The 3 Marketo updates that will help you over-perform for Q4

Users of cloud software know that one of the benefits they get from their SaaS subscription is that the service always stays current.
In other words they’re able to rely on the latest product version, all of the time. Mostly these updates occur quarterly. But at Marketo things go faster. Their upgrade cycle is Monthly.

Modern Marketing is evolving rapidly and Marketo is setting the pace. Even the most experienced user can loose opportunities by being exposed to so many improvements. Our team of Marketo experts touches dozens of instances daily. We also share experiences and best practices in doing so. That is why we have decided to keep you up to speed in case you’re no longer seeing the forest for the trees. Q4 is right behind the corner.

For most industries that means by far the most important quarter in sales. If that is the case for you we’d thought it would make sense to list what we think are recent improvements that could greatly help improve your demand generation results for Q4. Here it goes.

1.   Fully responsive “guided” landing pages.
What it is and why it is important:

Because responsive design, has become essential for both emails and landing pages, since 53% of users open emails on mobile and 80% use mobile for search*, this update is important.  Some of our clients have ready-to-use assets, others even already have templates, but this second way of building pages in Marketo could satisfy both while guaranteeing full responsiveness on all devices!

Since Marketo has a quite unique way of integrating its visuals linking a template and an actual page, and specific coding required, most of our clientele requests support on building this, however this could be suited for users with no or little responsive design resources or knowledge. For most advanced uses, the previous “free form” landing page design system stays suited but involves more design knowledge to ensure responsiveness, while allowing more customization.

How it works:

So basically this “responsive design” enables you to look good, increase your chances of having forms fill outs, generate leads and convert on any device, from desktop to Apple Watch or mobile Gmail app.

How it works is that this “guided” version allows you to download one from the Marketo Template Library (click here to see what you can chose from more than 50 templates) with pre-defined elements and colors, insert it in Marketo, and modify its elements.

That’s it ! No need to do anything else to have a responsive landing page. You can turn elements on/off, change colors and copy, add forms, videos, images or polls and so on. However, the theme –fonts, sizes, positioning, etc.- stays the same unless you get your hands under the hood for some coding.

Is your Marketo mobile ready? Got questions about responsive design and Marketo? Get in touch with us!

2. Marketo Mobile Engagement.

What it is and why it is important:

As we now all know, mobile is key, continuing its huge expansion: 2 billion users, 89% of mobile time spent on apps**. Marketo Mobile Engagement rolled out in April, and allows you to create push notifications for your iOS and Android apps. You can now interact with your leads and capitalize on your campaigns, triggers, lead DB and Marketo power to reach people on their mobile devices.

How it works: Once you’ve connected your app(s) via the Admin section of Marketo, you will be able to create a new type of asset: mobile push notifications, wherever you want in your instance, customise it visually, link it to a (responsive, ideally) landing page and test it before hand.

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note: this is a paid add-on for Marketo, not available by default. However, if you need any custom app development for Marketo, we’ve got the resources and knowledge so get in touch!

3. Google AdWords Connector.

What it is and why it is important:

In March Marketo rolled out its Google Adwords connector, allowing you to connect your leads coming from Google AdWords, how they convert and where do all those impressions and clicks go, if they become opportunities, qualified leads, new costumers or any other revenue stage you’ve set up.

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How it works:

Via the Revenue Cycle Modeler, you’re able to connect each click to a revenue stage in Marketo. Once it is set up as a connector via Marketo’s Launchpoint (Google credentials related with the account connected are required, obviously), you’ll be able to map your “offline” conversions from AdWords to revenue stages in Marketo !

note: this is based on Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Modeler. This is a complex model most of clients need help with, as it manages the revenue lifecycle for your whole instance it is a long term investment and is interesting on many levels. It is thus a good opportunity to set it up and then enjoy the benefits of the AdWords connector. Need help with this ? Get in touch with us !

Please also note that there is always some time needed before each new feature rolls out. Subscribing to smart lists for example should be out in October, looking forward to that after it has been tested and rolled out. We will keep you posted on that!

So as we can see there is constant movement month in month out on Marketo’s features but so is there in a marketer’s world, and you can capitalise on those changes to perform heading for year’s end. Are you making the most out of your Marketo? Are you curious about it? Let us know !

Also read our article : “Are you using your Marketing Automation Platform the same way as most of us use Excel?” to test the use of your MAP.

** Source :  here

We’re not ready for that… yet… (here in Europe)

During the last 15 years of my professional career I’ve seen how things are done on both sides of the ocean. When zooming in on to (B2B) sales and (demand/reputation)marketing one particular trend became quite clear to me: we’re trailing North America.

Most Europeans won’t even challenge that assessment, but what I also found is that few can explain the difference. Why is it important to understand? Because it might help you create a competitive edge.

1) Sense of urgency: Most of the innovation occurs in high tech environments which are more likely to be found in North America. These companies usually have one thing in common. They can’t fall back on existing long term revenue streams. Their business is about aggressively finding new clients for their business. As a result there’s more focus on customer acquisition and thus lead generation and sales process strategy.

2) High tech companies come with DNA that enables them to try things out more quickly. There’s less legacy to deal with and less inertia which makes it easier to launch new process and methods.

3) Machiavelli and Peters’ principle. Existing and older more established environments also come with power clusters, i.e. those ‘leaders’ that have made it to a certain position in the food chain. Many of whom well aware that their next career step is beyond the limits of their own abilities. As a result these managers -often a big army of middle management troopers- usually form a silent coalition that aims to prevent change simply because they understand that they have more to lose than to win. Machiavelli already wrote about this almost 600 years ago.

Europeans are skeptical by nature. There’s very interesting academic research that backs this up. Check out Dutch professor Geert Hofstede and his research where he actually quantifies this difference. In my country (Belgium) for example citizens are very risk averse. The reason being that we have been invaded by other nations for centuries making our people learn to distrust power and those that present change. Across the board Europeans are far more risk averse than North Americans.

4) European companies usually are smaller and lack the budgets and willingness to invest heavily in new solutions

These are just 4 out of many explanations. The common tread is that Europeans push back, they wait longer before they make a change. Eventually they do adapt. Eventually they will take the same action as their North American peers. Net net: they’re leaving money on the table …

I’m sure most Europeans won’t argue that this is an accurate description. Mind that my list is not an exhaustive description but it suffices to build my case. If we do agree the list is accurate, why then are Europeans constantly making the same mistake of resisting change over and over again? Let’s revisit the 4 items I listed

1) Sense of urgency. Is our economy in such a good shape that we can afford to act slower? Should we not -even more than others- find new ways to improve our competitiveness?

2) New process needs? Agreed, high tech companies sell things to companies that are also open to innovate. Usually they themselves are also a newer breed of tech companies. So to a certain extent it makes it easier to understand how innovation in digital marketing and sales strategy can help connect these sort of buyers and sellers easier. Similar to my previous comment; shouldn’t a cyclically operating enterprise headquartered in a stagnating economy like Europe not be even more open to new ways that help them find new customers? Innovation surely is not only about new products, it’s also about business models and business process. In Europe we tend to forget that.

3) Europeans should not forget their past but they should also not use it as an excuse to not look ahead. The world is changing and we should adapt with it. Agreed, a certain level of skepticism is not unhealthy: it protects us from making wrong decisions too. But in a rapidly changing world there’s even an even bigger danger. One where at the end of the day no decisions will be taken at all. Is making a bad decision always that bad? It actually enables us to learn from those that made this mistakes: we can avoid making typical early adopter-beginners mistakes, to embrace best practices and to get quicker to the efficiency/efficacy levels some of the more innovative and successful north american enterprises are already recording. Siriusdecisions for example has data that shows there’s a 24% difference in revenue growth rates between companies that are making the change compared to those that don’t. What do we need more?

4) Smaller companies actually should be able to move quicker. Scale can’t be an excuse. On the contrary. It’s probably more difficult for larger scale organizations to change sales and marketing process even when they’re less than 10 years old but already fairly big.

So what are we waiting for? Why don’t we wake up? Take the radical changes that are taking place, triggered by the internet, because buyers are no longer listening to what sales people have to say/sell.

Senior management really should start taking this shigt more seriously. Why are CEO’s and MD’s interested in financial strategy or talent management only? Why do they push sales and marketing strategy often down to their COO or sales and marketing teams? It should be on their agenda! Not only on that of their innovative younger digital marketers. Because those people, even though they have seen the light, will typically only introduce the much needed change on a too tactical scale. This is often resulting in a functional or departmental silo creating suboptimal results.

And mind: this post is not about advising companies to do some tests with inbound marketing, or a pilot about marketing automation (by the way; there can be no such thing as a pilot for these type of platforms) etc. It’s about strategy. It requires attention and vision (and budget). It can be done. We seem to have less issues when it comes to investing in back office optimization, ERP, HRM, WHM etc. The budgets the big infrastructure vendors are sometimes able to snatch away in these functional areas, often to satisfy needs they artificially created with their own ‘fear uncertainty and doubt the marketing’, are probably not solving an enterprise’s most critical need

I’m puzzled to sometimes see big enterprises develop huge new ‘strategies’ that for example aim to improve data query/look-up speed rates when their online marketing communication strategy and related to that, their customer acquisition process, is still based on a technique that is similar to what they were doing in a pre internet era. It’s time to reset some priorities if you ask me.

Let me know your thoughts and or come to a really interesting B2B event next week where SiriusDecisions keynote speaker will actually address this issue head on. Check in here: http://www.leadfabric.com/businessclass (and contact me to get in)

Lady Gaga and Marketing Automation

Yesterday, I participated in the introductory session of Prof. Jamie Anderson’s ‘Building Innovative Organizations‘ course at the Antwerp Management School. Prof. Anderson used the career of Lady Gaga as a metaphor for innovation. With video fragments he convinced his audience that Lady Gaga very early on in her career developed a strong vision including the ingredients of her future success. Elements such as authenticity, building strong relationships, nurturing and value sharing and agility were presented in a very interactive and lively manner. The paralel of this metaphor with marketing automation struck me in the face. 

Marketing automation is about building authentic and strong relations with a public that does not even know it is looking for a solution. You need to develop a keen understanding of the persona’s in that public. Lady Gaga uses Spotify to analyse and determine the current taste of her fans in a certain geographical location. And she adapts her playlist accordingly. In marketing automation you need to figure out what content can be of value to your potential customer and how will you nurture this prospect along his/her buying journey. You can only achieve success by sharing valuable content that makes a difference for that potential buyer at that time. Lady Gaga shares a lot of value on You Tube and was rewarded accordingly with an astonishing 23 mio albums sold!! The agility of her communication is an amazing feat. She uses Twitter to communicate her whereabouts and to warn fans of her appearances in certain locations. In marketing automation, the opportunity is now, you need to analyze and adapt your tactics according your potential buyer’s behavior. Lead scoring can help you to align marketing and sales and to offer sales a better chance of closing the deal successfully. Agility is key and Lady Gaga understands that very well.

Stay tuned.

 

The dutch marketing communication fear

Just came across an article re: a dutch study that shows that independent marketing communication professionals are afraid of their local market getting overcrowded. They all fear they’ll be getting less project opportunities and as a result there’s angst about dropping day rates.

This situation is in stark contrast with the absolute shortage of demand generation capable marketers. Two weeks ago at the SiriusDecisions summit in Orlando Jennifer Horton presented data that clearly showed the attendees how big the shortage gap really is. The analyst also reported that there’s an even a bigger squeeze when it comes to recruiting experienced super user profiles.

In other words in terms of career planning, investing today in buyer aligned demand generation expertise as well as marketing automation knowledge seems like a super smart thing to do. The alleged market squeeze that is being reported in the Netherlands is probably similar to what’s happening in other regions in Europe. Marketing communication experts as how it was defined in the old paradigm is probably a dying breed. The skill of creating engaging messaging certainly remains important. But the words that are missing often are buyer alignment and pipeline impact.

If you’re such an independent consultant (zzp) and you’re looking to broaden your skill set, then perhaps you should contact us. We run free education programs to get you on track to full certification.

The modern marketing world should be your oyster.

True mobile productivity: ppt out of a BOX!

Box is a formidable platform for the nomadic people amongst us. The Box storage medium offers freedom, flexibility and performance in the field. When it comes to showing the contents of those files you need a presentation application that lives up to your expectations. Be it an iPad or an iPhone, Box won’t let you down but you need an app to present i.e. ppt files on those devices with a professional quality that overwhelms your spectator.

SlideShark Team Edition (SSK TE) from Brainshark addresses this mobile workforce challenge perfectly. The key features that make SlideShark a “presenter’s best friend,” as many of the users refer to it, are elaborately described on our website.

Stay tuned!

LeadFabric is a Preferred Salesforce.com Pardot partner

You may probably be aware that since its inception LeadFabric has been an official Salesforce.com consulting partner. Not that we have ever had the intent to offer crm-services for companies that were starting from scratch or that are migrating from a competitive platform. Our very specific SFDC expertise plays on a functionally higher level. It is utilized to make changes to existing CRM set-ups in order to facilitate marketing and sales productivity, for example to help build marketing but also sales nurturing programs.

Since 2011 we also decided to become agnostic on the marketing automation front. Today we are an Oracle Gold Eloqua partner, the only certified Marketo partner in the benelux and the strategic Market Partner for IBM-Silverpop. We were also the only certified SFDC-Pardot partner in EMEA.

The exciting news that I’m sharing with you today is that Salesforce has now awarded us with the Preferred Partner status. This means that Salesforce.com will work more closely with LeadFabric to offer specialized demand generation and sales enablement consulting services to its target audiences. The ‘preferred’ quality of this label is unique for the benelux. Also on a pan-european level the company only has chosen a handful of specialists.

This is good news for our salesforce clients since it means that we’ll build even stronger ties and access channels with the Pardot and salesforce back office. In return Salesforce will use our consultants to add value to their sales cycles as well as to outsource the majority of their local implementations.

For “Post Implementation” scenarios we also are offering added value. Our certified and multilingual (Covering 5 languages via native speakers) staff can help with
– Training
– Marketing as a Service (the complete outsourcing of the day to day management of a Pardot set up
– Outsourcing and managed services (partial outsourcing)
– Program and Campaign development

Please contact me or my team if you are interested in more information

Pardot Preferred Partner Logo

More evidence that Marketing Automation is not only for large companies.

Marketing technology firm, Software Advice, recently released their 2014 Marketing Automation Software Buyerview Report which uncovers what is driving businesses to purchase MA systems, what features they are looking for and a demographic breakdown of buyers.

Software Advice analyzed data from 896 buyer interactions between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. The key findings of their analysis include:

Key Findings:

1. Ninety-one percent of buyers were evaluating MA software for the first time.

2. Lead nurturing was the most desired capability, followed by marketing analytics and lead scoring.

3. Twenty-five percent of MA buyers were in the high tech industry.

What does this mean for Marketing Automation Vendors?

The high percent of small to midsize businesses in the sample points to the fact marketing automation vendors have a great opportunity to expand their customer base with solutions that are tailored to SMBs. In the past, MA software has been traditionally adopted by midsize to large enterprises, Software Advice’s data evidences that smaller businesses are also looking to capitalize on the benefits of marketing automation software.

Software Advice’s results also unveiled that only 6 percent of buyers were interested in MA software with social media marketing capabilities. This is surprising as most vendors are developing social functionalities for their solutions. The report also suggests that buyers will continue to request lead management and reporting functionalities are the most important functions of marketing software.

Software Advice and Marketo recently worked together to develop this infographic to share the data: State-of-Marketing-Automation-Trends-2014