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"Kids today are lazy and entitled. Technology is ruining our lives. Advertising is out of control. Get off my lawn!” Every generation shares the same fears and uncertainty about the future that the previous generation once had. We may not see it at first, but there’s really no escaping the fact. It’s a realization we don’t like to face because it means we’ve crossed a line. The line. You know the one…when you start echoing the same things your parents once said. South Park’s Perspective on Sponsored Content is Hilarious and Frightening The truth is that we often overlook the worries of the past that we now complain about as if they are brand new. Many of our shared concerns as a society come in cycles, and what was old becomes new again. The current season of one of my favorite TV shows South Park has focused on some of these shared concerns from the past that are making a comeback—like political correctness, gentrification, and advertising overload. It’s an odd and intricate mix of themes, but if you’re fan of smart insights and 3 rd grade humor, I recommend checking it out. As a marketer, a recent storyline in the show that revolves around the fear of advertising grabbed my attention. It all centers on the increasing intelligence of ads’ ability to predict what you, as a consumer, will click on or interact with in real life. In several scenes, the characters in the show have an almost impossible time accomplishing anything online because they are constantly being distracted by “sponsored content,” which sidetracks them from their initial intentions. While this battle of attention is raging, one of the kids, Jimmy, discovers that there are people in the world who aren’t really people at all…they’re ads! Only Jimmy has the ability to distinguish these walking, talking, artificial intelligence driven ads from real people, which leads to him being kidnapped by a shadowy group of ex-newsmen to help expose the conspiracy. As I said, odd and intricate. It’s a frightening look into a world gone horribly wrong. What led to this new world of mixing advertising with entertainment in all forms? Is it all our grandparents’ fault? Or maybe our great-great-grandparents’? I’m sure it goes back even further than that, but let’s take a look back at the progression of this “new” type of advertising. Sponsored Content in the Real World Back before the internet and television, the radio ruled entertainment at home. Product sponsored shows were invented in this era and popular stars of the day mixed entertainment with advertising in a very early form of sponsored content. Even then, listeners were impatient with commercials, so advertisers experimented with new ways to sell their wares. In fact, soap operas were originally radios shows sponsored by detergent brands to reach the homemaker demographic, but the value of beloved and trusted personalities endorsing products was quickly realized. Remember George Burns and Gracie Allen singing the praises of the heavenly canned meat product, SPAM? Product placement in movies is another familiar advertising method that has been around for decades. Product placement involves the clever insertion of products into the storyline or events of a movie to subtly expand brand awareness. As a viewer, you unconsciously recognize a product and, if done well, associate it with a beloved character or aspiration. I can still remember E.T. following that trail of Reese’s Pieces and thinking, “I could reallygo for some Reese’s Pieces right now.”" Recently, I’ve noticed the almost seamless evolution of the old radio concept of sponsored advertising on television. This spot below from the Comedy Central show Drunk History is a great example of this. On this show, comedians will enjoy a few adult beverages and then retell the story of a historical event or person. The advertisement for a new video game below, set in Victorian London, could almost pass unnoticed as a segment of the show. Even if you were fast forwarding through the commercials, you probably wouldn’t skip over this because it features familiar faces from the show you’re watching and is structured in a very similar way. It’s also entertaining enough to keep you interested as it doesn’t focus on the product itself, but more on the experience and the fun the host and guest are having playing it. The wheel of advertising never stops turning The fact that this tried and true method of advertising has found a home in the latest form of popular entertainment shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. It’s just another medium in the continuing endeavor for people to sell their goods, services, and opinions to each another. Like anything else, it takes time to polish and refine the process so that it becomes more valuable than distracting, both from a consumer and marketer perspective. As consumers, we look to the fast forward button and ad blockers to skip over the ads that don’t resonate with us. But as marketers, we continually strive to show relevant ads to those who are most interested in our products or services. As the wheel keeps turning and technology progresses,  marketers will get better at targeting our ads to the right audience and these fears of advertising will fade in the past… until the next generation. Have you seen any sponsored content lately that felt seamless? I’d love to see them in the comments below.
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Great infographic provided by our partner LookBook HQ Nick Edouard​
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Presentation on leveraging Demand Generation to build a great customer marketing program. Enjoy.
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Stephanie Meyer is the woman behind GE Healthcare's successful marketing automation initiative. Here's how her team modernized and consolidated the company’s marketing tools. By modernizing and consolidating more than 100 marketing systems across the globe, Stephanie Meyer, head of marketing operations at GE Healthcare, and her team enabled the company to touch a total of $2 billion in potential revenue and yielded $600 million in new revenue last year. This initiative was part of a big renovation in marketing processes, role clarity, and organization improvements at GE Healthcare. Previously, the company had over 100 marketing tools across its seven regions: USCAN (U.S. and Canada), EU, China, Asia-Pacific, India, EAGM (the Eastern and Africa growth markets) and LATAM (Latin America). Such variety led to many challenges, including fragmentation and confusing hand-offs. "How the job was getting done required many processes, with each requiring different efforts. This led to redundancies, dropped balls, and inefficiency," Meyer says. According to Meyer, the modernization of marketing tools consists of three pillars: People: What talent does GE Healthcare need? How should the company train employees? Platforms: What global tools will support efficiency for GE Healthcare's marketing teams? Process: How can teams be effective at all points in the communication process? In mid-2013, Meyer and her team started integrating GE Healthcare's marketing tools around the globe, consolidating more than 100 systems into just three: Zinc Ahead, Salesforce, and Marketo. Previously, it took a few months for GE Healthcare to get approval on content. Now the company uses the medical compliance software, Zinc Ahead, to review and approve content, curtailing the process by 70 percent. GE Healthcare also uses marketing automation software from Salesforce and Marketo for consumer communication and consumer engagement. These platforms have helped GE Healthcare save time and resources, according to Meyer. Meyer and her team completed the integration in approximately 18 months. "I didn't sleep or have any social life. Project managing something of this size is the biggest challenge, next to getting people to accept the changes. You need very detail oriented leaders to run the cutover, and it's critical that they work to help gain acceptance for the change and [prove] the benefits," Meyer explains. She admits that her team made a few mistakes in the integration process. During the global roll-out of Marketo, her team focused too much on regional deployment instead of products. While GE Healthcare's region marketers are aligned to specific regions and oversee the commercialization of all products relating to their consumers, product marketers are responsible for the development of product-specific content that spans across all regions. When Meyer's team rolled out Marketo, they considered commercialization to be of primary importance, so put lots of effort into training and improving the skills of region marketers. "In hindsight, we should have paralleled this training with the product marketers, because great content in this new ecosystem is of equal importance," Meyer notes. While she is very focused on advanced digital marketing tools, Meyers believes that people are more important than platforms. In her words, "Marketing is not B2B or BC2 anymore, it's B2Human." Marketers have to think about how to promote their products and services in a more human way and have control over their marketing platforms. For instance, when a brand has an email marketing tool, it can send a promotional email to a consumer a few times a day, but there's a fine line between connecting with consumers via email and spamming them. "An organization should have a control mechanism in the process and say, 'We should not contact this consumer for more than X times in a week.' Don't be tempted by the platform's shininess - good governance will be a big win for you," Meyer says. Looking forward, good content is Meyer's next big push at GE Healthcare. In 2016, her team plans to train the company's marketers to think more holistically around consumers' buying cycles and ensure that GE Healthcare's content is based on insights. "It's really about looking at consumers' behavior and engaging in different ways. My marketers now have fabulous tools, but they don't have experience as content strategists. So for 2016, I need to work on making sure our marketers understand the difference between creating content and selling something," Meyer says. Marketing in the healthcare industry is more difficult than other industries, because some of the common marketing practices that have proven to be effective are strictly prohibited. Since marketing for healthcare products and services falls under a series of laws and regulations from a variety of enforcement agencies, GE Healthcare's digital channel strategy will remain less focused on social media. Instead, it will take advantage of email and other content distribution channels. By integrating and consolidating marketing automation systems, GE Healthcare is able to minimize its content cycle and has gained a great ROI. Given that GE Healthcare is an $18 billion revenue business, Meyer's team may still have a long way to go, but they are definitely headed in the right direction. The takeaways from GE Healthcare's marketing automation initiative are: Less is more. Don't put too many marketing tools in the arsenal. Effective marketing automation takes time and effort to implement and maintain for revenue growth. People are more important than platforms. While marketing automation provides efficiency, marketers should be careful about irrelevant automated messages. Remember that while advanced marketing tools provide helpful short-term solutions, quality original content is a long-term solution and should be the main goal. A good marketing strategy requires collaboration. If one doesn't have the right process for communicating with teammates, their marketing efforts will fall apart. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013. Article originally appeared in ClickZ.
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By: Johnny Cheng In my role at Marketo over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of paging through mounds of enticing Marketo data. I have seen some absolutely outstanding stats from some of Marketo’s top customers—stats covering everything from email sends to opportunities sourced. Now, I want to share these stats with you so you can see the potential of what happens when smart marketers, the right technology and great campaigns come together. These stats show us how far marketers can take their marketing programs and campaigns. So, get your hands warm and get ready to learn about and applaud these truly impressive (and inspiring!) accomplishments. Largest Email Campaign Wow, over 249 million email sends from one campaign! That’s equivalent to the total U.S. population back in the 1990s. Aside from the volume, imagine the anxiety that email marketer had clicking the “confirm send” button. And judging from the deliverability and performance stats of the campaign, that email marketer deserves a raise (just sayin’). Why It’s Impressive: The sheer email sends coming from this one campaign is remarkable. Compared to the average send size which is 8,900 per email campaign across all Marketo customers, this is absolutely massive. What’s even more extraordinary is that this particular marketing team runs multiple email campaigns in the millions, ALL of which have over 90% delivery rate! They’re surely doing something right! Highest Performing Email Campaign (over 5,000 send size) Whatever this email campaign was, kudos to the marketing team; not only did they get an extremely high open rate, they got a near perfect click rate. With results like that, I’m going to imagine the email subject was “Free Trip to Disneyland (not a scam)” and the call-to-action was “Claim Your Free Tickets NOW (not a scam)”…and then the whole thing truly wasn’t a scam. But really, they seem to have cracked the code on what yields near-perfect results. Bravo, team, bravo. Why It’s Impressive: Think of your typical email campaign—what percentage of open and click rate would you be happy to get? At my past few companies, we were ecstatic to get over 30% open rate for prospects and double that for customers. It’s hard to fathom an open rate of 90%, and even more impressive—a 89% click-to-open rate, especially for this email send size. To do this, their team must have attained the email trifecta: a squeaky clean list, extremely relevant content, and an irresistible call-to-action. Nice job! Widest Net Cast by a Campaign Over 525,000 opportunities were sourced from one single inbound asset. I have no idea what the content of that asset was, but it must have been pretty compelling to capture that many leads. Just imagine that company’s sales team swimming in that ocean of leads (seriously, imagine it). What a fantastic problem to have! Why It’s Impressive: This is every demand gen marketer’s dream: the golden goose—an asset soooo good it practically prints leads. This campaign towers over the average 180 opportunities generated per campaign (first-touch attribution) across all customers. When I looked up which company this was, I wasn’t surprised to find it was one of the most well-known respected brands in the world (which partly explains the golden goose content). But what we can learn from their massive success, is the potential and power of great content. Largest Pipeline Attributed to a Campaign OK, get ready for this one. $2.3 billion of pipeline was generated from a WEBINAR. I’m not making this up. And I know you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking on this one—that’s more than what the Titanic movie made! OK, maybe that’s not what you were thinking, but in all honesty, this webinar is the Titanic of webinars, and probably a lot cheaper to produce. Actually, even if they hired Leonardo DiCaprio to host the webinar, the ROI would still be impressive! Why It’s Impressive: Webinars usually perform really well in terms of pipeline attribution, but this one is beyond an anomaly. I actually have to take this off my data set because when I graph this, it breaks my chart—literally, it’s off the charts. I was only half joking earlier in that this might actually be a mainstream film that a media company classified as a “webinar”…that would explain a lot. If it’s not, they probably have developed a mean set of webinar best practices. What’s your company’s most impressive stat? Please share in the comments section below!
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Posted on behalf of our LaunchPoint Partner LookBookHQ.
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Posted on behalf of our LaunchPoint Partner LookBookHQ.
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Here are a couple campaign request form templates that were developed to capture all the information needed to build a webinar program in Marketo. I build a lot of these one-off programs and was finding myself spending too much time tracking down information from various people. The attachments are as follows: Campaign Request Form - External (used when campaigns originate from a department outside of marketing (ex. Sales)) Campaign Request Form - Internal (used when campaigns originate from a member of the marketing team) Campaign Request Form - External First tab: this is the tab that the campaign originator will complete Second tab: this is an example of what a completed webinar campaign request form will look like Third tab: this is an example of what a completed email campaign request form will look like Campaign Request Form - Internal First tab: this is the tab that the marketing team member will complete to originate the campaign Second tab: this tab contains the appropriate tokens used for emails/landing pages Third tab: this tab contains the appropriate information for GoToWebinar Fourth tab: this tab contains information need to post a portal ad The additional campaign tabs are added to the external request form once received by the marketing team. We also use a Google form for some project requests. That may be an option too!
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By: Ed King Let’s face it—your lead database is dirty and full of holes. It contains duplicate records, incomplete addresses, and limited segmentation. This poor data makes it difficult to create targeted campaigns and engage your users, which ultimately limits what you can achieve with your marketing automation tool. Many marketers think the only way to make their database better is to invest in getting it cleaned by a data vendor. While getting your data enriched and validated by a data vendor is always a good thing, you can make significant and rapid improvements to your data and keep it clean with inexpensive data automation solutions. Here are 6 tips to improve your data by investing just a few hours of your time with data automation technologywhich can automate the laborious tasks of data cleansing and enrichment: 1. De-duplicate records Marketers often hesitate to automate de-duplication (the process of removing duplicate leads) and prefer to eyeball duplicates and merge records manually due to fear of eliminating the wrong records. However, if the manual merge process applies a consistent logic–and it should–then that process can be automated. If the merge logic involves many arbitrary “judgment calls”, the result over a large database won’t be any better than automating a consistent logic. The shear effort required to perform manual de-duplication often results in the task never being done at all. 2. Fix bad emails Emails often fail to send because of typos, like john.doe@company,con. You can revive dead leads by fixing malformed email addresses in an automated way. Pop quiz! Question: Is this a valid email address: john.doe@company.com.ot ? Answer: If you have to even put the time into researching whether “.com.ot” is a valid email domain, you need automation. Don’t waste your valuable time on tasks that can be automated. 3. Normalize geographical data Without complete and normalized geographical data, it is difficult to run regional campaigns, plan field-marketing events, and route leads. For example, trying to build a geographically segmented leads list is difficult when you have to search for every possible variation and typos for often-misspelled state names like Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Mississippi. At a minimum, normalize state/province and country data. Instead of “Massachusetts”, “MA”, “Mass”, and endless other typos, standardize on a single value like “Massachusetts”. 4. Infer missing geographical data Some data fields have known relationships among them, so having one piece of data allows you to infer missing data. Instead of struggling with incomplete address data, have the system automatically fill in the blanks so that you can leverage these known relationships. For example: If ZIP code = 94065, then infer city = Redwood City and state = California If country code = 353, then infer country = Ireland 5. Normalize company names Another common problem with lead database is non-standardized company names. Leads from the same company can have names like “Toyota USA Inc.,” “Toyota Motor Sales USA,” and “Toyota Motors” Normalizing all company names in your leads database is difficult. Instead, focus your efforts on just customer and target account lists. Cleaning up these critical records will provide greater clarity on your pipeline report and marketing metrics overall. 6. Segment using job title data A well-segmented lead database is the foundation for personalized engagement and targeted campaigns. This includes segmentation by job function, job level, company size, industry, and location. Data services can enrich generic data, but to be effective, segmentation needs to reflect how you sell and whom you sell to. For one marketer, knowing a lead is in IT is good enough, but for another marketer, she needs to know if the lead is in networking, security, or engineering, One widely available source of segmentation data is job title. By mapping job title keywords, you can create segmentations based on job function and job level. For example: “Accounts Payable” indicates job function = Finance “CFO” and “Managing Director” indicates job level = Executive And that’s it. Six quick things you can do now to improve the quality of your leads database without spending a fortune. All you need is a few hours with a data automation tool and reference data such as state and country lists and job keyword mappings. Do you have any quick and efficient methods to add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!
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From Heidi Bullock is the Vice President of Demand Generation at Marketo. She has over 13 years of B2B marketing experience in high tech companies. Her expertise includes product positioning, brand strategy, product marketing, and demand generation. Now is a great time to be in marketing. Not long ago, if you were asked at a cocktail party what you did and replied, “Oh, I’m in marketing,” you were almost guaranteed a response like, “Wow, you’re the one that works on all the fun logo-covered fleece vests!” Historically, this misconception was largely due to the inability of marketers to demonstrate their impact on the business, i.e. showing the efficacy of campaigns and knowing where to invest (or not)—and clearly understanding the process the buyer takes when evaluating a product or service. But times have changed. Thanks to technology—especially marketing automation—we now have tools that help us understand the digital footprints of our buyers—how they like to be communicated with, the frequency, the message, gain visibility into which programs drive real business results and which don’t, and even ultimately help us predict buying preferences. With such powerful inputs available, marketers today are uniquely situated to understand all facets of their customers and the journey they undergo. One function that has originated as part of this new data-driven era is the role of the demand generation marketer. This role and organizational function is dedicated to driving demand and ultimately revenue. In many organizations demand generation is often associated directly with acquisition, but a better and more modern wa to think of it is as “transformative demand generation,” and this is where marketing executives need to focus. If you align your team around this concept, you’ll gain better insight into all areas of the customer journey—not just the early stages. Transformative Demand Generation Transformative demand generation is comprised of three key criteria: Having an agreed upon, shared model, set of definitions, and goals for aligning marketing and sales efforts. Creating a shared revenue model with clearly defined stages, conversion points, definitions, and service level agreements (SLAs) is critical. This is your blueprint for what marketing and sales are responsible for. A good model should be customer-centric and should model the customer’s journey.  There should be clear handoffs between marketing and sales, and ideally you can put SLAs in place to ensure consistency in response times. By doing this, you can clearly assess the health of your business, identify bottlenecks and respective fixes, and begin to predict your business outcomes.  There needs to be an ongoing focus on the model and an emphasis on iteration as learnings come in—but this is great way to make sure both teams are aligned. A focus on driving revenue first and foremost—and throughout the ENTIRE customer life-cycle. This lens must be used across all marketing programs—throughout the journey, from acquisition to retention. You should have a clear way to evaluate if a program makes sense for the business. Now a large brand initiative may be more complex to assess, but it is still important to understand. This starts with identifying goals and determining when you will measure impact, and when (what are the different points in time?).  There are times you go through this exercise and it becomes abundantly clear that a program does not make sense to continue. That learning is equally valuable. Here is a simple example: Your team may be considering a tradeshow and the goal is for acquisition. If the event costs $20K, the organizer tells you there will be 300 people attending. You estimate that the team can scan half the people, and you estimate that 30% will have the right demographics. At that rate, you are spending over $400 / lead.  That may be fine for your business—or not—but the point is you need to KNOW and then use that knowledge to evaluate the opportunity—and all opportunities with this lens. Being data-driven to measure and iterate to make the best decisions for the business . This one goes without saying—but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The key here is being laser focused on the right things to measure for your business. It’s helpful to have a mix of performance metrics (answering how did you do?), diagnostic metrics (what’s working, how can we improve?), and lastly leading indicators (these should help you forecast how you will be doing). A key part of your planning process is to identify up-front what decisions you need to make to drive company profits, and then build your measurements to capture the right information. This means you should measure things not just because they are measurable—but rather because they will guide you towards the decisions you need to make to improve company profitability. 3 Key Benefits of Transformative Demand Generation When done well, transformative demand generation provides marketers the ability to do these 3 things: Align with sales and other key stakeholders within your organization. By establishing an agreed-upon model upfront, definitions and goals—both marketing and sales efforts are pointed in the same direction. Make the right investments for driving the desired business outcomes. It is critical to identify goals for programs (whether it’s a brand campaign or retention) and estimate upfront if your investment makes sense to achieve your desired outcome. Be forward looking—and forecast what will occur. You should be able to discuss not only what just happened, but also what WILL happen. This is one of the most critical thing marketers can do to build credibility. Today’s demand generation has fundamentally shifted. It should no longer be thought of as simple acquisition or the team that focuses at top of the funnel and only generates volume. Transformative demand generation has the power to drive revenue throughout the entire lifecycle of a buyer. Applying transformative demand generation principles will ensure your marketing organization has a framework to align with sales. It sets a new standard to employ tools to attribute, predict, plan, and benchmark campaign performance. You may start to see that half of your programs are not worth the investment—but instead of being disappointed, be glad that you know and are able to identify the gaps. Ideally, the team should be able to predict the future revenue impact of marketing dollars invested. Marketers—from executives down through the practitioner level—that work within this framework will be able to drive and show the impact across the entire buyers’ journey. These are the marketers that will succeed and, of course, have respect .
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Anyone can build a traditional lead nurture track – send email #1 with content offer A, wait a week and send email #2 with content off er B, and so on. But given that 94% of marketing qualified leads never close*, it’s time for marketers to switch up their nurturing playbook. Here is a doc containing a lead nurture checklist to help you take your nurturing program from okay to awesome.
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Note: This playbook was provided by our LaunchPoint partner, Neustar. It all comes down to getting good and accurate leads. Lead quality is critical to the success of your business. And it comes only from having an effective lead management strategy with intelligent components in place. Download the playbook and learn more.
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Note: This case study was written by and provided by our LaunchPoint partner, Annuitas. ANNUITAS partnered with PR Newswire to launch a customer-centric demand-generation program. From the very beginning, the goal was to replace PR Newswire’s tactical marketing approach with a strategically driven campaign to help turn more leads into sales and more buyers into long-term loyal customers.
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Note: This was provided by our LaunchPoint partner, LeadMD. I don’t know about you, but when I’m doing something I think no one else will see, I tend to do things a little…differently.  For instance, I’ll write in shorthand that only I understand. Or I may not actually fold the sheets and towels in my linen closet. It’s my little secret, because I know I’m the only one who has to deal with it. Solopreneurs and businesses under five people tend to be the same way. They do things in a way that works for them, with shortcuts or abbreviations or processes set up in such a way that no one else could easily take over. Because you’ll be doing it forever, right? Well — not if you hope to actually grow your business. Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to your marketing automation system. The most important tip I can give you when purchasing and implementing your MA system is to take the time to set it up right, from Day 1! Here are two other hard truths you’re going to have to accept. Trust me, I’ve seen what happens when these are ignored, and the result is endless lost hours and money down the drain to fix it retroactively. You don’t want to be the person responsible for doing that to your company, do you? I didn’t think so. It’s not about you. As the business owner or the “marketing automation guy/gal” at your small business, it’s tempting to set things up in the way that’s easiest for you, rather than what will scale with the business. This could be an enormous burden later down the line as the business grows and other people have to use the system. So don’t be lazy. Remember, this marketing automation system is not for you, it’s for the business, and the business will have different needs a year from now. Take the time to come up with an implementation plan that takes into account where your business will be in the next few years. If you’re on your own, talk to other solopreneurs for advice. If you’re part of a company, talk to the owner and other employees. And keep in mind that someday you won’t be the only one manning the MA software. Build in room for collaboration and expansion and make it easy for other users to understand. Processes are your best friend. When it’s just you, systems are kind of a nuisance. But as your business grows, it’s the lack of systems and process that will become a nuisance, and introducing new ones will inspire a furor like none other. Nip it in the bud — now. Like a kid in a toy store, you’re going to want to dive right into your new marketing automation system and start playing and building things. Don’t. Instead, start by outlining processes for things like naming conventions, tags and campaign organization. Create clearly identified templates for consistency. Another important tip: Build a process guide for everything you’ve done, so that if someone else has to pick up what you’re doing without warning, there are clear directions for how to proceed. Continue to evolve your processes as you dive deeper, and update your guides. I know it’s hard doing it this way. But just like the chagrin I felt when my closet full of unfolded towels and sheets became an unexpected avalanche of fabric, you know that being forward-thinking and proactive now will serve your business well into the future.
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Note: This white paper was provided by our LaunchPoint partner, Cake. Topic:  Using technology to make more profit by selling your leads at the best price.
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  If your organization invests more time and money in content marketing and your pipeline of marketing leads grows, is it safe to assume that your investment paid off? Not necessarily. Simply because two events — more investment and a bigger pipeline — happened doesn’t mean they’re related. But there is a way to find out: Use lead metrics to track and measure activity and attribute leads in your marketing automation system to specific pieces of content. Looking at how leads in various stages of your sales funnel interact with your content can help you hone your content strategy. Here’s how to do it: Campaign Tracking The simple do-it-yourself way of tying content to leads is to use campaign tracking in Salesforce and in a marketing automation platform that you’re already using. In Salesforce, a campaign is an object that tracks a user’s activity across Lead, Contact, and Opportunity objects. Creating a campaign for a piece of content lets you see when a user engages with that item (for instance, opening a newsletter, reading a blog post or downloading an asset).   Here are three key aspects of campaign tracking that help you attribute leads to specific pieces of content: Persistence: Once a lead is attributed to a campaign, the campaign mapping follows the lead even as the lead gets converted to other objects lower in the funnel such as a contact or opportunity. This lets you not only track how many leads a piece generates, but also if these leads result in further actions. Multiple Attribution: Under a multi-touch attribution model, a lead can be credited to more than one piece of content. Time Stamping: Lead interactions are time-stamped so that you can replay the user’s content consumption and identify the “last touch” attribution or the piece of content was consumed just before a marketing lead was converted into a sales opportunity.   How to Setup Campaign Tracking Here is a guide to setting up campaign tracking in Marketo Campaign Reporting After you’ve implemented campaign tracking, you can now view content consumption that pertains to a single lead, contact or opportunity record in your CRM.  Below is a screenshot of how we track content consumption for a lead at my company. In a single view, you can see which content was consumed, the type of the content (eBook, newsletter, webinar, etc…) the date of the consumption, and the action perfomed (downloaded, opened, etc...).  From here, your next step is to generate reports and use the analytics to help you evaluate the success of your campaign (these reports could be generated natively or using a plugin like Full Circle CRM for Salesforce). Consider questions like: How many new leads did a particular piece of content generate? How many existing leads in my database engaged with a particular piece of content? Which pieces of content were the most effective at moving leads lower into the funnel (towards opportunities and ultimately sales)? Which parts of the funnel have insufficient content support? Once you’ve tracked your campaigns and analyzed the results, you should have a better feel for whether your investment in content marketing is paying off. These measurements will help you understand where you should invest money in the future to make content even stronger. For more strategies to prove the ROI of your content marketing efforts, download my extensive eBook on the topic, The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics . Author: Pawan Deshpande BIO: Pawan is the founder and CEO of Curata. His work has been recognized through the Boston Business Journal's 40 under 40 Award. He was also a finalist for MarketingProfs B2B Marketer of the Year. Pawan is a speaker at marketing conferences such as AMA, SXSW, Content2Conversion, and Content Marketing World.
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Use the Salesforce workflow engine to supercharge your marketing automation in this presentation from the Marketo Summit 2014. Presented by Delinda Tinkey and Charlie Liang.
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Contrary to what you might have heard, rumors about the Marketing Funnel’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The Funnel is alive and well. And it should be leveraged extensively by Marketers. It provides a consistent and universally understood (and somewhat accepted) framework. The funnel does come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors – with different twists and turns. Despite this variety, few Marketers really leverage this powerful model. The funnel enables Marketers to have an almost universally understood visual representation of various customer touch points, and makes it easier to track and score a person’s behavior. The Marketo funnel provides a good (although, not the only) framework and consists of six key stages: Awareness: This is the universe of people who know anything about Marketo no matter what social network they participate on, what articles they read, etc. Inquiry: This is when we finally know something about the person; we know at least their their name and email address. Prospect: This is when the individual has taken some sort of action. Lead: Finally This person is treated as a lead and can be shared with a sales organization. Opportunity: The sales team has accepted these leads and added them to their pipeline. Customer: The person becomes a customer and they are passed on to a new revenue cycle for upsell and retention. Of course, each of these stages include multiple marketing tactics and scoring approaches. It’s important, though, to understand the difference between a contact (or a prospect) and a true lead (someone who has explicitly engaged with the company). Obviously, the relationship does not end after an individual becomes a customer. At that point, you can upsell or cross sell them. You can determine the value of a customer based on the different products they purchase, if they adopted your product sooner than others or if they are part of a referral program, etc.  As Seth Godin points out – “Customers are traditionally undervalued, and prospects are all treated the same.” Godin continues: “Once you see the funnel, it’s easy to understand how valuable your existing customers are, and easy to think about how you want to spend time and money in promoting and building your site. Most Marketers are running a flat campaign. Embracing the funnel changes the way you treat people. And treating different people differently is what consumers demand.” Having a model like the funnel and a good marketing automation tool enables you to measure and understand the cost of each interaction. Sharing this information with the rest of your organization helps build a Marketer’s credibility in a company, especially with the CFO. The funnel also provides a learning framework for Marketers to test out different messaging and creative at each stage of the funnel. This gives Marketers the option to fine-tuning his current program. Since I started my first big marketing job in American Express in 1992, I have heard lots of critiques of the funnel. Marketers love the catch phrases, such as ‘The Funnel is Dead.’ Well, I disagree. It’s advantages have has evolved since 1898 when E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a model which mapped a theoretical customer journey from the moment a brand or product attracted consumer attention to the point of action or purchase. (St. Elmo Lewis’ idea is often referred to as the AIDA-model – an acronym which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action). Let’s address some of the funnel naysayers’ concerns, most of which apply to any marketing or sales model: It fails to take into account the ‘feedback loop between existing customers and prospects.’ Whether it is the funnel or another framework (such as a Life Preserver Ring of unique  ‘Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action areas’), there always exists the challenge of tracking all the interactions among people (customers and prospects ). It’s always difficult to uncover each discussion about your brand online. The funnel is too linear. According to these critics, the primary problem with the funnel is that the buying process is no longer linear. Well, I was always taught that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Most of the companies I work with, however, do have the majority of their customers follow more or less a linear process. They can be broken down into the different stages described in the Marketo model above. If fails to track retention or repeat business. I must confess this might be the weakest part of most funnel models. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the simplicity of the Funnel’s approach. Most frameworks do not go into any great detail about ‘Retention’ or ‘Lifetime Value’ anyway. The bottom line is that good Marketers constantly score their customers over time. American Express might be the masters at this. They leverage all their great Cardmember spending data to model, score and customize online and offline programs. It fails to paint a pretty picture, nor does the word funnel doesn’t sound great. I never did judge a book by its cover or a person by their name. If this is what a Marketer is worried about, then they are focused on the wrong things. There are many powerful Six-Sigma names and diagrams, for example, that don’t convey a powerful image such as SIPOC (Single Point of Contact), DPO (Defects Per Opportunity), PD (Proportion defective) It fails to take into consideration the powerful feedback loops between existing customers and newly arriving prospects that search and social media have wired up. I beg to differ. If you have some of your word of mouth programs coded properly you should be able to track shares, referrals and other types of influencer programs. It fails to consider some products, such as iPhones, where marketing is integrated into the product. I think it comes down to how you set up your programs. You should be able to track cross-sell and upsell, and even referrals from within a product. With Flurry, for example, you can track your customers behavior when they use a mobile app. It tracks the big 3: taps, tasks and transitions. The Funnel fails to capture all touch points. Over time, a good Marketer should be able to define these, however. They also should ensure they are in learning mode so that they can constantly update their list of sources. This means they should be tracking referral links, surveying their customers and analyzing where their competitors get their leads from. And then there’s the McKinsey Consumer Journey (see below) which attempts to demonstrate that the buying process is not linear and that several steps repeat themselves. For the real digital practitioner, however, it’s too simple to say someone goes from Bond to Buy: . While brands may put the decision maker, the Customer,  at the center of the McKinsey Customer Journey, the above excludes the importance of the experience the Marketer and the company are having with the customers. Life is not all about the transaction. For example, at Marketo, our energy goes into building relationships with Marketers as well as connecting Marketers together. In addition, you don’t have to be a customer to recommend a product. I am probably the biggest promoter of Tesla, but I can’t afford one. I have only tried it via a Freemium ride provided by a neighbor and have read great reviews about it on Edmunds.com. Does that mean I can’t recommend the vehicle to others? Obviously not. In sum, CMOs and their teams need to know that the funnel is alive and kicking. Rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated. The Funnel is an easy to use, easy to remember approach to tracking individuals who interact with your brand – either directly or indirectly. It’s simplicity is what makes it special – and it provides the most universally understood way of thinking about an individual’s interaction with your brand. It works not only in a B2C environment, but also in a B2B environment. Marketers should always feel free, however to add their own creative twist on things and rename all or parts of it.  Long-Live the Funnel.
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