[FAQ attached below this article]
On August 31, 2020, Marketo Engage will implement a new retention policy specifically for Sent & Delivered Email activities. Under this policy, data for these two activity types will be stored for a rolling 90-day period from the activity date for use in Smart Lists. This is a change from the current default retention period of 25 months, and from the current Extended Data Retention subscription option period of 37 months.
Upon the policy taking effect, data older than 90 days for these two activities will be deleted and no longer available for export. Any Smart List with the “Was Sent Email” and “Was Delivered Email” filters (including NOT Was Sent and NOT Was Delivered) should be updated to ensure the maximum lookback date is 90 days. If the lookback date is greater than 90 days, the Smart List will continue to function, but only activities that are 90 days old or less will qualify.
In 2020, we are improving critical parts of the underlying Marketo Engage infrastructure, including Batch campaign processing, similar to the Trigger campaign improvements made in 2019. This new infrastructure, in combination with the new retention policy, is expected to result in shorter lead time with large email sends and faster segmentation processing to deliver significantly faster processing to our customers. Note, the revised retention policy is one, among several, aspects that come together to deliver this improved performance, but broadly speaking reduced retention helps with faster database look ups and search across the run-time infrastructure.
What's NOT Changing?
Aggregated data – including Reports, Dashboards, and Analytics – will not be affected by this change (unless they reference a Smart List with these activities). The new policy will not affect any activity type other than Sent and Delivered (for example, Was Opened activity data is not affected). Further, this change does NOT affect Engagement Program casts.
What Customer Actions Are Needed?
First, you'll want revisit where and how you're using these two activity types. Audit your Smart Lists and ensure the date ranges for these two activity types are less than 90 days - if you must use a date greater than 90 days, we suggest running a process to export to an external system. You will need to create this before the new retention policy takes effect on August 31, 2020. Information on how to export activities using APIs can be found on our Developers Documentation website.
We appreciate you understanding as we move toward an enhanced Marketo Engage experience for all customers. Please download and review the FAQ attached below for further suggestions, workarounds and additional information.
Quan is responsible for all marketing functions, including digital, ecommerce, trade promotions, training, brand management, marketing automation, analytics, and events. In this discussion, Quan talks about what the Engagement Economy means to him, how that has changed Lennox’s approach, and the importance of balancing digital and personal interactions when connecting with customers. Read the full post on CMO Nation.
Marketo GVP of Corporate Marketing, Karen Steele, recently authored this post for CMO Nation. See below for a preview, and then click the link to at the end check out the full piece. I read a fascinating piece in Campaign US recently about the rise of the hybrid CMO, and why some of world’s largest brands are redefining and realigning the CMO role. Authored by Kathryn Luttner, and entitled Why Coke, Citi, Mars and J. Crew are Placing Bets on Hybrid CMOs, it is a must-read article for any marketing leader. For me, the standout example of a corporation embracing a hybrid CMO model is Coca-Cola, which has replaced its CMO role with that of a chief growth officer overseeing marketing, customer and sales strategies. Another prime example cited in the article is Mars, which last year moved its chief customer officer into the CMO position with responsibility for both roles. According to Luttner, “The companies creating these positions—call them "hybrid CMOs"—say they are trying to provide a more seamless customer journey in an increasingly digital world. By giving marketing chiefs more power to shape those aspects of the brand previously beyond their control, the hope is that a company can speak with one voice, from its advertising to sales to customer support.” So far, so good. More brand control across the customer experience is hugely desirable, and a company speaking with one voice across the customer journey is essential. But there are two words I want to add to this argument: engagement and advocacy. Here’s why. Head to CMO Nation to read on.
Creating an A/B Test program in Marketo Create a new Program in Marketo: 2. Choose the Campaign folder, provide the program name and choose the program type and the channel: Channel should be Email blast 3. Create a new asset within the program: 4. Choose Email program as the asset: The idea of creating Email program as an asset within a program is to have the ability to track progression statuses in a better way with the original program being the one tracking statuses. 5. Give a Program name and choose the type and channel: 6. Create an email within the email program and approve the email: 7. Go to the Email program created: 8. Choose the email created and approved in the steps above: 9. Add the A/B Test to your email: 10. A/B Testing can be done based on Subject Line, Whole emails, from address and date time: 11. For this example let’s choose subject line: 12. Define the subject lines for the email on which we are trying to test and choose the sample size of the test: In the above example, we chose 20% as the sample size and we have 4 subject lines to test. So 5% of the audience list will each receive email with a particular subject line and the winner will be send to the remaining 80%. 13. Define the Winner criteria based on which the email would be treated as a winner and you can also declare winner manually after viewing the test results: 14. Schedule the test and the winner, choose the email address you want to send notification to: 15. Click on Finish: 16.Verify the details and click on close: 17. Define the smartlist(audience) for this email send: 18. Define the filters for the smart list: 19. The audience details will be reflected in the program now: 20. Approve the program: 21. Once the test is run successfully, the results can be seen as shown below:
Author: Hally Pinaud As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons. Ninja Turtles. My Little Pony. Carebears. But one of my favorites was actually a syndicated oldie-but-goodie that my parents grew up with called Underdog, where a “humble, lovable shoeshine boy” (who was a dog, but still) transforms into a caped crusader and somehow always foils the bad guy. I’m not alone–we all love a good underdog story, don’t we? But these days, being an underdog among enterprises sort of makes you a superhero, too. In fact, according to Gartner’s report, “Predicts 2014: Seizing the Digital Business Advantage,” 20% of all market leaders will lose their dominant position to a company founded after the year 2000. To be clear, it’s not about the year the company was founded. It’s because these nimble emerging enterprises seize adigital business advantage. That advantage is crystal-clear when it comes to building a growth-oriented marketing strategy around existing customers. Enterprises should be laser-focused on customer base marketing because: Customer retention is key to market share Happy customers are the shortcut to trust Repeat customers spend more Passionate customers are the best kind of marketing Here are three ways to seize the digital business advantage by leveraging a complete marketing automation platform to do customer base marketing: 1. Nurture Existing Customers To grow market share, you have to retain your existing customers. (And if I were a superhero myself, I would be Captain Obvious.) Retention rates above industry standard, therefore, are an absolute must if you’re an emerging enterprise. You can’t grow if two steps forward come with three steps back. Also, here’s something that’s less obvious: new customer acquisition is much more expensive than retention. Keep the customers you’ve got by continuing to provide them with value, long after their first purchase. Many companies save nurture for prospects, but don’t be one of them! If you want to maximize your relationship with current customers (and accordingly, retention and loyalty), stage and interest-based nurture are a must—well past the point of purchase. Ask yourself: what do these individuals need? And proactively answer their questions. With a marketing automation platform, you can listen to your customers’ actions and behavior and respond with relevant communication tailored to their interests. 2. Look for Moments of Cross-Sell and Upsell Intent The 80-20 rule is alive and well. According to the old business adage (another oldie-but-goodie), 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales. This makes sense: it takes a lot less to run effective cross-sell and upsell campaigns for people who already know and trust you. So if you want to grow your enterprise, start with the people who love you already. Behaviors like viewing product information or visiting specific content might indicate that a customer is interested in doing more. With automated campaigns like trigger-based nurture, web personalization, and retargeting, you can give your customers more of the content they need to keep your brand top of mind and help them evaluate options. Meanwhile, customer scoring and sales intelligence will guide your customer account team toward timely outreach. 3. Help Your Advocates Advocate Ever heard the old adage: “No one ever got fired for buying…(insert industry behemoth here)?” If you aren’t the known quantity, you’re the risk. One of the most fantastic things about a legion of happy customers is that they give you powerful credibility as the up-and-comer. If you’re doing a great job with customer engagement, it’s time to hand your most passionate customers the megaphone. “Great,” you’re thinking, “but we sell a subscription service for socks, not software. No one’s going to get fired for what I do.” I won’t get into the obvious risks associated with sub-par socks. Instead, I’ll point out something that resonates with every marketer: 92% of consumers trust personal recommendations over all forms of advertising, according to Nielsen. Happy customers create a virtuous cycle that’s necessary for amplifying the effect of your marketing campaigns. Marketers savvy about engagement marketing recognize that the nurturing process is critical to creating and maintaining customer advocates. Pay ongoing personalized attention to customers you hope to develop into brand advocates and use referral marketing to share offers, incentives, and campaigns that entice your brand advocates to spread the word about you—an approach that emerging enterprises like Dropbox have mastered for major growth. In short, the right engagement marketing solution can help you cultivate your own advantage. Look and act like a huge enterprise customer marketing team by becoming more proactive, efficient, and helpful. Want to learn how else your enterprise can use digital marketing to get an advantage? Check out our ebook 5 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help Your Enterprise Grow.
by Sanjay Dholakia If your company doesn’t yet have a digital hub, it won’t be long before your CEO demands to know why not. What is a digital hub, you ask? That’s an excellent question. A digital hub is the central nervous system behind all of a company’s marketing activities. But it doesn’t just stop with marketing; a true digital hub will communicate and integrate with other systems, too, from sales to content management and beyond. The old model is changing. Organizations have historically existed with single-process systems like the ones I just mentioned that each had their limitations. But now, businesses can equip themselves with more sophisticated single data repositories that orchestrate how they talk to their customers, prospects, partners — even their employees. Digital hubs already have many CEOs and CMOs jumping for joy, and the ones who haven’t adopted this technology should be scrambling to get on board. This is because we’ve reached a critical point at which a central digital marketing platform is a must-have piece of infrastructure. These hubs essentially function as digital brains, analyzing and communicating with customers across online and offline channels and touch points to present a comprehensive view of customer experiences. It’s not that that creative doesn’t matter anymore, but as a recent Economist Intelligence Unit study (registration required) sponsored by Marketo (my employer) found, marketing has to supplement its traditional creative background with more technical skills. Capturing all of the new information available and turning raw data into actionable intelligence is where the digital hub becomes the game-changer. The neck bone’s connected to the head bone … So, how’s it all connected? The essentials start with a single database of record, one that can track all of your company’s customer interactions. There’s a reason why Gartner describes digital hubs as foundational. Marketers need to know when someone has visited their company website or when a potential customer opened — or didn’t open — an email. These simple metrics are the building blocks of informed marketing decisions in the new era of customer engagement. A disconnected view of the customer is now a relic from the boom-box era; you can’t make sense of different streams of data if you’re supporting dozens of separate databases that don’t communicate. Therefore, it’s essential for a digital hub to be part of a digital ecosystem with extensible technology that allows for integration with other applications. It needs to communicate across any of the various channels where your customers might want to interact with the company — digital, social, mobile. And, in this nascent age of the Internet of Things, when literally billions of devices are getting connected to the internet, interoperability will allow you to collate signals from everywhere — literally! Worlds collide: adtech and martech You may be thinking, “But I’m already doing things like spending money on Google AdWords and programmatic to make sure I’m getting in front of people who will care about my messages.” Too many of us can’t shake old habits and often just replicate what we used to do before the invention of the internet, when millions of dollars got spent on television and print advertisements. Back then, it was called “spraying and praying.” Nowadays too many marketers are still flying blind. They may use hip jargon like “programmatic,” but it’s just more inefficient spraying and praying. A digital hub puts an end to that charade by helping to identify instantly what is and isn’t working with your digital spend, from Google to adtech and beyond. Marketers can use the full power of digital tools to find out what their customers care about, whether that’s information gleaned from emails, websites, or through ads on social media. At that point, you can calibrate and focus on one-to-one interactions, rather than default to a blunderbuss spending approach. Otherwise, you’re just flushing money down the toilet. Analytics and attribution The other big plus of a digital hub is the analytical insights it offers. For the first time, marketers can knit together relevant data from multiple channels into a coherent and actionable portrait of the consumer. Marketers not only can see all their touchpoints with customers and prospects — from initial awareness through loyalty and advocacy — but also now have a way to attribute value from those interactions to outcomes. That helps to solve one of marketers’ biggest challenges: trying to prove the value of what they’re doing. This is where data science augments the art of marketing. With digital hubs parsing the data, CMOs can use marketing analytics to predict and better forecast. For the first time, marketers can essentially see into the future and plan how to interact with people, rather than always being forced into reacting. The clock is ticking With no shortage of suitors vying for customers’ time and attention, it’s up to CEOs and their CMOs to figure this out soon. Digital hubs are going to become standard pieces of marketing infrastructure at companies hoping to compete in this era of digital engagement. And if you’re still on the fence about whether this makes sense for your company, consider this: For every CEO or CMO who doesn’t have a digital hub helping their organization engage with their customers, rest assured that another rival does. This post originally appeared on Marketing Land on July 22, 2016.
ABM campaigns are about making one-on-one human connections despite the impersonal barriers of big business. If you want to cut through the noise, reach your champion and sway a whole organization you need to act outside of the inbox. Direct mail works and we’ll show you how it integrates with digital channels to make your ABM campaign connect. This guide shares best practices on why and how marketers should incorporate direct mail into their ABM strategies. It includes example campaigns and tips on when to send mail, how to personalize it and how to measure its effectiveness as part of a multi-channel ABM program.
By: Graham Gallivan Posted: July 20, 2016 | Modern Marketing As a marketer, it’s important to have all the tools and resources you need to build, measure, and optimize your campaigns. But just as important, it can be a tall order for IT to keep your marketing team equipped with all of the tools you need to be successful. Traditionally, marketing and IT departments operated in silos, but these boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred in the digital marketplace. As Accenture Interactive reports, “The ripple effect of digital disruption is giving rise to a more integrated enterprise center on the customer experience.” Marketers who recognize the potential this presents will see the value in working with their IT colleagues to find technology solutions that allow them to seize the customer experience and benefit the entire business. Buyers are increasingly driving their own journeys, so the scope of the tools you need in order to reach and engage them is expanding. These days, 87% of people demand a meaningful brand experience, according to Edelman Consulting. Add this to the fact that as much as 90% of a buyer’s journey being self-directed, as reported in the Forrester Research report “Don’t Let Muddled Messaging Compromise Customer Experience,” published 2015, and the stakes have never been higher. To drive value across the organization, marketing and IT need to team up to adopt a marketing automation platform that’s a partner for growth—listening and responding, collecting data, and automating processes to make millions of customer connections measurable. To connect and build meaningful relationships with buyers, marketers need a way to get personal at scale, with a platform that delivers in these three key areas: 1. Ease of Use It’s critical, for both your marketing team and your organization, to work with IT to find a marketing solution that’s easy to use at implementation and beyond. Ease of use also results in no loss in productivity or system abandonment when key users leave. Look for a robust, complete solution, rather than a “good enough” solution, that offers a high level of functionality without making things complicated. For example, most solutions in the market support basic workflows, like creating email campaigns and landing pages. But after you’ve built a flow once or twice, you’ll soon wish you could do more—and more easily, with a comprehensive platform. Complete solutions will support marketers in a number of ways, helping them build out different parts of programs and processes at different times, clone forms across multiple campaigns (and still track separate conversions), trigger workflows based on just about any criteria, and listen and immediately react to key buyer interactions. 2. Low Burden to IT With many solutions out there, IT may be needed to build or adapt campaigns, monitor and troubleshoot integrations, oversee maintenance issues, and provide technical support. But this isn’t scalable, is it? In an ideal partnership, marketing and IT will team up to evaluate technologies and oversee the integration together, both on the front-end and back-end. But from that point forward, IT’s involvement should be minimal, freeing them to focus on strategy, not support. Your marketing automation platform will also provide the foundation for other marketing technology integrations (companies’ MarTech stacks continue to grow in size, with the landscape of solutions currently estimated at 3,874 and growing), so it’s important to find a solid platform that will support multiple integrations, without the need for heavy IT involvement. 3. Vision Partner with IT to choose a superior marketing platform with a long-term marketing vision and a deeply integrated partner cloud, bringing you peace of mind that your future needs will be met in a reliable and scalable, yet timely way by building on the current solution. It’s incumbent on marketers to share their current and projected needs with IT to identify a solution that will grow with the organization, so there’s no need to rip and replace over the years. In an ideal partnership, marketing will invest time in establishing a vision and collaborate with IT to bring it to life. Want to learn more about how IT and Marketing can partner to find a solution that will scale to meet the needs of the organization? Tune into our webinar with our resident scalability expert, Chris Pooley, Principal Solutions Architect at Marketo, to learn the ins and outs of Selecting a Marketing Automation Solution that Scales.
Inga and Jason are leaders of the New York and Silicon Valley Marketo User Groups for a hip-hop themed look at how you can use Marketo to grow your expertise, influence and ultimately your career. We’ll put the East Coast-West Coast rap feud to bed and share three tangible ways you can immediately step up your game. You'll learn: How to quickly deepen your Marketo experience - “(I) Get Around” (2Pac) How to easily get plugged into the Marketo Community - “Get Involved” (Q-Tip) How to simply understand your worth in the market and maximize it “Get Money” (Biggie) You can find the video recording here The Essentials of Account-Based Marketing
Our sales team is very new to Sales Insight, so I did a training with them last week to show them some of the features and how they can use it to interact with their prospects better. I figured this is probably something a lot of us have to do at some point, so I am attaching my powerpoint that anyone can adapt to use for their own sales teams. Warning: it has many gifs and memes. Our sales team is very young, so I knew this would keep their attention also, my gif game is strong. Some of this is specific to our instance - for example, I created a marketing suspend campaign to allow them to suspend a prospect from marketing for 30 days if they are actively working a deal or about to do a demo - but it can probably be adapted for anyone.
Written by Sanjay, our CMO It’s been just over a month since I spent four days in Las Vegas for our annual Marketing Nation Summit, and I’m still excited about the time I had with more than 5,000 attendees and some of the best minds in the business. The chatter in the halls was infectious and often lasted well past my bedtime as attendees swapped ideas and traded war stories about what they were doing to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing digital world. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to offer my own ideas about the challenges to tomorrow’s marketers in the Day 2 keynote address, where several marketing icons joined me on stage. The program captured the theme of “Tomorrow’s Marketer.” The future of “what” As Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo (my employer), said during the Summit’s opening keynote, marketers now play on a bigger stage, so the expectations for both content and success are high. As Ken Wincko , the CMO of PR Newswire, noted during his Day 2 talk, credibility follows only when your customers trust you. That means marketing to moments that matter and delivering exceptional customer experiences take on increased importance. Consider the following: Trust equals credibility. Credibility is shaped by the accumulated expertise of every person in an organization who interacts with current or prospective customers. By the end of this decade, most boards will be asking their organizations to create metrics that measure how well they fare when it comes to customer trust. Great marketing is about serving, not selling. The question will be how well you know your customers’ wants and desires. Invest to foster customer advocacy. Great customer experiences will need to be contextual, empathetic and inclusive. In tomorrow’s marketing world, it’s vital to adopt a holistic approach that can engage your customers no matter the channel they choose. The future of “how” When Gary Briggs started his career in 1985, marketing had little idea of what worked and what didn’t. In 2016 we’re awash with data on our every campaign. Briggs, now the CMO at Facebook, rightly noted that consumers nowadays spend more time than ever on multiple devices, and while their interactions may be more fragmented than before, they are also more measurable than ever. A couple of points to keep in mind: We’re at the dawn of the era “of people-based marketing.” Use this measurable information to bolster your ability to tell a great story and get people to interact with your business. Marketers now have an opportunity to understand consumers at a level they never could previously. Take advantage of the ability to communicate with them like never before. The future of “who” If the chatter today is around decoding millennials, Wunderman CMO Jamie Gutfreund offered an astute reminder that the next generation is coming — Generation Z. This group, she noted, has become a proxy for all consumers. By 2020, it will make up 40 percent of the global population, and it is a picky bunch. (I should know — I have two of them at home right now!) Generation Z doesn’t like the way the world is going and has little confidence or trust in brands, governments or politicians. Consider this when marketing to these unconventional consumers: Trust is the new currency. It is a challenge to capture this generation’s attention, loyalty and confidence. They don’t only judge individual products but also take a broader look at the companies behind the brands. These digital natives, who are growing up with technology, are the ones who will decide whether or not to engage with you. And they will immediately head elsewhere if they believe you’re lying to them. This is the “optimization generation.” Gutfreund told us that Generation Z prefers to rely upon themselves and wants things to work well. If you want to cultivate a relationship with them, you’ll first need to understand their passions, values, issues and needs to communicate that you really get them and aren’t just interested in trying to sell a new widget or service. They have higher expectations, so disappoint them at your own risk. The future of “you” That leaves me with the fun stuff: the future of YOU in tomorrow’s world of marketing. What is the organization and talent profile required to succeed? You need special types of marketers to navigate this new world, and you can’t narrow your criteria to the same old experiences and personas. We’ve seen some of the most successful marketers come from backgrounds as diverse as zoo keeping and biology and teaching. These are not people who are classically trained four-P marketers, but these are people who had the right intrinsics for this new world. Marketers need to be intellectually curious and possess the grit and determination to power through whatever challenges you throw at them. Look instead for intrinsic traits to find the people with the right stuff. In a world where data drives everything that we do, marketers need to adapt and be analytical. Find these people and bring them into the profession — they will soar. At the same time, look for people who love customers and have a gift for storytelling. After all, this is marketing. You’ve heard me refer to them as the “Da Vincis” — the unique individuals who are talented across a variety of interconnected disciplines. They are in short supply, so don’t let the opportunity slip when you find one, and also strive to cultivate these traits within yourself. There’s no single marketing playbook anymore, and you and your people will need to be creative, analytical and strategic. Straitjackets and narrow specialties don’t work anymore. And finally, take no sh*t How should future Da Vincis behave in this marketing world of tomorrow? Very simply: Take no sh*t. Our Day 2 keynote ended with an inspiring performance by singer-songwriter Rachel Platten. Her inspirational hit “Fight Song” became popular after she had already been demonstrating grit, determination and passion…for 14 years. She faced a lot of naysayers and a lot of challenges, but kept at it until her talent and commitment paid off tenfold. It’s a life lesson to keep in mind. The fact is that tomorrow’s marketers will never get all the recognition, credit and popularity they deserve — at least not at first. So count on resistance from entrenched thinking — you’ll be in pretty good company. But remain determined and persistent, and you’ll overcome any and all obstacles. You will soar. This post originally appeared on Marketing Land on June 30, 2016.
By: Charm Bianchini Posted: June 14, 2016 | Digital Marketing Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Argyle CMO Forum in San Francisco. With over 200 attendees, Argyle brought together marketing leaders from various industries to discuss new marketing strategies and best practices. One of the key topics of discussion? Digital transformation. In this digital age, successful organizations are keeping pace with technology changes and customer behavior. However, there are many challenges to overcome in order to achieve success. How do you implement innovative digital strategies and meet revenue goals at the same time? Let’s take a look at three ways you can drive digital transformation across your organization: 1. Understand Customer Behavior Who knew that it takes considerable effort to get people to go out? Most people fall into a rut of going home and staying in versus experiencing live events. Jennifer Betka, CMO of StubHub, candidly explained how hard it is to get people off the couch and has launched a new campaign to encourage people to “grab their ticket out.” It’s a great rebranding campaign on not missing opportunities of a lifetime; the foundation of which was built on understanding customer behavior. If StubHub did not profile their audience and uncover the truth about the effort it takes to get people to go out, their campaign would not have been successful. It was necessary for StubHub to first understand their audience’s behaviors and then speak to them as individuals. By putting in the time and effort to figure this out, they are now able to connect emotionally with people and identify target consumers across genres. If you don’t have agencies to help you with this, don’t fret. Understanding customer behavior can be done in numerous ways, an easy one being marketing automation. Marketing automation has transformed over the years into a scalable, behavior-based engagement marketing platform. It allows you to understand what people are really doing, beyond what they just say they’re doing. As the amount of customer interactions continues to grow, it’s imperative to listen and speak to your buyers in meaningful ways at every stage of the customer journey. 2. Personalize the Customer Experience Google’s Display Benchmark Tool reveals that 99.4% of online ads are ignored these days; in other words, marketing can seem like a big distraction to your buyers. The only way to fix this? Personalization! Dr. Volker Hildebrand, Global Vice President of Strategy, Customer Engagement, and Commerce at SAP Hybris, discussed how we can rethink personalization. He’s been passionate about this topic for years and stressed that personalization, when done right, should not look like marketing, but rather feel like a great experience. It should leverage rich customer information in real-time and deliver messages consistently across channels. Marketers must pivot away from segmentation, since often (2 out of 3) customers are pulled into an incorrect segment. A move towardsindividualization is needed to become more targeted and relevant. Unfortunately, this can be harder than it sounds. A 2015 study by Forrester Research, “The Contextual Marketing Imperative,” revealed large gaps in delivering personalization. The survey results showed that while 66% of marketers rate their personalization efforts “very good” or “excellent,” only 31% of customers believe that companies are consistently delivering a personalized, cross-channel experience. That’s a big divide and means that, as marketers, we have a lot of work to do in this area. One way you can deliver a consistent, cross-channel experience to your buyers is to integrate personalization capabilities into the primary channels they access, such as your website—the hub of your marketing activities. Leverage a web personalization solution to treat your buyers as the unique individuals they are and make your marketing more effective by delivering relevant, personalized experiences. It’s the only way to deeply engage people you know as well anonymous web visitors that you don’t know yet. 3. Engage With Customers to Build Lifelong Relationships True digital transformation is a journey with multiple layers and aspects. Autodesk’s VP of Customer Engagement, Jeff Wright, shared how Autodesk shifted to a subscription-based model, which started their company’s digital transformation. It was an entire company effort that marketing played a major role in. In addition to focusing more on customer retention vs. acquisition, Autodesk also needed to improve customer engagement, and at the heart of their strategy was a shift in marketing from where Autodesk wanted to market to channels their customers were actually on. Becoming customer-centric and knowing the channels they’re on earns you “the right to be heard” by your customers. In order to transform digitally, you must have the right people on board. Over the last 12-18 months, Autodesk has completely revamped their hiring strategy and now looks for people who meet their C-A-A profile (Content, Analytics, and Automation). A candidate must be able to create content that is truly useful for their audience, interpret data and ask the right questions to iterate and optimize campaigns, and understand how to use marketing automation to truly engage their audience. It’s a drastic shift, but it’s one that has already paid off for Autodesk and can pay off for your own organization. To learn how to future-proof your organization, check out our whitepaper Designing a Marketing Organization for the Digital Age, developed in conjunction with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, to learn the best way to design your team for success. It sure is an exciting time to be a marketer! Not only is the marketing landscape evolving, but the way we interact and respond to buyers changes every day. Hopefully, these three steps will help you on your journey to digital transformation. Do you have any examples or insights on what has worked for your organization? Please share with me in the comments below; I would love to hear them!
By: Heidi Bullock Posted: June 6, 2016 | Modern Marketing A little over two weeks after marketers gathered at the Marketing Nation Summit in Las Vegas, a new group of savvy marketers converged in Nashville, Tennessee for three days of informative sessions, networking, and, let’s be honest, great music. As you might expect, SiriusDecisions did not disappoint. The event was packed full with new frameworks—this year, there were 30+ new models—that covered product marketing, sales, content measurement, and just about everything else you can think of. Yet, what I found to be most interesting were the key themes discussed among the great marketers that attended. If you weren’t able to make it out to Tennessee, it’s OK. Here’s a recap of some of the most talked about topics and key takeaways: Marketing Automation—It’s the Heart of the Technology Ecosystem No surprise here, there were quite a few takeaways about marketing automation as it continues to evolve over time: Beyond Demand Generation: If you read Charm Bianchini’s blog about the marketing automation predictions that came out of SiriusDecisions, you’re already familiar with the way that marketers will leverage marketing automation in the future. Marketing automation will enable marketers to extend beyond classic demand models—applying it for ABM, channel marketing, and more. Some companies have already started doing this. For example, on my team at Marketo, we use the Marketo Marketing Automation Platform not only for acquisition marketing, but also for retention, cross-sell, and advocacy marketing. Personalization Is Critical: Another key takeaway was about personalization, which speakers and marketers alike recognized as a key component to effective marketers ,while also recognizing that marketers still struggle keeping up with ‘Amazon-like’ expectations. The answer? Just get started. You don’t need to be Amazon in a day; in fact, web personalization is a great place to start if this is a new area for you. Marketing Clouds: One point that struck a chord with me was that companies need to create their own ‘clouds,’ with marketing automation as the engagement system of record. It is interesting to think how marketing automation can evolve to be the system of record for your customer and also be used across the organization to truly understand and monitor buyer activity. Data Science Impact: When the audience was polled, data science stood out as the one factor that marketers believe will affect their organization the most (48.3%), specifically in the following categories: the volume of data, having repeatable/scalable processes for data projects like reporting, identifying hand-off points with cross-departmental teams, and lastly ensuring your organization has the right people in place for these evolving roles. Account-Based Marketing—One Size Doesn’t Fit All There was a lot of discussion around account-based marketing (ABM) as a powerful marketing strategy that companies should evaluate. While ABM is definitely not a new approach, the key takeaway and discussion revolved around how the technology to support an ABM strategy is really progressing and how that makes target account marketing more scalable and measurable. Technology that helps marketing and sales align, simply and in an integrated way, is ideal. Predictive Technologies—It’s the Future Predictive was definitely popular at SiriusDecisions this year, and yet all the conversation about it highlighted to me that it still means different things to different people. Predictive analytics is being applied to lead scoring, account targeting, personas, tactics, and content matching. What predictive is and how it is being used to help marketers be more effective and efficient is very exciting and definitely an area to watch. It’s important to understand what the different companies in the space have to offer. For marketers who are already using a complete marketing automation platform that sits at the center of their marketing technology stack, like Marketo, these capabilities—whether through an partner integration or a native feature—will change how marketers listen and respond personally, in real-time. Companies to check out include Everstring, SixSense, Lattice Engines, Infer, and Mintigo. Additionally, Marketo currently offers a web personalization app that delivers personalized content to your visitors across your website, and we introduced predictive content for email as part of our product roadmap at the Marketing Nation Summit in May. MarTech Stack—Keep Calm and Be Thoughtful and Clear on Your Goals There still seems to be plenty of opportunity within MarTech for improvement. Right now, companies are approaching it piece by piece. But, it is becoming increasingly important to have connected stacks not separated by marketing, sales, and support and ‘insert hot new tech term here’ silos. I think marketers need more advice and guidance on how to think about this growing challenge. Here is one model we’ve developed to provide a simplified and practical way to think about it: Buyer’s Journey The thinking about the buyer’s journey has evolved, but the big theme at this year’s conference was about understanding your buyer throughout the organization—not just in marketing. Buyers have more information and access than ever before and marketers that can be personal, relevant, and leverage multiple channels will win. More specifically: Behavior, conversion, and engagement data will be used to determine next steps. The key is to understand personas and leverage technology to offer 1:1 relationships that scale and indicate the optimal pathway to pursue. Your Marketing Org.—It’s the Glue Lastly, the critical piece to connecting the strategy (and internal processes) with the technology and data is the most important: the people and the MINDSET of the people . Having the right organizational structure and skills, and agrowth mindset are essential for marketing teams to be successful in an environment where the only given constant is change. Did you have any other key takeaways from SiriusDecisions? If you couldn’t make it, which takeaway resonated with you and how you see the future of marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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By: Renata Bell Posted: May 31, 2016 | Targeting and Personalization Yesterday, I received an email from a retailer suggesting that I purchase a product I already bought last month. Don’t they know me by now?! It’s amazing how we’ve gone from the transactional nature of shopping on the web to demanding a personalized experience. Small wonder, a recent Edelman report reveals that 87% percent of buyers demand meaningful, contextual, relevant experiences. Consider the department stores where the characters of Mad Men shopped. Their shopping experience was extremely personalized—they would go directly to a salesperson that knew them and their purchase history, and therefore could recommend other relevant products to them. But that experience doesn’t scale…or does it? When you think about where we are in digital marketing today, there’s no excuse to not offer your buyers personalized recommendations and conversations. A complete marketing automation solution allows you to do this with trigger workflows that listen to activity across different channels and send personalized, automated responses based on actions that they take (or don’t take). And finding the right solution that allows you to do this is well worth it. In fact, 40% of consumers shop more at brands that personalize for them, according to MyBuys. But the right solution is just the start. Here are 3 easy ways that you can get personal with your buyers: 1. Listen to What They Do, Not Just What They Say To understand what your buyers want, go beyond just listening to what they say they prefer and “listen” to their behavior across your channels. Everyone is one in a million, so consider each and every buyer you interact with as an individual. When you figure that all 18-24 year old females should like X product and send them promotional emails based on that assumption, you’ll likely be marked as spam when your communications don’t resonate. Instead, take a look at each buyer’s unique journey with your brand. Take for example their activity on your website or their interactions on your mobile app. What pages do they visit? What links do they click on? What push notifications do they tap on…or not tap on? What keyword searches brought them to the site or app? And sometimes more importantly, what are they NOT interacting with? Are there content types or product pages they never click on? Use this valuable information to inform and optimize your campaigns. 2. Go Beyond Names Yes, putting a recipient’s name in an email increases open rates and engagement, but you can do so much more! Consider using tokens and dynamic content that will update for every single email. Say you’re an owner of a pet store. You can thank your customers for buying the last product they purchased, build rapport by referencing the animal type they have, and promote offers for their preferred pet food brand. But wait, there’s more. Why not change the image in the email to match their animal as well? You know those dog lovers can’t resist a cute puppy picture! Some options for personalization include: Name Last product purchased (text or picture) Subscription end date Product interest category (text or picture) Industry (text or picture) Location Sales rep name Preferred store location Birthday 3. Nurture for Interests You may have already set up a nurture campaign to welcome new customers, but it doesn’t need to be a generic one. People engage with content they care about and they will identify with your brand more when you offer them content that’s relevant. Consider setting up separate nurture streams by product interest (ex. cars, trucks, minivans) or purchase behavior (never purchased, purchased once, repeat customer). Think of different categories of customers that are easy to identify, such as status or product interest, but also not too niche (red convertible lovers in Utah) so that the content is easier to create. Consider measuring the effectiveness and engagement with each stream to understand how to improve them down the line. In a world of information abundance, buyers are more empowered than ever before. And armed with this info, they are forming opinions and drawing conclusions well before they choose to interact with your brand. It’s now up to marketing, more than any other business function, to become the steward of the customer journey. So, get personal! What are some other easy-wins to get personal with your audience? Share your tips in the comments below!
By: Renata Bell Posted: May 26, 2016 | Engagement Marketing Does it drive you crazy to receive email offers for products you already own? What about suggestions for irrelevant products? Millennials are hailed as the most brand loyal generation, and this loyalty frequently stems from interactions that are highly relevant and targeted. But it doesn’t just stop with Millennials; GenXers and Babyboomers appreciate contextuality all the same. “Send me offers and content I care about and nothing more.” While a healthy customer base indicates that there is a clear need for your product or service, failing to build on your knowledge of these existing customers and capitalize on cross-sell opportunities can stunt your revenue growth. Successful brands look past acquisition and focus on increasing the customer lifetime value (CLV) by retaining their customers and continuing to sell to them. Financial services firms in particular recognize the value of effective cross-sell. Their customers own on average 8-12 financial products, but only 2-3 at a single institution, according to The Financial Brand. And in an age where costs are squeezed and the largest source of future revenue is through acquisition and cross-sell/upsell, firms still frequently miss the mark of engaging with their customers in an individualized and timely manner. When it comes to cross-selling competencies, bigger is not better. In fact, credit unions and mutual insurance companies (mutuals) sell more to their existing members, garnering more wallet share. Why? Credit unions and mutuals have more nimble (read: small) marketing departments and more importantly, loyal customers. Their customers feel trust and goodwill from their bank and thus they engage more with them, rather than their competitors. Customer retention and cross-sell is important in any industry, not just financial services, yet it’s frequently overlooked. Many companies focus on new customers, but fail to apply similar efforts to retain a customer or sell more to an existing customer. And since retaining and cross-selling a customer is much less expensive than gaining a new one, creating a strategy around retention can make the difference in company profitability. Below are three critical factors to effectively cross-sell to your customers: 1. Send Timely, Relevant Responses How can financial services firms, and other marketers, create engagement that results in better cross-selling? It’s all about the individualized and timely messages. Consider this: most banking customers feel that messaging they receive feels general in nature and frequently annoying. A Gallup study shows that 66% of ‘fully engaged’ customers felt the offers they receive are general in nature, 41% found the offer annoying, and 53% of customers already had the product being promoted. This creates disengaged customers that ignore and opt out of emails. However, when customers receive timely offers based on the products they’re actively considering directed at the buying stage they are in, engagement and conversions shoot up. To engage buyers, digital communication must become less “batch and blast” and instead shift to be more like real human dialog. And that includes “listening and responding,” which requires automation that monitors for explicit and implicit (behavioral) cues, captures that data (listens) in a rich behavioral database, and then uses the data to customize a valuable response (responds). One example of this is a regional bank listening for individual customers who visit a car loan rates page and responding by triggering an email offering a personalized quote for a new auto loan. Sending this email to all customers would be ineffective, but when it’s targeted based on behaviors, it can be quite successful. The same can be done for your company by monitoring a customer’s interactions with specific content on other products or services and then sending triggered responses based on those actions for successful engagement. In fact, triggered emails can double, even triple, email open and click rates—which makes sense because it’s based on timely behaviors, not on assumptions. 2. Content Matters More than half of customers considering a new financial product do their research ahead of time. In fact, these customers who do their research convert at a 17% higher rate than those who buy products impulsively. This applies across industries, since the majority of buyers do their own research before ever interacting with your brand. Producing valuable, non-salesy content that answers customer questions and leads them through the decision-making process can make a huge impact on attracting the right buyers who are hungry for information. It also builds trust and transparency, which fosters engagement. Furthermore, content consumption is a clear signal for buying behavior, allowing marketers to respond effectively with personalized messages that are appropriate for the customer’s buying stage and interests. A banking customer who downloads a content piece on how to plan for a child’s college savings shows clear interest in a certain set of financial products—perhaps also student loans or 529 savings plans. 3. Apply Science to It Those who are the most successful at cross-selling marry the science and art of digital marketing. There’s a fine line between timely offers and annoying spam, and understanding buyer timing is critical to distinguish it. Thus, marketers need to continuously improve and hone their customer journeys with A/B testing, nurturing tracks, and metrics. Your content strategy is key to acquiring new customers and selling to existing customers, but you also need to understand how you will measure success. Is it by engagement with your content? Percentage of cross-sell or upsell success? Amount of revenue generated by program? There are many ways to measure, but be sure to be clear in your goals and nimble in your execution. Whatever industry you’re in, don’t leave your hard-won customers in the dark. Engage in two-way conversationsthat listen and respond to each and every interaction. This two-way conversation should extend to your own internal teams, as you ask questions and measure outcomes to continuously improve the customer experience.
By: Chris Gillespie Yes, you read that right. Before you disagree, hear me out here. Salespeople need to be selling with more ego, not less, so that they can build better relationships with prospects and customers. First off, what does “ego” really mean and how does it affect you? Ego is not about having a big personality or being pushy; ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem. You act far more kindly when you feel that you have value, and you’re also more attuned to what others want. It makes you listen and engage in a way that’s respectful and productive, and if you disagree, you do it politely. But when people lack self-esteem and have low egos, they behave poorly. This becomes a big factor of the customer experience during a sales cycle, not to mention your working relationships with your coworkers and manager. But if you’re confident, then you become easier to work with, give straight answers, and are much more efficient. Here are three common examples of how salespeople with low egos act, and how the situation changes when they have a healthy, high ego: 1. Low-ego salespeople interpret your questions as criticisms. Because salespeople with low egos are on edge, they can often feel cornered when they’re not. In an effort to anticipate any objections they’re likely to face, they pounce quickly, even when it’s not really an objection. This is the result of their training going haywire, and only a salesperson with high ego knows how to relax and hear a prospect out without jumping to conclusions. Scenario 1: Low Ego Prospect: How much does your solution cost? Salesperson: Look, I know that our competitors probably told you that we’re more expensive, but I want you to know that they’re misleading you. We’re totally affordable. Prospect: Okay…so how much is it? Scenario 2: Healthy Ego Prospect: How much does your solution cost? Salesperson: That’s a great question. Is price a large factor in your evaluation? Prospect: No, I was just looking to get a ballpark. Salesperson: Great, it’s $X amount. 2. Low-ego salespeople never give you a straight answer. Salespeople are always looking to guide their prospects down a purchase path, but those with low egos often try to find shortcuts to get them there. The worst offense is when you receive a valid concern that needs an answer, either a yes or a no, and you don’t give them a direct one. It’s frustrating for your prospects and ruins your credibility. High-ego salespeople realize that there needs to be a mutual fit for them to get a sale. Scenario 1: Low Ego Prospect: But isn’t it true that your system doesn’t do X? Salesperson: Our solution is totally comprehensive, so that’s not something that you’ll ever have to worry about with us. Prospect: …. Scenario 2: Healthy Ego Prospect: But isn’t it true that your system doesn’t do X? Salesperson: Good catch, that’s true. Is that critical to your evaluation? Prospect: Not to me, but to my boss, yes. Salesperson: Well, I’ll be honest with you. It’s not a native feature, but we do have technology partners who do that and are well integrated with our platform. Prospect: Okay, I’m sure that’s fine. 3. Low-ego salespeople over-use industry lingo to the point of being incomprehensible. They pack their answers with so many buzzwords that it obscures the true meaning. This is sometimes referred to as corporate-speak or “corpuspeak.” These types of salespeople are so worried that they won’t hit the right series of buzzwords that they end up trying them all. But confident salespeople know that bombarding clients with buzzwords makes them harder to understand, so they choose to speak in terms that are easy to digest. Scenario 1: Low Ego Prospect: Does this solution solve my problem? Salesperson: Absolutely, because it’s the most seamless social widget packed with innovative collaboration aspects married with intuitive social trends analytics. No fire-drills necessary. Scenario 2: Healthy Ego Prospect: Does this solution solve my problem? Salesperson: It does. You mentioned that your main objective is to drive more revenue, and our solution drives more quality leads to the salespeople, which results in 24-30% more revenue. Is this starting to make sense now? The main idea here is that when salespeople aren’t confident, they go through a lot of extra motions that waste time. They’re also prone to seeing any concerns that are raised as a win-lose scenario, not a win-win, so they’ll engage in dishonest behavior and stray from answering a question directly. When they have a healthy ego, that fear of rejection melts away, and they’re able to be authentic and provide a far superior customer experience. So, if you’re looking to improve the buyer’s experience and close more deals, what do you need? More ego. Let’s get to the heart of this: how does a salesperson develop more ego? What’s the secret recipe? It’s a combination of all of these things: They have confidence. Salespeople are confident when they have the tools, resources, and knowledge they need and when management believes in them and they believe in their mission. Doubts in any of these areas can quickly cripple their confidence. They work in a strong sales culture. Salespeople need to be in a collaborative, supportive environment that picks them back up when they’re down. They’re rested and ready. Frazzled salespeople have low egos because they’re physically worn out. Don’t let this happen to you or your team. They’re immunized against sales “rejection flu”. Getting over the fear of rejection is a big component of building up a salesperson’s ego. They need to learn how to overcome it. They have a well-defined process to follow. Salespeople with low egos are typically nervous and lack a sense of how to close a deal. If you’re in the software industry, take a look at the 7 Steps for SaaS Sales Success infographic or come up with your own version to share with the team. They focus on earning trust. Low ego salespeople are trying to slam-and-cram deals because they don’t believe in the intrinsic value of their product or their own self-worth. Focus on first earning prospect’s trust and everything that follows will be much easier. They empathize with the customer. Have your salespeople shadow calls and think of themselves as customers so that they can see what good and bad sales calls sound like. If they put themselves in the customer’s shoes, they’ll have more confidence about the type of rep that they want to be. Salespeople thrive in a solid sales environment that supports them, encourages them to do the right thing, and trusts them to be the face of the company. When these factors come together, it boosts their ego and improves the sales process and customer experience dramatically. What other traits do you think salespeople need? Comment below!
Posted on behalf of our CEO, Phil Fernandez When I started Marketo a decade ago, marketing was viewed primarily as a cost center whose chief function was to support other groups inside the enterprise. Yesterday’s marketers played a secondary role and primarily teed up brand impressions and TV ads that enabled sales to go out and sell. But technology is transforming the way that customers communicate, interact, and engage with brands, driving fundamental changes that are moving marketing beyond the narrow confines of marketing departments. Customers now engage with companies all the time as they communicate across a range of touchpoints - including social and mobile technologies, locations, and physical objects. That wealth of data can bring us closer than ever before to our customers, and give us the ability to build real relationships with every customer based on what they’re saying - and not saying. It’s the Holy Grail for marketers. Consider how yesterday’s marketers created ads and made decisions based largely on emotions. What a different picture exists today. Marketers today have access to powerful tools to help make decisions using data. What’s more, today’s marketers are driving revenue and have a broader stage to drive strategy centered around the lifecycle of the customer experience. A boardroom priority I’ve had many conversations with executives from leading global companies recently who are all talking about the next transformation ahead for their business. Some call it a digital transformation, others a customer experience transformation, but whatever you call it, this transition commands the attention of the CMO, CIO, and even the CEO. Indeed, McKinsey found that more than half the time, CEOs now personally sponsor their company’s digital initiatives, up from just 23 percent in 2012. Their involvement underscores just how important it is for companies to put the new data and analytics to use and get closer to their customers. This shared agenda - recently described by Forrester Research CEO George Colony as a new Age of the Customer - is going to forever change the customer experience. But the road ahead includes unique technology challenges as well. A new class of enterprise systems Digital is at the core of everything we do in marketing and the delivery of cloud marketing technology is undergoing an exciting revolution. What we once called “marketing automation” has developed strong new muscles and evolved into a broad, ultra-high-scale, analytically-powered enterprise customer platform. The technology has broken out of the marketing department to become essential to vast transformation projects and a strategic weapon in business. The explosion in the number of touchpoints and interactions is far beyond what most organizations are used to handling. There’s no hope of transforming the organization without a way to hear and analyze the totality of all this new information. That’s why prescriptive and at-scale technologies will play an integral role in this digital transformation. The volume of information and interactions that companies need to understand as they engage their customers will be unprecedented. They’ll take the form of more than one billion customer touchpoints per day - that tell a story about a customer, and require a company to listen, learn and speak in a consistent, relevant and meaningful way at every stage of the customer journey. Marketo will very soon deliver our customers our largest technology investment to date that will be our contribution to making this happen. Code-named Project Orion, it will have the capacity to handle 40 million events per customer per hour, store quadrillions of customer events within a few years, and handle 90 percent of analytics queries within five seconds. This new platform will become the fabric of the enterprise, allowing companies to hear their customers everywhere they are, and enabling marketers to guide their customers at exactly the right place and the right time. Technologies like this will ensure that companies never leave the side of the customer. That’s the only way to do digital transformation right. Otherwise, what’s the point? This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post on May 11, 2016.
By: Janet Dulsky Posted: May 16, 2016 | Modern Marketing As marketers, we have been forced to become more technically adept as we are on the verge of another major shift . As our CMO put it, “Marketing has changed more in the last five years than it has in the last 500 and will change more in the next five than ever before.” With the emergence of new technologies , we now have to be able to look at data, understand it, and use it to make decisions about our marketing campaigns. While I feel pretty good about my “technical” skills, when I have to deal with teammates who are engineers, web developers, or other really technical folks, I sometimes feel like a babe in the woods. Having had the opportunity to work with plenty of these techy types over the years, I’ve developed my own personal list of do’s and don’ts for working with them. This list isn’t rocket science. All of these do’s and don’ts for working with technical teammates are simply practicing good interpersonal skills: 1. DO Bring Your “A” Game This is all about respect. You want your technical teammates to respect you, not look down on you as one of those “fluffy” marketing types. Don’t be afraid to show them what you do know. I recently went through the Google Analytics (GA) Digital Analytics Fundamentals online course with the goal of eventually getting certified (still working on that). When I was reviewing our web data with our analyst, I let him know I was familiar with GA and pointed out some of my observations from looking at the data. For example, I noticed visitors were dropping off on our pricing page at a higher rate than I expected. This led to us having a conversation about testing changes on the page, including CTAs, form placement, and content, to encourage more of our visitors to engage. 2. DON’T Be Afraid to Ask Questions Ever had that feeling in a meeting that everyone else is speaking a foreign language you don’t understand? I had that experience just the other day when I was sitting in a meeting with our engineers who were talking about software integrations. I had to decipher the language if I wanted to get my job done, so I started asking questions. “What’s a connector?”, “What’s an API call?”, and so on. My colleagues happily answered my questions, and I slowly began to make sense of the discussion. Asking questions doesn’t make you look stupid. Not asking questions when you don’t know something does, and it can negatively impact your ability to do your job well. Besides, everyone likes to be considered an expert on something, so by asking questions, you allow your teammates to demonstrate their expertise as they teach you. 3. DO Really Listen While you do know a lot, you don’t know everything. Be willing to really listen to what your teammates are saying, especially when they’re explaining something technical to you. It shows that you’re interested in what they do and respect their expertise. And you’ll probably learn something that’s both interesting and useful. I find that I usually do. When I deleted something from our website’s content management system (CMS), I noticed that the content was still showing up on the website. When I asked our web developer about it, he explained that we had different time delays set for flushing the cache on various pages on the site based on how often the content typically changes. Not only did his information help me understand why I was still seeing deleted content on the website, the information was valuable for me going forward since I can now plan changes to the website around the timing of the cache flushing. 4. DON’T Say “I Can’t” If your technical teammates ask you to do something technical, don’t say immediately say “I can’t.” First (here’s where my inner cheerleader comes out), you can because you’re smart and a quick learner. Second, you will earn your teammates’ respect if you’re willing to try and give it your best effort. The more you learn about the technical work your teammates do, the easier it is for you to speak their language and know exactly what to ask them for when you need help. When I worked on my first web project, I didn’t know how to work with the CMS. I didn’t let that deter me. I asked lots of questions, listened to the answers, and jumped right in. Now, I am very comfortable working in a CMS. For marketers to be successful today, we need to be generalists with both a breadth and depth of knowledge. Who knows? You may discover an aptitude for a technical skill you never knew you had. In addition, being exposed to and learning new technical skills is a bonus for you and your career. Learning something new makes you that much more valuable to your company. Plus, it keeps you interested and engaged. 5. DO Always Say “Thank You!” This is the most obvious of all my do’s and don’ts, but it’s amazing how often people forget this simple courtesy. Everybody likes to be appreciated. Telling a teammate “thank you” for showing you how to do something, going out of their way to explain something to you, or helping you get your job done goes a long way in building good working relationships. I find that these two simple words make people more willing to help me the next time around. And, they make working with my technical colleagues (or anyone for that matter) much more pleasant. As marketers, we have lots to learn from our technical brethren. So, embrace your inner nerd and reach out to your technical teammates. Have any do’s or don’ts of your own to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
By: Alexandra Nation Posted: May 9, 2016 | Sales Ah, my first software demo–I remember it like it was yesterday (it was four years ago). Somewhere out there is a shell-shocked prospect wondering why on earth they even took my call. If you’re in a client-facing role and looking to improve your demo and presentation skills, this blog post is for you. For your amusement or horror, below is a list of some of the missteps I made during that call: My voice shook from nerves and too much coffee. I didn’t ask questions. Instead, I rambled on with details of no consequence and irrelevant tangents. My mouse flew all over the screen for no apparent reason as I excitedly clicked into every last feature of the product. I jumped to answer every question instead of trying to understand the use case, which invariably led to more questions. I completely neglected to read my audience and adjust accordingly. I made a very sleek and easy to use technology appear complicated and confusing. I called out bugs in the demo instance on the 1-2 occasions that the product didn’t function properly. Tell them. This is when you build your business case for why your solution meets their needs. Don’t just rattle off different features. Speak to how you can help—how can your product or service can help them overcome their challenges? Tell them what you told them. Repeat your takeaways to drive the point home before you end your presentation. When you deliver your demo, pause early and often. In my early days at Marketo, I watched my fellow SCs employ the magic of a pause in their demos. At the end of each section, they would pause for several seconds–to the point where it was borderline uncomfortable–instead of asking for some kind of feedback. Again, it demonstrates through your actions that you care about keeping the call conversational, and it gives your conversational partner an easy way to participate. 5. When You Do Talk, Pretend You’re a News Anchor Think of how news anchors speak: in easily digestible, repeatable sound bites. Celebrity news hosts are especially good at this, but you can watch for it on every single news program. When someone on CNN is explaining a foreign policy decision, they don’t go off on some obscure tangent. Rather, they don’t waste a single word, use plain English, and follow a very logical flow. I just gave you an excuse to watch TMZ to improve in your job—you’re welcome. Pretending you’re a news anchor will also accomplish another important goal: keeping your demo laser-focused. Every click and every screen you show should have a purpose. 6. Take Your Hands Off the Keyboard If you are not specifically clicking on something, take your hands off the keyboard and put them in your lap while you answer a question. This will help you avoid waving your mouse all over the screen and distracting your prospect. They will look wherever you point, so mind your gestures. Plus, who knows what you might accidentally click on? 7. Discover the QBQ–the Question Behind the Question I was recently on an internal certification for one of our newer Solutions Consultants. Our manager asked her how many filters we have in a specific feature, and she handled it perfectly. Rather than scramble to answer, she paused, smiled, and asked him to explain his use case. Sure enough, he had no interest in a number, but wanted to see a specific scenario built out. The conversation took a completely different and far more productive path because it veered away from features/functions and towards benefits and addressing pain points. 8. Balance Likability with Excellent Product Knowledge I firmly believe that people buy from people they like . They also buy from people who know what they’re talking about. It’s important to establish a positive relationship with your customer, but only after you’ve earned it by establishing your credibility. This means that if you don’t know something, admit it candidly. Then, earn their trust even more by following up promptly with the correct answer to their question. 9. Record Yourself The best athletes watch their games and pick apart everything they could have done better. The best salespeople do the same. Use the camera on your computer or phone if you do any onsite presentations, or use a screen/voice capture product like Snagit if you conduct business virtually. This will help you identify your filler words and see how well you navigate your product. 10. Don’t Call the Baby Ugly This one drives me crazy. If your demo instance is lacking some data, loads an odd screen or error message, or just takes a minute to pull up, don’t acknowledge it. Fill the space with conversation and don’t apologize for your tools. Most of the time, the customer doesn’t notice that there’s an issue. Worst-case scenario is that you can follow up after the call with a screenshot of what you wanted to show, which opens a door for another conversation with them. Whether you’re just getting started in sales or looking to master your craft, I’d love to hear from you. Which of these tips resonated? Is there anything you’d add to the list?
The pace of digital transformation is forcing big changes in marketing, but many of its practitioners are failing to keep up. Distinguished marketing scholar, Roland Rust , who has taught marketing to generations of students at the University of Maryland, warns that unless the trend is reversed, there will be a widening communications gap. Read more in an excerpt below from his interview with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. HBR-AS: What are the pressures that marketers face today? Rust: A lot of the skills that used to make up a marketing professional are not really the skills that run marketing anymore. You have a lot of data scientists and information system people running a lot of marketing functions now. You’ve got all these computer scientists who are trying to figure out how to work with this data. The marketing people are sort of off on the side because they don’t have those skills. They are having a lot of trouble communicating with those folks. HBR-AS: Can you tell me a bit more about that communication gap? Rust: Well, “computer people” don’t know marketing, and marketing people don’t know computers. Even though there’s all this great data out there, turning that into something that you might call useful knowledge is a skill that is missing. HBR-AS: How do you imagine that should work? Rust: I think a lot of the problem is that when you think of marketing, it’s often a centralized function. That is a holdover from the mass media days when the goal of the marketing manager was to come up with television ad campaigns and that sort of thing. Meanwhile, the sales people were out in the field talking to actual customers. One was a very centralized, top down sort of function. The other was a decentralized, bottom up sort of function. They had totally different viewpoints and ways of looking at business. HBR-AS: How does that correct itself? Rust: I think it corrects itself by having the organization structured around customers. Really, that is a lot of what CRM was all about. Instead of doing centralized things that are the same for everybody in a very standardized way, you’re trying to figure out how to address each customer as an individual customer. The amount of data is just proliferating at an unbelievable rate. That gives the organization a real opportunity to individualize and personalize. HBR-AS: And how is marketing’s role changing? Rust: Well first of all, the structure of the economy has really changed in the last 50 years. The fastest growing part of the service economy is information service. With most information service, you actually know who the customer is or at least how they got online. You have a much more direct personal link to the customer, and that didn’t used to happen in business-to-consumer (B2C) to the extent that it does today. As a result you have all this information about the B2C customer. Now they can see things like, this person has product A, product B, product C, and therefore we ought to be able to – based on the patterns we see in our data – upsell this person to product D or be able to cross-sell to product E. Once you have that data, then you can link their behaviors to all sorts of things. You can take a look at patterns in behavior, you can take a look at how that relates to your direct marketing efforts, and also centralized marketing efforts, which still exist. Now there is so much direct communication that can be done. You can read more from Rust and other marketing experts in the report, Designing a Marketing Organization for the Digital Age .