Category Archives: Event

The 2021 Adobe Summit was a record-setting event, virtually connecting with 50,000-plus companies and driving more than 20 million video views to date — and the excitement and innovation were just beginning. 

Shantanu Narayen, Chairman, President, CEO at Adobe, kicked off the keynote reflecting on the past year, “We’ve gone from a world with digital to a digital-first world, and there’s no going back,” said Shantanu. The rest of his speech focused on what it takes to excel as we all shift into a post-pandemic landscape.  And how best to follow up that message, with none other than tennis champion Serena Williams, sharing her perspective on the impact of digital.

You don’t have to imagine what 2022 will bring! ‘Reimagining Experiences’ Summit 2022 is taking place March 15th – 17th.  Register HERE.

If you missed last year, here are a few highlights:

Moving Forward | Bringing the in-person experience online
Anil Chakravarthy, EVP, GM Digital Experience Business at Adobe, noted that while we move forward and everything is still being shaped, we know it won’t go back to how it was even a year or two years ago. Every business has to rise up and rapidly pivot as customers expect deeper engagement, more personalization, and a deeper experience, virtually.

“Customer personalization done right drives business growth.”

-Anil Chakravarthy, EVP, GM Digital Experience Business at Adobe

‘Sneaks’ previews the future of customer experience
An annual favorite, Adobe Summit was also a chance to present the latest from the Adobe labs. This year, Emmy winner Dan Levy hosted Sneaks, walking through seven finalists:

  • Catchy Content, which uses Adobe Sensei’s AI technology to “read” content and gauge everything — from colors and objects to compositions and writing style — so it can deliver more personalized experiences.
  • Daily Content, an AI assistant in Workfront that helps reprioritize and re-organize tasks intuitively as needs shift throughout the day.
  • Account Ace, a tool that taps into AI technology to manage customer journeys by analyzing cross-platform “signals” and building personas.
  • Segment Tuner, an AI-powered data cleansing and repair tool.
  • Dimension Builder, a drag-and-drop tool for fixing data on the fly.
  • Live Wired, which brings together APIs to turn Adobe XD into a drag-and-drop interface that syncs with Adobe apps via a developer-friendly, low-code platform.
  • Savvy Search, is an actionable search bar that sits across Analytics, Target, and Journey Optimizer and helps customers find what they need to complete specific actions.

Adobe hints that what is coming next is…EVERYTHING
Learn more about the cutting-edge innovation by tuning into on-demand sessions, including all Innovation Super Sessions, Sneaks, and keynotes. Then, go to the Community to revisit networking opportunities, explore customer success stories, and discover some great work-from-home tips in Take 5. You can also learn more about your Experience Maker type and get tailored on-demand session recommendations in our interactive Adobe Experience Maker Type quiz.


Join a community of Experience Makers from around the world to learn, be inspired, and make connections that will empower you to create better, more personalized customer experiences.






Leadous is a revenue performance agency focused on maximizing high growth and enterprise brands that invest in Adobe’s Journey Orchestration products, specifically Marketo Engage and Bizible, to drive predictive revenue. Leadous’ certified consultants support digital marketing transformation initiatives, giving Marketers the confidence to increase the capacity, efficiencies, and effectiveness of their marketing operations to drive measurable growth. The Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM is the foundation for how Leadous guides brands through their evolution based on the people, process, and technology it takes to be best in class. 8-year proud platinum Adobe partner.

Let us lead you  |  WWW.LEADOUS.COM   |  844-LEADOUS

Category Archives: Event

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


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.

Category Archives: Event

Growth and scalability. The two concepts go hand in hand for marketers looking to up their growth game, without the ability to invest increasing dollars and headcount to gain every percentage point of growth.

But how do you factor scalability into your marketing growth strategy?

That’s where many marketing teams turn to automation. Instead of working harder, with radically increased teams and budgets, work smarter with the team and tools you have using automation. 

Join our May 26th Executive Circle: How Marketing Automation Changes the Growth Game, to hear how Leadous, Dupont – Chemours, and Adobe are working smarter, not harder, to grow with automation. 

You’ll hear directly from the marketers making the growth calls, including Tracey Ellis, CEO at Leadous; Melissa Day, Global Digital Marketing Leader at Chemours; and Cyndie Chon, Director of Commercial Growth Sales at Adobe.

Walk away with best practices, and behind the scenes stories on how top marketers are executing more strategic, efficient marketing strategies, including the four key elements of a scalable marketing automation for growth strategy: people, process, technology and patience.

  • People – The right staff with the right mixture of competencies to support the technology and process.

  • Process – A clearly outlined process for the handoff between your MarTech stack systems and the different teams that support those systems.

  • Technology – The right technology to support your company’s ever-expanding needs.

  • Patience – The runway to properly measure, report on, and continually improve your marketing processes. 

Join this virtual event to learn more about the people, process, and the automation technology to level up your business’ growth.

Category Archives: Event

Marketing and sales often get the most attention when we talk about cross-department collaboration in marketing. Although we love our sales friends, and even specialize on making the marketing and sales teamwork tick here at Leadous, we know that marketing often collaborates with many areas of the business outside of sales. 

From product, to customer service, to IT, marketing teams need to constantly work across departments to gain insight and meet their different audience needs to ultimately drive revenue. 

For our next Deep Dish event on February 6th, we’re going to dive deeper into one of those cross-collaborations: marketing and customer service. 

Marketing and customer service share one overlapping goal: gain and retain customers. There are many ways that the two departments can better work together in order to achieve this goal. 

From tag teaming social media inquiries, to sharing data and insights that inform new content and messaging, both teams are serving the customer along a different stage in the customer life cycle. 

During our event, we’ll take a closer look at the opportunities available when better aligning marketing and customer service. We’ll spend the morning discussing: 

  • What customer service data is important in marketing?
  • How does customer service represent branding and up-sell opportunities?
  • How can you align marketing and service goals to provide a better customer experience?
  • What technologies serve as the best integration points?

Join the discussion (and enjoy free breakfast!) as we share strategies that result in happy customers and revenue – something both customer service and marketing can agree is a good thing. Learn more about the event here

Category Archives: Event

The landscape of marketing is constantly changing. Being able to keep up with the pace of martech is vital to not only your career success, but the success of your company as a whole! Not a week (or a day!) goes by where we’re not learning something new.

Thankfully, you’re not alone on that journey. In the Minneapolis/St Paul area especially, we’re lucky to have a vibrant community for continued, supportive marketing learning. Supporting these communities and events isn’t only good for your career (hello, future promotion!) but it helps you streamline your day to day, expand your network, and improve your self confidence with your work. It’s a win – win – win!

Here’s just a few of our favorite ways to get involved and start boosting up your marketing education locally.

Minneapolis Marketo User Group

The Marketo User Group in the Twin Cities meets regularly as a community of Marketo users to share common learnings, collaborate and solve challenges face to face. Not local to the Twin Cities? Marketo User Groups exist in 50+ cities globally. There are even virtual groups you can join!

Hands On Marketo Workshops

If you’re ready to take it a step further and really hone in on the continuing Marketo education, Marketo holds deep dive workshops prepping for their certification exams. A Marketo expert will be in the Twin Cities to lead a 2-day interactive MCSA preparation workshop this summer. Learn how to use Marketo to solve real customer use cases and solution for the future. If you’re already a Marketo expert and are looking to take a dive into advanced uses of Marketo features and functions you should definitely check it out!

BMA Minnesota

The BMA Minnesota is a gathering of local B2B marketers to network, learn from each other and share best practices. They meet regularly around the cities for events, and our very own CEO, Tracey, volunteers as president of the Twin Cities chapter!

These are just a few of the many many ways to take part in building up the community of marketers (and Marketo users) locally in the Twin Cities.

Whether it’s joining the Minneapolis Marketo User Group, joining an upcoming workshop like the MCSA training, saying hi to Tracey at an upcoming BMA event, or even signing up for a Marketo training class at Leadous, we hope you’ll take advantage of the many opportunities to connect, learn and improve on your Marketo skills right here in the Twin Cities.

Are there other organizations or events that you’re a part of that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear more!

Category Archives: Event

At Leadous we love marketing. We love Marketo. And we love our local Twin Cities community.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce our new initiative, Leadous Loves, where we’ll be giving back to our local community, with a twist of Leadous orange.

Leadous Loves

Kicking off in June, our team members are regularly going out into the community to volunteer our time and talents. We’re starting with Hearts and Hammers, which provides exterior home improvement assistance for Senior Citizens, Disabled Adults, and Veterans of the United States Armed Forces or their Surviving Spouse so that they may continue to live independently. Read more about their amazing mission here.


Leadous will also be supporting The American Red Cross and Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities at future community giving events this summer.

We’d love for you to join us at a future volunteering event, suggest your favorite nonprofit, or just send some positive encouragement our way as we step a little outside of our comfort zones and trade in our keyboards for power tools!

If you are interested in partnering with Leadous and being a part of giving back with a twist of orange love, please reach out today.  




Category Archives: Event

It feels like just yesterday we were at Adobe Summit, traveling back in time to the 90’s ad agency and getting the scoop on the latest and greatest updates coming to Marketo and Adobe. In case you missed it, we’ve compiled a quick rundown of our three most important takeaways from the Marketing Nation Summit!

  1. B2B & B2C are gone, but not forgotten… B2E is where it’s at!

Steven Lucas, Senior VP of Digital Experience at Adobe had a very interesting message for marketers. Traditionally we have looked to B2B & B2C when delivering a marketing experience. Lucas cracked that concept wide open to reframe how marketers create the ultimate digital experience. B2E (Business-to-Everyone) is where it’s at!

Find out what B2E means for your business.

  1. Develop your inner CLO (Chief Listening Officer)

We all have work to do that sometimes distracts us from what our real business purpose is, like what our customers REALLY need. It’s crucial to always have our ears and eyes open to purposefully listen to what the market is telling us. Leadous can help you deliver the energy and expertise needed to maximize every one of your customer’s marketing automation experiences with your brand.

Explore today!

  1. Personalization is the ultimate digital experience.

We know that all our marketing efforts center on the customer, but now we have the right tools and much more knowledge to personalize each customer experience with your brand. Marketo has made it even easier to build automated marketing campaigns across all channels, tacking the full customer journey and utilizing Marketo’s innovative AI solution to create a personalized experience.

Take personalization to the next level.

Looking for more Marketing Nation takeaways? We sent a team of Marketo experts there, drop us a line for more info!

Category Archives: Event


For Leadous’ first Deep Dish Mini Workshop, we wanted to tackle a subject we get a lot of questions about: Account Based Marketing in Marketo.


Marketo Account Based Marketing (ABM) helps marketing and sales work together to engage their target prospects from a high-level account-based mindset.  It’s a logical approach – there are different decision makers and influencers that sales need to talk to in order to close a deal – now marketers can align their strategy and execution to target those same contacts in an organized fashion.


Of course, it’s easier to successfully execute Account Based Marketing when you have a marketing automation platform in place that supports this strategy. Thankfully, there’s an Account Based Marketing Add On for Marketo clients.


In our Deep Dish mini workshop, we walked through some of the benefits our clients have seen from turning on Account Based Marketing in Marketo, including:


ROI –  ABM sees the highest ROI compared to any other B2B marketing strategy.

Efficiency – ABM helps marketers focus resources efficiently on target accounts, reducing waste.

Personalization – Targeted customers are more likely to engage with content that is geared specifically to their account in ABM.

Analytics – Draw clear conclusions by looking at a smaller set of target accounts that both sales and marketing are reporting on instead of a  sea of metrics.

Sales + Marketing Alignment – Align marketing to the sales mindset and get everyone working within the same parameters.


Looking for more details on the benefits and details of ABM? Download the slides from our Deep Dish Mini Workshop here.


Interested in setting up Account Based Marketing in your Marketo instance? Let us know, we’re happy to help!

Category Archives: Event

Repost from the Authentic Brand blog.

What do you get when you pick the brains of five digital marketing experts, representing partnerships with some of the most popular martech platforms on the market? You get everything marketing automation: the good, the bad, the ugly, and a whole lot of wisdom gleaned from the trenches.

Welcome to Authentic Brand’s first “virtual panel”: a Q&A exchange with five leaders in the Twin Cities digital community.

These business leaders know their stuff, and together represent several decades of digital experience, supporting businesses of all types, sizes, and industries. Best of all, these panelists are good peeps. I know each of them personally, and have worked with all of them in one capacity or another. It’s my pleasure to bring you their perspectives here, and as any good moderator, I’ll limit myself to simply asking the questions. (If you want to hear my perspectives on this topic, you can check out a couple recent blogs here and here.)

Now, let’s get this party started! Allow me to begin by introducing our panelists (subsequently referred to by first name in the conversation that follows):

Q1: What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that companies have about marketing automation?

(BRENDON) At the most basic level, a lot of business owners still don’t know what it is. Others think it’s limited to lead nurturing with email workflows. For those that do understand everything marketing automation entails, we still find that they’re naive or unrealistic about the amount of work it takes to get it up and running and monitor performance. Then rarely, if ever, do we come across a company that gets it, understands the full commitment, and uses data to inform their decisions or make improvements.

(RYAN) Time and time again I run into people who are sad and disappointed by their marketing automation results. I ask them what were their goals and what process were they trying to automate? I usually get a blank stare with a response of something like, “Well, marketing!” and, “We needed more leads.” Okay great! But were you trying to scale a process that’s currently working?   ….. Silence.

The most common misunderstanding I run into with marketing automation is that it’s some sort of system that fixes bad sales and marketing. The reality is: marketing automation is not a robot that magically churns out leads, and it’s never, ever a replacement for bad process. Sadly, too many companies get dazzled by some really flashy marketing from martech providers and end up disappointed because they should focus on their strategy and process first before jumping to technology.  (See more about this topic in my recent LinkedIn post here.)

(ADAM) Too often, business leaders see fantastic demos or videos from the various technology providers and come to believe that the technology itself is the answer to all of a marketers’ problems. Technology is no doubt an important piece of the puzzle, but companies must realize that the technology alone isn’t the answer.

Marketing technology must be supported by a sound strategy with a clear focus on delivering value to an audience throughout the customer journey, and a plan to achieve that vision. Additionally, companies must empower their people to dig into the tools, learn new skills, and try new things. Successful programs aren’t built overnight.  Programs may fail, but the team will learn, and campaign performance will improve with every new insight.

(TRACEY) Eloqua, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and others; kudos to these marketing automation companies for selling what seemed to so many marketers as a magic silver bullet. The reality is, there is no silver bullet.  You don’t just turn on your marketing automation platform, see leads start instantly flooding in and your business growing exponentially. It takes a plan, analysis, and iteration on a constant basis; making tweaks based on the data your platform is collecting.

The technology itself is just the beginning of a marketing automation program. You also need a database of targets and a content portfolio that you can leverage on the platform to start to engage. Then, based on the data, you need to build flows that are personalized based on the action that they took, or didn’t take. You need to review the data and regularly report the movement in metrics – with a focus on one percent improvements at a time. You need to understand what goal you are trying to hit for sales and get real time feedback on the leads so you know how to best deliver quality leads that sales can convert.

Marketing automation is an amazing strategic tool that can change how you market. It won’t however replace a great product, tight process, or grit.  Don’t do it too early or it will be a waste, don’t do it too late or you’ll miss out.

Q2: What are the greatest benefits to working with a marketing automation consulting / agency partner? When should businesses consider a partner vs. building a team entirely in house?

(BRENDON) Agencies give businesses direct access to experts across a variety of marketing disciplines right away, rather than having to prioritize which key hires can be made over time, as budget allows. It gives businesses more flexibility and typically allows for a quicker ramp up as the agency partner has done it before and has a process to do so efficiently.

(RYAN) I wrote about this topic recently in a blog post here. There are a couple of big benefits to working with an inbound partner. First, the benefit of experience. Partners gain experience across a diverse set of industries and learn to optimize process. They know what works. Working with someone who has been in the trenches gives you a competitive advantage compared to starting at zero.

Then there is the benefit of comprehensive planning. Most consultants start by putting together a plan. What they will work on every month. That’s not to say the plan won’t change based on data and insights as prospects interact. But often, planning and the process can be a struggle for most organizations. Knowing that there is a set of monthly activities develops a cadence and consistency crucial to the success of marketing automation.

(MIKE) You really should consider working with a MA consulting partner even before bringing on a MA platform. There is a certain amount of strategy and change management that needs to happen within an organization in order to make MA truly successful. Find a consulting firm who understands all facets of the marketing automation is very important. That includes sales and marketing alignment, service level agreement (SLA) creation, lead routing, and organizational governance in addition to implementation, CRM integration and ongoing support. Finding the right partner to walk alongside your organization can often mean the difference between success and wasted time and money.

(TRACEY) Marketing automation is a relatively new concept. I’ve read that only 5% of companies use marketing automation and only 20% of them come close to exhausting the depth of features. Because of that, the answer isn’t vice versa, it’s both.

Consulting partners are the difference-maker in getting businesses implemented, trained, and supported.  The best partners will also show you how to leverage the components that are right for your business and keep you up to date on new features that you should be looking into leveraging. They help marketing teams go from novice to experts – supporting more complex automation techniques that could take a beginner months to put in place.

Q3: With more and more agencies and consultancies offering digital services, there’s a huge range of expertise and pricing models on the market. What is the best way for companies to find a partner that is well-matched to their business, and offers the right level of expertise, at the right price point?

(TRACEY) Let’s be honest – marketing automation technology is not an inexpensive undertaking, and neither are the services of the partners that support it. The type of team you have [in-house] and the level of expertise they bring to the table has a huge impact on choosing the right partner, and how much you’ll pay.  Technical implementation, content, data analysis, campaign planning, messaging…How much help do you need in these areas, and for how long?

Once you determine where you have gaps and for how long you need support in those areas, you can put together the priority requirements. The [technology] platform provider you choose should be able to direct you to a list of their partners.  Based on your priority list, you can select from among partners that have matching expertise. Look for partners with flexible pricing models who can ebb-and-flow based on the needs of your team and budget.  They should be talking about up front scope and project work, transitioned through phases to long-term support and troubleshooting. Don’t forget to ask for references to help validate that you’ve made the right choice.

(MIKE) There are all sorts of agencies that exist in the space. They range from traditional agencies who have picked up marketing automation as one the myriad services they offer, all the way to traditional Systems Integrators who focus simply on implementation. While there is no perfect consultancy out there, try to hone in on your top two or three needs: Do you need a lot of help with digital strategy or change management? Do you need creative services? Do you have a complicated integration you need to tackle? Your top needs should drive the type of agency you work with.

Once your top needs are figured out, make sure you pick an agency that demonstrates expertise and gives you peace of mind that they know what they are doing. Areas to evaluate: How long have they been doing this? How many clients do they work with? Do they work with clients that are more sophisticated than you are (so they can help you grow in your sophistication)? How many certifications do the they have? This kind of qualification can help ensure you aren’t having to hire someone else down the road to fix all the issues created by a firm that didn’t know what they were doing.

When it comes to price, obviously the cost is always a factor. I do caution people to not focus on solely on price. You do get what you pay for. I have seen far too many people take the “Spirit Airlines” approach because they were driven by the price per hour. In the end, they were very unhappy with the process, got nickel-and-dimed the whole way, and swore they’d never take that trip again. Find the right agency for your business needs. Sometimes that costs a little bit more. The extra expense is usually worth it.

Q4: Just 10 years ago, there were only a handful of email and marketing automation tools on the market. Today, there are hundreds of tools that have similar or overlapping functionality. Where and how should businesses begin to assess the best tools for their needs? And what business requirements are foremost to that decision?

(ADAM) The first thing that companies should do is outline what is most important to their business. Is it a powerful, scalable platform? Reputation for success? Ease of use for the end users? Flexible, dynamic data model? Specific marketing channels or messaging features? Understanding the must-have requirements will be critical in narrowing down vendors to a small group of finalists.

(MIKE) I actually wrote a blog on this very topic recently! There are a mind boggling amount of MarTech and AdTech tools on the market. Every day our inbox is a barrage of the next “up and coming” technology solution vying for our attention. But at the end of the day, there are some tools that are fundamental and others that are nice to have add-ons. Focus on getting the fundamentals right, and using them correctly, before moving to an additional nice to have. Here are the tools I think are fundamental for a modern digital marketing team:

  • CRM
  • Marketing Automation
  • CMS
  • Social listening tool
  • Webinar tool
  • Customer engagement/Advocacy platform

Beyond these, most things are nice to have add-ons.

(RYAN) I advocate for crafting a marketing tech framework that’s aligned to personas and customer journeys. Why? Because they are aligned to business goals driving the who, what, why, and how of an organization work in reaching and engaging.

The reason I advocate for documenting some sort of framework is so you don’t end up with redundant systems and functions in your organization. Before you know it, you have three or four email platforms, maybe a couple different CRM-esque systems, each with a form plugin on your CMS and a landing page generator.  No one knows where all the data is going, and no one is centralizing any of it to make any sort of meaning for sales or marketing.

As a first step, map out how people get to you, the steps they go through in your sales process, and make sure everyone across the organization is on the same page with that process. Then highlight areas where automation can help, which systems need to interoperate with each other, and lock it in.

Q5: What advice would you give to businesses about the “total investment” of building a content and marketing automation program? What should they be thinking about beyond the cost of the technology itself ?

(BRENDON) The cost of the software is a drop in the bucket compared to the full investment in inbound marketing. Aside from just the various skill sets needed to execute on an inbound strategy, it takes a lot of upfront work to get started:

  • researching and understanding your buyer persona(s)
  • mapping out and developing the content they’ll want throughout their buyer’s journey
  • determining the timing and process for the hand-off to sales
  • setting up all of the marketing automation components
  • training/educating sales people on the CRM to close the loop

Businesses have to be committed and patient because there’s no instant gratification and it takes constant iterations to get it right.

Q6: For businesses who are established with inbound programs and tools, how do you see these brands taking marketing automation to the “next level”?

(ADAM) Brands should ask themselves this question: What opportunities exist to enhance the customer experience across our most important audiences? Where are the opportunities to create additional value for your most important customers? Very few companies would give themselves an A+ rating on their marketing automation programs as it relates to their customer journeys across the entire revenue lifecycle. Opportunities for enhanced engagement always exist. And even when opportunities for new messages or campaigns are running thin, content for existing campaigns can always be optimized.

  • Do you run monthly A/B tests on their most critical campaigns to identify opportunities for improvement?
  • Can your messages be more targeted or more personalized?
  • Are there opportunities to automate communications in operational processes related to sales or service channels?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then there’s opportunity for improvement and work to be done!

(MIKE) The idea of creating a Center of Excellence (COE) is a hot topic that we’re hearing a lot about lately. Usually the discussion begins with the realization that there needs to be some sort of governance around what’s allowed and what’s not. We recommend starting with a COE committee that’s comprised of stakeholders from across the organization – marketing, sales, legal, customer support, etc. This team sets the rules for who can get what level of access, how change requests will be handled, how to set up foldering and naming conventions, etc. Basically, how do you ensure everyone is playing within the rules and no one is going rogue.

Once organizations reach a level of sophistication with their COE, they begin to tackle bigger issues. The discussion turns from “setting the rules” to system optimization, evolving business process, inter-departmental strengthening and customer experience improvement.

Establishing a COE early, with the right stakeholders, is something every organization should consider. When you get everyone on the same page and make decision to improve process and improve the way the organization interacts with customers can quickly become a strategic advantage over your competitors who haven’t even thought about walking down the COE path.

Category Archives: Event


Once a year, marketers across the U.S. converge on Minneapolis for Confab Central to get the latest content marketing news, trends, ideas, networking, and some pretty delicious cake.


At Leadous, content marketing plays a big role in the companies we work for. With any well-executed marketing automation strategy, content is going to be the fuel that drives it. We love to help companies re-evaluate an existing content library or sometimes even build a new one from scratch that speaks directly to their audience.


So we were pretty excited to get the opportunity to hear from some of our fellow marketers and strategists on what’s working well for their businesses and bring some of those insights back for you to apply to your content strategy! Here it is, four things we learned at Confab Central:


1. Customer centricity isn’t just a buzzword
Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords, proclaimed that we are leaving the “age of the organization” and entering the “age of the customer.” And we couldn’t agree more!


Today, companies that succeed are centering their marketing strategies on how the customer wants to interact and buy from their organizations. So when you’re building an email campaign, updating a web page, or even starting from scratch with a brand new marketing automation strategy, the customer should always be top of mind. One way to practice this is to do a lot of audience research. What problem are your customers trying to solve by going to you? What research can you do to make sure that they’re having a good experience with your company’s website, emails, or content?


2. We should probably update our LinkedIn profiles to mind readers

As marketers, often we have to “read minds”. When other teams ask us for information or help on projects, we have to tease out the right information to get to a finished email or brochure that solves the business problem AND everyone will be happy with. Librarian, Anne Haines, is often in this situation as well. She gave us some helpful things to keep in mind when fielding requests across departments.


First, understand the situation. Get background on what the requestor is looking for and why. Second, find the gaps. What is it that they know and what is it that they don’t know? This helps to ensure you’re “speaking the same language” when coming up with a solution. Third, find out the use. What does the salesperson want to do with a new brochure? What deal will it support? The more you know about the applied end goal, the more you can help direct what you need to get there!


3. Content strategy is an iterative process, not just a deliverable

It’s easy to think of content strategy as a one and done. It’s a deliverable to show our bosses, the sales team and then execute. But more often than not, content strategy is an iterative process that documents what you have, how it’s doing and what you need. Content is the fuel that drives the marketing automation engine, and you need to constantly be refueling and performing maintenance checks to make sure everything is running smoothly.


Getting this sequence right can be tricky, and there are a lot of players involved from sales to marketing to senior leadership. If you’d like more information on executing a better content marketing and automation strategy, you may want to get started with an M2S Audit! Find out more here.


4. Content as an asset
What’s the cost if you had no brochure, no website, or no lead generating e-books or lists or infographics? Content has real value, including monetary, when it comes to increasing sales through a marketing automation program or reducing calls to customer support for example.


As marketers, it’s our job to help reframe content as an asset, to bring out its true strategic power. When your company starts to rethink of content as an asset, you start to see a deep audience alignment between how well-crafted content can connect with your audience and fulfill your business goals.


Those were four, of many, many takeaways we gleaned from Confab Central this year. If you’d like to talk more about making the most of these content and marketing trends, we’re more than happy to chat with you.