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

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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Winners of Marketo Idol Showcase 2009

Late September, I participate to the first Marketo User Summit. The event was a gathering of many Marketo customers exchanging ideas best practices for better demand generation and lead management. I covered the Summit with 2 posts for Day 1 and Day 2.

I was also invited to participate in the inaugural Marketo Idol Showcase awards program. The Marketo Idol Showcase awards recognize B2B marketers that have demonstrated excellence, innovation and ingenuity in their use of Marketo Lead Management and Marketo Sales Insight to drive revenue growth and accelerated time-to-value from their demand generation campaigns and marketing and sales activities.

And last week, Marketo published the official press release announcing the winners. Congratulations to Scott Ciccone, Director of Marketing at Sierra Atlantic, who won the Marketo Idol Showcase award.And also congratulations to all other participants.

Yours truly finished 3rd in the contest by presenting an advance lead scoring campaign. ;-)

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009 In the news, Marketo 3,688 Comments