to help walk you through the process to make it as quick and productive as possible.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

If you’re just starting to look at marketing automation platforms, the natural question is, how is this different from what we’re already doing?

 

Marketing automation platforms have a lot of myths floating around what they can and can’t do. If you’re looking for some clarification about what is and isn’t true, read on! Here are six things that marketing automation most definitely is not.

 

Marketing automation is not just about email.
Marketing automation platforms aren’t just an email sending machine. Marketing automation is a multichannel tool that can power your social media, landing pages, all the way to direct mail.

 

It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to run.
Marketing automation tools are created to be user friendly. Expertise in your platform will certainly help you more quickly master the steps you need to reach your business goals. But once you get the basics down, you should be able to run and monitor campaigns with ease. If you need help getting setup with your marketing automation platform, let us know!

 

It also isn’t something you turn on and just walk away from.
While automation can save time and make your processes more efficient, you’re going to want to continue to check in, test and tune up campaigns as you go. As a supplement to your sales and marketing strategy, you need to put the time in to make sure your content and campaigns are progressing and aligning with your strategic goals.

 

It’s not spamming lists.
Marketing automation is not just a way to send as many emails as you can to the same audience members. Spam is essentially sending irrelevant content to your audience. Marketing automation allows you to do the opposite — personalize your content to your segmented audiences so you’re getting the message to them at the time and channel they want around the topic they’re most interested in.

 

It’s not something only marketers use or get benefits from.
While marketing automation is definitely a tool used in marketing, it’s also a tool used to support your sales organization by providing and nurturing more leads. If you can improve how you define and nurture leads, you can provide more qualified opportunities for your sales pipeline.

 

It’s not the same for every company.
While the principles of marketing automation remain the same across businesses, it’s not a one size fits all process. You need to set goals within a clear strategy and implement the tool to fit within those goals. Having trouble applying your sales and marketing strategy within an automation framework? We can help!

 

In this case, defining marketing automation is as simple as listing the things it isn’t. Marketing automation ISN’T a complicated, email-only, one and done, spammy, marketing-exclusive, one-size-fits-all tool. It is a platform that helps you streamline, automate and analyze marketing to ultimately measure and improve sales results.

 

Have more questions about the capabilities of marketing automation and whether it’s right for your team? Contact us.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

It’s finally starting to warm up. The dusty shades and stuffed closets are calling your name, begging for a little time and attention. But what about your company’s database? It sounds silly, but your marketing and sales database needs a little spring cleaning every so often too. No database is ever 100% clean, but duplicates, incompletes or just plain bad data means you are leaving holes in your database where you could be driving results! Because the better your data, the more accurate the analytics are, and the easier it is to make sound decisions to improve your pipeline. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind as you embark on your data cleaning journey.

 

Think beyond the admin

 

How are you or your team using this data in the future? If you don’t know what your internal stakeholders (including marketing, sales, c-suite leadership and of course, database admins) are looking for in the data, it makes it harder to keep a neat, tidy database that works for everyone. Consider each of your internal stakeholder’s needs for the CRM (what are they trying to accomplish with the data or analyze within the data) and list out the information you’ll need in order to achieve those goals. Setting up the data with your end goals for the CRM in mind ensures you’re using the right fields, collecting the right data, and getting the most out of your system.

 

Standardization is your friend

 

Once you’ve got a firm understanding of who is using the data and why, start applying some common standardization across it all. Use the same field labels and define terms for team members that may not know them. Stay consistent, and encourage anyone using the database to do the same – in fact document your standards and share them.

 

Make sure it’s all in one place

 

If you already have your CRM and marketing automation platform working and talking together, kudos! (If not, let’s talk, we can help!) But are there duplicate data points? Is there a process dictating how contacts go from being nurtured in your marketing automation platform over to the CRM? Document and decide a central place for sales or marketing to analyze and move the data so you’ll have less of a mess to clean up next time.

 

Roll up your sleeves

 

Your business goals and the extent of the clean up (do you need a database overhaul? or just to update a few contact record fields?) will dictate how extensive your database clean up needs to go. It helps to go back to the goals of your database and start there. Are you trying to find loyal clients to run upsell campaigns? Re-engage dead leads? Start organizing data according to the goal you’re looking for, all the while cleaning out duplicates and inactive contacts (or putting them into a re-engagement campaign).

 

This process can be tedious at times, but there are many experts out there who can take on that burden to quickly and efficiently clean up your data. Check out ourdatabase cleanup services and contact us if you’d like more information on that!

 

Mark your calendar

 

The purpose of a good database cleanup is getting processes in place that mean you won’t have to do it all the time. Once you have these processes in place, try to still schedule regular data check-ins to make sure all is running smoothly and nothing needs to be adjusted.

 

Good luck! And as always, we’re here to help. Our database analysis and updating service can do the dirty work for you, so you can get back to the rest of the things that need spring cleaning, like that coffee mug that’s been on your desk for the last two months…

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

We couldn’t stop with just seven ways to optimize your existing marketing automation platform (MAP). It takes more than just seven tips to get a MAP churning out qualified leads as quickly as you need. So here are six more ways to optimize your platform to fit your company’s goals.

 

1. Add more lead nurturing campaigns. If you’re only sending out drip campaigns through your marketing automation platform, or timed out email messages to prospects over a set period of time, consider testing out more robust nurture paths for your prospects. Finding the right rhythm for your lead nurturing can take time. Building out more complex paths and segments can help you send the most targeted, relevant communications possible.

 

2. Update content strategy. It’s difficult to execute a good marketing automation strategy without content to back it up. If marketing automation is the vehicle that gets you from point a to b (anonymous website visitor to qualified lead) then content is the gasoline. It’s what powers the whole plan. Take a look at the content you have and where you’re developing new content to make sure it’s in line with where you’re going with marketing automation.

 

3. Expand to mobile. This isn’t the first time you’ve heard that mobile is increasingly necessary for marketers to understand and master. Make sure mobile is a part of your strategy, whether it’s optimizing email design for mobile or starting text message marketing. If it’s where your audience is, it’s where you should be.

 

4. Don’t forget multi-channel. Marketing automation isn’t just about email marketing, it’s about mobile, social, websites, search, and more. Make sure you’re thinking about the different places prospects interact with your company and how you can connect with them through your MAP in those places.

 

5. Take another look at your website. While you’re thinking of multi-channel, don’t forget to take another look at optimizing your website too. Do you have a form or a live chat in the places where prospects may be searching for more information? Are there nurture campaigns set up for people who submit forms on your website?

 

6. Measure everything. As you continue to test and optimize your marketing automation platform, continue to measure the metrics that matter to you. Take your analysis past website visits or opens and clicks, and make sure you’re measuring conversions from leads to qualified leads, and tracks marketing sourced leads through the funnel to see where your strategy is working, and where it can be improved.

 

And again, if you have any questions on how you can get more out of your marketing automation strategy, we’re here to help!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

A marketing automation platform (MAP) can be the fast track to converting names to qualified leads for many companies. But it takes more than turning the system on to get the results you want as quickly as you need. You need to be able to optimize the platform to fit your company’s goals.

 

Here are 7 tips to help you on your path to better marketing automation.

 

1. Get a handle on your data. Bring together data from multiple systems, devices, and platforms so you can get a single view of where you’re at and where you’re going.

 

2. Pair with CRM. Make sure your MAP and CRM system are talking to each other constantly and consistently. You want to be able to view all of your marketing activity from within your CRM so you can automatically assign leads coming from your marketing efforts right to sales reps, and more.

 

3. Know your audience. Do you know who your audience is? What information they like to consume and when? What devices they use to consume information and how they interact with content? Start researching and tracking your audience to better inform your campaigns.

 

4. Develop personas. As you’re tracking and researching your audience, put that information into a set process like personas so you can keep track of the top 3-5 audience segments you’re targeting and their preferences, helping you organize and target your efforts.

 

5. Try progressive profiling. There’s always a balance between asking for the right amount of information so that prospects will still fill out forms, but you still have quality data in your CRM. If getting enough quality data on your prospect audience is a struggle, try progressive profiling. With progressive profiling you can gradually ask for new information from prospects to improve the quality of your database.

 

6. Personalize to your audience. Try personalizing more of your content directly to the personas you’ve developed or even to individuals based on certain actions they’ve taken on your site, whether it’s downloading a white paper or using an online tool.

 

7. Try lead scoring. Determine where leads are in the buying cycle and how closely they align with your definition of an “ideal” buyer by assigning “points” for how often a lead visits a web page, downloads a document and completes a lead gen form. Website visitors will start to accrue more points as they interact with your company, helping you determine who is most likely to to convert into a qualified lead.

 

Looking for additional tips to get more out of your existing marketing automation platform? We’re here to help! If you have a specific question on how you can get more out of your marketing automation strategy, contact us.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

At the end of the day, your marketing team is trying to achieve one thing: generate leads to drive revenue. That’s why measuring the ROI of your initiatives is vital to your team’s success. If you can’t prove that your marketing programs are bringing in leads that convert to revenue for the company, you run the risk of losing support from senior leadership.

 

In fact, according to Forrester Research, 76% of B2B marketers said that their ability to track marketing ROI gives marketing more respect.

 

Make that work in your favor with the right mix of technology and expertise so that your team can better track, analyze and report on the success, and the dollars brought in, from your hard work.

 

revenue-cycle-modeler-screenshot

 

Fortunately for Marketo customers, this success is already at your fingertips. (Another reason why we love Marketo marketing automation software…) One of Marketo’s best in class features, the Revenue Cycle Modeler, allows companies to view performance trends across the entire revenue cycle. This means you can closely analyze and forecast on the impact of your marketing programs to:

 

  • Define your company’s lead funnel
  • Watch how leads move between stages to better predict sales cycles and revenue targets
  • Setup alerts for leads “stuck” in the pipeline and target them with pipeline mover campaigns
  • Map your leads to industry benchmarks to track their progress

 

With better analysis and understanding of how your leads are turning into customers, you can optimize your marketing programs, backed by the knowledge of what activities will be most effective, and which leads are most likely to close.

 

If you’d like more information on how your company can take advantage of Revenue Modeler processes and get rid of the hours of spreadsheets, number crunching, and programming it takes to do revenue modeling without the proper software implementation, we’re here to help!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Something we often hear from clients struggling with a newly minted automation tool is this: “I made the switch and it seems like I just have a more expensive email marketing tool.”

 

We get it. The excitement of implementing a new software tool is gone, the training is over, and now it’s just you and the platform, and a very lonely looking cursor on your screen.

 

When resources are tight you may be the only person handling the strategy to the implementation to the tactical execution of your marketing campaigns. It can get overwhelming and it’s easy to slip back into what you may already know how to do – send out batch and blast email campaigns.

 

When you get to that point, here are a couple tips to get you back on the road toward that ideal, automated campaigns strategy we know you can pull off!

 

  • Take a step back. Go back to your goals, both short term and long term. Are you trying to move leads more quickly through the pipeline? Get more qualified leads to your sales team? Get a clear idea of what your goals for the platform are, so you know where to prioritize your time and start building campaigns.
  • Map out a plan. Connect your audience, content, and communications back to those short and long term goals. Start with one campaign, maybe a new site visitor nurture campaign. Map out what a successful journey looks like, from when that person enters their email on your site to when you pass them onto sales and after. Think about what content and messaging you can send. Consider how automation can help fuel that journey. Once you’ve got a plan, it’s easier to start building out campaigns one leg at a time.
  • Talk to your team. Even if you’re the only person doing marketing for your organization, don’t forget to talk to your sales team, customer support team, basically any of the key players interfacing with prospects and customers. Get on the same page about your goals, and what success looks like. If your definition for a lead is different than your sales team’s, your marketing automation platform is already setup to fail, because you won’t be delivering to their expectations.
  • Commit to ongoing education. Take a Marketo University class, or talk to a services provider for insider tips on using the platform. The more committed you are to mastering the platform, the easier it will be to reap the full benefits from it.
  • Ask for help. One of the benefits of implementing a Marketo platform is the unparalleled enablement and support. Talk to your enablement consultant, contact customer support, or listen in to conversations in the Marketo community. Go back to your goals, it will be easier for a consultant to help you get across the finish line if you can say exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and the content and communications you’ve got on deck to back that up!
  • Talk to the experts. While you’re launching your first few campaigns, consider enlisting the help of a consulting firm to get up and running. Most expert consultants have run multiple campaigns addressing goals similar to yours and can help you navigate the challenges of fully optimizing your MAP.

 

These are just a few of the ways to avoid falling back into an email list service when you have a new marketing automation platform at your fingertips. For more tips or a full assessment of your marketing automation strategy, contact Leadous!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Are you thinking of moving your organization from an email service provider to a marketing automation platform (MAP)? While the process doesn’t have to be a heavy lift for your marketing team, the upgrade from email marketing to marketing automation can have a huge effect on your company’s revenue goals.

 

It’s important to understand the distinction between email marketing and a more robust marketing automation platform when thinking about making the move. According to Marketo, “an Email Service Provider will only provide you the functionality to send mass blasts and track open rates, but this is not scalable. With marketing automation, you have access to powerful features like multi-step campaigns, lead scoring, and analytics, which will make your email tactics much more strategic.”

 

Take a look at Marketo’s feature comparison between email service providers and marketing automation to get the full picture of what’s missing from the email-only equation:

 

Email-MAP Features

 

If you’re a growing business looking to impact sales, increase efficiency, and ultimately drive more revenue, then marketing automation may be for you. But what exactly does that entail for your marketing department? How do you actually make the move from email to full marketing automation?

 

Although it’s not always a one size fits all approach, graduating from email to marketing automation can be a painless process provided you have your strategy sorted out before you decide to make the transition (read our post below “5 Steps to Getting Started With Marketing Automation” for more on that).

 

Here are the four steps to move from email to marketing automation that Marketo suggests:

 

1. Merge your company’s email marketing system and CRM contact lists into the CRM.

 

2a. (If you have a CRM) Sync your CRM with your marketing automation system (shouldn’t be more than the click of a button to begin this process!).

 

2b. (If you don’t have a CRM). Export your email list from your email service provide to upload into your MAP.

 

3. Adjust your email deliverability settings (your vendor should help you with this).

 

4. Connect your website with your MAP; upload any tracking codes and get working on landing page domains and forms on your site.

 

Once your company decides to make the climb up from email to marketing automation, it doesn’t need to be a never ending journey. Read below for more tips on getting started with marketing automation, or contact Leadous if you have questions on how you can get started with a Marketo marketing automation platform today!

 

Category Archives: Tips

Companies using marketing automation generate two times the number of leads than those who don’t (Autopilotus). It’s clear that a digital strategy centered on marketing automation can be extremely powerful for revenue-driven companies.

 

If you don’t already have a marketing automation platform, where do you begin? Here we’ve compiled the steps to take your department through before you decide which platform to buy.

 

1. Set Your Goals

 

What are you trying to achieve with marketing automation? Are you trying to increase leads? Re-engage cold leads? Move leads through the funnel more quickly? Think through your goals as SMART— goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound.You can’t establish a successful marketing automation strategy if you don’t know why you’re marketing in the first place or if your goals are too vague to ever achieve.

 

2. Perform a Content Audit

 

The emails you send should be prompting an action from your audience, like downloading a relevant piece of content that will move them along the sales funnel. What white papers, guides or infographics do you have that match your audience’s sales stage? Does the content fall into specific themes or talk about certain products? Do you have a variety of content types tailored to your audience? Audit your content and categorize to the sales stages and themes that best fit your audience’s needs. Then check for gaps so you can get started on additional content creation.

 

3. Launch a Cross-Functional Internal Committee

 

Marketing automation platforms are powerful tools, but they still need people to manage them. You need to get the buy in of sales and marketing to turn your MAP into a well-oiled machine. Align your strategy between the two departments, starting by defining your terms (like lead, prospect, marketing qualified lead, sales accepted pursuit, etc). Then go through the journey from prospect to client and agree on how your company will be communicating with prospects through that journey. When does marketing hand off the lead to sales? Are you setting up nurture campaigns or calling campaigns along the way?

 

4. Know Your Feature Wish List

 

You know your goals and objectives, the content you have and need to get you started, and internal agreement around the road you’ll take to achieve your objectives. Now it’s time to start thinking about the features you need to fuel that process. Will you need to score leads? Use progressive profiling? Trigger communications when your audience takes a specific action? Match the features back to the strategy your internal stakeholders agreed to and start looking for a MAP that has the tools to power all your digital needs.

 

5. Ask for Help if you Need it

 

Implementing a marketing automation platform for your company is making a commitment to improved, intelligent communications. So you need to give it the time and thought necessary to make it successful. Make sure you’re able to pull in other team members, or outside consulting resources, to help plan the rollout, content writing and design, email writing and scheduling, analytics and campaign setup, and so on to get you on the road to success.

 

Need help getting started with your marketing automation platform strategy? Contact Leadous today!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Gone are the days where sales is short on quality leads, where marketing has to manually set up a batch and blast email campaign to every email address it can find and hope someone takes the bait, or where executives have to wonder how they’ll make their quarterly revenue goals.

 

Good riddance to that! And welcome to the age of marketing intelligence.

 

Technology is changing at a rapid pace, providing businesses with unprecedented intelligence that would have been unheard of just ten years ago. One of these rapidly growing solutions is the marketing automation platform (MAP). And it’s changed the way marketing generates leads.

 

Marketing automation platforms, like Marketo, help to streamline, automate and analyze marketing. In feature/functionality speak, that means the platform manages your email marketing, landing pages and forms, campaign management, lead nurturing/scoring, lead lifecycle management, CRM integration, social marketing capabilities and marketing analytics.

 

In short, marketing automation platforms are much more than an email sending tool. They provide the intelligence to encompass multi channel campaigns – social, email, web, phone, and even direct mail. They bring all your marketing channels under one roof, and then connect with your CRM and web platform to create one very smart, whirring piece of software that drives real value if implemented and used correctly (that’s where Leadous comes in, more on that later).

 

Companies that use marketing automation well increase the efficiency of their sales and marketing, to help accelerate the conversion of names to qualified leads  and ultimately increase revenue. And what revenue-driven company doesn’t want that?

 

Got a question about why and how your company should adopt a marketing automation platform (or which one to choose)? Contact us here.

 

Get a refreshing perspective on driving quality leads by optimizing the value of marketing automation platforms (MAP).  Accelerate marketing performance by introducing integrated digital campaign management and lead generation initiatives that drive qualified leads to sales.  We work with organizations at the beginning and advanced stages of leveraging marketing automation. Everyone is ready for us to lead them.

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