Monthly Archives: October 2010

Marketing Automation Monday

Would you like to meet up with fellow Marketing Automation professionals to exchange tips and best practices? Join us at Marketing Automation Monday for an informal panel discussion on using drip marketing to find more qualified leads and for networking with other like-minded marketers. These are the dates & locations:

The agenda is still being confirmed, but most likely we will start around 5.30pm with drinks and snacks. Around 6pm we’ll start an informal panel discussion about drip marketing in which several people will present their drip campaigns. Questions from the audience are encouraged. And after that we’ll have some more time for networking. Any ideas are welcome.

Future dates will be published on the Marketing Automation Monday web page.

Why Marketing Automation Monday?

The idea for Marketing Automation Monday came up after I had visited several Web Analytics Wednesday events. Sinds 2005, those events have provided a great networking and learning opportunity for Web Analytics professionals. So I thought: “Why not do the same for Marketing Automation professionals?”.

Unfortunately, back then there simply weren’t enough Marketing Automation professionals to meet up with. However, in the past 2 years, Marketing Automation has really taken off. So I think the time is right, and Marketing Automation now deserves its own meetup!

Together with Saad Hameed, I’m initiating these first two events. Since we both live in the Bay Area, that’s a logical place to start. We’ll make it a recurring event if enough people show up. And if you want to organize a Marketing Automation meetup in your city, feel free to do so, and we’ll help you promote it.

The Event

The goal of this event is three-fold: learn more about Marketing Automation, get to know other Marketing Automation professionals, and have fun doing so. We’ll cover topics around Marketing Automation, including:

  • Lead Management
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Revenue Performance Management
  • Demand Generation
  • B2B Email Marketing

Each meetup has a particular topic (this time it’s drip marketing). The meetups will focus on best practices in Marketing Automation, not so much on implementation details. It is not specific to any Marketing Automation vendor, nor is this event sponsored by any vendors. However, vendors and consultants are welcome to attend, but no selling please.

Join the LinkedIn Group

Saad started the Marketing Automation Association LinkedIn Group a while ago, and all future events will be announced via this Group. So if you want to be kept up to date, please register for this group.

Your Ideas Please

Because this is the first time we organize this event, we’ll need lots of input on the ideal format. We’re curious to hear your input. Feel free to leave a comment or email us (jep at leadsloth dot com)

Guest Post: Best Practices in Marketing Automation

By: Lisa J. Cramer, President & Co-Founder, LeadLife Solutions

There are certainly a lot of capabilities within marketing automation. As such there are a variety of best practices to be followed in order to maximize the use of these systems. Below are some of the best practices we have found within our customer base that helped drive success with marketing automation.

Improve Lead Interaction with Good Segmentation

The technology can only do so much – starting with a segmented, clean lead list is important. Segment your database by demographics, such as: industry, job titles, or product/service interest shown. It would be great if you can move towards the development of buying personas – so you can model what segmentation has been most profitable.

Optimize Lead Nurturing Through Personalized and Relevant Communications

While nurturing, test different facets of your email communication – which subject line attracted the most interest per segmented list? Which content provided the desired lead interaction for which segmented list during which stage of nurturing? Relevant content is not just about the content the user cares about, but also what is important to them at the phase of the buying cycle they are in. For instance, is it about thought leadership or feature comparisons?

Use Drip Marketing Based on Triggers

Drip marketing gives marketers the ability to automatically send communications based on a series of conditions. This helps a company automatically meet the buy cycle phase that the lead is in. Triggering the drip based on actions of the lead, help ensures that the lead receives more relevant communication to what they have shown interest in or explicitly expressed interest in.

Automatic Scoring Prioritizes Leads That are “Sales Ready”

Nurturing leads is one thing, but the end result marketers want is to move more qualified leads to sales. Scoring enables marketers to ensure leads that demonstrated certain behaviors (can include answering questions, etc.) and met the specified criteria will move to sales at the right time. Obviously the foundation of prioritization and effective scoring is the definition of a “sales ready” lead; and that’s something marketing and sales need to sit down and do together.

Maximize Revenue Attainment by Re-nurturing Leads

What do your sales reps do when they speak to a lead and they don’t move it into an opportunity or further down the funnel? Is the lead dead? Is the lead every “touched” by sales again? Often leads that don’t move down the pipeline or leads that are disqualified at some point in the funnel are left for dead (often referred to as lead leakage). It’s amazing how much more revenue can be surfaced if these leads were re-nurtured.

About the Author

Lisa Cramer is president and co-founder of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of on-demand lead management software with embedded best practices that generates, scores, and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. In 2009, Lisa was recognized as one of the top five “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. For more information on lead management or best practices, visit, call 1-800-680-6292 or email

Eloqua Experience 2010

This week I attended the Eloqua Experience, Eloqua’s user conference in San Francisco. The big news of this event is the launch of Eloqua 10. It’s the result of 2 years of hard work, and it looks very good. The revamped user interface makes working with Eloqua a lot of fun. Here is a preview:

Eloqua 10 Campaign Builder (click to enlarge)

I attended the session with Coreworx, an early adopter of Eloqua 10. They are raving about Eloqua 10. During their presentation they set up a simple webinar campaign on the fly. That was very intuitive. Also, the application was very fast and responsive (they used the beta 2). One of the time-saving features that is the type-ahead search: see the video tour of Eloqua 10 for details.

Revenue Performance Management (RPM)

The bigger story at the event was the introduction of Revenue Performance Management. Eloqua’s definition is a mouthful: “RPM is a systematic approach to identifying the drivers and impediments to revenue, rigorously measuring them, and then pulling the economic levers that will optimize top line growth”.

In short, it is about understanding how marketing and sales drive revenue. It highlights the transition to a more metrics-driven way to optimize sales & marketing for revenue growth. Eloqua has more information about this in a blog post.

Jeremy Victor has a nice write-up of the 16 sales and marketing reports that measure revenue performance. Eloqua hopes that these metrics will become a standard, so that they can also be used for benchmarking. By the way: see also Jeremy’s summary of the second day of the conference.

Eloqua University

In Monday’s blog post I emphasized that process and best practices are they key to unlocking the full potential of Marketing Automation. Eloqua recognizes this and has launched their Eloqua University (including Twitter handle @EloquaU). The courses will focus both on functional topics such as multi-channel campaigns or lead scoring, as well as more strategic Revenue Lifecycle courses. Certification is also part of the University. More at the Eloqua University website.

Cloud Connectors

Eloqua is also taking a lesson from’s playbook by making it easier to extend Eloqua with 3rd party applications. The Eloqua API (application programming interface) has been available for a long time already, but there was no easy way for campaign managers to incorporate 3rd party applications in their marketing programs.

The new Eloqua Cloud Connector product integrates 3rd party applications like JigSaw and Webex in the Program Builder. For example, if you want to validate a contacts’s details with the Jigsaw database, you can simply drag the “check data” action into your program and double-click to configure it. There is no “AppExchange” for Eloqua extensions yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re planning that already.

Sales Enablement

Another new product is Eloqua Discover for It is an easy to understand, prioritized view of the hottest, most engaged prospects and accounts. This is available from within, and it is a native application available from the AppExchange.

Eloqua Discover for (click to enlarge)


So there were lots of new initiatives, products and services that were covered during the event. Also, I was impressed with the large number of presentations by clients. Eloqua clearly has a very active user base, and they’re willing to share their experiences.

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestion or remarks: just leave a comment!

Process Turns Marketing Automation Into Revenue

Today I read a blog post about 7 trends that speed up the adoption of marketing automation. It mentions the importance of valuable content, the increasingly longer sales cycles and the “consumerized” B2B sales processes. These are all important trends, and many people will wonder: how do I get started?

The Software is Great, But…

Marketing Automation software is often positioned as the be-all and end-all. It’s as if you would just sign up with one of the vendors, take a day to set everything up, and you’re done. Unfortunately, there is more to it than just technology. The result today: too many Marketing Automation users use their expensive system as an email marketing tool. Essentially, they changed their technology without updating their processes.

Process First

The companies that are successful with Marketing Automation take a different approach. They think strategically about their sales & marketing processes. They understand the capabilities of the technology, but think “process first”. An example: they determine what their most important customer segments are, what content they need in the different phases of the buying process, and how leads will be routed throughout the organization.

Technology & Process Go Hand in Hand

Once I tried to implement advanced lead management processes without the budget to buy a Marketing Automation system. That was hard. Actually, I felt frustrated that the lack of good technology was holding me back: it’s wasn’t just a lot of extra work, but certain features like behavioral lead scoring are simply not possible without Marketing Automation. To get the full benefits, Marketing Automation software and more effective Lead Management processes should be implemented at the same time.

Getting Started

In his post “Technology, alone, is not enough“, Adam Needles published an interesting graph about the the biggest roadblocks in maximizing a marketing automation solution:

Source: Bulldog Solutions/Frost & Sullivan (click to enlarge)

The top three issues are people, processes and content. Marketing Automation and Lead Management are complex, so you need to have someone in your organization who has experience with this. The most junior person on the marketing team is often not the right person. If you don’t have the right resources, you may need to hire someone, or work with a consultant.

Once you have the expertise in place, you can also design the right processes. This is usually a collaborative effort between marketing and sales.

The third roadblock from the survey was insufficient content. However, many organizations have more good content than they realize: check old blog posts, recorded webinars and other valuable content. But usually, it also requires a renewed focus on creating content that focuses on the buyer’s issues, rather than your own products.

With people, processes and content in place, you are well on your way to Marketing Automation success!

Webinar, Tue 10/19: Using Lead Nurturing to Turn More Leads Into Revenue

In 30 minutes get practical tips from Jep that will turn more deals into revenue, using list segmentation, email marketing and irresistible content

Info & Registration:

Impressive Marketo User Summit

At this week’s Marketo Summit, I realized we’re right in the middle of B2B Marketing Event Season. MarketingSherpa’s B2B Marketing Summit was last week, Pardot’s user conference was 2 weeks ago, and the Eloqua Experience is coming up next week. In this post I’m giving a short impression of the Marketo Summit.

The Marketo User Summit was BIG: 600 customers and partners were attending. It was also very professionally done: from the full color program guide and the loot bag to the well-balanced program and fun Mardi Gras party. With the exception of some Wifi issues in the beginning, it was running extremely smoothly.

Marketo University

The program started with the Marketo University, with a beginner and an advanced track. I attended the advanced track, and it was a nice combination of detailed feature descriptions and lead management best practices. They covered the main parts of the Marketo application: Lead Database, Design Studio, Marketing Activities and Analytics.

Global Marketo Roll-Out

After the University, Douglas Laird and Jonathan Moody showed how QlikTech managed to roll out a Soccer-themed Marketo campaign in 15 countries and 13 languages in a matter of months. This is an good example of how Marketo is now also being used in bigger implementations.

PR Newswire Integration

The PR Newswire session announced an integration that makes it much easier to distribute press releases, videos and other content right from Marketo. Additionally, it will make it possible to measure the results of your content marketing efforts more accurately.

Forrester Lead Management Overview

After that, Andre Pino, the new Forrester B2B Marketing principal analyst gave a nice overview of lead management. Some people thought it was a somewhat basic, but I thought it was a key component of this User Summit. He told the story in a nice way, and illustrated it with a good case study.

How Marketo Uses Marketo

Jon Miller and Bill Binch presented a session on how Marketo uses Marketo internally. One of he things Bill illustrated was how Sales Development Reps have to follow up with leads within a certain of days, otherwise their boss or even the executive team will be notified (using Marketo). This pretty much ensures a timely follow-up for each and every lead that reaches the lead score threshold.

Jon showed how Marketo is using a sophisticated decision workflow to start the right campaign at the right time: on every change, a “Traffic Cop” campaign decides which other campaign will be started next. It looked great, but also somewhat hard to understand and maintain. It’s a big contrast with Pardot’s pragmatic approach, in which they give every lead a 60 second look – manually – and then decide how to route the lead.

Webex Integration & Other Product News

J.D. Peterson, VP Products, presented the product roadmap. The big announcement was an upcoming integration with Webinar software, starting with Webex. GotoWebinar will follow, but GotoWebinar first needs to add an API to their product (please do so ASAP!).

There was a whole list of other planned improvements. One of them is the continued development of the Analytics module, including campaign influence measurement and revenue forecasting. That’s something that I’m really looking forward to, because it will make it much easier to show how Marketing activities influence current and future revenue.


There were many different tracks, so this post only gives an impression of the sessions that I was able to attend. I didn’t even mention the great presentation by Avinash Kaushik (Web Analytics Guru), who is a very energetic and humorous speaker: a great choice for the final presentation of the conference. Overall, it was a great conference and I learned a lot.

If you attended, please leave a comment about your experiences. What did you like, what could be improved?


PS. the presentations are here: