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Your car is an integral part of your day to day life. You use it, you maintain it, and you have to fuel it. You are intimately familiar with it. Unless you are blessed with a limitless budget, when you are ready to look into buying a new car you have to balance what you want in your new vehicle versus what you need. This is a big purchase, and new cars are very complicated machines. 

What features are going to deliver on your needs? How many of your nice-to-haves can you get? Perhaps even knowing how to tell the difference between a want and a need is too far out of your element. What do you do? You go to your “car” friend, an expert, for advice. When that big purchase is a marketing automation platform instead of a car, think of Leadous as your expert friend, and we will show you how to get the most out of your budget.

The Leadous Evaluation Motor™

Using our Evaluation Motor™ model, the team here at Leadous breaks your marketing automation down into four key areas: Vision, Strategy, Features, and Resources. Think of each as a component of the engine that will drive your marketing initiatives. Our experts will work with you to understand how you currently use and plan to use automation in your marketing. Then we identify the platform best suited to your needs.

Our discovery process will entail working with you, and you will need to be honest with us and yourself. Some people feel they absolutely must have a big pickup truck when they actually live in a downtown condo and do not even so much as dabble in manual labor. In reality, having the truck is a want. Sometimes those people need a trusted advisor to be honest with them, especially when it comes to budgetary discretion. If your only plans for marketing automation are to schedule email sends, then think of some of the more powerful (and expensive) platforms as more “car” than you need.

Committing to a marketing automation platform is not a trivial investment, just like committing to a contract for a new car. Changing platforms or implementing a company’s first venture into marketing automation usually involves more man hours than you think it will. So having to continually disrupt your operations is typically not the smartest way to go. Instead we will make sure our recommended platform can handle your plans. Alternatively, we can help you scale back your plans if you have to for budgetary reasons. We can show you what exactly you have to reconsider.

Car Enthusiasts Drive Nice Cars

You probably know Leadous is an Adobe Gold Partner. We believe in and use Adobe’s Marketo Engage as our marketing automation platform. You expect a car enthusiast to have a nice car. That said, we are still objective enough to help you decide if you have the need and ability to justify going to the top of the line solution. 

If you do decide to use Marketo Engage, the Leadous team will be able to guide you through the whole implementation. Our team can help you take your Marketo instance from a blank canvas to a high performance engine that drives global, multi-channel initiatives tracking every moment of your leads’ journeys through your fully customized sales life cycle.

Reach out today for expert guidance!

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Sure, sometimes you manage the launch of an exciting new integration. Or maybe you have planned and executed a top notch webinar debuting a new product or service and are just waiting to see all the new demo requests roll in. During those times, the world of marketing automation feels like a thrill ride. However, sometimes the job means revisiting those projects again months later to check on their long term performance. While this process is certainly less glamorous than managing the original launch, it is every bit as crucial. The rides in your amusement park are going to break down unless the maintenance team makes sure they stay in working order.

Wear and Tear

In any amusement park, you will find a crew whose job it is to walk the park looking for wear and tear. If you want to be considered a top tier destination, you need to keep everything looking and functioning great. Outside of typical guest use, sometimes through no fault of the park, something like a storm can damage equipment. Likewise, a top tier Marketo instance will have staff that reviews that instance regularly. Even if a program was launched perfectly, over time, small pieces of the design may start to malfunction.

A very common source of these little problems is integrations, particularly the CRM integration. While the CRM and Marketo administrators should be working in concert with each other, sometimes these platforms get siloed. On the Marketo side, you should be watching for sync errors with your CRM frequently. For instance, if the SFDC team decides a new field is required to create a SFDC record, old Marketo forms may no longer be gathering enough information for the new records to transfer into SFDC. 

Outside of integrations, there are certain kinds of programs that are just never permanently finished. Scoring programs are a great example of these. Your scoring program should be undergoing refinement into perpetuity. Through the proper reporting framework, you should be monitoring your audience’s behaviors on a very granular level. With this level of detail, you can and should reevaluate the relative values of each kind of behavior. As an example, Apple and Google will continue to enhance their privacy protections. As they do, the predictive value of email opens will likely go down. Scoring programs should be updated accordingly.

Updating the Experience

Sometimes maintenance is about more than just keeping up with wear and tear. After technology has advanced, the park owners may want to take advantage of something new to deliver a better experience. Adobe is constantly releasing new updates and features to the Marketo Engage platform. Implementing these new features can have significant impact if you take the time to incorporate them into your already existing programs. One of this year’s new and exciting feature releases is Dynamic Chat. While it can be very useful on its own, Dynamic Chat has implications for a wide variety of programs from possibly taking the place of older, 3rd party integrations or implementing it into a fully realized, cross-channel ABM strategy. 

Other times, maintenance is about changing and updating the environment. If the amusement park was built around a license for a set of characters that they no longer have, the ownership will have to change their visual aesthetics. Taking this analogy to Marketo, if new governmental regulations come about, old campaigns will likely have to be revisited to make sure they still comply with the new rules. In Marketo this may mean either changing language on landing pages and emails, or it may mean a change to the way data is managed behind the scenes.

Leadous is the Perfect Marketo Partner

The Leadous team knows Marketo. We are an Adobe Gold Partner specializing in the Marketo Engage platform. Our team has the experience and expertise to guide you through the strategy and implementation of your programs and campaigns. Whether your company needs a helping set of hands, a 3rd party perspective from experts, or some combination of the two, Leadous can help you. 

We can help make sure your Marketo instance is in the kind of shape you need to gather the kind of data that allows you to not only successfully launch your exciting marketing plans but to then go back to fine tune their performance later. As new releases update the feature set of the platform, you can trust Leadous and its team of experts will be at the forefront of using and incorporating the new tools. 

Get in touch with our expert team today so you can find out more about the value Leadous can bring to your organization – let’s get a ticket and ride.

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Making major operational decisions about your company’s marketing stack is not an easy undertaking. The logistical effort of having to transition to new marketing automation software can seem like reason enough to just stick with the status quo. However, with the proper partner, you can actually make the transition a benefit in and of itself. Yes, you will need to put some work into the project, but it will also be an opportunity to reevaluate your strategies and make other cutovers that would normally go undone due to the disruption they would cause. Let Leadous be the kind of partner that makes you stronger for having decided to use the Marketo Engage platform.

Navigating the Logistics

The first task you’ll need to tackle is to catalog your assets and current programs. Leadous has been helping our clients through this process for years. Without a plan and end goal in mind, just getting started with this often proves overwhelming to companies at this early stage. We have developed documentation and processes that will help you manage what would otherwise seem to be a daunting task. We know you need to sort through everything from your landing pages to emails to specific audience groups. 

Once you know what you have, the next step is to determine what you want to keep. This will require your team to review your inventory. While Leadous and our experts can not make these sorts of calls for you, we can provide you with guidance about what you’ll need specifically to transition to your new Marketo instance. We can also advise on your broader marketing strategies which may influence the continued use of other assets.

We know you are likely coming from another platform. As such, we know your plans need to revolve around the loss of access to your old service. Our process will help you make sure you have everything you might possibly want to save before your old subscription ends. As we help you plot out your migration timeline, all of the relevant dates and considerations will be incorporated into your plan. 

Getting Into the Weeds

Once you have your migration plan in place, you will start the actual work of rebuilding programs and migrating assets. Outside of the migration itself, you will also need to start setting up your new Marketo instance. The experts at Leadous pride ourselves on our Marketo expertise. We can either guide you through the process, take it over entirely, or whatever mix of the two that meets your needs.

As Marketo experts, we will help you make sure all of your programs are properly adapted into the Marketo environment. Unless you are migrating between Marketo instances, you will have to rebuild the programs in your new instance. There is no ability to import a program from a different platform. Our experience will help smooth over the bumps that will inevitably arise as you have to “translate” into the new language of Marketo. If you are moving from one instance to the next, you can use the program import tool, but you may still have to do some specific rebuilds manually. 

Expect the Unexpected

An old military adage states no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Even the best laid plans have to be ready to change once the realities of the actual engagement reveal themselves, whatever they may be. When this inevitably happens to you, it will pay to have someone else around to offer assistance and advice. We have assisted with many migrations, and while every situation is unique, our history of service and happy clients means we have probably seen something similar to your current quandary.

Actually, we encourage our clients to take the migration as an opportunity to reassess their strategies and technologies. For instance, did you know Adobe has launched Dynamic Chat? Instead of paying for another 3rd party service, you can use a chatbot included with your Marketo subscription. When you make a realization like this and decide to leverage the new feature, the Leadous team is right by your side to help you understand what those changes to the plan mean for the rest of the migration timeline. 

As your team acclimates to the new platform, you can also engage with Leadous to train your staff. Even if you have to solely rely on Leadous during the migration because you are unfamiliar with Marketo, we have the resources to make sure your team doesn’t have to stay that way. From instructor-led sessions with our training expert to access to our managed learning system, Certous, Leadous can take your staff from novice to expert.

A Steady Hand on the Wheel

Whether you decide to do the rebuilds yourself or you want to offload the whole task, with Leadous consultants available to help, the switch to the Marketo Engage platform doesn’t have to be a strike against making the move. You will have dedicated Marketo Certified Experts working as your consultants during the transition, but you won’t be limited to just them. Through your consultants, you will have access to the entire Leadous Services Team and our entire combined experience. With our knowledge, you can rest easy knowing that any challenges you encounter can be dealt with and overcome.

If you are thinking about making the switch to Marketo Engage, reach out to find out what Leadous can do for you

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One of the things we know for sure is that the more you know about the job you have the more effective you become. For most Marketo users that has meant working with a partner to implement Marketo Engage, whether it be Adobe or otherwise, attend Foundations Training by sending a fake invite to a dinner party, and then getting back into the office a week later to send your first email in Marketo.  This process got users stuck in a batch and blast mode, not much more powerful than the email marketing solution they migrated from.  

Or our favorite, users inherit an instance built with straws and duct tape.  Previous users built what they could with what they knew. Everything by trial and error.  Wasting precious time and resources.  Then just when they finally got rolling, would leave to move onto the next role and the process would restart.

The Leadous  powerhouse of experts won’t let users flail any longer. Enter Certous.  Leadous’ learning management system powered platform for personalized Marketo engage curriculums to take Marketo Engage Users from novice to pro in no time.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. Register for a license.
  2. Fill out the Marketo Experience Questionnaire.
  3. Get access to your personalized curriculum.

      Now start learning!

Register today and begin your path to Marketo Engage excellence!

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No matter how talented the driver, any motor sports team knows you need to keep the vehicle in top shape if you want to win. That means constantly being on the lookout for signs of anything not working at top efficiency. Even the most seasoned driver would not be able to cross the finish line if one of the tires blew out because it wasn’t inflated properly. Likewise, the most brilliant, innovative Marketo initiative is doomed to fail if you don’t keep up with the everyday maintenance of monitoring your email deliverability statistics.

Keeping Up with the Basics

Email deliverability is one of those things that can be easily overlooked until the situation is already well out of hand. It can be very tempting to just keep getting emails set up and sent out. A driver just wants to be out there driving. However, a successful driver knows they need to check in with their pit crew. Rather than reaching a point of no return or taking drastic measures at an inflection point, you would be better off checking in on a regular basis. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

You should monitor the email deliverability of both your overall instance and each individual program. Obviously each program is a part of the overall health, but taking the time to examine them individually allows you to better track when something unexpected or unusual might have occurred. For instance, if you see an unusually sharp decrease in the percentage of emails successfully delivered in one of your programs, you can start to examine other events around that time that may have affected your deliverability. Did you purchase a bad list from a data vendor? Maybe your IP has been flagged by a reputation entity like SpamCop. Having regular behavior markers will make identifying the proverbial needle in the haystack much easier.

You and your team have spent a lot of time working on content to send out to your potential customers. Then you spent more time deciding what specific subsection of your audience would be the most likely to respond to each piece of that content. How sure are you that you were making accurate assumptions? As your deliverability statistics trend downward, uncertainty surrounding your other metrics goes up. If your messages end up in a spam folder, the audience you spent all that effort selecting will shrink in ways you will not be able to predict. 

The Leadous Approach

Leadous and our team of experts work hard to keep abreast of email marketing trends industry-wide. We can help you make sure you know what others in similar lines of business are seeing. Using Marketo’s reporting suite, we can show you how to set up automated reporting that can deliver key metrics straight to your inbox on your desired schedule. Just like with the data metrics, Leadous also stays up to date with design trends. We can examine the emails you have sent in the past in order to help you identify any components within them that are more or less likely to affect being classified as spam.

In our standard audit, we really like to take the engine apart to see where we can help you make improvements. If you and your team are great drivers, but need a better pit crew, Leadous can come in to act as your mechanics. If you are trying to build up your in-house crew into an elite team, we can help train your people on best practices. Even if you have a great pit crew, it never hurts to bring an outside set of eyes to recognize problems that have become normalized. 

We will take a look at your overall database examining several key metrics. We will also make sure your Marketo instance is using all the available security authentication protocols for your emails and Marketo-hosted landing pages. We will also closely examine 3-5 emails either at your specific request or a few that we identify as potentially significant. We look at the specific deliverability and success metrics in detail. We also will take a look at the contents of each email making suggestions for improvements.

Reach out to see what Leadous’ team of experts can do to improve your organization’s email deliverability statistics.

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Bullseye! Is there any better exclamation after completing a difficult task? We all know it means someone just hit exactly what they were aiming for. What if you could take some of the difficulty out of hitting your targets? What if you could help guide your shot right to the target? You could be experiencing the thrills and rush of scoring your bullseyes more often.

Get Acquainted with Account Based Marketing

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is something of a different approach to marketing your products and services. Rather than casting a wide net to appeal to as many people as possible in as wide an audience as possible, ABM relies on a more focused approach. The idea is to strategize and pick certain accounts to focus your efforts on by delivering highly personalized, strategic campaigns to the people and organizations that are the best fit for your company.

An ABM marketer is less concerned with driving high volumes. They tend to focus on finding a select group of customers considered high yield. The definition of high yield might vary from marketer to marketer or even customer to customer. The target may be to find a new big logo that will be using your services. Or, the target may just be people you expect are big spenders. Maybe you want to target records that typically have short close times on their deals. Whatever the case, the point is that an ABM campaign is built specifically with its audience in mind.

The identification of which accounts to target for a particular ABM campaign is the result of collaboration across departments. Both the Marketing and Sales Teams should look at their data to determine the profile they want to aim for. This means looking at existing opportunities that are examples of the kinds of accounts you want to target. Look for commonalities among existing opportunities to start to build the profile of the kind of record you will target.

Get the Most Bullseyes for Your Money

Companies tend to become interested in ABM strategies because they offer better ROI than a traditional wide net approach. A well built ABM campaign will have its goals and analytics set up and running, ready for the campaign’s launch. You should set these up early in order to establish some baseline behavior. An established baseline allows you to judge how the campaign’s contents are performing. How active were your targets before? Did your efforts actually drive more people to your website to request demos? You can really only answer that knowledgeably if you understand how those accounts behaved before the campaign. 

Data begets more data. As your campaign runs, you can use the analysis of it to start informing even more personalization in your already targeted audience. For instance, you can start putting together the profile of those inside your audience that were a quick win. Then you can start developing content further personalized to seek out more quick wins.

Sharing data and collaboration between Marketing and Sales is a vital component of ABM campaigns. The Marketing Team can provide Sales with top-of-funnel information so that the Sales members can watch activity and possibly ascertain signals from those potential buyers. Sales should be keeping Marketing up to date for any changes in trends in closed deals that might affect future ABM campaigns.

Planning It All Out

Sharing the data won’t be the only things Sales and Marketing will be doing together. Working together, your team should be able to come up with your customer’s typical journey. The general example is Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Desire, and Action. Once the journey and its stages have been defined, your team can start planning what content and assets will be applied at each step in the journey. How fast a company moves through the stages, and/or where they entered will affect what type of content they should receive. For instance, if the targeted company has never even been to your website before, the approach will be different than another who has already filled out a Contact Me request.

Targeting and personalization continues inside each organization. The structure of targeted companies also matters. The value of an interested IT tech is probably less than the Director of IT which is also less than someone in the C-suite. The value of the first party might just be in your introduction to their boss. What each level of employee cares about is also different. The high ROI of ABM strategies comes from the high return on targeted content. If there’s value in different content for different levels of employees, keep narrowing your targeting down. At the very least, make sure your content encourages working your way up the targeted company’s hierarchy.

Marketo, Leadous, and ABM

All of this data collection and organization is made incredibly more manageable when using Marketo as your marketing automation platform. The Leadous team knows how to leverage all the reporting and tracking Marketo brings to the table that you need to plan, build, and execute ABM campaigns. Every click, website visit, content download, and form fill will be recorded so we can help you and your team analyze the results.

Additionally, Marketo will allow real-time personalization in emails and landing pages. ABM campaigns are all about ROI, and ROI is highest on personalized content. Leadous’ team can help build content for you with personalization in mind. That includes everything from making sure your company’s relevant data is making it into Marketo to building custom email templates and designs.

Reach out to Leadous today to setup and hit your bullseye.

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When it comes to marketing metrics, you are either eating at the table or being eaten. Without Adobe Marketo Measure (formerly Bizible), everyone sitting at the table will simply say, “You can’t sit with us.” Marketo Measure gives marketing automation the ability to track the customer journey from first touch to closed/won, while providing visibility into which channels are driving this journey. What do you need to know before you take your seat and eat the most delicious meal full of marketing attribution? 

The Ingredients

The goal of marketing attribution is to understand how their efforts affect pipeline, sales, and ROI. Which channels perform the best? How should we be spending our valuable time, resources, and budget? Marketo Measure touchpoints are the first step in determining the answer to these questions. Touchpoints are used to measure interaction with marketing, and there are two primary types of touchpoints – online and offline. Online touchpoints are created via the Marketo Measure JavaScript on your website, while offline touchpoints are created via activities such as webinar and trade show attendance. These touches then need to be categorized by channels and subchannels to help determine which types of marketing are most successful. Think of the touchpoint as the groceries and the channels are the aisles in the store. While a grocery store may sort food by meat, dairy, and produce, Marketo Measure categorizes touchpoints into channels such as Paid Search, Social, Events, and more. These channels can then be further broken down into subchannels to determine where a channel shines. If paid social is the most successful channel, for example, it would be helpful to know what percentage of this success can be attributed to Facebook versus Linkedin. 

Break out the Cookbook

Now that you have gathered and categorized all of your touchpoints, it is time to decide how you want to map out the buyer’s journey. Marketo Measure comes with five out-of-the-box attribution models that can show a buyer’s journey. This is the recipe for (tracking) success. The first two models are First Touch and Lead Creation and are examples of single-touch attribution. In these models, 100% of the attribution credit is given to either the first point of marketing contact or the point at which the person becomes a lead. The other models are U-Shaped, W-Shaped, and Full Path and are more complex, multi-touch models. These paths rely on distribution of attribution among four milestone touchpoints: first touch (FT), lead creation (LC), opportunity (OC), and close/won (CW). The U-Shaped model divides the attribution credit evenly between FC and LC, while the W-Shape assigns FT, LC, and OC 30% attribution each and the remaining 10% is given to any intermediate touchpoints. Full Path includes all four of the milestones, assigning 22.5% credit to each point, with the remaining 10% going to intermediary touches. The custom model allows marketers to choose which stages are included, and how much attribution should be assigned to each. Choosing the model that works best for your company’s business needs is important for reporting on a lead’s movement through the funnel.  

Set the table

Once your marketing journey has been established, it is time to analyze the data and report on it. This is the last step before you can finally take your seat at the table. Marketo Measure comes with its own UI in the Discover Dashboard. This is where you can drill down into elements such as ROI, Spend, Pipeline Revenue, Deals, Opportunities, Contacts or Leads. This can be used to prove marketing’s impact on the movement through the funnel. Use the reporting functionality to answer – where do my leads come from? How much do I pay per opportunity or win? What is my true ROI? Where should we place our marketing spend? In addition to the built-in reporting capabilities, business intelligence platforms Tableau and PowerBI can be leveraged.  

Now that the touchpoints have been tracked and categorized, an attribution model has been chosen, and reports have been created, it is finally time to take a seat at the table. Marketo Measure has given you the opportunity to track the buyer’s journey and shows how and why marketing drives this journey. To get help with our attribution and your buyer journey contact us today!

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Credit scoring has become foundational to the current financial system. It was conceived and has evolved to track and rate the history of a person’s financial choices. Through years of refinement in terms of both tracking and scoring individual actions, credit scoring became critical to anyone in the business of lending money. The Marketo Engage platform can build out a scoring system that your sales team can treat like their own personally curated Equifax score.

Lean Into the Idea

A lead scoring system built in Marketo should be developed cooperatively between the marketing and sales teams. The two departments will need to have an open and honest collaboration. The discussion will be wide-ranging covering the perceived values of everything from favorable demographic qualities to attending trade shows to simply clicking through to your landing pages. 

The point is to assess what actions and/or conditions have traditionally been those most likely to lead to sales opportunities for your company. Devote the planning and resources necessary to make sure your plan is a predictive tool your sales team can rely on. If you have data you can already study, you should be diving deep. If you do not have formal data, you can start with typical industry practices and anecdotal input from the sales representatives. 

Determine the Threshold

Different demographic categories and various actions can all be assigned different values. The more favorably your company views the action, the higher the value of the associated score. Taking a view of all the possible ways a contact can accumulate points, you will need to decide at what point value the sales team would consider accepting a lead.

If you have set up your model correctly, the sales team’s new leads will have already absorbed enough information about your services that they will find these contacts are ready to take things to the next level. This threshold is typically what determines when a contact becomes a marketing qualified lead (MQL). Just like a bank will take an Equifax score as proof that someone is a good candidate to open a credit card, the salespeople in your organization will be able to accept a MQL status as proof they should focus their efforts on that contact. 

Your Lead Scoring Model, Your Way

Your organization will determine what actions are most predictive of a Closed Won sales opportunity. These choices will determine the logic and actions of the campaigns in Marketo, meaning your Marketo instance will be tailored to fit your specific needs. The logic will be yours, but Leadous can help your organization make sure the actual Marketo programs are built with best practices in mind to ensure leads are scored and sent to sales as MQLs.

Even if you started from a place without hard data, once your campaigns are running in Marketo, you will have strong reporting capabilities. Using this data, you should periodically revisit your scoring campaigns. Keep refining your logic. Keep working on how you are collecting your data. Trends can and will change, and what was once highly predictive may become only loosely correlated. It can even be such that the MQL threshold itself needs to be reassessed.

The point of these reviews is not to achieve perfection, but to continue to work toward it. While the scoring model will be reliable, it will not be absolute. Even people with excellent credit scores can end up defaulting on their payments. However, you can use even these situations to reflect on potential modifications to the model. You can decide if you think recycling a record back through more marketing is a viable path, and what, if any, modifications to the marketing they would receive as they possibly work their way back toward being a MQL again.

Make Your Scoring Model Its Own Institution

When the scoring model is implemented and refined, everyone should be happier. Both departments will be able to focus their energies in the most productive places. The sales team will be working with contacts more likely to make a purchase. The marketing team will be able to demonstrate how their efforts lead to success. Properly maintained, over time, your program will gain a positive internal reputation as everyone around it recognizes its value.

The Leadous team can help guide you through the process. We have tools and experience that can help you strategize around your specific use case. Our experts will keep you on track and make sure your team avoids common scoring pitfalls.

For more information on Lead Scoring contact us at info@leadous.com

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Seeing a butterfly is truly one of life’s greatest little joys. People are always happy to see the beautiful creatures flying around. However, before that butterfly was the bright specimen fluttering about, it began its life as a caterpillar. It had to beat the odds and survive its environment while consuming enough to nourish itself through its transformation. Thinking like that, it is not hard to draw the comparison of a butterfly to a completed sale.

 

First, it hatches!

A new contact has been created in the database. A contact has become known. A tiny egg has hatched. The hatchling needs two things to have a chance at becoming a butterfly, a safe environment and nutrition. A safe environment is a well-maintained Marketo Engage instance with functional operational programs to handle tasks like scoring, tracking a record’s status, and data hygiene. Nutrition means this record will go through programs and campaigns that trigger email outreach. 

 

A clean environment will lay the foundation for the growth of our potential butterfly. That means the Marketo instance has a well-thought-out scoring system developed with plenty of collaboration with the sales team. This collaboration should be ongoing, not just a set it and forget it interaction. A select group of smart campaigns will be responsible for tracking a contact’s journey through life cycle statuses. Lastly, keeping the database clean means you are less likely to have a record missing out on programs. Records living in a healthy environment means more chances for qualified leads to be hatched.

 

A finely tuned Marketo instance is going to be spoon-feeding new records with all of the nutrition they could ever need. This starts with standard email sends. However, it certainly doesn’t end there. It will go on to include nurture campaigns, invitations to both live and digital events, and links to resources on the web. 

And then it flies.

Eventually, our caterpillar decides to take a bite, much like a record being marketed to. They choose to interact with one of the emails they have received. Maybe they click through to a landing page. Maybe they register for a webinar. Or, maybe they decide they need to register for a monthly newsletter. Whatever the case may be, our lead has started storing up the data it will need to undergo its glorious metamorphosis into an opportunity and then a customer. In Marketo’s language, the record just earned its first behavior-scoring points.

 

As our record continues receiving various forms of outreach and taking various actions in response, their score will continue to rise. At some predetermined point, they will have earned enough points to become an MQL, a marketing-qualified lead. This means that the lead has demonstrated enough interest and meets the minimum threshold of characteristics that they are ready to be handed off to the sales team.

 

At this point, the sales team will assess if they believe this record is indeed ready for their efforts. If the sales team doesn’t think this lead has what it takes, well, it’s not all bad news. The magic of Marketo means the lead has another shot at eventually getting its wings. If they accept the MQL, the record becomes a sales accepted lead, SAL, and continues its journey. 

The Rewind Button

In real life, a caterpillar really only has one shot to make it all the way to butterfly. Fortunately, a well-maintained Marketo lifecycle will have its smart campaigns listening for various triggers to reset a record’s status. In this way, an MQL can be rejected by the sales team, and instead of its chance being over, it can instead be reset as an engaged record that will continue to receive outreach and education. Once again, actions from the contact will accumulate points, and possibly even regain its status as an MQL.

 

The beauty of this ability to rewind is that it can occur at virtually any point in the lifecycle and reset to any previous status however many steps ago that was in the journey. A recycled contact stays in the automation flows, hopefully bringing them back again with a higher chance of success on their return visit, and it frees up sales to work on records that are hopefully more fruitful.

The Sales Journey

The sales team will continue to work on their SALs. But Marketo can still play a role here too. Smart campaigns can be configured to look at a record’s status in the life cycle. These campaigns can be used to help keep specific information or announcements top of mind for your contacts without forcing the sales team to directly reach out to everyone in every instance.

 

As the sales team works with the contact, they may decide that this record wasn’t quite ready for a firm sales pitch yet. They can still recycle that contact back into a previous status. Or, if everything is going well, and they think this contact is ready, they can decide the record is now a SQL, sales-qualified lead. It is at this point, typically, that a sales opportunity is associated with the lead. And then the lead, much like our baby caterpillar, is ready for its next stage.

The Cocoon

The sales team will still need to work with the lead to answer questions and engage the contact during the sales process. Again, Marketo campaigns can be leveraged to whatever extent the sales team feels comfortable to aid in communications during this process.

 

Just because a caterpillar has made its cocoon, that doesn’t guarantee the caterpillar is going to survive all the way to its emergence and initial flight. Just like in nature, a record at this point in the life cycle has all the information it could need and is in a safe, secure place. However, some small twist of fate may mean this deal was not meant to be. If that’s the case, if the sales team thinks they could maybe potentially come around for another try later, they can recycle them to a previous life cycle status.

The Birth of a Beautiful Butterfly

The record decided to go with your company and purchase your services. After its beginning as a virtually unknown quantity, that record was nurtured by well-engineered Marketo campaigns and a great sales team. The lead came to know and respect your brand and team during its journey. A glorious, new butterfly has entered the world. What started as a little crawling caterpillar was given a safe, bountiful place to mature in your environment. And, aren’t we all just a little more joyous for playing our part in its presence?

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It’s surprising to talk with so many marketers that say they get a goal pushed down from above. No rhyme or reasoning, just a revenue number – oh, and no increase in budget. Then marketing has to figure out how. It can be done but in order to see it work, and understand conversion at what phases in the funnel can have the biggest impact can seem overwhelming if one doesn’t understand where or how to start.

For example, low conversion along the entire funnel means the database that is feeding the pipeline needs to increase in size. And data costs. Conversion backup early in the funnel tells us marketing is ineffective, late in the funnel sales is ineffective. In the middle, conversion between MQL and SQL usually identifies a marketing and sales alignment issue.

Like any challenge, once you identify what it is and have a model based on industry assumptions or actual data from your CRM and automation platform, marketers can become much more strategic about what and how they are going to help leads convert, and sales teams win. You can choose specific segments that will have separate campaigns, you can choose to go further through the funnel on prospects to keep things moving forward, and provide less air coverage on customer leads. Whatever the model tells you is the right move.

Even a loose model that is based on averages and assumptions can give a marketer enough to start to make more effective decisions on channels, tactics, and timing.

At Leadous, we tend to build three models. The as-is, what you can do if no factors changed. The goal, what the model would need to look like if the goal were to be met. And the third, which is the game-changer, is a model where the inputs can be changed to see how each could affect the model. What if you got more customers, what if the average deal size increased, what if the database grew, what if more deals closed…the options are endless and it creates a visual that is a great aid in conversations where sales, management, and marketing do not have defined levers, or understand the inner-workings of the entire lead to the sales cycle.

Let Leadous help you reverse engineer your funnel by building you a model that illustrates your ability to meet goals and exceed expectations. Reach out to an expert today by clicking here.

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Movin’ on up.

Marketers put so much effort into email marketing platforms over time that it seems like a daunting task to make the move to a more robust platform, and move everything. The question becomes is the trade-off worth it. To answer this question, a clear understanding of why the move is being considered, the hard and soft costs, and the time it will take all need to be considered.

Why move? This question seems to be the easiest to answer. Some features are missing from the existing platform and the move to a new platform will fill the gap. List of the ones you have and the ones you want, then do a side-by-side with the new platform to make sure you’ll get the features you are using and be able to level up with new features that should be game-changing to how you are marketing.

What are the hard and soft costs? The hard cost is how much you currently pay and how much you will pay. The soft relates to the value of the resources and time to get something new up and running. Although budget should be a driving cost, sometimes the investment in the change far outweighs what you might be paying from a dollar standpoint.

How much time will it take? If you have hundreds of active campaigns and programs expect this to take a while. Also, think about the time it will take to onboard team members to the new platform. There is an opportunity cost with taking your eyes off of other things, it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do, but it is definitely a factor to take into consideration.

We see many clients who decide to start from scratch at a certain point in time, move nothing, and see great success quickly. Others are tied to their existing assets and programs and find it challenging to get going. Our best tips to make sure migration is successful:

  1. Take everything into consideration and make an informed decision.
  2. Be planful. Follow the plan.
  3. Don’t forget to shut the old system off.

Leadous helps clients through the migration process every day. Let us help you determine in a new platform is necessary and how to make the transition as smooth as possible. Reach out to one of our experts today by simply clicking here.

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With the new year right around the corner the whole office is going to be filled with folks making resolutions to ‘Sharpen the Saw’ as Steven Covey would say. Whether you call it sharpening the saw or just practicing self-care, people commonly vow to drink more water, eat better food and get more sleep. One of the more challenging dimensions of being your best self is keeping yourself mentally sharp. A great way to do that is take a course or learn a new skill.

Leadous offers plenty of ways for you and your team to freshen up knowledge, build a deeper level of understanding in a specific area or even get certified as a Marketo Certified Expert (MCE) or Marketo Certified Specialist.

  • MCE Certification Support – In 2022, Adobe’s most rigorous MCE test becomes the only route to certification. Leadous has helped people from all departments and across the country to gain certification.
  • Workshops – Give your entire team the gift of  Marketo Engage™ training in one of our signature workshops that dives deep into your company’s specific roadblocks and plans for success in 2022
  • Custom Courses – Start where you are and let our Marketo Certified Experts answer questions, provide context and advise on best practices. You determine the subject and we bring the resources and training assets you or your team needs.
  • Specialization Courses – Especially interested in strengthening knowledge in a certain area of Marketo Engage™? Currently there are 11 specializations and we can provide resources that are focused on your specific goals

1. Account-Based Marketing
2. Analytics Attribution
3. Analytics and Reporting
4. Customizing Creative Assets
5. Email Deliverability
6. Events and Webinars
7. Nurture and Engagement
8. Programs and Campaigns
9. Setup and Configuration
10. Social Marketing
11. Web Personalization

End 2021 with training that renews your team and brings recharged attention to the power of marketing automation. Let Leadous share our creative knowledge and training assets with you today. Contact Us for More on Marketo Engage™ Training

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The end of the year is an ideal time to revisit your lead lifecycle definitions or build a company-specific model that brings together management, marketing and sales with the hopes of more revenue for everyone in the new year.

The lead lifecycle model is a valuable tool which is enhanced using a Marketing Automation platform to better understand how a person goes from a lead to paying customer. Each lead’s process through the lead lifecycle reveals valuable knowledge for both the sales and marketing teams, as well as management. Sales can see how many leads are in each stage and marketing can see where lead scoring and email campaigns are positively affecting a lead’s movement through the lead lifecycle. Management is able to more easily identify bottlenecks in the process that require additional resources. Let’s discover what building a basic lead lifecycle can teach.

THE BEGINNING OF THE LEAD LIFECYCLE TELL US WHO LEADS ARE
Before a lead enters a company’s Marketing Automation platform, the lead usually arrives with the minimum of data – a name, a company and (hopefully) a valid email address. To learn more about who they are, marketing starts a group of basic leads in the lifecycle by adding the leads to an outreach campaign. Marketing teams spend time focused on what channels and tactics get leads to engage and connect with sales teams. Tactics can include lead scoring and nurture campaigns which help determine more data points on who this lead is, how the lead engages with the company  and how close the lead is to becoming a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).

LEAD LIFECYCLE MODELING SHOWS WHAT WORKS
Effective marketing messaging is efficient at moving leads throughout the entire lifecycle. Marketing can use targeted messaging to help  eliminate bottlenecks in the lifecycle funnel or help leads in a sales stage to get engaged and moving again. As leads move through the marketing funnel the movement from one stage to another can be tracked to show what combination of marketing messaging works best at converting customers. For example, offering case studies of companies in similar industries to leads who haven’t yet engaged or to those that are stuck in the sales process and a reference would help move them forward.

LEAD CYCLE MODELING DETERMINES WHEN A LEAD MOVES TO SALES
Building a lead lifecycle requires that marketing and sales teams more tightly align to determine when a lead is qualified to move from a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This conversation to define all stages of the lead lifecycle process helps marketing and sales see how they are connected and how those teams can work together to get better results and more revenue from closing deals and keeping customers satisfied.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN LEAD LIFECYCLE MODEL
A quick search will show that there are many different stages to include when creating a lead lifecycle model that works for your company. Leadous recommends that a lead lifecycle is envisioned as two connected parts – Marketing and Sales. Best practices for the marketing lead lifecycle includes stages like ‘Added to Campaign’, ‘Engagement’, ‘Connection’ and ‘MQL’. For the sales process, lifecycle stages are often defined in the following terms – ‘SQL’, ‘Qualified’, ‘Has Proposal’, ‘In Negotiation’ & ‘Closed Won/Lost’. By bringing marketing, sales and management together in Q4 a highly specialized lead lifecycle model can be created before the new year.

For assistance building a lead lifecycle model that utilizes marketing automation best practices  to effectively move leads to customers Contact Us.

Our Marketo Certified Experts can help Marketo users leverage Marketo Engage features such as the Lead Lifecycle or the Revenue Cycle Modeler.

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Have a finance department that is focused on cutting costs and being more efficient? We do too. (Hi Mike!) Finance leaders like ours are usually looking to streamline their processes and engagements. As business becomes increasingly more sophisticated, automation allows the Finance team to leverage the company’s existing investment in a Marketing Automation platform:

  • Accounts PayableWe historically think of cash flow issues and cash collection as a reactive process, but Marketing Automation can change the entire approach.  By shifting to a proactive communication and engagement process, you improve efficiencies and reduce late payments. 
  • AwarenessPolicy changes and company updates are enhanced when you communicate to your clients, partners and employees regularly in order to create an awareness or understanding that may not have been apparent before.
  • ReportingYou can employ multiple different reports in your Marketing Automation platform  to automatically study the impact of various campaigns, their response, and gain key insights into future action.
  • Staying Competitive Encouraging your team to use the proven tactics of Marketing Automation allows them to free their time to focus on other areas to put your teams and ultimately your business ahead of the competition.  

Talk to your finance team today. Employing Marketing Automation strategies opens up your team’s time to focus on other areas where they can create a positive business impact.  It becomes an easy process to put in place after working with your team on where you would like to initially focus and then scale your efforts. 

Have any questions about how to leverage Marketing Automation in the Finance Department and take your success to the next level? Contact us.

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HR teams are routinely challenged to find the best candidates and top talent that elevate your enterprise BUT successful HR teams excel by personally connecting with the most qualified candidates while automating tedious, time-consuming tasks. Leveraging your Marketing Automation platform in the recruiting process also ensures every candidate and employee has an equally amazing but decidedly unique hiring and onboarding experience.  Let’s take a look: 

Qualifying and Hiring

  • Attract Provide impeccably branded and streamlined communication to introduce your brand to the best candidates
  • Qualify Candidates – Score candidates’ behaviors and easily report on how top candidates interact with your company
  • Engage & Personalize – Marketing Automation’s strength is in personalizing the journey for candidates  
  • Hire – Layout an email stream that aligns with each candidate’s path through the interview process and into onboarding

Onboarding and Beyond

  • Onboarding – Ensure engagement through the entire hiring process with a straightforward and well-planned automated onboarding process  
  • Facilitate – Standardize government and company hiring processes so when certification requirements and policies change it is easy to seamlessly adjust
  • Measure – Set up reporting and measurement mechanisms to track, develop and continue to improve results

Have questions about how to leverage Marketing Automation in Human Resources and take your success to the next level? Contact us.

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Melisa Day from Chemours

Author: Melissa Day, Global Digital Marketing Leader at Chemours

How do you determine your martech maturity?

My thirteen and fifteen year old stepsons recently had an argument on a car ride home about who was more mature and asked me to intervene. I knew they wanted a clear-cut answer and were not asking for a life lesson, so I compromised and hit them with a thoughtful question: What does maturity look like to you?

They both had different answers, and each reflected their strengths. The younger one has a tidier room and of course said, “It’s mature when you keep your things neat!” The older one retorted “Well, it’s more mature when you help other people like bringing in groceries.” They went back and forth a few times and ultimately did not name a victor, as they ironically got distracted, laughing and making fart noises.

Maturity Factors

So what are the factors of maturity? Before the fart noises, we discussed homework, pet responsibilities, helping others, making the bed, even choosing to eat healthy foods. All of these factors can indicate mature choices, of course, but the combination of multiple factors better depicts overall maturity level.

When it comes to digital marketing, specifically marketing automation, measuring your maturity similarly comes down to your balance. I’ve seen martech stacks that involve AI-driven content based on predictive analytics… but are missing automated data cleansing programs to optimize their operations.

Leadous offers a comprehensive Marketing Automation Progression Model that outlines maturity factors to check off the list, some of my favorites including:

  • Initial Target ABM Assessments
  • Behavioral Segmentation
  • Advanced Email Personalization
  • Insights for Non-Marketing Teams

Self-Accountability

My boys were quick to point out each other’s flaws (“it’s not like you make your bed every day!”) but unsurprisingly had a more difficult time realizing their own.

In a similar way, leaders, strategists, and technicians in the digital marketing space can turn a blind eye to missing maturity factors. We are constantly moving towards the next technical advancement or preparing for the newest capability, and sometimes forget to account for those foundational factors. To determine your true level of maturity, it’s not enough to check the boxes of the areas your digital marketing operations model covers. You must also highlight the areas you are missing.

My eyes always run to the last “stage” of a maturity model to see how far away I am from being the most mature. Seldom do I focus on the first stages to ensure I have the foundational elements in place to start evaluating the next one!

Back to that Leadous model, some of the less-exciting factors, but arguably more important are these:

  • Basic Segmentation
  • Basic Scoring
  • Preference Center
  • Campaign Reporting

Advanced email personalization sounds glorious, but if my current martech is not supporting batch email programs to a segmented audience, I may have skipped a few steps, especially if I’m missing a solid preference center to ensure I’m emailing people who want to hear from us.

Back to my boys. The youngest claimed to be the most mature because he mows our lawn. The eldest was fast to point out the fact that his brother must be reminded (loudly and often) to brush his teeth. Thus, even though he had mastered a high maturity factor, he couldn’t possibly be the most mature because he didn’t have a handle on a more basic factor.

Growing in Maturity

While my car ride home ended in giggles and arm-pit sounds, most digital marketing maturity conversations end with a maturity goal in mind. The continued need for growth in the digital world is crucial to success in marketing, but equally important is the need to properly and honestly assess your current standing.

The art of digital transformation and onset of new technical capabilities are constantly promoted in forums, on LinkedIn, and sometimes from the mouths of our leaders in their expectations of us. In the last year I have personally felt that pressure to be delivering the next-best-digital-experience for our customers, and have to admit I’ve been momentarily caught up in the shiny glow of a new campaign instead of closing the loop on the basics.

What my boys (accidentally) reminded me was the right (and wrong) way to advance the maturity in my own marketing operations model. Before we can start leveraging behavioral segmentation in our Marketo instance, we are focusing on ensuring our lead scoring model is buttoned up.

When is the last time you audited your own maturity? Take a look at the progression model from Leadous to see where you land. Be honest! It’s the only way to grow in your maturity and beat your brother, or whatever your reasoning is for seeking victory.

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It’s the question on your sales team’s minds when they see that new lead notification from marketing. With the myriad of tasks sales is juggling, it’s understandable they need a system to be able to prioritize which leads are “drop everything now and call” and which leads can be put into an automated follow up sequence. 

So how can you better tag and prioritize leads for your sales team? That’s where lead scoring comes in. 

Lead scoring measures the explicit and implicit behavior of the lead (more on that below) to rate the sales readiness of a new prospect, ultimately answering these two questions: 

Is this lead ready to buy?
Propensity to Buy: Where are the prospects in the buying cycle? Are they ready to purchase your product tomorrow or two years from now? Are they just beginning their online search or are they evaluating you against your competitors? Are they ready for a demo or just kicking the tires to learn more about you?

Is this lead a good fit for our products or services?
Product Fit: Are the prospects a good fit for your business? Do they look like your best customers? 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 lead scoring. 

Lead scoring is the collaboration of sales and marketing to rank leads. 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, which ones need more nurturing from marketing, and which leads just may never be a good fit for your business. 

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 based on demographic or firmographic information. This can be through a form fill where a prospect tells you her job title, company size, geographic location, and so on. Or you can update this information from your own database. 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 or only visits the careers page on your website and no other pages, 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!

Have any questions about getting started with lead scoring or taking your lead scoring to the next level? Contact us.

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Marketo Engage is making changes that may impact your URLs and forms.

Customer Specific URL Changes

Starting January 21, 2021 Marketo Engage will be making changes to the structure of URLs for landing pages, forms, and images/files for subscribers without a configured landing page domain.  These changes will not impact users who currently have a configured landing page domain.

What’s Changing?

  • Paths for each asset type will change to a unique hostname for your individual  subscription. 

What Actions Should Be Taken to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes?

  • Configure landing page URLs with a CNAME.
  • Enable SSL on your landing pages.
  • Update secure pages hosted outside of Marketo Engage that utilize Marketo Engage forms with the new embed code released in October 2020.
  • Audit where Design Studio assets are referenced on the web to update the existing URL structure. 

When Will Changes Be Implemented?

  • For new subscriptions, Marketo Engage will begin gradually provisioning the updated URLs starting January 21 – March 4, 2021
  • For existing users, changes will gradually roll out starting April 1, 2021,  with more details on the timeline to be released in March.
  • Complete depreciation of current URLs will begin in 2022.

As additional information becomes available we will pass it along but in the meantime you can find more info here: Marketo Nation Post

Form Updates

What’s Changing?

  • Forms 1.0 will no longer be functional and submissions will not go through.
  • Marketo Engage will reject form submissions through unsupported methods such as programmatic form POSTs due to being frequent targets of bot attacks. 

What Actions Should Be Taken to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes?

  • If your subscription was provisioned before December 31, 2014 you may still be utilizing Forms 1.0 assets, those will need to be updated in Forms 2.0 and replaced wherever they’re being used.
  • Check to see if any third parties are using the form POST method to send information to Marketo Engage as workarounds will be required.

When Will Changes Be Implemented?

  • The above changes will be a part of the May 7, 2021 Marketo Engage release.

Find out more about the form changes here.

Of course we’re always here if you have questions,  contact us.

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There are some upcoming changes that will impact your Marketo instance and marketing automation activities in general in the coming months.  They include:

Updated Marketo UI

If you didn’t know already, Marketo is getting a facelift!  

What’s changing? 

  • More intuitive navigation header with easy access to different product areas & global search. 
  • Cleaner tree with a simplified icon set and advanced filtering options. 

With these updates, users can expect improved efficiency and simplified workflows as Marketo Engage continues to make enhancements to the platform.  The rollout of the new UI is phased so some users may already be using while others are not, unfortunately a schedule is not available at this time.

As additional information becomes available we will pass it along but in the meantime here are some additional resources:

Setting Up SSL for Your Landing Pages

Data security is becoming more important since online threats can result in lost revenue, data and trust. These issues have led Marketo to require secured domains for every instance in 2020. Marketo instances who have not enabled SSL will experience issues with image rendering and links. 

To see if SSL is enabled in your instance, go to the Admin section and navigate to the Landing Page section. Under Settings toward the bottom you should see ‘Use Secure Pages:Yes.’

If you have not enabled SSL for your instance our step-by-step guide outlines the steps you’ll need to take to ensure it is done properly.  

Mixed Content 

In conjunction with enabling SSL in your Marketo instance it’s important to note that Google has announced a plan to block mixed content in Chrome to protect users from insecure downloads.  

What does this mean?:

  • If a user is viewing a secure (HTTPS) page and any of the content or images are hosted on non-secure links (HTTP) the content will not display (i.e. a picture will display as a broken image.)
  • Downloads will face the same issue as images, the only difference being an error message will display instead of a broken image.

Marketo has already started finding solutions to this issue with updates to Munchkin tracking code and RTP.

Cookie Tracking

Changes to cookie tracking will impact the Original Search Phrase and Original Search Engine fields in Marketo, which are intended to populate if the first webpage visit comes from a search engine link click.  Search engines no longer pass this information due to security and privacy concerns but Marketo will hold on to those fields so previously acquired data can be retained.

If you have questions on these topics you can contact us .

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During the holiday season your marketing team’s “wish list” probably includes a little time off, a little less noise from that “squeaky wheel” in sales, smooth sailing into 2020 budgeting, and… a Marketo expert?

Seems odd but after years of working with marketing teams on their Marketo instances, this definitely makes the top of the wish list for many of them.

Are you looking for a vetted team member who understands the platform inside and out, who can jump in and quickly push your team to new levels of automation prowess? All while seamlessly architecting and launching emails and analyzing data to drive more lead generation?

Unfortunately for many of the companies we work with, that expectation nets out to a bit of (unrealistic) holiday magic.

Most experienced Marketo pros are self taught by situational learning at one company after another. Their instances are left to collect dust when they move jobs and often no one understands how to pick up where they left off. Sometimes, by the time a new team member is in place, they decide to start from scratch rather than work through the mess without documentation (which is often the stage Leadous gets called in to rebuild!).

That’s why we’ve started offering our Staff Augmentation Services for Adobe and Marketo experts.

Instead of jumping in to pick up the pieces of an unused, undocumented Marketo instance, we provide certified, vetted experts from the get go, with the best practices and proven experience to get your demand generation efforts going the right way, right away.

With Marketing Automation Staff Augmentation, Leadous provides:

  • Expedited placements for resources managed by Leadous
  • A bench of dedicate Marketo experienced professionals
  • An advanced team with specialized Marketo skills to support custom requests around technical integrations and custom HTML
  • Staffing plan created just for you

Don’t worry, in this marketplace where Marketo talent is always hard to find and quick to leave to the next spot…we are constantly preparing a bench so you never go without the expertise you need to leverage your investment in Marketo.

Looking to get yourself into the Marketo job market? Digital Marketers with Marketo experience can take part in Leadous MCA Training Programs to create more value for themselves in the marketplace and to elevate themselves for their next career move.

So for Christmas this year, don’t wait for Santa to bring you your open marketing wishlist, fill your open Marketo role with an Adobe + Marketo certified expert. It’s like buying insurance for your expensive gifts, making sure that you’re always covered no matter the circumstances.

To learn more about marketing automation staff augmentation contact us today.

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The Winter Q1 ’18 Release is now available for all Marketo users, and it feels like it’s Leadous’ birthday all over again!

The latest Marketo release features are hardworking, straight to the point enhancements that help marketers like you better reach your audience, with the experience your audience expects, and at the end of the day prove marketing’s impact on the business.

What marketer wouldn’t be happy with that in a marketing automation platform? Read on for more details!

Reach the right audiences

Marketo has a myriad of features built in to help you engage the right audience, so your marketing activities are never wasted on people who aren’t a good fit for your business. The Winter Release has a couple features that continue to build on these features:

  • New support for account hierarchies that help you expand your use of Marketo Account-Based Marketing.
  • New Google Customer Match and an enhanced LinkedIn Matched Audience API to help you reach your target audience across Google Search, YouTube, LinkedIn and Gmail.
  • New event and lead assignment notifications in the Marketo Salesforce CRM integration to help you keep sales informed and on top of their follow up strategy.

Engage customers with the experiences they want

Once you’re reaching the right audience, Marketo helps you engage them in a timely manner with experiences that make sense in the context of where they’re engaging with you. These Winter Release features help support those activities:

  • Updates to the deliver in recipients’ time zone feature so your contacts are always getting your emails when they’re most relevant.
  • Velocity scripts and segmentation-based dynamic content to help you better personalize your engagement emails.
  • Optimized ContentAI gives you suggestions on personalized content targeted to each contact so you can easily create more personalized, meaningful campaigns.

Prove Marketing’s Impact

While it’s great to impact the business and drive sales, we need to be able to prove that what we’re doing is working so we can keep doing it! A big part of the Marketo Winter Release is the new Marketo Performance Insights (MPI) dashboard showing which campaigns and channels are impacting revenue and engaging your contacts. The MPI dashboard :

  • Connects campaigns directly to pipeline revenue, so you can prove where and how much marketing is impacting the business.
  • Contains data from up to 24 months so you can analyze long term audience trends.
  • Shows the main sources and channels where you’re getting the most traction, so you can test the best channel mix for your audience.

Marketo Performance Insights

And that’s just a sampling of all the enhancements in this feature-packed release.

Interested in learning more about how you can take advantage of some of the latest Marketo features? Contact us, we’d be happy to help!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

leadsource2

 

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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.