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Zenefits Hints at Marketing’s Future



Marketo is lauded for its role in helping Zenefits achieve business and marketing success. The company’s data-centric marketing strategy has contributed to revenue growth of an estimated $100M in 2015 (from $2M in 2013).


Vidyard for Sales Enables B2B Sales Teams to Prospect and Sell with Personalized Video

Digital Journal


LaunchPoint partner, Vidyard announced its new offering, designed to assist sales in selling video content.



Mattel Drives Digital Transformation with Help From Salesforce Marketing Cloud



Mattel recently deployed Salesforce Marketing Cloud to power its digital marketing efforts.


5 Reasons Why Marketing Technology Can Be Frustrating

MarTech Advisor


This article highlights the biggest challenges marketers face using marketing technology.


Marketers’ New Big Data Problem: Cross-Device and Cross-Channel Targeting



This piece stresses why marketers need to engage customers across all digital channels, including mobile, and provides best practices for marketers looking to leverage a re-targeting strategy.


Big Data Aligns Sales and Marketing to Close More Deals

MarTech Advisor


The article notes how data helps to align sales and marketing teams to deliver consistent, well-timed messages to prospects based on their specific needs.

"…the contemporary prejudices that too much paperwork slows you down, clogs things up. But if you take an historical view, it's bureaucracy that sees you through the rocky patches and enables the state to survive. Bureaucracy is not evidence of inertia; it is life-saving continuity."A History of the World in 100 Objects, Episode 71


While we like to think of Marketing Automation as nimble, I often see practitioners racing to the next thing without documenting what they already have. The next thing that happens is that someone leaves the company, and the remaining employees – or the new ones who were hired to replace the departing employee – are left without any organized plan or history of what has been implemented in the Marketing Automation platform. This leaves the company, and the employees, at a distinct disadvantage.


The other circumstance I see is that documentation is being created – but only as a last deliverable before the employee leaves. In this case, because it's last minute and written by someone who is no longer invested in that particular Marketing Automation instance, it's easy for critical items to be forgotten.


Your best policy is to document as you go. Here are some areas you should make sure there is documentation around:

  • Governance – which roles in the MA platform exist, and who has responsibility for executing which items
  • Templates – which email and landing page templates are used for different brands? Which are old (in which case, document, but archive them)
  • Naming conventions – have a standard that is comprehensible without a dictionary of acronyms and make sure everyone uses it
  • Process – one of the hardest: what are the pieces needed to launch a program, for each type of program you run? Are approvals needed? From whom? How long does it take to get from idea to launch to results?
  • Marketing Calendar – whether you use a Marketing Automation feature or product or a whiteboard, make sure everyone knows what's coming next and what is planned


Once you have documentation, ensure that you update it regularly so that it is always current. If your processes change, your documentation needs to change with it.


While compiling your documentation might feel tedious, remember that you are preparing for those "rocky patches"– when someone goes on maternity leave or you have a new employee who needs to ramp quickly. And your bureaucracy will be what lets the state, or in this case your company, survive – and thrive – in the next generation.


6 Tips to Create a Successful Mobile Marketing Plan

MarTech Advisor


This article provides best practices to marketers building out a mobile marketing strategy. Notably, the article highlights how marketers should spend time understanding their target audience in order to provide meaningful content and drive better results.


What Marketing Really Thinks About Your IT Organization



This piece highlights the importance of a strong CMO and CIO relationship and notes how the two departments can work together in the new technology-centric world.


Marketers Should Engage Engagement

Direct Marketing News


This article stresses that marketers need to focus on engaging their customers. Interestingly, the article notes how brands have been incorrectly measuring customer engagement, such as impressions or click rate.


The Most Common Mistakes Companies Make with Global Marketing

Harvard Business Review


This piece highlights the biggest challenges companies face when building out a global marketing strategy.

In the last 25 years, I have worked with Marketing organizations all over the world. I am still amazed about how they think about Influencer Marketing because they tend to take the old school PR approach and target individuals with the most reach. They target the Seth Godin, for example, who I worked closely with in the mid 90s. Even thought he is a genius, he will not help me sell a certain marketing automation service. He will not endorse without getting a very very big check. He will not help me figure out which lap top I should buy. (Maybe I should target Guy Kawsaki instead since he loves Macs).

When I was a consultant I built a whole business around a different type of marketing that focused on conversations and the connections between those people having the conversations. To do this, you focus first on the audiences tribe, which is basically a group of individuals with a common interest or hobby. A simple one would be stay at home dads. Or Mountain Bikers who live or bike in Tahoe. You don't focus on demographics (age, gender). These individual are engaged online and offline around certain subjects. Marketers can find them a number of ways such as analyzing trends or doing a keyword analysis that is a little different from SEO. For the stay-home at dads example, you list out and use the common terms this tribe uses. True influence is based on dyadic relationships which is based on two people and/or the smallest group possible. It focuses on the discussions and communications between these two people. (What it is not targeting someone with the largest followers??). It involves co-workers who might make a verbal recommendation at the office. It is based on time and the amount of time these individuals spend together and their emotional intensity in these relationships


But it takes takes time to reach out to all these people, right? Yes it does, so you don't. Instead you focus on the critical few relationships and the cluster that these relationships form around. See picture below. It color codes segments and the batches of people forming around these tribes.



You focus on user profiles and either build models to determine who to focus on or you randomly select a few with whom you can learn and test. You try and understand these conversations and how they go about making their purchasing decision. You try and identify what's the right motivation to get them to play 'telephone' - where they each tell one person about your service or product. You focus on the relationships and not the number of followers, etc.


This might seem like a time intensive activity, but in the long run you will save time. If you just cast a net wide and scoop everyone up into your marketing system, you will have very low engagement rates and you will loose the relationships among people that will actual reinforce customer loyalty.



In honor of Marketo's Marketing Nation Online 2015,  I couldn't help notice the trending hashtags associated with #MKTGNation and wonder why: #marketosummit, #contentmarketing, #MKTGgenius, #Marketo, #Thrive, #Webinar, #buyerpersonas, #marketing, #roadtrip, #BigData


This was a remarkable virtual event, so the obvious marketing-related hastags like #webinar make sense - one can't ignore the webinar's potential as an engagement tool. Broadcasting and evaluating success with #Marketo can be #bigdata #MKTGgenious! So I'm not surprised that these trending tags orbit the Marketing Nation.


But my favorite two are #roadtrip and #thrive.


Who doesn't love a roadtrip! There's something about being in transit. Looking down the road as it changes; anticipating your destination; the view from wherever you are along the way. It is exhilarating to be headed someplace new. As metaphor though, this hashtag makes perfect sense. Every Marketo journey is like a roadtrip.


It requires planning. What will you need to bring with you? What route will you take? What roadside attractions will you stop to see along the way?

  • What methods do you use to market to your audience? This will determine what channels (live events, email, social, blog, webinar) you need to set up.
  • A buyer's journey constitutes a series of interactions with your marketing messages. What progressions do your buyers move through on the way to a 'success' and have you set up Marketo to listen for these?
  • Does your CRM campaign structure mirror the channels and successes you've defined in Marketo?

A roadtrip takes time. So does developing a robust Marketo system.

  • Just like watching the gas gauge or checking your oil, are you watching your system to make sure it's working correctly? Simple audits of operational processes and lead progressions in different channels can give you great insight into whether your system is working properly.
  • Don't put diesel in your unleaded tank! Develop nurture programs based on what you know about your buyers and current customers. Then send them timely and relevant content.
  • Understanding your data takes time. Lead scoring, FT, MT, LT and other metrics take time. Set mile markers quarterly and review the data when you have enough information to make decisions about your process.

Know where you're going. It's important to have a plan for getting where you want to go, but keep in mind there's more than one way to get there.

  • Define what your objectives are. How many leads do you need to generate to achieve your revenue goals?
  • Avoid construction delays. In other words, what channels are your most successful for engaging leads and closing deals? Don't be afraid to try new things, but also stick with what you know works.
  • Dont' forget to benchmark - take snapshots of where you are now so you'll know how far you've come!

And finally, road trips are more fun with someone else. Gather a team to go with you and watch your system #thrive!



Why Brands Need to Take on Lifecycle Marketing



This piece highlights the importance of lifecycle marketing and why more marketers need to understand where their customers are in the purchasing journey. The article also stresses that marketers need to engage in personal conversations with their customers, which requires deeper customer intelligence.


Does Your Marketing Influence B2B Decision-Makers?



A recent study by IDC notes how word-of-mouth is the most powerful in terms of influencing a purchasing decision. People are the most trusting of peers and colleagues and more skeptical of vendor-sponsored content.


Headache or Opportunity? The Profusion of Marketing Data

Marketing Land


Research from Terdata notes that 78 percent of marketers use data systematically, versus 36 percent in 2013. This article discusses the importance of embracing customer data for marketing and advertising strategies.


Apple’s Mobile Ad Blocking to Pose Problems for Advertisers



Apple’s next operating system, iOS 9, will include ad-blocking software through its Safari Web browser presenting many roadblocks for advertisers, app publishers and advertising networks.


Andrew Hull

Some Assembly Required

Posted by Andrew Hull Sep 1, 2015



Recently, my son and I tackled one of Lego’s spaceship sets (Millennium Falcon is up next). Most of you probably know that feeling when, after some combination of following the instructions and free-form assembly, there's a few pieces left over. Those extra pieces may have provided structural support, but now that it's put together it isn't coming apart to figure out where to put those extra blocks.


I’m betting most of you have also had a similar experience with marketing automation software. Certainly, the form and structure of a marketing platform will work even when there are extra pieces left on the floor. Most marketing departments can't afford to "take it apart" and figure out what's missing. The system is working, use it.


Over and over again, while providing professional services to companies looking to maximize their marketing automation platforms, I've witnessed the impacts of free-form assembly with some instructional guidance. Most of the time, there's parts (aka functionality) left over; parts that, if utilized, will maximize performance and ROI.


Here are three commonly under-utilized building blocks of the optimized Marketo system:


1. Lead scoring. Customizing a lead qualification process for both the “who” (demographic score) and the “how” (behavior score) is one of the most effective tools to focus your marketing efforts and help your sales team prioritize their best prospects.


One of the reasons lead scoring is often neglected is because of the required collaboration between sales and marketing in order to make it work well.


Defining the process can be simple, but sales and marketing must agree on the overall marketing-to-sales process and definitions.


The most common sales waterfall stages used in B2B processes are prospect/new, MQL (marketing qualified lead) or AQL (automated qualified lead), SAL (sales accepted lead), SQL (sales qualified lead), Opportunity (pipeline) and Closed (won or lost).  Many of you are familiar with and use variations of the stages mentioned above.


Marketo's capability to track lead progress through these stages is not only critical to develop content appropriate to the interest level of leads, but allows Marketo to notify your sales team when a prospect is ready for more direct contact.


2. Engagement/nurture campaigns. Aptly named, engagement or nurture campaigns encourage the growth and development of prospects and customers. And, as the most talented marketing and sales executives know, what you say is as important as how and when you say it.


We know that 70% of a buyer's process occurs online. We also know how crowded the buying process has become. In order for your brand or your product to gain (and keep) mindshare, communicating the right information at the right time is critical.


Marketing's job is to serve up the messages that address a prospect's needs, answer their questions and build trust in your company. Delivering these messages at the right time (utilizing lead stage management above) is the foundation of marketing automation platforms like Marketo.


3. Real Time Personalization. Marketo RTP delivers one-on-one website content to prospects and customers based on behavior, interests, preferences and profile. RTP can tailor your marketing materials to give prospects relevant information that helps them through their buying process. Delivering content that successfully helps your potential customer navigate through their buying journey by providing insight and efficiency will keep your company top-of-mind and drive more sales.


Each of these powerful components of Marketo’s platform are interconnected so it isn't surprising that when leveraged properly, the sum is greater than the parts. Setting up a solid foundation in Marketo will allow you to build a robust marketing program and understand who (and where) your leads are, how to communicate with the right information at the right time and customize the information your buyers receive.


Unlike my son’s spaceship project that looks pretty cool with or without those stray parts, Marketo's value is indisputably better when it is assembled completely.

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