As a longtime Marketo user — 12 years and counting — I have had my share of if only and I wish I could moments using the system. And as part of the Marketo community, I know I am not alone. To Marketo’s credit, they actively listen and incorporate much of this feedback in future releases.
So, when Marketo announced the new Sky interface, I was hopeful that some of the pain points I keep having to work around for clients — including campaign queue prioritization, long-term program management, and mass asset creation — would be addressed. And Marketo did not disappoint when it comes to making the system more efficient for the day-to-day marketing user.
Below are 5 things that we can all get excited about with Marketo Sky:
Have you ever put a blank Send Email step at the top of the flow to increase campaign priority? How about using a Wait step to reduce campaign priority? If you have, then you know why priority override is something to get excited about.
With this new feature, you can specifically set what the priority of the campaign should be in the campaign queue. This means:
No more extra flow steps needed to manipulate the campaign queue
High-priority campaigns needed to process records (e.g., data management, scoring, CRM sync campaigns) can run quickly
New governance rules will be needed to determine when something can override the priority of other programs — after all, not everything can be high priority (even if it is important)
I remember the day when Marketo announced mass asset approval in the Design Studio: the clouds parted and the pain associated with updating templates disappeared. Gone were the days of having to individually approve all emails and landing pages that were tied to the same template. With just a few clicks, you could update hundreds of emails and landing pages, and save hours and hours of time.
Marketo Sky is taking this one step further by allowing mass updates to ALL assets — including smart campaigns — in a program. And if the efficiencies gained by this ability aren’t getting you excited, then you have never had the pleasure of launching a massive, multi-stream engagement program complete with dozens of nested email tracking programs and smart campaigns.
Event Caps & Goals
Over the years, I have worked with dozens of field marketing groups. No matter the event, there was always one thing in common — space limitations. Every event had a venue, and that venue could only support so many people. Supporting these events became an exercise in reporting and timing. Every day, often several times a day, you had to watch the registration numbers until the total allowed registrations were met. Once that number was hit — or got close enough — the mad scramble would begin to quickly change out the registration page and process before the venue was overcommitted.
I can only imagine the delight of these field marketing teams when they found out that Marketo Sky will provide the ability to set a goal and create a cap for an event — and automatically redirect users once the goal or cap is reached. Now, instead of spending their time monitoring registration numbers, they can focus on all the thousands of other things that make up a great event.
Saved Flow Actions & Smart List Rules
Cloning is amazing. Program templates are amazing for operational efficiencies. But these templates are typically built out with the most complex scenario in mind (it’s often easier to scale back than to build up). So, when you run into a scenario where you may not need all the components in the template, you end up either a) spending time removing all the unwanted elements, or b) leaving the extra items there and potentially ending up with a bigger cleanup effort down the line.
And as someone usually on the receiving end of these big cleanup efforts, being able to use a set of saved flow actions or smart list rules to reuse common program elements — without the need for a bunch of the extras that are usually in a fully baked, soup-to-nuts program template — is a major, time-saving improvement.
Speaking of cleanup, longtime Marketo users know that unless you stay on top of deactivating and archiving your programs and assets, a couple years down the line the system can become cluttered and difficult to use — all those approved assets can make for some painfully long drop-down lists. But that’s a couple of years from now; we have higher priority things that have to get done today (and rightfully so).
Being able to set an expiration date and time at asset creation can help get ahead of the long-term clutter effect by unapproving/deactivating assets so they will no longer be available once the expiration time has passed. This is especially useful for time-bound programs such as live events, webinars or newsletters, and other announcements.
They say it’s the little things that count, and with Marketo Sky, the little things have the potential to make a big impact for Marketo users creating and managing large volumes of programs.
It is important to note that Marketo Sky is still in beta and not all system functions are available yet in the interface. But with improvements like this, I anticipate that we will start seeing more marketing teams reaching for the Sky and taking advantage of all the new solution has to offer.
Nova Kopitar is a demand generation expert, specializing in results-focused lead management, nurturing, and scoring. As a DemandGen Senior Solutions Architect, she works closely with clients in areas including program alignment, nurture development, relationship management, resource planning, reporting and more. She is Marketo Business Certified and Technical Certified.
Conex brings together like-minded people in digital marketing, demand generation, ABM and content marketing in order to connect them with interesting and impactful players that understand and champion the importance of the experience in the buyer journey.
The format consists of fast-paced keynotes and presentations over the course of two days. You’ll join some of the most brilliant marketers in the industry while gaining the insights you need to take your content experience to the next level.
Register now and use promo code DEMGEN300 to unlock your $300 Conex Conference Pass discount!
Remember Tetris, the sixth best-selling Nintendo Entertainment System video game of all time? The objective of the game is to quickly fit different shapes together so that all the pieces line up perfectly.
Developing a highly skilled team is just like Tetris. As a manager, my objective is to create a solid set of interlocking pieces (people and skills) into a greater whole. Accomplishing that requires the evaluation of existing skill levels — across individuals, capabilities, and technologies — and filling in any gaps.
About a year ago, I decided to learn more about the art and science of skills development so that I could better grow and balance my team’s collective capabilities. During my research, I came across two helpful models that I apply today — and that help Tetris my team into a well-oiled machine.
Model #1: The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition
First, I was interested in understanding the academic approach to skill acquisition. After all, the earliest introduction most of us have to skill acquisition is in school. That’s how I came across the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition, a five-stage model starting with Novice and progressing all the way through Mastery:
The five developmental stages of skill acquisition. (Source: richrtesting.com)
As individuals becomes more versed in a particular area, they move across each of these five developmental stages. A novice, for example, can execute on something if they follow clear instructions, whereas a master of a particular skill can respond and act instinctually to a given situation based on their years of knowledge and expertise.
You can use the Dreyfus model to measure individual skill level or your entire team’s collective skill level in a particular area of focus or technology:
Measuring Individual Skill Level for a Single Technology Platform
In the example above, you can quickly visualize the varying skill levels of four Eloqua solution architects. You can then use this visualization to demonstrate both why and where you need to invest in training to improve your team’s capabilities.
You can even take it a step or two deeper and measure each individual’s strength managing specific capabilities within Eloqua, such as campaign development, process automation, reporting, integration capabilities, and so on.
Measuring Your Team’s Collective Skill Level across Multiple Technology Platforms
The x-axis represents different MarTech platforms; the y-axis
assesses the average skill level across an entire team.
The example above measures a team’s collective skill across four Marketing Automation platforms, but you can change the x-axis to represent any skill you want to measure for a high-level view of how strong your team is in a particular area.
You can quickly see that you don’t have the same level of internal expertise with HubSpot and Pardot as you do with Eloqua and Marketo. In order to grow your skill sets in those technology platforms, you need to devote time, effort, and resources — and the Dreyfus model helps to justify an investment in professional development.
By visually demonstrating strengths and weaknesses across each technology platform, you can then meaningfully prioritize your efforts to fill in those gaps.
Model #2: Dash-shaped, I-shaped, or T-shaped person
The second model I discovered identifies the overarching depth and breadth of knowledge or skill an individual brings to a role using shapes (which continues the Tetris analogy really well):
Can’t you just imagine these shapes falling from the top of screen while you’re playing Tetris?
A dash-shaped person is more of a generalist, an I-shaped person generally has deep expertise in a single area, and a T-shaped Person tends to be a combination of the two.
It’s beneficial — and also very common — to have a mix of these type of people on your team.
Marketing specialists, who often have less work experience and learn as they go, tend to be dash-shaped. Certain MarTech certifications, for example, require a great deal of training, which creates an I-shaped person. Years of experience across different marketing disciplines along with a deep dive into one or more areas of focus combine to create a T-shaped person.
You can apply these shapes to assess any skill you want to develop, whether professionally or just for fun. Want to learn a new language, take up rock climbing, or become a better cook? Create a strategy to develop those skills so you can transform from a dash-shaped person to an I-shaped person.
Start developing your highly skilled team
While measuring individual skill levels can be somewhat subjective, both of these models work extremely well in terms of providing a high-level view of where your team falls. If you identify any gaps within your team’s skill set, you can come up with a strategy fill in those gaps to create one interlocking block of skills.
Your first priority when it comes to skill development? Eliminate any single points of failure. Having only one person on your team with a specific skill introduces a high degree of risk. If that individual doesn’t have the bandwidth when you need them, or worse, they leave the company, you have to start all over again.
As a manager, I’m always on the lookout for better ways to support my team. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!
Tom Svec, Director of Marketing Technology Services, develops world-class marketing automation solutions such as lead scoring and nurturing, analytical systems and processes, and more for DemandGen clients. With deep experience in marketing analytics, campaign execution, sales and marketing alignment, demand generation and lead management tactics, honed over 15 years of B2B and B2C marketing operations experience, Tom is able to bring the perspectives of both the marketer and the salesperson to the table. Tom is certified as an Eloqua Master and an Eloqua Revenue Lifecycle Master, and is a Marketo Certified Technical Consultant.
Not only has the size of the marketing technology landscape skyrocketed dramatically over the years, but the deployment and use of MarTech in the enterprise has also increased.
With this explosive growth comes the increased complexity of managing multiple systems across multiple teams, including Marketing, Sales, IT, Customer Service, and others. There is plenty of good advice on how to ensure that all key stakeholders are involved in the overall process of managing technology investments, but this is often easier said than done.
Its importance can’t be overstated, however, because the exponential value in MarTech, sales tech, customer service tech, and any other type of tech comes from the ability to integrate them with the other existing platforms in different areas of the business. And, as important as the technical integrations and data are, the process, strategy, and reporting integrations between functional areas are even more important.
Undertaking this journey requires massive change management and a clear “North Star” vision of what the unified customer experience should be across the entire organization.
If this transformation is already underway in your company, that’s great. If it isn’t, how can Marketing start driving cross-functional alignment and help ensure a sound return on its technology investment?
The answer is to form a MarTech Council.
You can get a round table if you want, but be sure to invite Sales…
The value of a MarTech Council comes from breaking down silos between technologies and functional areas. It is comprised of key stakeholders from the different areas within Marketing and any other team that touches the technology.
For a very small Marketing team, this might be one person from lead acquisition and one from field marketing. A large team might include people from social, SEM/SEO, content creation, email marketing, event marketing, and reporting.
And since Marketing and Sales are inextricably entwined — not to mention that sales tech, such as AI chat platforms and sales cadence tools, is on the rise — Sales should also be given a seat at the table.
Individual representatives from Marketing Ops and Sales Ops, who are responsible for actually using and managing the technology on a day-to-day basis, would be the custodians of the system information and outputs from the council.
But it is so hard to get things through committees…
The point of a MarTech Council is not to determine budgets, make the ultimate decisions for the selection of different technologies, or even individually assess each piece of technology. (For guidance on how to assess each piece of technology and the MarTech stack as a whole, take a look at this blog post.)
Rather, it is the working group responsible for aligning different technologies — and capabilities of existing and future technologies — across each functional area (both within Marketing and outside of it). Its primary objective is to ensure that system purposes, capabilities, and integrations are understood and used effectively.
While each area is ultimately responsible for getting the most use out of each tool, maximum ROI can only be fully realized by looking at the downstream impact of the work in that system. For example, achieving maximum ROI from Marketing Automation tools is only possible after opportunities are won in the CRM system.
A MarTech Council can also identify gaps where additional tools are needed or where current tools are falling short.
A simple example illustrates this point. I worked with a company that owned several technologies with a similar feature set. Three different platforms in their marketing stack provided marketing attribution features, and each platform was owned by a different team. On the surface, it appeared that there were redundancies in the platforms. And, more importantly, there were different reports and measurements coming from each tool, leading to confusion between teams.
On closer examination, and after evaluating the integrations between the systems, the data flows between the systems were modified and one set of attribution reporting was standardized for all three groups so each team could measure its impact in the same report. Each system ended up still being used for its unique features and strengths.
This same group identified a data quality problem that crossed platforms and areas. Although the responsibility for identifying the right technology to address that problem was subsequently given to the Marketing Ops team, the full scope of that gap would not have been identified without this cross-functional team.
You’ve got to start somewhere
The capabilities of marketing technology today mean that the sky is the limit for driving truly exceptional customer experiences. But to fully realize that vision requires organizational alignment from the top down across the entire company.
In the meantime, Marketing groups don’t have to wait. Forming a MarTech Council is the first step towards breaking down the disconnects between technologies and functional areas so you can make the most of your technology investments.
Ryan Johnson develops and implements marketing automation strategies for DemandGen clients. As a DemandGen Consultant, he has helped clients across a wide range of industries to streamline and optimize their marketing and sales processes to drive measurable success and ROI.
ABM has developed into a proven strategy for helping marketers identify and target named accounts that are most likely to contribute to pipeline goals. In this episode, Pat Oldenburg of ServiceMax shares why his team made the pivot towards being more account-focused and how this has led marketing to be more accountable when it comes to pipeline contribution. Listen as Pat goes into detail on how he and his team defined and implemented an ABM strategy, how it has better enabled sale reps within the organization, how they’re keeping their data clean, and more.
Once a week DemandGen Radio airs live, bringing you the top industry experts, thought leaders, authors, marketing technology firms, and senior marketing leaders from around the world to teach YOU the methods and technologies for high-performance marketing. Want to learn more about modern marketing? Check out the previous episode of DemandGen Radio: The UnAmerican Dream
In my career, I’ve been very fortunate to work for managers who made coaching and developing their team members a top priority. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. In fact, roughly three million Americans quit their job each month, which is probably why 87 percent of HR leaders in organizations with 100-2,500+ employees have made improved retention a primary focus.
As a manager myself, I want to pay my good fortune forward. And frankly, it just makes good business sense and good karma. Below are four ways to find — and keep — happy, productive employees who are a great fit for your organization.
Start during the interview process.
The interview process is often compared to speed dating. You don’t have much time to really get to know someone before you make a decision to continue the relationship (or not).
So, how can you quickly get a feel for whether someone is a good fit for your organization? Here at DemandGen, our core values are central not only to our corporate culture, but also to the hiring process. During an interview, we do our best to listen between the lines to gauge whether candidates share those same values.
For example, when you ask a candidate how they handled a project that didn’t go well, listen carefully to how they respond. Do they focus solely on themselves, or do they talk about working together as a team to overcome any challenges? Those kinds of subtle nuances can indicate how collaborative they are and whether you share similar values and goals.
Also, do they genuinely seem excited about the opportunity? Sometimes, people interview for the sake of sharpening their interviewing skills. Or, even worse, they may not think it’s a good fit, but they’ll do anything to get out of their current job.
Publicly recognize those who do great work and embody your core values.
Once you’ve decided someone is a good fit, it’s important that you continue to foster and encourage those core values. One way to do this is through public recognition.
It’s really discouraging when you feel you’ve done a really great job, and no one seems to notice or care. When anyone — both personally and professionally — doesn’t feel valued, they’re going to look elsewhere. And why would you want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate what you’re bringing to the table?
We all need recognition (myself included). It’s especially important when someone goes above and beyond to get the job done. People who consistently go above and beyond are the people you generally enjoy working with and certainly want to keep around. Even people who may seem to shy away from public recognition tend to appreciate that their hard work is noticed.
A Society of Human Resource Professionals survey found that employee recognition positively affects the overall employee experience in addition to your organizational culture and values:
It’s important to praise and reward those who believe in and support your mission as well as live your organization’s core values — not only the people on your team, but anyone in the organization who deserves recognition. Because we’re all in this together.
Create a culture of honesty and respect.
When in your career have you been the most satisfied with your work environment? Why do you think that is? For me, it’s been when I’ve felt like my team — and even the larger organization— was like an extended family. There was a high level of trust and the ability to be honest and open with one another without fear of retaliation.
Sometimes, you need to let a team member know that they need to improve in a particular area. That individual also needs to be receptive to your feedback. And that comes with honest, two-way communication. Conversely, if someone recognizes something you or the organization can do differently, we need to be receptive and let them know they have a voice.
And if someone on your team isn’t willing to put in the work in order to do that, don’t let their negativity or lack of respect for others take everyone else down with them. This is the hardest part of the job. It really is. Some managers avoid it altogether because it makes them uncomfortable, but it’s truly a disservice to the organization. This is a partnership, and a partnership goes both ways.
Honest, open communication is key. Not all conversations are going to be easy, and that’s okay. It’s the delivery and willingness to work together to get the team where it needs to be that matters.
Put in the time to coach your team members.
To be a true, nurturing company, you need to offer professional development opportunities to help them grow — both within the company and in their career.
We all have room for improvement, whether it’s developing our skillset, improving our soft skills, or better supporting our clients. Giving up on someone simply because they make a mistake, or because they haven’t mastered something yet, isn’t the right thing or very cost-effective to your organization. It also instills fear in the rest of your team, which limits innovation and risk-taking.
It’s better to coach and help guide the people you have. You’ve already invested in them, so take the time to coach them, both from a process standpoint and an overall understanding of where they want to go.
And for those of you worried they might take those newfound skills somewhere else, the following exchange does a great job of demonstrating the importance of professional development:
Manager 1: What if I train them and they leave?
Manager 2: What if you don’t train them and they stay?
It’s also important to understand how individual team members learn, and where they want to go in their career. Just because you’re a visual learner doesn’t mean everyone else is — or needs to be in order to be successful. And what you think should be the next logical step for an individual position might not be the same for the person actually in that position.
Being a good manager is time-consuming and has its challenges, but it can also pay huge dividends in terms of productivity, job satisfaction, and actually looking forward to going to work each day. What has worked for you when it comes to motivating and nurturing your team?
Christina Yozallinas, Director of Services Operations, helps ensure our team’s operational effectiveness and utilization by establishing operating procedures, streamlining processes, monitoring performance dashboards, and managing our internal systems used for collaboration and learning. She defines and implements our onboarding procedures for new team members and helps ensure smooth facilitation of resource management by aligning client needs with internal resources.
People often assume it’s just as easy to create and edit email and landing page templates as it is an HTML web page. Spoiler alert: It isn’t.
If you spend any time building templates in Marketo, or trying to make changes to the templates you’ve been given, you already know this. (And if you don’t, my colleague Lori Mann recently wrote a great blog post talking about the major differences between email and web design.)
I spend a large part of my time building templates for our clients. Many of them have extremely talented web designers in house. They’ll provide beautiful mockups, with very specific instructions regarding spacing, padding, margins, and style. All of which would look amazing in HTML…but may have elements that simply can’t be coded in an email.
Designers want a clean, eye-catching, and on-brand template. End users need to be able to easily work with the templates in order to get campaigns out the door. So, how do you code in a way that makes everybody happy?
It is possible. Before you start coding, consider the following five things to help ensure your templates will work for everyone:
Who are your users?
First, take an inventory of the people who will be building your campaigns. What are their comfort levels with coding? Should they only have the option of entering values into a field using variables? Can they only work in WYSIWYG, or do they have some experience with HTML and are comfortable enough to work within the source view to make changes directly to the code?
Knowing who your users are will help you determine the best approach for your editable elements when setting up your templates. Does it make the most sense to keep it simple for non-technical users? Or, do you want to provide more flexibility and give the people working on your campaigns the ability to make changes to the code?
Understand the differences between email and landing page templates in Marketo — and the limitations of each.
Email templates are modular, which makes it easy for your end users to drag in, rearrange, and reposition sections from the Modules tab. You can also setup local variables specific to each module to make it easier for them to make changes in the email editor. (For more information on variables, check out 3 Tips for Streamlining Your Marketo 2.0 Email Templates.)
Email template with modular components
Landing pages are guided, not modular, so what you see in the editor is typically what you get, and you don’t have the ability to rearrange sections with ease. This also means that all of the variables are global. If your end users change a single variable (font styling, color, etc.), that variable will change everywhere else it appears on the page. This usually means many unique variables have to be created, which can create a long, intimidating list of variables.
Landing page template with static components
QUICK TIP: If you include a lot of variables, make sure you are using short, descriptive naming conventions — as Marketo will cut off longer ones — so all so your end users can quickly see where they exist on the page.
Which layouts are currently in use? What will be needed for future communications?
Take an inventory of your current campaigns. Which templates are your end users actually using? Which elements do they use the most? What do they need in the future? Take all of this into account when you’re building new templates.
Maybe one team manages webinars, another handles live events, and yet another is responsible for product promotion. And don’t forget your auto-responder emails. Each of these different communications requires a different layout. The good news is that you can incorporate each of these different layout styles into a single master email template.
Won’t that be confusing, you ask? Not if you’re using program templates. You can setup the email in the program template to include the modules that are normally used in that communication type, and everything else in the master template will remain hidden. When the program template is cloned, the assets will continue to be setup correctly. This is extremely convenient for users who may not know how to code, but still need to get a brand-compliant campaign out the door ASAP. And, if you need to make any style changes in the future (background color, font style, new logo, etc.), you only have to update one template — not ten.
Of course, if you don’t anticipate many edits to the master template, you can always clone the master and create versions of the template that display different modules by default for each communication type:
How should your users add content?
It’s also important to keep in mind how your users will build an email and what their comfort level is with HTML (this goes back to knowing your users). Will they just open up the WYSIWYG, paste in the text, and add images? I’ve seen emails where marketers copied and pasted content straight from a Word document into the standard WYSIWYG editor — not realizing that the Word doc styling gets copied over along with it. And it’s not just font size and color. Line heights don’t look right. Spacing is off. The entire email won’t render correctly.
If your users don’t often build assets, I recommend removing the ability for them to edit content through the WYSIWYG and using variables moving forward. Copying and pasting directly into a variable automatically strips all styling, because it’s being injected into the code through an email script.
As an example, the landing page template shown in the screenshots below has a dynamic navigation where the links collapse into a hamburger menu when viewed in mobile:
On the back end, the links are coded in multiple places:
Back End: Variables in HTML
So, rather than making them editable elements, and expecting the user to remember to update each link for both the desktop and mobile view, the simpler solution is to create a variable input. This will update the text in the HTML in both places that variable’s ID is set:
Front End: Variables in editor
Think about what kinds of issues you’ve encountered in the past, and design your templates to make them not only user-friendly, but user-proof.
Should controls be put in place to limit “creative” styling choices?
In addition to understanding how your end users will add content, you need to figure out how much flexibility you want to provide when it comes to making changes. Can your end users change the font style, color, and size? Can they pick a new font altogether? Can they be trusted to make only tasteful, brand-compliant changes to your template?
These are questions only you can answer. If you find that your end users constantly leave brand compliance by the wayside in an effort to get their emails and landing pages to stand out, you can lock down individual style elements in your templates using variables. If you want to provide some flexibility, you can even provide several preapproved choices for each variable. This way they have some safe options for customizing their email that still adhere to your organization’s brand guidelines.
While you can’t fully prevent every brand transgression, you can take away the ability for end users to go into the WYSIWYG and do their own thing. Setting up variables makes individual elements editable, but only within the brand-approved options you provide.
For example, you can provide a few font families to choose from, 2-3 different size options, 1-2 background colors, and so on:
In order to create templates that will make everyone happy, it’s important to understand both the tools we have to work with and the people who will actually be using them.
Sometimes, though, it’s simply a question of resources (i.e. not having enough of them). If that’s the case, DemandGen’s Campaign Execution Services offering might be the answer. In addition to creating sophisticated, responsive templates, our team of industry-certified experts can help you manage the day to day of ongoing campaign development and execution.
Adam Mokrzecki is a DemandGen Campaign Operations Specialist who supports the marketing efforts for multiple client accounts. A Jack-of-all-trades, Adam is Eloqua Partner Certified and a Marketo expert with extensive experience in campaign strategy and execution, lead management, reporting and analytics, email and landing page development. Adam has a keen sense for problem solving, quickly finding and implementing solutions to any challenges keeping clients from reaching their marketing goals.
When’s the last time you examined your nurtures? Six months ago? Last year? If you’re not sure, it’s been too long.
And you should—90% of marketers see their nurture programs as average down to just plain ineffective.
To help, we’ve teamed up with the best in the biz—Uberflip, Sigstr, G2, and Vidyard to give you the goods on how to take your nurtures to the next level! Sign up for Nurture Next to unlock expert videos, tipsheets, and guides that will inspire, delight, and help you supercharge your nurtures.
To get you started, we’ve put together a blog post and framework to help you get your nurtures up and running successfully. Check out these resources to learn how to conduct a regular nurture audit which you can use to evaluate the performance of your nurtures and, most importantly, gain actionable insights to help you make your nurture programs more effective.
Poor data is one of the biggest factors limiting sales and marketing teams from achieving maximum performance and keeps companies from reaching full revenue potential.
John Kosturos of RingLead joins DemandGen Radio to talk all things data, from data management processes and best practices to the cost of dirty data and why it’s often neglected. John and David also talk about the partnership RingLead and DemandGen have formed and dive into the many benefits and features of RingLead’s data quality platform and DMS solutions. Tune into this episode to learn how to get your database in shape and where to start!
Once a week DemandGen Radio airs live, bringing you the top industry experts, thought leaders, authors, marketing technology firms, and senior marketing leaders from around the world to teach YOU the methods and technologies for high-performance marketing. Want to learn more about modern marketing? Check out the previous episode of DemandGen Radio: The UnAmerican Dream
Like any good marketer, I’m sure your team is tasked with bringing new leads into the sales pipeline. What this typically looks like is partnering at trade shows, sourcing lists, and hosting private events to find leads.
The challenge is that as buyers have changed the way they make decisions, the definition of a lead has shifted. Let’s face it. We are all more savvy when it comes to making any kind of purchasing decision. We have multiple choices and the beauty of search engines to do our research, which means that traditional ways of sourcing leads are quickly becoming less effective.
All your blood, sweat, and tears might result in a good number of leads — but are they the right leads? After you weed out all the made-up email addresses and duplicates, what is left over might be lacking, to say the least.
If you’re working hard to bring in new leads and they’re not converting, see if you’re making one of the three most common mistakes when it comes to lead acquisition:
Casting A Wide Net
If you try to speak to everyone, your message won’t really resonate with anyone. You may as well just shout into a megaphone in a crowded stadium. Your message becomes background noise to everyone except those who are already standing next to you and want to know what you’re saying. Developing a buyer persona-based content strategy narrows your focus so you can captivate your target audience with messaging that zeros in on their unique identity and pain points.
Close your eyes and imagine one of your favorite brands. Think about the last marketing message you came across or received from them. Chances are you welcomed it and gave them your attention because they provide something you value — and they “get” you. They’re not trying to win over every possible demographic out there. For example, the Daily Skimm specifically targets millennials who want to know what’s going on in the world, but who don’t have the time to read newspapers or watch hours of news programs. It’s not for everyone, and that’s why they’re so successful.
No one wants to hear someone talk endlessly about themselves. Would you want someone to stand in front of you and say, “I’m great! Buy from me!” or “I won this award! Call me!” Me, me, me!!!
Content should always serve your intended audience, which we commonly refer to as your buyer persona. What is it they need that you can help them with? Focus on those factors and aim to help, not sell.
Only Sending Email
Most people use multiple platforms to learn about a product or business. If you only focus on email to reach prospects, you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities. Now, more than ever, marketers need to capitalize on the different channels our prospects frequent to gather information. Each channel requires its own strategy-differentiating messaging, content types, and formats.
There’s no silver bullet in marketing. You have to learn your target audience’s purchasing behavior patterns and buyer’s journey. Leveraging persona-specific content across multi-channel acquisition programs is key in order to move prospects from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next.
So, how did you do? Are you crushing lead acquisition with a steady flow of quality leads entering the top of the funnel, or is there room for growth in any of these areas? What else has proven particularly helpful when it comes to bringing high-quality leads into the funnel?
Patti Heath is a Consultant dedicated to partnering with clients to achieve their business goals. She focuses on developing demand generation strategy, including lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and lead management. She enjoys staying on top of the ever-changing digital industry and identifying the best new technological advances.