Will The Marketing Automation Space Consolidate In 2011?

Earlier this year in August, IBM bought Unica for $480M. Unica is not necessary a pure marketing automation play, but it take a significant market share in the marketing management space. In a market review by Forrester in September 2009, Unica was repoprted to have $120M in revenue for 2008.

Now in the last 24 hours, we have seen Salesforce.com buying eTacts and Teradata to acquire Aprimo for $525M.

eTacts is a small email contact manger that could help Salesforce building a better marketing product. Everybody on the street agrees that Salesforce is weak on teh marketing side. They always wanted to stay out of that market, relying on 3rd party vendors. But now that the industry is growing quickly, it would not be surprising that they think about entering this market with a better product.

Aprimo was among the leader in larger marketing automation software. In the same Forrester market review Aprimo had $55M in revenue coming form 180 clients, of which 70% were above $1B in revenue. Aprimo was clearly for the large enterprise. SO either they grew significantly over the last 2 years to justify a higher price than Unica, or the whole market is boiling…

Now if IBM and Teradata are moving in that direction, and I suspect them to do so because marketing automation is a huge data driven initiative, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other players make a move as well. Among potential targets, there is Eloqua, Marketo or Silverpop that are possibly ahead of the curve.

Marketo is the fastest growing marketing automation platform. They are racking up client very rapidly, for a total of more than 800 now. They announced multiple funding rounds (up to E series) over the past 2 years for over $50M, which means that investors will look a an exit at a high price, and possibly not to hurry to go out. And Marketo need time to growth is Enterprise customer base.

Eloqua is the “oldest” player. They have been around since the late 90s. They tried to to go public but were never able to due to market condition. They announced about $40M in 3 rounds.  Investors are probably looking for an exit due to the time it has been since first investments. But they are loosing ground to newer player like Marketo and that could hurt their valuation.

Silverpop is reported to have over $50M in revenue in 2008, which was among the biggest at the time. That could give them a high tag price if compare to Unica and Aprimo acquisition.

I believe that this will set the tone for 2011 in the marketing automation space.

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Why You Should Think About Lead Management Optimization for 2011

BuyerSphere Search is the first stepI just finished reading a great post titled “Tailwinds for Marketing Automation Software” from Lauren Carlson, CRM Market Analyst at Software Advice. She outlines the macro trends that pushes adoption of marketing automation platforms as followed:

  • Buyers want content of real value
  • Buyers are increasingly wary of the phone
  • Desire for marketing accountability
  • Sales cycles are longer in a down economy
  • B2B sales processes are becoming “consumerized“
  • Marketing channels have changed and grown
  • SaaS systems are greasing the skids

I would also add that the buyers behavior have dramatically changed in the past few years. For example, when is the last time you heard someone considering buying a product over 1000$ say that he got on a plane to attend a trade show or that he responded to a direct mail advertisement? In today’s world, it is all about search. Everyone of us starts by searching on-line to narrow his need and than move on to talk to users and finally reaches out to vendors (see above chart, from The BuyerSphere Project book).

That new sequence puts additional pressure to Marketers as they now, more than ever, need to match their content with the buyers intent. The content needs to be relevant and the timing need be right. And the only way to lean toward that goal is by running a fully optimized lead management process relying on good marketing automation implementation.

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Lead Management, Marketing, Technology 4,738 Comments

Mediative is born, long live to Mediative!

Today marks the launch of the new Yellow Pages Group company that I have been working for recently. The company is called Mediative, and it represents an incredible range of integrated digital marketing opportunities.

My role at Mediative will be to create, bring to the market and manage a new Lead Management Optimization service offering. The goal is to help companies building a revenue marketer practice and we will do that by delivering best in class Lead Management Optmization strategies as well as Sales & Marketing Automation solutions implementation.

Read the case study demonstrating how lead management optimization have generated results.
Superior Lead Nurturing Boosts Opportunities And Reduce Cost by Over 50%

On the corporate side, Mediative acquired multiple companies in order to be created. Among them, I want to mention Enquiro, which is part of the same division (Performance Marketing division) that I am working for. As Gord Hotchkiss, co-founder of Enquiro, mentioned on it’s Out of my Gord blog, “Enquiro has been a strong contributor to the search marketing landscape over the past 14 years and this new partnership will allows us to take a step in a new direction.”

Who we are and what makes us unique
Mediative is one of North America’s largest integrated digital marketing companies. Our results-oriented marketing network is supported by industry thought leaders and a data-driven platform.

Mediative helps agencies and businesses connect with the right customers faster and more efficiently because we focus on intent combined with location. We understand how people interact with media once they are engaged in the buying cycle, and leverage this understanding to maximize marketing investment. We are also able to increase the value of integrated digital campaigns through our proprietary premium sites and verticals such as autos, real estate and retail.

Mediative has over 150 employees across four Canadian offices: Montreal, Toronto, Kelowna and Vancouver.
More details on the Mediative corporate fact sheet.

Check the new Website at www.mediative.ca

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 In the news, Lead Management, Start-up 3,902 Comments

New Forrester Report On Marketing Automation: Aligning With Sales Is No Longer Optional

Forrester just released this morning a great report about the Marketing Automation (MA) called: B2B CMOs: Make Marketing Automation A Catalyst For Alignment With Sales by Jeff Ernst.

They state that enterprise struggle with Marketing Automation and they don’t use use to it’s full potential. They limit themselves to mostly blast emails. This is why Forrester developed a maturity model to assess where enterprise are with regard to Lead management. They provide great details on each level and even a score card for enterprise to rate themselves. And, as the tittle says, they recommend using Marketing Automation to finally align Sales & Marketing, which make total sense in my opinion since it provides a common ground to cover the whole client acquisition cycle.

Key Forrester predictions:

  • Marketing leaders will be the drivers of alignment with sales.
  • The talent gap will widen.
  • Firms that advance their level of maturity will lead their markets.
  • Marketing automation vendors’ advances will outpace mainstream adoption.

And what does it means? Aligning With Sales Is No Longer Optional!

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Friday, October 8th, 2010 Lead Management, Technology 4,563 Comments

Planning the right content for your lead nurturing programs

Lead Nurturing Content Selection

Lead Nurturing Content Selection

Anyone who has started looking at lead nurturing realized that content is a key element. In fact, it plays a strong role in determining if the nurturing program works or not. So writing good content should be a top priority within any nurturing program.

When I plan the content for my clients, I always start by defining the different track of nurturing we will build. As a general rule, I recommend to have 3 tracks that cover the 3 main stage of the sale cycle:

  • Track A – Early Stage
  • Track B – Mid Stage
  • Track C – Late Stage

Track A – Early Stage
Thought leadership and best practices to build brand and awareness: ebooks, blog post, webinars.

Track B – Mid Stage
Be the Trusted advisor: Buyers guides, RFP templates and industry information to help structure research.

Track C – Late Stage
Company-specific information to help evaluate and reaffirm selection: Why your company is the best.

Before creating new content,  I’m looking at all different pieces the client may already have like, white paper, ebook, videos, podcast, blog post, etc… Then we start aligning the content in each track and we can easily see where we are missing content, which automatically set the editorial agenda for future content development. I do that process with little cards representing each piece of content. Easy to move around, it also give a better overview that in a spreadsheet for example (see picture above).

There are no science (yet!) on which of your content should go first, but think about the whole nurturing program as a conversation. You want to make that the progression make sense and basic concept in your industry are covered first.

As any performance marketing initiative, testing and metrics will help you figure out what works best. I usually create 2 or 3 versions of each tracks to validate if a version is converting more than others. To do so, I simply add my leads in random sample to each version and look at results over time.

For additional resources, Marketo wrote a very useful guide about creating content that sells.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 Lead Management 4,166 Comments

Comment convertir vos prospects en clients grâce au marketing

Aujourd’hui je présente le cas d’Acquisio à la journée Big Bang du Forum Commercialisation pour les TIC à Montréal. Il s’agit de montrer comment Acquisio réussi à générer suffisament de leads grâce à ses activités de marketing et aussi grâce à son processus de gestion des leads.

Voici donc ma présentation:

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 En Français, Marketing, Start-up 7,288 Comments

Acquisio Hires Online Marketing Veterans as Marketing Director, Director of Canadian Sales

Acquisio as officially announce today my new position as the Marketing director. I’m really glad to take over that challenge and expand my knowledge and actual experience with the Acquisio team.

You can read the full Press Release here.

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 In the news 4,641 Comments

Challenge: Fixing Salesforce Campaigns Reporting!

I’m currently trying to crack down Reporting on my campaigns using Salesforce and Marketo.

The goal is (seems to be!) quite simple: I need to know, on a monthly basis:
A) How many Sales-Ready Leads each of my campaigns are generating.
B) How much revenue each of my campaigns are generating.

(See below for the description of a typical scenario.)

Challenge 1: Multiple “level” of leads
We have different “level” of leads, so no I cannot simply use the number of lead member a campaign have.  We have “Prospect” & “Sales-Ready Leads”. Sales-Ready Leads are the one that have been qualified by our Triage team and assigned to sales rep. We differentiate the 2 level using the Lead Status in Salesforce. So my need is to report only the Sales-Ready Leads

Challenge 2: Campaign attribution

Most of our leads are touched by multiple campaigns and I don’t believe that I should only attribute the last or the first campaign.

With the current way Members to Campaigns relationship works in Salesforce, when I report on multiple campaigns, I get a higher total number of leads & revenue than the reality. For example,
- Lead is member of Campaign A & Campaign B.
- Lead is converted with an opportunity
- The opportunity close at 100$

The Campaign reports will show me:
- Campaign A generate 1 lead and 100$
- Campaign B generated 1 lead and 100$

So if I report to the board that each campaign generated 100$ and the total revenue of the company is actually 100$, my CEO will fire me on the spot! ;-)

Maybe the solution is outside Salesforce?
We also have a deep integration with Marketo, our Marketing automation platform. So if I can find a way to get that kind of reporting in Marketo instead of Salesforce, I would be as satisfied!

I don’t mind having to do some manual work to get the numbers, but I certainly do not want to start building complex Spreadsheets and CSV files manipulation to report on my campaigns.

Description of a typical scenario:
We sponsor a Webinar: 1,000 people registered, 50 request a demo and qualify right after the event. In the following 2 weeks another 50 leads become qualified Sales-Ready Leads by visiting our website and completing a demo request form. 2 Leads purchase a widget for $10,000. The following month, thanks to nurturing program, an additional 50 prospects become Sales-Ready Leads and 5 more leads purchased a widget for $10,000.

What I would like to know at the end of the month is:
After Month 1: Campaign Webinar generated 100 leads & $20,000.
After Month 2: Campaign Webinar generated 150 leads & $70,000.

Update: I posted it on Salesforce Community Website as well.

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Friday, February 12th, 2010 Marketing, Marketo, Salesforce.com 6,809 Comments

Comment aligner ventes et marketing grâce à un processus de gestion des leads

Lors du dernier Usergroup de Slaesforce.com à Montréal, j’ai fait une présentation exposant comment il est possible d’aligne rles ventes et le marketing en implantant un processus simple de gestion des leads. Bien sur, le processus en question est configurer à l’aide du CRM Salesforce.com.

Voici donc la présentation:

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How to notify sales for invalid emails using Marketo and Salesforce.com

Here is a typical scenario:
Marketing is sending email campaigns and some emails are bouncing back. Marketing would like to give visibility to sales on which of their leads bounced.

Why should sales care about invalid email addresses?
Most of the time, email addresses are bouncing because the person left the company. So knowing that suddenly one of your lead has left the company is a good opportunity to reengage with this account. Sales could call to find out who replace the person that left and and create a new lead.

On the other hand, for you clients, if suddenly your internal champion leaves the company, you want to make sure you reach out to the account to help them continue to use your product. The last thing you want is to loose an account because someone left the company and you were not aware…

Now you can do it easily using Marketo and Salesforce.com!
Watch this 4 minutes tutorial video to learn how to setup properly both Marketo and Salesforce.com.

*** For a larger view, click the small screen icon at the bottom right corner of the player ***

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Friday, November 27th, 2009 Lead Management, Marketo, Salesforce.com 4,122 Comments