Inbound Marketing

Let’s standardize marketing 2.0 terminology

Last week I read a great post by Jep Castelein from LeadSloth called “Why Are Marketing Automation Managers So Hard to Find?“. That article made me think about the different terms in the industry we are using to describe what we are doing. Some call it Demand generation, other will say marketing automation and other lead management or lead nurturing. All these terms can means different things depending on who you are talking to. In addition, if you add terminology that is related, like inbound marketing, it become even harder for new people to get familiarized with the space.

Why is there so many terms describing pretty much the same thing you may ask? Well I would say that it is most likely related to the fact that in new born industry, every vendor is an evangelist. They all want to spread the good news, but they all want to have an edge on other evangelist and they all create and brand their “own” terms to explain their specialization. For example, Brian Carroll, literally invented the terme Lead Nurturing, Eloqua strongly branded Demand Generation for the past 10 years and Marketo is talking about sales & marketing alignment in the revenue cycle.

New incomers  are now asking themselves questions like:

  • What is it that I need to do? Demand Generation? Lead Nurturing? Inbound Marketing? Sales and Marketing alignment?
  • Is inbound marketing part of Demand generation or vice-versa?
  • Is lead nurturing part of lead management or demand generation?
  • Is lead scoring part of my demand generation or lead nurturing programs, or both?

I think that now the space is becoming bigger, there are more people that is looking at us and we even see consulting groups focusing on that space, we should take the time to precisely define terminology. The more precise and uniform we get, the better the adoption will be by companies. They will find more easily information on the topic if we use the same terminology.

Here are my takes:

  • Lead Management is the global term we should use to describe what a marketer need to do to align sales & marketing, to nurture is leads and to generate demand about is product.
  • Marketing Automation is the set of tools you use in order to make your lead management process to work.
  • Lead Nurturing or Demand Generation are specific program that you run in your lead management process with the help of marketing automation tools.
  • Lead Scoring is the set of rule you use in your marketing automation tool to rank the lead you generate from your programs.
  • Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy that helps your business get found on the Internet by your best customers through blogging, social media, SEO. (As found on Hubspot…)

To recap in one sentence:

In order to have a successful Lead Management process, you need a good Marketing Automation tool that allow you to Nurture and Score the Leads Generated from your Inbound Marketing strategy.  ;-)

Tags: ,

Autopsy of a great landing page execution

This morning, Marketo announced the online availability of The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing, a comprehensive Marketo workbook that delivers the practical advice and do-it-yourself guidance required to turn lead nurturing theory into practice. This is definitely a must read guide for anyone interested about lead nurturing.

The news is spread all over Twitter, which is good. But what really caught my attention is Marketo’s landing page execution. They really did a great job at capturing leads. The sequence is made of 3 pages and here are my observations for each one.

Marketo Landing Page 1

Marketo Landing Page 1

Landing page 1: Complete guide offer

The page has a quick description of the offer and why it is valuable. The guide is divided in 4 parts. The first part is given without registering (see red arrow on the left).

The second, third and fourth part will also be given but at a future date (see 3 red arrows on the right). Now that is the reason why the lead should complete the form. The compelling offer here is to register to get the full guide now. They are giving the lead a powerful incentive to register: get it now!

Second point, the form to capture information is located at the top right of the page. That make sure it is easy for the lead to see it and complete it to get the full version of the guide.

Third point: the most important content is above the fold (green line on the screenshot).

Lastly, they added trusted source to endorse the guide and gives a lot of credibility on the value of the content.

Quick comment about the menus: It is recommended that you strip any menus on your landing pages to make sure leads only go where you want them to go. But I would only recommend that if lead are coming from your website and already know you. In this case, the page is promoted in PR and is retweeted a lot. So a lot of visitors don’t know Marketo yet and this is why is better to leave all menus.

Marketo landing page 2

Landing page 2: Webinar offer

Instead of being redirected to a classical Thank you page after completing the form, the lead is taken to a second offer. This offer is directly related to the first one, in fact, it is a Webinar about the guide that the lead just downloaded. If the lead is interested to the guide, he will most probably be interested in the Webinar about the guide.

The cool thing about the landing page flow is that Marketo is using progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is the technique use to ask new questions to a lead when he come back.  Now on this second form, Marketo ask for State, # Employees, Industry.  This is a very good way to build leads profile without annoying them with all the same question again and again.

Note that now the header has change and there is no menus available. The lead now knows Marketo and is pushed in the direction where Marketo wants it.

Marketo landing page 3

Marketo landing page 3

Landing page 3: Thank you + blog subscription offer

Now that the lead has register to get the complete guide and to attend the Webinar, it is the time to thank the lead. But instead of leaving it there, Marketo just added a little extra, which does not require registering with them. They simply offer a quick RSS subscription to their blog, very little engagement from the lead but very valuable for Marketo to increase their blog subscription base.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Evaluate your social media “Expert” candidate in 10 questions!

On the same topic as my last post “What to look for when hiring a social media or an inbound marketer“, I found on Twitter a nice quick evaluation quiz to help validate the level of expertise of any potential candidate for a social media position. Thanks to Brian Carroll Retweet of Guy Kawasaki tweet form Alltop.

Here are the questions. Read the answers you should get  to make sure you have a “A” player…

1: Do you have a blog?
2: When did you start in social media?
3: What is social media?
4: What’s a social media campaign?
5: How do you monitor social media for a client?
6: How do you measure ROI?
7: How do you build an audience?
8: Do you offer a guarantee?
9: How did you learn all this stuff?
10: How does social media impact SEO?
Bonus question: How often do you write?

Tags: ,

Friday, July 31st, 2009 Inbound Marketing 3,418 Comments

What to look for when hiring a social media or an inbound marketer

With the rise of social media and inbound marketing, more organizations are hiring people to take the lead and manage these new essential pieces of any marketing strategy. But as for any new job position, the description is not always clear and not enough relevant to what the position is really about.

Recently, a question was asked on the Inbound Marketing forum: What Skills/Experience Are Employers Looking For To Be Hired As A Social Media Marketer?

Also, Rick Burnes wrote a great post about the requirements from a journalist point of view.

In short: Any organizations that are hiring a social media or inbound marketer should look for the following qualities:

1. Web Savvy: The person needs to understand how the web works. Where does it come from? Where does it go? What is the relation between a blog post and a Tweet. What does the cloud mean? It is not necessary to understand each new social media tool that is coming out every day, but at least understand where the major one stands in the web ecosystem. And of course, the person needs to always follow the industry news to make sure to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Self-doing it: Does the person have a blog? Tweets? Participate in communities? Is connected on LinkedIn or Facebook? Use social media to promote itself? Personal brand management is to inbound marketer what the portfolio is the designer. If the person is not doing it for itself, it won’t do it for your organization.

3. Content creation: The person needs to be able to create content. Adapt the messaging to the community. Not push template marketing content. You don’t write the same way for twitter than for a blog than for a website. The person needs to be able to communication the content easily and frequently.

4. Networking: Does the person can network? It is great to have exceptional content, but if you cannot promote it to anyone, it is useless. So the person should be able to create networks, join existing networks, build relationships and manage how often to push the content without annoying the recipients.

5. Analytic mind: The person should be able to understand what works and what does not. Where to pursue the efforts? Find the right metrics to track all initiatives.

Tags: ,

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 Inbound Marketing 4,257 Comments

How to convince higher management of Twitter’s value: Twitter 101 for business

Thursday, Twitter announced on it’s blog a new website that demonstrate how customers are getting value out of Twitter and suggest techniques businesses can employ to enhance that value. It is called: Twitter 101, A Special Guide. The content is very useful to help anyone to get started with Twitter. More over, it provides best practices and case studies.

So if your are currently working in an organization that is wondering what Twitter is all about and how to use it on a corporate level or if your are trying to convince higher management of Twitter’s value, you definitely want to read this guide. Twitter even provides the slides to use in your presentation.

Twitter 101, A Special Guide

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, July 25th, 2009 Inbound Marketing, Social Media 3,780 Comments

Marketing and Rap seems to get along very well…

Hubspot just released a short music video called “Baby Got Leads“about inbound marketing. Hilarious! That reminds me the 2 videos made by VerticalRespond called “Appex Baby” and “Nuthin’ But an App Thang“.

But the funny thing is that after almost 2 years, VerticalRespond video were viewed 5000 and 8 000 time. and after only 2 days, Hubspot was view about 11 000 times. Could Twitter be responsible for spreading the word faster then anything before?

Hubspot Video:

VerticalRespond Videos:

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, July 17th, 2009 Inbound Marketing, Whatever 4,161 Comments

Inbound Marketing Certified Professional – I got it!

In June, the Inbound Marketing University, lead by Hubspot, create a serie of classes (see below) about multiple facets of Inbound Marketing.My favorite ones were:

  • Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves (GF301)
  • Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research (GF401)

According to Twitter #IMU, there was over 5000 students, 1000 took the exam and about 500 passed. The one who passed received an official badge like this:

Thanks to Rebecca at Hubspot for making this a great success!

Here is the list of classes and professors:

Class 1: How to Blog Effectively for Business (GF101)
Professors: Ann Handley and Mack Collier, MarketingProfs

Class 2: SEO Crash Course to Get Found (GF102)
Professor: Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing

Class 3: Social Media and Building Community (GF201)
Professor: Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs

Class 4: Successful Business Uses for Facebook and LinkedIn (GF202)
Professor: Elyse Tager, Silicon Valley American Marketing Association

Class 5: Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves (GF301)
Professor: David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing & PR and
World Wide Rave

Class 6: Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research (GF401)
Professor: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Class 7: Calls to Action and Landing Page Best Practices (CV101)
Professor: Jeanne Hopkins, MECLABS, Marketing Experiments

Class 8: Inbound Lead Nurturing (CV201)
Professor: Brian Carroll, MECLABS, InTouch

Class 9: Successful Email Marketing (CV301)
Professor: Eric Groves, Constant Contact

Class 10: Analyzing Inbound Marketing (AZ401)
Professor: Marshall Sponder, Monster.com, Web Analytics Association for Social Media

Review Session: Inbound Marketing Exam Review
Professor: Mike Volpe, HubSpot

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 Inbound Marketing 4,165 Comments

Shhttt! Don’t tell anyone how to use Twitter!

I have always been skeptical on Twitter. I mean I already have to update my Facebook status, my LinkedIn status, my blog, etc… so I felt that it would only take me more time to update my online presence.

But wait, I just read this wonderful guide on How to use Twitter by Guy Kawasaki. He simply describe in his legendary-useful-top-10-style-tips how he turned Twitter into a “twool”. Simply amazing!!!

I just created my Twitter account and start follow the most renowed people… You can start following me here.

Tags: , ,

Thursday, December 11th, 2008 Inbound Marketing, Social Media 4,229 Comments