Tag Archives: marketo

Marketo Wins Stevie Award for Demand Generation

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.

stevie awards logo for sales and customer serviceThe 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.

Sales 2.0 Conference: for Marketing 2.0 too

I was recently invited to attend the Sales 2.0 Conference, which takes place on March 4 & 5, 2009 in San Francisco. I always like to attend conferences, so I gladly accepted. But I did wonder:

How does Sales 2.0 relate to Marketing Automation?

In the traditional way of thinking, if something is labeled “sales” it is clearly not marketing. Luckily, things are changing. The best definition of Sales 2.0 captures this, by mentioning the importance of having a customer-focused process that is supported by both sales and marketing:

sales 2.0 conference logo“Sales 2.0 brings together customer-focused methodologies and productivity-enhancing technologies that transform selling from an art to a science. Sales 2.0 relies on a repeatable, collaborative and customer-enabled process that runs through the sales and marketing organization, resulting in improved productivity, predictable ROI and superior performance.” – Pelin Wood Thorogood and Gerhard Gschwandtner

Having applied Sales 2.0 techniques in my own job, I’ve seen that the collaboration between marketing and sales has improved significantly: the sales team now knows what they can expect from marketing. The processes are better defined, and the outcomes are more measurable.

Sales 2.0 Tools

On this blog I often cover solutions that support the marketing & sales process. If you look at the sponsors of the Sales 2.0 Conference you get a good overview of the type of products offered in the Sales 2.0 space. This is just a subset:

  • Genius.com
    Email and analytics tools for demand generation; Genius.com offers products for both individual sales people as well as marketing teams
  • Marketo
    Lead Management software, to streamline the lead generation process from inquiry to sales-ready lead
  • Xactly
    Compensation management software; seems most interesting for larger sales organizations
  • LucidEra, Angoss, Birst
    Sales & Marketing Analytics; they will probably be upset that I bundled them together,but based on their websites it looks like they do a similar thing: providing better insight into sales & marketing performance
  • GroupSwim Sales Collaboration
    Collaboration software for Sales & Marketing teams; includes a strong knowledge sharing component.

And then there are a whole range of sales productivity tools (e.g. ConnectAndSell and Xobni) and data vendors (like JigSaw). Also, services vendors are present, from lead generation services to sales training.

The Conference Schedule

In addition to interesting Sales 2.0 vendors, the conference has an nice line-up of speakers. This includes Brian Carroll (author of Lead Management for the Complex Sale), Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer of CSO Insights, Judy Fick of Unisys and many more. The event is hosted by Gerhard Gschwandtner of SellingPower and David Thompson of Genius.com. If you want to meet up, please send me an email (leadsloth) or Tweet.

Are you planning to attend the conference? It looks like there will be some interesting topics for demand generation marketers, what is your take?

What is a Demand Generation System?

Last year Laura Ramos, the B2B Marketing guru at Forrester, stated that the lead management automation market was confusing. There are many players, and many sub-categories. Demand Generation is probably the most confusing, it can mean two things:

  • Software or services that get you in touch with new prospects so you can fill your database; this could be Search Engine Optimization (Hubspot), telesales (Phone Works) or contact databases (Demandbase, Jigsaw)
  • But it can also mean: software that automates the lead management process once leads have arrived on your website, or are already in your database (Eloqua, Marketo, Market2Lead, etc.)

If I understand it correctly, Laura uses the first definition, while Eloqua – the leading lead management automation firm – often uses the second definition. Also, David Raab publishes the Guide to Demand Generation Systems, covering Eloqua, Vtrenz, Marketo, Manticore Technology and Market2Lead, which clearly fall within the second definition.

I must side with Laura: Eloqua and similar systems do not generate demand, they primarily manage leads (in a very elaborate way though :- )

So my suggestion: replace all instances of Demand Generation System with Lead Management System!

Does that makes sense or not?

Choosing a Demand Generation System

Demand Generation Software is a hot market at the moment. Demand Gen systems can add a lot of value, especially for high-value sales processes. This can be for enterprise software companies, corporate and private banking, but also for ticket sales for sports: I never realized NBA season’s tickets were that expensive!

To help you find the right Demand Generation tools, I’ve just updated my list of Demand Generation Systems. It gives an overview of all Demand Generation vendors that I know of. If I’ve missed some, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

The list is not meant as a thorough review: for that, you may want to buy the Raab Guide on Demand Generation Systems by David Raab. He recently published a list of low-cost demand generation systems, which may also be interesting.

If you’re looking for selection criteria, please take a look at Maria Pergolino’s blog: vendor comparisons part 1 and part 2 (part 3 is not published yet).

Last week Laura Ramos of Forrester also gave her view on the Lead Management Automation market, which is also a good read. She does not only mention Demand Generation vendors, but also other marketing automation solution providers.

The future of the Demand Generation market

If I look at the long list of players in this market, I’d almost wonder when the first one goes belly up. However, it seems as if the market is booming, and several vendors are reporting record results (for example Market2Lead, Pardot, Marketo, Marketbright).

Is it still possible for new Demand Generation vendors to enter the market in 2009?