Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

Even if you aren’t one yourself, everyone is familiar with the work of the farmer. You plant your seeds. You tend your crop. You reap your harvest. It takes a lot of effort, patience, and attention to details. However, the work is critical to the foundation of everything else. Without a steady supply of food, this whole enterprise we call society would evaporate pretty quickly. The same can be said for supplying a company with leads and sales. Those leads are your seeds, you tend them with your marketing initiatives, and your sales team comes in to harvest those closed opportunities.

Planting the Seeds

You have new contacts. It is time to plant some new seeds. If those seeds are going to successfully grow, they will need proper attention. You have to make sure that the dirt they grow in is tilled and clear of weeds. In terms of a Marketo Engage instance, that means having operational programs to manage your scoring, status tracking, and data hygiene. Then those seeds will need sunlight and nutrition. This will come from your marketing campaigns.

Working the land is a never ending task for the farmer, and so is maintaining the operational programs that sustain a healthy Marketo instance. The Sales and Marketing Teams should be constantly collaborating with each other to identify the actions with the highest predictive value for an eventual sale. Scoring programs need to be developed and kept up to date. Other programs will move records through your sales lifecycle based on the criteria your company determines. This kind of constant maintenance leads to healthy soil for your seeds, and healthy soil means a better chance for a bountiful harvest.

Those seeds need their own food, water, and sunlight to grow. This sustenance is provided by your marketing initiatives. From simple email sends to webinars to advanced nurture programs and everything in between, Marketo Engage can automate your processes and help you track your audience’s actions. You can set your own controls to make sure you supply the right combination of nutrients and avoid overexposure. 

And They Sprout!

Your Marketo programs will make sure your crops stay watered and fertilized. Every time one of the records interacts with your campaigns, it stores just a little more energy and grows a little more. Maybe it was your monthly webinar series, or maybe it was your presentation at a tradeshow. All of these pieces of marketing start to add up, and the seed is now sprouting toward the heavens.

Eventually a seed has grown enough that you consider it ready to pass along to your Sales team. This is one of the primary purposes of your scoring program, to determine when a record meets this qualification. Upon meeting this threshold, the record becomes what is known as a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead). Through their ongoing collaboration, Marketing and Sales have agreed that a record with that score will typically be ready for the sales process to start.

The Sales Team will then do their own assessment of the lead. If they like what they see, the Sales Team will accept the MQL turning the record into a SAL (Sales Accepted Lead) as it continues through the sales process. If the Sales Team thinks the record is not quite ready, they can simply recycle the lead back into the general marketing initiatives.

Continuing to Care for Your Leads

In real life, you tend to make your harvests all at once. However, a Marketo instance using a well maintained lifecycle model will utilize in its design a series of campaigns listening for triggers to recycle those records rejected for whatever reason by the Sales Team. So instead of having to harvest and discard a record that did not bear fruit, you can instead continue to nurture it. As the record once again engages with your content, it will start accumulating points again leading it back to its status as a MQL.

This kind of per record analysis and sorting allows you to take as long as you need for each contact to be at its perfect opportunity to harvest. You can keep records in your automation flows with minimal staff effort. In fact, advanced marketing strategies can be developed to specifically target those records that have been recycled by Sales, hopefully bringing them back to Sales with a higher chance of success. This automated process keeps your salespeople free to focus on the most fruitful records.

SALs Need Love Too

Even if a record is a SAL and being specifically targeted, it remains rooted in the soil of your Marketo instance. Using the proper logic, you can use Marketo to automate announcements, reminders, or other notices to your SALs. These automated processes again can free up your salespeople to do what they do best, sell, instead of having to reach out personally in every instance.

As Sales continues to work with the record, they could determine that they were too overeager in their assessment, and the record should not have become a SAL. They can still choose to recycle a record to a previous status in the life cycle. Or, if they continue to like what they see, they can decide the contact is ready to become a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). Usually, a SQL becomes associated with a sales opportunity which means those records are ready for harvest.

Harvest Season

The Sales Team actively works with their sales opportunities, answering questions and keeping the contact engaged. Marketo can still be leveraged at this point in the life cycle with the ongoing collaboration between Marketing and Sales determining its role at this late stage.

Unfortunately, nature can still ruin a harvest through no fault of the farmer. Likewise, even the most seemingly likely opportunities can fall apart through no direct fault of Marketing or Sales. You have nourished and guarded your crops, but a small twist of fate can ruin your harvest. You can only fight so hard against a drought. If that turns out to be the case, and the opportunity was lost, the Sales Team can make the decision to recycle the record to a previous status or move on to other contacts.

Sure not every individual seed will grow into a useful piece of produce, but taken in aggregate, your well tended crop will yield a bountiful harvest of closed won opportunities. What started as a load of stored potential inside your tiny seeds has grown into delectable fruits and vegetables that your company sustains itself on. From their humble beginnings as anonymous seeds in the dirt, your records were nourished and cared for by well designed marketing initiatives until the Sales Team was able to come and pick all the valuable yields.

Reach out to Leadous today to see how we can help you make sure you produce a bountiful cornucopia from your fields.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

Unicorns are considered mythical creatures, the flying horse with the horn, a rainbow mane, this rare creature is so unique one has never been captured and has only been seen in fairytales and as a design on men’s dress socks.  Could you imagine having a unicorn, this thing so unique and special there is just one?  You might be saying ‘a unicorn’, I would never want one.  When in all practicality you probably do want one, just not in the form of a flying horse with a horn.

A Marketing Unicorn

As marketing has moved more from creative to technical and also now spans into sales, the job description has turned into a laundry list of attributes that are so difficult to find – making these marketers ‘unicorns’ – mythical creatures that cannot be captured.  So you want someone with two different automation platforms because you are migrating from one to another, CRM experience, know design products, can write a press release, and can align efforts to sales goals to help the team win?  That is actually about six people and would cost a company upwards of $750,000 all in with benefits.  But, alas, instead we look for the unicorn. 

Companies spend months combing through the interwebs trying to find these specialized resources.  Meanwhile, marketing is losing traction to hit their lead gen goals and time is wasting away. The fact of the matter is they do not exist.  At least in the form that is being sought after.

How to Find a Unicorn

The most specialized skill sets require support from an organization that is connected to the industry and understands the requirements.  If you are migrating – do you really need someone with both automation platforms or the one you are moving forward with? Could you use a third party to provide that level of expertise for 30 days and then be done?  Your CRM – do they need to know how to run the CRM or be able to simply add a field? Would an online training course get them the skills set they need? Do any other resources on any other teams share any of the responsibilities?

This type of questioning can help you quickly target what type of unicorn you are really looking for.  Three simple steps to get you ready for the hunt:

  1. Decide on the key attributes, must-haves, of the candidate.  Note ‘culture fit’ should be on that list. You should also consider other characteristics that would ensure they can get up to speed quickly.
  2. Decide on key long-term priorities.  The short-term ones you should outsource. From the scenario above, they need to know your old automation platform – but only for a minute, let that requirement go.  Is the skillset general enough that a training course could get them enough knowledge?
  3. Take those lists along with your job description to experts in the field. You wouldn’t take a fishing guide turkey hunting? So why would you go hunting for a unicorn without a guide?

Expect to hire someone in 60-90 days. If they come sooner, great.  But plan for a longer-term strategy to find the right person. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to fill in the gaps.  At Leadous we find ourselves helping with the recruiting from our industry connections, at the same time, filling gaps with our consultants to help clients stay on track. It’s not a bad idea to have a guide, a trusted partner who knows the path that can lead you on your hunt and knows how to support you along the way.

You’ve Caught a Unicorn

It’s not impossible to find the perfect candidate, so long as your expectations are aligned, you can get close. By close, it may not have the horn or the rainbow tail, but you get one of them. Your work however isn’t done there.  Unicorns, as one would imagine, require special handling, so make sure you have a development plan in place and are willing to pay to keep the unicorn healthy. Because just when you think you’ve captured one. They will escape.  And you’ll be on the hunt to capture another one. 

So how do you find a unicorn, you create one with the help of Leadous. Talk to an expert today! 

Happy hunting.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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!

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

Let’s talk about hygiene. We all know there are some things we do have to do in the background to keep up with our own. When you neglect your hygiene, it might not always be immediately apparent, but inevitably, something unpleasant will make itself known. This is true for your personal habits, and it’s true for your Marketo database.

What are the consequences of poor database hygiene? There are a few common ones discussed below. None of them are positive. Any marketing automation strategy developed on top of a poorly maintained set of records is going to be flawed in its execution over time. 

Deliverability. Poor deliverability is probably the most consequential over the long term. Keeping a clean database reduces the chances of sending email out that reduces your deliverability credibility. If your credibility is poor, you are more likely to be classified as spam. Being spam is obviously going to reduce your effectiveness as an email marketing machine. Recovering credibility after sustained losses is not typically an easy undertaking. 

Cost. On a financial note, poor database hygiene increases the difficulty of managing record bloat. Marketo Engage licenses include size limits for each instance’s record database. When those limits are reached, Adobe will alert the account owner that they need to reduce their database’s size or license a larger database. At bare minimum, good database maintenance will allow for timely identification of records that can be purged, keeping costs down. More aggressive database hygiene will automate at least some of the record removal process slowing down the database’s growth rate in real time.

Data.  Lastly, on a more personally strategic level, poor hygiene leads to flawed data. Clean databases keep their records up to date. Marketing teams spend a lot of time making important decisions about who to target for their campaigns. The realization that the audience or trend is not, in fact, what everyone thought it was because of flawed data leads to frustration. Frustration leads to finger pointing, and no one enjoys finger pointing.

Leadous has plenty of experience helping clients implement and expand their database hygiene plans. Typically, the first thing we see and recommend is clients setting up different campaigns to handle various kinds of potentially problematic records. For instance, the response to a record that received one soft bounce response is going to be different from a record that received an email is invalid response. Our consults help our clients identify the various categories. Once the categories are defined, we can also advise what to do in each case. Then we can build out smart campaigns to comb through all of the records and take those actions. 

Once the problematic categories start being identified, some of the responses taken in response to those records will help address record bloat. How aggressively they choose to do so is another strategy the Leadous team can help guide. In any case, once the time for an active purge arrives, previous database maintenance will have identified the categories that are likely targets for elimination. From there, it would be a relatively simple task to actually remove the records.

Keeping records accurate is also part of the maintenance required for a healthy database. An important part of that is data normalization campaigns. In a pretty traditional example, country names typically need to be normalized into an expected value. Automation enforcing standardized names prevents future ambiguity. Why include “USA, US, United States, United States of America” in all future filters? Instead, one campaign can look for all the potential variants and change them to a singular, preferred standard. Some data fields that typically benefit from a data normalization campaign include state, professional title, and professional role among others. 

These ideas represent just the beginning of database hygiene. All of the advanced phases of Leadous’ Marketing Automation Progression Model depend on the foundation created by trustworthy data. The effort required for this foundational work pays off in the short term, but it also yields additional dividends down the line. Team Leadous loves helping our clients address their data challenges and ensure they have a funnel that is quality from the bottom up. 

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Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

 

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?

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

Batman & Robin, Han Solo & Chewbacca, Will Smith & Carlton Banks, Marketing Automation (MA) & Account Based Marketing (ABM) — they’re all iconic duos but only one can leverage the power of your data to grow revenue across your key accounts.

Combine the technology of a MA platform like Marketo Engage  and the focused data used in ABM and a more powerful strategy is produced: Targeted Account Management (TAM). Marketo Engage users can use TAM to identify the best matches in your lead database for your sales teams and monitor engagement just for that group. Ultimately leveraging different channels to creatively target specific leads using ABM can accelerate customer acquisition while supporting retention, and expansion revenue opportunities for your marketing, customer success, and sales teams.

Teamwork is key to success with this strategy. Like the classic duos above both marketing and sales must be stakeholders – aligned and working together.

Identifying the Target
Pull lists of accounts that can be targeted together by industry, location, company size or what makes sense to your company. Determine account personas that can be reached across multiple channels. Get sales and marketing teams to align on definitions and share what is currently working to move leads through the funnel.

Creating Content
Have touch points across many channels.  Marketo Engage allows your team to create multi-channel content and create campaigns that allow you to analyze and learn how to optimize your approach.

Highlighting Lead Scoring
Marketo Engage allows for scoring to measure behaviors that indicate engagement. Make sure both marketing and sales have agreed on what qualifies the best leads and analyze lead behavior to reveal how leads turn to opportunities. Review lead scoring campaigns regularly to determine the level of engagement of your accounts.

Leadous’ Marketo Certified Experts can walk through this live to get a feel for where you think your team is at as 2021 draws to a close. Depending on how in-depth your team would like to get with training and how much strategy is already in place we can assist with optimizing your company’s ABM and TAM- Contact Our Experts today.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

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.

Category Archives: Obsessed With Marketing Automation

A quick search for ‘Lead Scoring’ tells you all about the methodology of assigning leads points for their demographic and behavior data to better qualify people for sales teams.  Adobe has ‘The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring’ and countless other docs to tell you what and how. They all agree and so do we, that without automation and CRM integration lead scoring is a nightmare! This spooky season I want to share more eerie, spine tingling stories of ghostly lead scores that decay, scoring models brought back from the dead and leads that never die, they live on as lifelong customers.

Ghosts and Decay
A simple first step for implementing lead scoring is to initially grant points for specific demographic and firmographic data. Marketing teams are often stuck at this level of scoring and scoring models are abandoned because a solid scoring model needs more data. To build a robust lead scoring system a company needs to account for behavioral data as well. Marketing Automation platforms allow for tracking how the lead interacts with company communication. It also allows for tracking when a lead stops interacting with the company and how long it has been since the lead showed interest. In other words – how long have they been ghosting you? If a lead hasn’t interacted with the company, hasn’t opened emails or visited your site it’s time to implement score decay and begin to subtract points from their lead score. This insight helps sales teams filter which leads are responsive and which are unresponsive.

Leadous Brings Scoring Models Back From the Dead
Many companies have some version of scoring in place but lead scoring is a dynamic process; it requires constant attention or it dies.  Refreshing your existing lead scoring process produces the most current and effective lead scoring model. It allows marketing and sales to collaborate on the Ideal Customer Profile and strengthens alignment between the teams as they work toward a common goal.   Leadous will help you maximize your efficiencies, develop a strong lead generation strategy and build out your lead scoring capabilities to bring your current system back from the brink of death or help you iterate your model so it works for today.

Leads that Never Die (They Just Live On as Customers)
Lead Scoring models are built to qualify leads so that sales can start conversations with the most qualified leads and eventually turn those sales accepted leads into opportunities, but often these leads are lost to marketing once sales is involved. By utilizing marketing automation and CRM integration in lead scoring, marketing teams can track the quantity and value of their work from the first moment a customer raises their hand throughout the entire sales process. By tracking the amount of MQLs that turn into SQLs, marketing can prove their effectiveness and provide efficiencies for their sales team or uncover opportunities to redefine the Ideal Customer Profile or the entire scoring model. The best leads don’t die, they live on as your best customers.

Want more information on starting or re-starting your company’s lead scoring program contact us now or visit our Resources page.