Category Archives: Update

Marketing automation, while important and impactful, is not an inexpensive undertaking. So of course you and your leadership team need to ensure every dollar of your marketing automation investment counts. A big part of ensuring your marketing automation investment is worth it, is choosing an implementation and support partner than can get you onboard quickly and fill any gaps in your team so your business starts seeing consistent results.

Where do you start when looking for a partner that is well-matched to your business that offers the right level of expertise, at the right price point? Here’s three steps to mark off your checklist.

1) Start with priorities

Start by mapping out your goals, drawing a connection all the way from your business goals to how those relate to your marketing team and marketing automation platform. Specifically, you should be asking:

  • What specific results are you being held accountable for by your leadership team? Where do you have gaps to fulfilling those bottom-line business goals that marketing is responsible for?
  • What’s your timeline to ramp up?
  • What type of team do you have and what type of expertise are they bringing to the table?
  • When you get down to the tactical details, what are your priorities based on the make-up of your team: technical implementation, content, campaign planning, data analysis, or all of the above?
  • What’s your budget?

Once you determine where you’re going, and where you have gaps, it’s time to start screening partners with the matching expertise to help get you where you need to be. The platform provider you choose should be able to direct you to a list of their preferred partners to help start you on your search.  

2) Think about the long term

After you get your list of partners to screen, ask for a quote for the specific priorities you mapped out from the above. And don’t forget to think about the long term, not just the short term of logging in and learning the ropes.  Are you given options for flexible pricing that won’t break the bank? Are they offering flexible pricing models that take into account your long term goals to onboard your team or support and troubleshoot once you’re up and running? Think about how you want your partner relationship to look like in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and communicate that to the prospective partners. Make sure they’re coming back with a proposal that lines up with your targets (and once you hire a partner, schedule regular check ins that coincide with your timeline goals to make sure everything is on track along the way).

3) Ask for references

You wouldn’t hire an employee without asking for a reference, make sure to do the same for your marketing automation partner. Request to talk with a customer or two to hear firsthand what their experience has been working with the partner. It will give you the confidence that you’re making the right choice!

As always, Leadous is here to help with your marketing automation needs, no matter what stage of implementation you’re in. Contact us for more information on the services we provide!

Category Archives: Update

You know your organization needs marketing automation. You’ve got the strategy pulled together and the budget dollars estimated. Now how do you get your C-Suite on board with the investment?

Thankfully, marketing automation isn’t unknown to most executives. At the Leadous event on July 25, Why Marketing Automation Has the Attention of Executives, you can hear directly from three marketing leaders on how and why marketing automation got their attention, and the results they’ve seen soon after implementing marketing automation.

Here’s a sneak peek of the reasons marketing automation is too good to pass up on for the C-Suite.

1) Proving and justifying marketing spend

Marketing automation gives your marketing team room to focus on what’s important, because you’re able to clearly show the entire lifecycle of a lead, from all the activities marketing is driving to drum up interest, down to assets and events that are specifically converting that interest into sales. Using this information, CMOs are able to more efficiently budget their marketing spend, and justify that spend by pointing directly to the revenue they’re driving.

2) Controlling messaging across the organization

Marketing automation goes beyond lead generation. You can use it for onboarding clients, internal employee newsletters, the uses are endless. But the control remains under one platform, which allows marketing to keep a close eye on the company brand.

3) Improving the relationship with sales

The relationship between sales and marketing isn’t always effortless. There’s a natural push and pull that can be improved with a platform that standardizes processes, and clearly divides responsibilities across the company. With a clear process for determining a high quality lead, and an automated hand-off procedure from marketing to sales, sales is happier with the quality of leads they’re getting and bringing in more revenue. And marketing is able to focus more time on fine tuning the system, rather than one off requests. Which leaves less for the CMO to juggle across teams.

4) Becoming an invaluable resource to company strategy

Marketing automation platforms house a huge amount of data that shows the needs and wants of future customers. Using those reports, CMOs are able to help inform not only the marketing strategy, but the broader product and service strategy, based on the trends they’re tracking every day.

Need tips to convince your CMO on the benefit of marketing automation? Attend the Leadous event next week (July 25) at CRAVE Edina to hear directly from executives with experience implementing Marketo. Or contact us today to get started.

Category Archives: Update

 

Marketo and Salesforce go together like peanut butter and jelly, ice cream and waffle cones, pizza and black olives (am I making anyone else hungry or is it just me?).

 

You get the idea, Marketo and Salesforce CRM have a pretty seamless integration. And Marketo has gone all in (reupping their partner agreement with Salesforce for another 3 years) to ensure that partnership continues as one of the best integrations in the marketing automation industry according to both Gartner and Forrester.

 

At Leadous, we’ve helped many of our clients configure a new or existing Marketo instance with Salesforce, to make sure that both softwares were working well together to achieve their business objectives.

 

There are 4 primary syncs we often setup with our Marketo-Salesforce Integration clients:

 

  1. Tracking Marketo campaign activities in Salesforce.
  2. Supplying the sales team with qualified Marketo leads in Salesforce.
  3. Following the path a lead takes to an opportunity.
  4. Creating customized email campaigns based on Salesforce data.
  5. Bonus! Nearly anything you can dream up that helps to better automate and streamline your marketing and sales processes between Marketo and Salesforce.

 

Recently, Leadous worked with several technology companies to tailor the exact specifications for the Marketo leads they were funneling to the sales team through Salesforce. We helped them build a customized Marketo-Salesforce sync that allows for pacing, criterion to ensure that only the appropriate leads were being contacted, and data enhancement.

 

Interested in what the power of Marketo AND Salesforce can do for your sales bottom line? Contact us to get more details on our Marketo-Salesforce integration services.

 

Category Archives: Update

 

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: Update

Whether you’ve had an international marketing strategy for years, or you’re just getting started expanding your marketing footprint, it’s important to know the different email communication compliancy laws worldwide or you could be facing some pretty hefty fines.

 

For the most part, many of the same regulations for U.S. email marketing (known as the CAN-SPAM Act), are covered in international email regulations, with a couple key additions. The CAN-SPAM Act requires your email headers and subject lines be “accurate” and “non-deceptive”, you must also include your physical address and opt out instructions within the email, and honor opt out requests in a timely manner.

 

Canadian anti-spam laws add additional layers for compliance. In addition to the U.S. requirements, you also need recipients’ permission to email them (including recorded proof) and full business details in the email (including phone number and website).

 

As the laws change and often become more restrictive to protect recipients’ privacy, it’s important that you continue to check in and ensure that your email marketing sends are in compliance. Although some countries may be more restrictive than others, it’s a good rule of thumb to comply with the most restrictive policy, the more recipients who are opted in to request information from you, the more likely you are to engage with an audience who is receptive to your marketing and sales messages anyway!

 

Here’s a quick checklist with 6 requirements to follow for compliance with most worldwide anti-spam and unsubscribe rules:

 

  1. Be honest and accurate with your messaging and calls to action.
  2. Place an unsubscribe link in every email that’s visible and simple to use.
  3. Timely unsubscribe any requests to opt out from your emails (must be under 10 days in the U.S.)
  4. Ensure your recipients are opted in to your emails, and keep proof of that transaction (opt in is required in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Canada).
  5. Make sure your company name and website is in the email and visible.
  6. Put your company address and phone number in the footer of the email.

 

Looking for the rules for a specific country? Check out our resources section for more information on email requirements by country.

 

For help with building out your global marketing programs and strategy, we can help! Drop us a line here for more information.

 

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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