Last week it was announced that Marketo won the Stevie Award for ‘Demand Generation Program of the Year’. They submitted a case study about ShipServ, a global e-marketplace for the shipping industry (details below). Thanks to Marketo’s Lead Management software, ShipServ was able to send more email campaigns in less time. As a result of that, the number of opportunities per 100 contact requests increased from 3 to 11, almost a fourfold increase.
The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service (formerly the Selling Power Sales Excellence Awards) honor and generate public recognition of the accomplishments of sales and customer service professionals professionals worldwide. Last year’s winner was Eloqua, who had submitted a case study about their own internal demand generation processes.
The ShipServ Case Study
The Marketo press release is somewhat short on details, but Jon Miller, Marketo’s VP Marketing, pointed me at the ShipServ case study on the Marketo website, which tells the complete story.
Before Marketo, ShipServ had been using a traditional email marketing tool from VerticalResponse. They found that this did not work well for Lead Nurturing. They had to keep a calendar with reminders for email follow-ups, and then manually create the lists and send the emails. Pretty labor intensive, and from personal experience I know this is not a maintainable solution.
With Marketo they can set up automate lead nurture campaigns based on events. An event can be time-based, but also an action by a prospect, for example a website visit or a click on a link in an email. ShipServ uses this to warm up cold leads until they are sales-ready.
In addition to converting more inquiries into prospects, and more prospects into opportunities, it has also had a positive impact on the sales-marketing collaboration. For sales it is now much easier to see how marketing is directly contributing to business success.
Product-wise, ShipServ appreciated the fast implementation, including an instant-on integration with Salesforce.com: you just enter your Salesforce.com credentials and the rest is automatic. ShipServ summarized the product as “easy to use, easy to administer, and easy to learn”.
Where is the Competition?
There may be just as many awards as there are vendors, but in this case I’m genuinely impressed: the case study gives a fair amount of details, and the results are significant. It would be nice to see more competition around these type of awards: according to the honoree list it seems like Marketo was the only finalist.
Demand Generation is not about the software, it’s about how you use the software to gain business benefits. Competitions like the Stevie Awards emphasize this, and make it easier to compare vendors, not on features but on actual results.
Question to all marketing automation vendors: are you going to submit a detailed case study to the Stevie Awards next year? I’d love to see some competition.