Lead Management

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 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

How to create your marketing plans for 2010

Last week Marketo held a great webinar with SiriusDecisions and the American Marketing Association (AMA) called “2010 Blueprint: Planning for B-to-B Marketing Success“. They exposed what marketers should be looking at for the next year. Here is some of the key points:

For Demand Creation:

  • Move your dollars from initial demand generation program toward lead nurturing program
  • Review processes between sales and marketing to better align them (make sure you don’t overload sales with too much data when handing off a lead)
  • Put in place a Data quality program by 1st fixing point-of-entry and 2nd prioritize data quality projects based on relative targeting

For Reputation:

  • Focus reputation program dollars on measurable activities
  • Reallocate non-performing traditional media dollars to social media

Really worth watching if you are thinking about improving your marketing initiative in 2010…

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 Lead Management, Marketing, Marketo 4,219 Comments

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.  ;-)

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Is your data dirty?

Learn how to cleanse and harmonize data across Marketo and Salesforce.com. Here are the notes I took from what Diana Lustenader, Marketing Specialist at Kapow technologies presented at the Marketo User Summit 2009.

Cause

  • Lack of admin
  • Multiple entry point
  • Business process change
  • User turnover
  • Leads giving fall info
  • Improper use
  • List purchase
  • M&A

Effect of Dirty Data

  • Duplicates
  • False or incomplete record
  • Missed opportunities
  • Missing business data
  • Lower user adoption
  • Misleading or incomplete reports
  • Inconsistent formatting

Marketo can

  • Prevent new duplicates
  • Identify and merge existing dupes
  • Capture more lead data
  • Standard template for lead forms
  • Increase visibility for sales and marketing
  • Start to finish reporting

What’s left

  • Existing false or incomplete records
  • Improper use (missed business data)
  • Turnover (missed opportunities)

On the same topic, the next Montreal Salesforce Usergroup on October 7th, 2009 will be covering the Data Quality Challenge.

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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 Lead Management, Marketo, Salesforce.com 4,243 Comments