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CMO Interview: Why Hootsuite’s Marketing and Product Teams are Inseparable

CMO Australia

Hootsuite discusses its refreshed brand strategy and how the transformation in marketing has improved engagement between marketing and product development.


Simply Measured Drives 124% More Prospects with GoChime and Marketo

PR Newswire

GoChime and Marketo announced the results of a case study with a joint customer, Simply Measured. Simply Measured is a social media analytics and measurement platform that increased customer reach by 235% as a result of the partnership.



Organizations are Losing Web Traffic Owing to Non-Responsive Websites

MarTech Advisor

A recent study by Adobe found that a majority of organizations were slow to transition to mobile and are seeing a dramatic decline in website traffic as a result (largely resulting from Google’s mobile update).


The Future of Sales Requires Thinking Like Marketers


According to research from CEB Marketing Council (in partnership with Google), 57%  of B2B buyers are 57% of the way through the purchase decision before talking to a company. This articles highlights why sales teams need to think more like marketers by personalizing the sales process and identifying the right customers with whom to build relationships.



Where Can Marketers Find the Best Customer Data? Under Their Noses

Marketing Land

This article highlights how first-party data is quickly becoming the strategic priority for the majority of marketers. In fact, more than 80% of marketers plan to increase their use of first-party data over the next two years.


IoT and the Rise of Subscription Marketing


By 2020, Gartner predicts brands will have access to data from 25 billion connected things. The article describes how marketing will evolve from an attention-seeking model to a subscription-based mode

Once in a while, we marketers forget how far we’ve come. Back in the day, before LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google AdWords, there was still traditional inbound. Believe it or not, some of those strategies still work today.


Most Marketing Automation platforms prohibit the use of purchased lists as a method for growing your database. At The Pedowitz Group, we’re frequently asked how clients can build their lists without buying lists. Many companies struggle to find new ways to let potential customers know they exist and educate those people about their offerings.


Before lists with email appends and social platforms were available, we used to rely on tried-and-true methods such as:

  1. Sponsoring and attending conferences and tradeshows - We engaged in conversations with people who might be interested in our products and services. We asked questions and listened to the responses that enabled us to determine if our solutions were a match for their needs.
  2. Participating and lurking in user groups and communities - We would become familiar with participation guidelines and begin asking relevant questions and building trust within those communities.  Once we had earned that trust, we then began to let people know that we might have solutions that could be of benefit as well.
  3. Sending press releases and getting our products listed in relevant “new product announcement” columns - We connected with journalists who might write about our products to inform their readers.
  4. Advertising in print media - There’s not much of that left, but for industries where there are journals, advertising might actually be handy particularly if our competitors are focused on digital only. Admittedly, this can be hard to track for ROI.
  5. Really good web content - Even before Google and search, we tried to make our websites accessible and interesting to our prospects. We answered questions so that prospects could self-identify. Only then would they contact us (usually via phone or email) or visit us at a tradeshow.

Notice that the first “old school methods” still involve the same kind of engagement that we talk about today with Marketing Automation platforms. In these cases we had to integrate ourselves with the community of prospects first, before we ventured a solution. We gained trust before suggesting a demo, trial, or sale. This is the same philosophy we now espouse with digital marketing of all kinds. As we say over and over again, walking up to someone and saying “want to get married” is less effective than becoming part of a group, listening to a conversation, and then, once accepted, participating.


While print journals have largely gone the way of the dodo, it’s still worth contacting journalists and bloggers who cover your space. Not with a sales pitch, but maybe with a few questions: Example: “I noticed that you commented on this topic, have you considered this perspective?” Please do this after you have already done research on what the journalist or blogger writes about or comment on something they have written. Don’t expect them to do your homework for you! Offer something useful to the writer and make a connection before you ask for something in return (promoting or even reading about your product). If you work with a PR agency, ask if there are a few, selective introductions they can make. Don’t “spray and pray” with bloggers or with prospects.


Make sure your web content answers questions and offers assistance. It should not beg for a sale or begin with feature/function descriptions. Content should delineate the challenges that your target market faces and offer advice, recommendations, and resources without the expectation of anything in return (like filling out a 10-field form or demanding a phone number).


All of these strategies take time. It takes longer than buying a list and maybe getting a 67% deliverability rate. But, the extra effort is worth it because it will help you establish credibility.


Consider the strategy Marketo used. The company created a blog and offered helpful information to marketers for a full year before product launch. This enabled the company to build brand awareness well before the product was actually launched. It also exposed Marketo to potential beta customers who could help them hone their feature set.

The return on investment from a list purchase is not likely to even come close to what you can achieve with a little planning and effort.

imgres-1.jpgYour company is unique, right?


You have your own mission and purpose, of course. Not to mention your own set of goals and expectations, your own distinct culture, ideas and expertise. So why would your benchmarking be viewed largely through a summary of data points shared by large buckets of other very unique businesses? Shouldn’t you take a more internal view of success?


Wielding broad terms like B2B, B2C and SaaS, marketers often seek out general measures and apply them to very specific business cases.


A few weeks ago, I was asked what a SaaS organization should be spending on marketing as a ratio to revenue. Hint: there is no answer to that question without asking at least ten more of my own, and the question itself only begins to allow me to benchmark an organization. And yet, this is a very common inquiry.


Far too many companies fall into the trap of comparing themselves to other companies without taking into account key differentiators. Then, they go a step further by emulating their practices. Soon, it’s hard to decipher what made a given company unique to begin with. But get into the corner offices, and the leadership likely believes they are staying competitive, when in fact they’re erasing the very distinction that attracts customers and blows competitors out of the water.


This mode of thinking is especially true when it comes to setting benchmarks, a concept much in vogue right now. It’s more important than ever for companies to stay competitive in their field and be able to match comparable offerings from other firms. Take a moment to Google "marketing automation benchmarks" and behold the flood of metrics. Bear in mind that while benchmarking can be a game changer for your business, it can also be a total waste of time and effort if not executed properly. Or worse, it can lead to a false sense of security.

With the rise of marketing automation, benchmarking has become essential and is an increasingly hot topic in business circles. But, you don’t hear much about the fact that many marketers use these benchmarks to figure out how they compare with other companies, without accompanying that natural curiosity with segmentation around core concepts like maturity, buyer behavior, sales-cycle and ARR.


This is a dangerous path to tread. While benchmarks have some value as summary data, they have much more impact when you compare true apples-to-apples.


What’s the Solution? Start Looking Inside

Let’s be clear: Using outside benchmarks is not inherently bad. You can learn a lot from your peers and competitors. It’s just that an over-reliance on general external factors often comes at the expense of truly aligned comparisons. This can make all of the difference in guiding your business. If you’re new to marketing automation, setting internal benchmarks first is a more useful marker for measuring the success of a variety of factors, from campaign strategies to the roles that staff can play.


This kind of internal view creates a clear definition of success. Keep in mind, too, that this definition should encompass more than simply tallying leads or sales figures. You’ve likely invested in marketing automation because of the scalable benefits it brings. While lead volume may be one of the desired results, your team probably has other goals too, such as streamlining your funnel, passing higher quality leads to sales, using data for more targeted campaigns, or creating a more efficient and high-performing team in general. These goals can only be reached by using one strategy: setting internal benchmarks. Obsessing over the performance of other companies without an accurate internal reference point will do nothing to boost your results.


So, Create Your Own Benchmarks

It helps to think of marketing automation as a living, breathing entity. For optimal results, you’ll be constantly to changing, tweaking, updating and evaluating. Even creating your own benchmarks will be an ongoing process. But here’s a good place to start:


  1. Identify what exactly should be benchmarked (this will take some “soul searching” with company leadership)
  2. Define the metrics for measurement
  3. Analyze and evaluate performance
  4. Create and implement an improvement plan
  5. Monitor the results


In step one, your “soul searching” should include the following:


  • What technology is being used and how efficient is your team at using them?
  • How are leads being captured? Are we collecting enough, and gathering the right information about each?
  • Can we attribute campaign effectiveness and if so, what are our most effective channels?
  • How quickly do leads move through our funnel and at what volumes?
  • How does sales feel about the leads we provide?
  • Do we create happy buyers?


These critical questions can only be answered with a thorough amount of the above-mentioned soul searching. But don't do it alone. The power of getting everyone in a room can not be overstated. The answers you arrive at at will point to necessary improvements, and provide initial benchmarks that will later help review achievements and earmark processes for improvement.


The Question of Maturity

At this point, we've seen over 2500 Marketo customer implementations. I can tell you squarely that the most important factor in success is maturity. I can also tell an organization exactly where they fall on that maturity curve based on the responses to the internal benchmarking exercise mentioned above. Sometimes, it's evident just by the words they use to answer the questions and their tone while doing so.


Marketing maturity is both a result and a goal. Based on your benchmarks, you have to focus on the strategies and tactics that will lift you to where you want to be. There's no better way to streamline that process than to find organizations that have a similar buying cycle, product delivery mechanism and were able to graduate to the next maturity level.


Form Your Own Focus Group

Research, white papers, surveys and case studies always offer some value, which is why they are so popular. Yet, in the end their findings and recommendations can be several degrees removed from your specific circumstances.


One valuable alternative is to form your own peer group to share ideas, strategies, successes and failures. This could be a circle of leaders in your local area, a user group or an analyst roundtable. The critical element is to ensure that there are others present who share similar stories to that reflected by your internal benchmark. Meet with your unofficial “focus group” for monthly or quarterly roundtable discussions. You’ll be surprised what you learn.


Like the proverbial greener grass on the other side, external benchmarking will always look attractive. But if approached in a general manner, it will never be a valid assessment of your company’s skill and intelligence in wielding marketing automation.


Use external benchmarking measures as inspiration, sure, but understand those measures can only provide the most basic guidance. Instead, turn your focus first to internal performance and benchmarks. By identifying both your strongest weapons and areas for improvement, you’ll have all you need for continued success. You can take advantage of LeadMD's free online benchmark for Marketo users here to get started on your own internal evaluation.


4 Strategies That Must Be Part of Your Marketing to Customers



This piece stresses that marketers must understand the new customer paradigm of effectively engaging and communicating with their customers in order to drive better sales and compete effectively in the digital world.


Keeping Email Marketing Relevant for Today’s Consumer

MarTech Advisor


This article provides best practices to marketing practitioners on conducting email campaigns. Notably, the article highlights how marketers absolutely need to personalize content based on their customers’ preferences.


The 5 Most Egregious Marketing Automation Fails and How To Avoid Them



This story highlights the most common email marketing faux pas marketers should avoid. Tips in this article include eliminating a dirty data base, not having a content plan and not segmenting emails for different audiences.

News 4 U!


How The Big Shift To Digital And Data Marketing Is Getting Agencies Fired



This article discusses how there is a huge shift underway in how brands are using advertising agencies and why it’s vital for these agencies to adapt to the new marketing landscape to stay competitive.


Target Launches Beacon Test In 50 Stores, Will Expand Nationwide Later This Year



Target is set to roll out beacon technology in 50 stores. The technology will allow the retailer to send information about deals as well as recommendations directly to consumers’ smartphones.


In the Moment Marketing With Mobile Advertising: The Next Big Leap



Companies must take a single view of the customer to succeed says this contributor. She mentions recent research from VentureBeat on “brands and mobile advertising: how to win” and stresses the fact that marketers need to individualize and personalize their interactions with customers if they are going to implement a successful mobile strategy.


Marketers Put Internet of Things Data to Use—and It Works



This story highlights a study by 2nd Watch, which notes how marketers will use IoT primarily for understanding their consumers and their habits in order to better engage with them.



Good customer service is something that most companies strive for, but it doesn’t happen without effort or overnight. I think we can all agree we are hoping for quotes like these to be rolling in about our products or services:


“Let’s be real: I bleed purple. Both my favorite color and community, there’s few things in life I love more than Marketo.”


Whether your company is B2B or B2C, whether you’re selling marketing automation software to businesses or a fitness app to consumers, you need to be able to make your customers happy and keep them happy. That is why they continue to buy your products and why they recommend you to their friends and hundreds to thousands of followers on their social networks.


As a community manager for almost four years now, trying to make our customers happy is at the forefront of everything I do. I think Marketo has done a good job of using advocacy to drive customer satisfaction over the years.


Here are my tips on how you can increase customer satisfaction through advocacy and more: 


Have good products: You may be thinking “duh” or “this isn’t a marketer’s job”, and you’re right. But I mention this first because if you don’t have quality products, then you aren’t going anywhere fast with customer satisfaction. Quality products are where happy customers start, so make sure you believe in and would actually use what your company is selling.


In a recent Champion application Brean Deters, Marketing Analytics Manager at BAI said, “I have been using Marketo extensively for over 3 years and love the product, not  only for what it can do now but for the potential and opportunity for what it can evolve to in the future.”


Now, don’t interpret ‘good products’ as ‘perfect’ because we all know that is unattainable. Our CMO always says, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement,” which leads to my next point about feedback.


Encourage feedback…and actually listen: It’s one thing to ask your customers for feedback and it’s another to take the time to read that feedback, collect it and put it into action. The former is easy, the ladder takes time, money and thought. I can think of a great example of how we give our customers a voice at Marketo. Our customer ideas section in the Community has contributed over 425 customer ideas that have been put into our product. Our customers provide feedback and each week I sit down with the product team and we respond to each of them, in hopes to eventually catch up! 


The most important advice I can give when soliciting customer ideas and feedback is to set expectations and communicate often. On the product side it’s common to be a victim to circumstances well out of our control that changes the timing of a release resulting in a customer let-down. However, I have seen customers get the most frustrated when they feel out of the loop or ignored. It’s not always going to be the answer they want but they will hopefully appreciate the transparency.


Use a barter system (challenge & reward):Create opportunities to challenge your customers online and offline with friendly competition and contests. I’ve seen great success when tapping into people’s inherent desire to compete and win. I can relate because am one of the most competitive people I know! Whether you’re encouraging competition with others or individually…this has helped the Marketo customer marketing team drive engagement and participation across our different programs. The bartering is incentivizing customers with a tangible prize, promotion, or money.


Pick an advocacy platform to help scale: It’s tough to keep track of your advocate programs using excel and outlook, so we recommend you invest in one or more advocate platforms. As you know, Marketo just moved our customer community from Salesforce to JiveX in May to provide a better experience to our growing customer base. We’ve already increased our registered users by 20% from the previous site. But the community has been a key driver of the Marketing Nation’s participation, adoption of Marketo, camaraderie and loyalty since inception in 2010, so just be sure to do your homework and pick a platform that is right for you.


Influitive is another platform we have seen great success with. It is a self-service advocate tool that allows you to integrate advocate marketing with the rest of your marketing organization through fun challenges and rewards. We launched this tool in March and already have 640 advocates involved!


Sell an experience, not just a product: If Facebook is one of the first things you check in the morning when you wake up, you know what FOMO is. You want to create this feeling with your customers. You want them to feel loved, included, and a part of something bigger than just the product or service you are selling them.


The Marketing Nation is where people, technology and ideas converge to help marketers get the fastest speed to results. This concept is of something bigger than our product, you, or I and it has created a sense of community with our customers and our employees that far exceeds the standard vendor / customer relationship.


Also, remind yourself what you’re selling—it’s not just a transaction but should be focused on a feeling, like welcoming someone into your family. At Marketo, our customers are buying a long lasting relationship, and we’ve found it to be mutually beneficial. Our customers know that at any time, day or night, they can log in and connect with members of the Marketing Nation to get help and support. To hear it from the source, watch this video Why Marketo Customers Love our Community


Incentivize with rewards and cash: There is little that motivates people more than ‘stuff’. Even if it’s as simple as giving away a $5 Starbucks gift card or branded t-shirt…customers will be motivated! And, it’s great for brand recognition to have your customers serve as walking billboards. Obviously the quality and quantity of monetary rewards at your disposal depends on the size of your budget, so if you have a small team, get creative!


Another type of reward I recommend is public recognition. This comes in all shapes, sizes and channels, but some that have made our customers shout from the rooftops (and Twitter) with joy and pride is our Revvie Awards that we announce at our Marketing Nation Summit each year. These awards recognize and celebrate customers and partners who are using Marketo in innovative and exciting ways. If you can find a way to capture quality customer stories while showcasing our customers’ success in front of their peers and in press releases, I’d recommend it.


Building advocacy and customer satisfaction are very rewarding for both parties if you’re doing it right, but it’s also a science that is dependent on a lot of factors…making it a wild ride! I’d love to hear your ideas and stories about what you’re doing at your companies to keep your customers happy and engaged!

Aries TCO: The SIERA Master Business Administration System (MBAS) is a complete business management system.


Bedrock Data – Bidirectional integration that will sync Marketo lead and activity data to and from as it changes in either system.


Bedrock Data - ConnectWise: Bidirectional integration that will sync Marketo lead and activity data to and from as it changes in either system.


Brandcast: Brandcast is the fastest way to bring high-velocity digital experiences to market, from your smallest landing page to largest corporate site.


Boomtrain: Boomtrain helps Marketo customers deliver incredible 1:1 user experiences at scale via machine intelligence and predictive personalization.


Knak.: Create beautiful responsive Marketo email and landing pages, with no coding required!


MediaMath: MediaMath empowers marketers with transparent, scalable and flexible technology to drive transformative marketing results based on goals, not guesses.


Percolate: Percolate is an end-to-end marketing technology platform with a mobile-first approach to content automation and audience targeting.

Hey all,


Wanted to share three ways I use snippets to make email design a lot faster! I am not trained in html design, everything I have learned has been on the job. The biggest disadvantage of not being well-versed in html coding is that it takes A LONG TIME to make something look good.


While email templates are definitely crucial, a lean startup needs to be wary of the cost/benefits: an extensive template library doesn't always provide the ad-hoc design flexibilities that our campaign owners are often looking for, and if you don't set up your campaign structure appropriately, it can be difficult to maintain all of them.


Using Snippets, I am able to store pieces of html design code that I often use, and keep them on a clipboard of sorts, to bring into emails as needed. Sometimes, you're going to want to add/update something minor to your email, that doesn't necessarily require an entire email template for.


Hack 1: Update Office Address


I'm creating an email blast for the DACH region, and I want to provide the German address. I also usually like to allow readers to select English if they want to!


If I set up my snippets correctly, I can then replace this section with the "german footer" snippet:




The change probably doesn't deserve its own template, but the snippet lets me easily pull in this html quickly.


Hack 2: Image snippet for formatting and link consistency!


Here's another one we use to maintain image width consistency, and make sure we remember to add the CTA link to the image.


This is particularly great because you can create image restrictions (like max width), and have a border if you want.


Hack 3: Remove content using a Blank Snippet


Finally, I grabbed this idea from Grazitti, who use blank snippets with many of their email templates. Blank Snippets are great if you just want to hide a certain section, and when using a catch-all email template.

If you really want to get freaky with snippets, it's best to see emails as building blocks, with an email template that contains many editable sections. This allows you to put in assets or not. With blank segments, you can hide the sections you don't need.



Finally, if you are a scrappy marketer like me, here are some other email design resources that I recommend:


  • Litmus is awesome! Want to test your email design across a million platforms? Use this.
  • Sublime Text. Before we got really good at email tokens, I used Sublime text for all email html design, then pasted it into the Marketo editor. The biggest benefit is that the colors are way easier to see, and you have a bigger landscape to review your code.
  • Universal Tokens. Edward Unthank has *great* documentation on using Tokens to make your emails and landing pages super easy to implement. If you haven't, read his blog and posts first. There is some awesome stuff there. Here are some examples of what we use on the Universal level. This way, *regardless* of whether you have a million templates or not, you can update certain things in one place. Super helpful.
  • Program templates using tokens. Again, Unthank is the token champion here, and simply using tokens for email from email will speed up email design immensely! If you don't already, create program templates by channel, and clone those templates everytime you create a new asset. The programs below with the '!' in front are a couple examples:



Two of my favorite times of year are January 15 and June 15 (the Community launch pushed this Summer class back a month!) when I get to select the new classes of Marketo Champions. Although it is an intense cross-functional process, it is a lot of fun to see who applies. Before I announce the new class, I am excited to share that we're increasing each class to 30 members (from 25) to make room for 10 more talented marketers to join this prestigious group each year. To learn more about what we require and the induction process, you can read the Requirements & Benefits of the Champion Program.


It is an honor to read all of the wonderful applications I receive over the course of the year. This summer we received 20% more applications than we did for the previous class, a program best! They are always filled with awesome success metrics, innovative ways of using Marketo, stories about how customers have benefited from Community, and most importantly, how passionate they are about Marketo because it has transformed their career in some way. Reading stories like these are a humble reminder that I am fortunate to work at Marketo serving our customers because they are truly the most AMAZING and the best in the biz. Here are a few examples of quotes that came from the recent applications.


"Being part of the Marketo Champion Program has been a huge building block of my career. I’ve now been a part of this amazing group for two years! The people included in this group are truly some of the brightest minds and I really like feeding off of each other’s Marketo **** knowledge!"

  • Kim Para at LeadMD, 3x Champ


"Learning how to use the Marketo Lead Management system has had a tremendous impact on my career - two years ago I had no experience with the platform and now I'm a Marketo Certified Expert (and provide coaching so that my colleagues can get the same achievement) and have won two team Revvies (the Integrator in 2014 and Marketing Team of Year -2015)."

  • Jill Ragsdale at CA Technologies


Without further ado, I’m pleased to announce the Summer 2015 class of Marketo Champions. Please congratulate them in the comments of this post!


Adam New-Waterson, 5x Champion

Brean Deters

Caryl Mostacho, 2x Champion

Cecile Maindron, 4x Champion

Courtney Grimes

Edward Masson, 4x Champion

Edward Unthank,  3x Champion

Gary DeAsi, 3x Champion

Jason Hamilton

Jeff Shearer, 4x Champion

Jeff Spicer, 3x Champion

Jenn DiMaria

Jenny Robertson 4x Champion

Jennifer Clegg, 2x Champion

Jill Ragsdale

Joanna Nguyen, 2x Champion

Joe Reitz

Josh Perry, 3x Champion

Julz James

Justin Norris

Keith Nyberg

Kim Allen, 3x Champion

Kristen Malkovich, 2x Champion

Leah Grosky, 2x Champion

Maarten Westdorp

Mark Farnell

Neil Robertson-Ravo

Sarah Rossborough, 2x Champion

Stephen Susina , 4x Champion

Taylor Enfinger


Want to connect with our Champs? You can find a Champion in our Community a few ways.


  • You can see a list of our Champions in Products  by clicking ‘find experts’ on the right side under quick links. Then ‘add filter’ at the top and search by accomplishments / Champions. For a direct link to a full list of our Champions, click here.


  • Our new Expert Locator is coming out in September. This is an enhanced search functionality that will allow you to better connect with users based on criteria you select such as accomplishments like Champions, MUG Leaders, Certified Experts, expertise and location. It will even show you if a User Group is near you!
  • All Champions are also tagged with a badge next to their name that looks like this. role badge.jpg


  • Join the Champion Program group and chat with our Champs! Ask questions about the program, network and more.


Champions are Marketo's most advanced customers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Marketo Community and at Marketo events, are Marketo Certified Experts, are avid contributors in the social world, and are loyal advocates of the Marketo brand. If you are interested in learning more and applying, read our Requirements & Benefits of the Champion Program and join the Champions: The Marketo Elite group. We look forward to seeing your application in the future.



Liz Courter, Community Manager


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