Thursday, August 20, 2009

But Wait...There's More!

To: Sales
From: Marketing
Subject: Exciting New Sales Enablement Service

Dear Sales,

Marketing is thrilled to announce that we are providing a full-time resource, for each of you! Their sole purpose is to qualify leads on your behalf as follows:

1. Qualify each lead’s profile fit – Job Role, Company Size, Annual Revenue, etc.!

2. Determine their level of interest – Analyse all their online activities and determine not only what their current level of interest is, but also what specifically they are interested in!

But wait, there's more!

3. Summarized lead qualification reports – This resource will provide you a daily hieracrchy of who to call first, second, third, etc. Plus, you will have complete access to up-to-the-minute information on all the above findings for every lead on this report, prior to you making your calls.

But wait, there's still more...

4. This resource has agreed to work like a dog (24/7 in fact), constantly monitoring and qualifying your leads!

But wait...hard to believe but here's the best part...

5. You won't have to pay this resource a portion of your commission! You won't have to pay them a portion of your base. This resource is marketing's gift to you and is provided at absolutely no cost to you!

Sincerely yours,


P.S. You're Welcome!~


How do you think your sales team would react to this message? I imagine they'd be jumping for joy!

Yes, this is the promise (and reality) of the benefits lead scoring provides. It is typically one of the first things new adopters of marketing automation want to implement.

So if you haven't begun your lead scoring journey, here are several excellent links to get you headed in the right direction towards long-term success:

If you have begun your lead scoring journey but for some reason are now finding it less than effective, something is wrong! This stuff really works (if done right).

Lead Scoring is a living, breathing activity. It is not something you create once and forget about. Things change, market conditions change, products change, sales cycles change.
If your lead scoring efforts have stalled, get some help.
If you're just starting out and need guidance on who, what, why and when to score, get some help.
But wait, there's more...
Lead scoring (especially coupled with lead nurturing) provides some of the highest returns you'll ever generate in your marketing automation system.
But wait...I know, I know, you're tired of hearing this...but if you act right now, the chances of getting very lavish holiday gifts from your salespeople this season will go up dramatically! I'll go out on a limb here and say your chances will be about 100%.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Lead scoring best practices.

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

Practically everyone has heard about the wildly successful "Cash for Clunkers" government program that gives up to $4500 for your clunker as a trade-in on a new car. I hear about it almost every day in the news.

I thought it would be fun to visit the home pages of Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan, etc and see how each was taking advantage of the huge uplift in web traffic that all this buzz is generating. What a golden opportunity to capture net new leads into their databases for distribution to their dealers! So how is everyone doing?

Ford's Home Page:

Wow, it took me 5 minutes just to find the "Contact Ford" link. It's at the very bottom left (see the red box above). Once you clicked on it you get this:

No lead capture signup form, not even a "Enter Your Email Address" box. Just a list of phone numbers and a few email links! A golden opportunity to collect new leads, completely wasted.
GM's Website:
Wow, no "Sign Up Now" link whatsoever. Not even a "Contact Us" link.
Nissan's Home Page:
Ah, the first website that actually mentions the "Cash for Clunker" program. In fact they show the savings right up front! Still I had to dig to find the "Join Mailing List" link (see the red box at the bottom left).
Once you click the link you get this:
Ah, at last a lead capture form! Nice and short, not too many fields. A nice touch, asking whether I preferred direct mail and/or email. No segmentation however, other than choosing the model of car you are interested in, which is certainly better than nothing.
Toyota's Home Page

The "Sign Up for Info" link is still hard to find (see red box bottom middle). They also have a small "Cash for Cars" link. When you click the "Sign Up for Info" link, you get this:

Now we're talkin! A clean simple email address field! Be still my heart, could this possibly be a Progressive sign-up form?

It is! The farm is saved. An actual subscription preference center. And they actually ask me, "What Interests You?" (Quick, somebody hand me a tissue).

They even took usability a step further. They keep the page nice and clean. Then if you choose "More information on Toyota Vehicles" for example, thanks to some lovely javascript, you see this:

The page expands to see all the model choices! Here's what the full page looks like if you expanded all the questions:

A great example of segmentation - and not overwelming you with choices until you ask to see them! Sniff, sniff, and you wonder why Toyota is #1...

Audi's Home Page:

Once again, a tiny "Contact Us" link. Once you click on it you get this:

Nice clean web to lead form. Not as advanced as Toyota's however. After clicking submit you get this:

Audi was kind enough to show me the 3 closest dealers in my area. And I didn't even have to ask, sniff, sniff.

Mercedes Benz Home Page:
The first time I've seen this, a "Receive Updates" link - big, bold and beautiful, in the upper right hand corner!
One wierd thing -- when you click the link, a blank box appears with a SUBMIT button next to it (see screenshot below).

Do they think I am the Amazing Kreskin? What am I supposed to fill in here? So I typed in, "What am I supposed to fill in here?" and clicked Submit. I got a nice little error that said, "Submit a valid email address".

When you click on it, you get this:

Ah, another subscription preference center. Not as thoughtful as Toyota's but still, not bad. Extra kudos for having the home page link actually noticable (even though they assume you'll know what to insert).

Porsche's Home Page:

It didn't take me too long to find this link: "Dialog and Newsletter".

Just the sound of this link makes me want to yawn. Have you ever seen a more boring and emotionless CTA? I'm a sports car fanatic for God's sake! At least make it sound exciting for me to sign up! Or at least change it to "Signup or Not, Whatever".

Once you click the link, you get this:

Once again, I am tasked with emulating the Amazing Kreskin in figuring out what to do next. Do you see a form anywhere? Do you see a clear CTA anywhere?

I am expected to actually read the instructions apparently. Clearly Porcshe does not care whether I sign up or not. (Maybe they somehow know that I already own one. That must be it).

Yes, I know this is B2C. And clearly car makers all share a similar model of driving business to their dealers, not gathering leads for themselves.

Still, you can't buy the kind of media attention Cash for Clunkers is generating. Even if one has no insterest in buying a car, I'm sure there are many, many people browsing their favorite car maker's website just to see what all the hubbub is about. And at some point they will need a new car. A golden opportunity to collect valuable future leads. Some do it better than others as we've seen.

Be Ready
If you are lucky enough to have the media focused on an event that effects your industry, jump all over it. Have your sign-up form link prominently placed on your home page. Be prepared to leverage all this free attention better than any of your competitors.

What You Can Do Now
Insepct your competitor's websites and see how they manage subscription sign ups. Are they Porsche or are they Toyota? It is fairly easy to tell just how advanced their marketing is simply by inspecting the level of segmentation they ask for up front. If you are better at it, keep going, get even better! If you are worse at it than your competitors, well,,,you know what to do.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Website Optimization Best Practices

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

For Those Still Using Batch & Blast

Marketers should be revered. Seriously, marketing departments should all ask that red carpeting be installed in their offices immediately. I’m sure you could make the same argument for sales as well, but look what marketers have to deal with today.

· Email open rates down
· Email click-thru rates down
· Email deliverability rates down
· Diminishing returns from online advertising
· Diminishing returns from offline advertising
· Increased accountability for all ROMI spend
· Reduced budgets
· Reduced staff
· Increased demand for net-new leads
· Increased demand for qualified leads

And don’t put away your violins just yet, because in addition to all the above, our bosses now expect us to be social media experts, marketing automation experts, lead scoring experts, lead nurturing experts, segmentation experts, database experts, web analytics experts, even CRM experts, all while asking us to make do with less than we had before.

But before you decide to chuck it all and sell Amway instead, fear not – there is a solution!

The pain you are feeling is most likely because you are trying to leverage old marketing tools in the new economy. The fact that any Tom, Dick and Harry can now Batch & Blast thousands of emails from the comfort of their own bedroom, all for only $24.95/month, means that the final nail has been hammered into the coffin of Batch & Blast marketing. It is officially the end of an era.

Step 1: Retire Your Current Batch and Blast toolThrow a farewell party. It’s been a good ride and it got you to where you are. But realize that Batch & Blast was easy. That’s why everyone did it. The new economy requires more evolved tools and more evolved thinking. It will be harder than Batch & Blast – then actually easier as you gain momentum.

Step 2: Understand the Marketing Tools You Now Need
Today’s economy requires (yes requires) the following new marketing tools to get your messages through all the clutter. It’s a brave new world so make sure your marketing toolbox includes ALL of the following:

Tool #1: SegmentationCutting smaller and smaller pieces of your database into smaller and smaller segments is critical. In fact it is the next rung up your Marketing Evolution ladder from Batch & Blast: Segmentation.

Batch and Blast meant one-message-to-everybody. Segmentation now means having different conversations with different groups. The more defined the group, the more relevant your message. And relevancy drives success in the new economy. That’s why it is first on this list – because it will produce by far the biggest bang for your buck. Make sure your segmentation tool can handle requests like this:

“Show me a list of all IT Managers in our database that work for companies with at least 500 employees and annual revenues of at least 100m, who have opened at least one email from us in the last 30 days, have visited our website at least twice in the last 60 days and have downloaded a free trial with the last 7 days.”

BTW: This list shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes to generate.

Tool #2: Marketing Automation
Can you imagine trying to manually manage different conversations with all these different segments? Especially with reduced budgets and reduced staff? Your segmentation efforts will be severely limited. Marketing automation is what makes segmentation truly scalable. It is also what gets you to the next rung on your Marketing Evolution Ladder – One to One Marketing (messaging driven by: because you did this, you now get this). Let the low cost and high efficiencies of marketing automation handle things like:

· Relationship-building Nurturing Programs
· Welcome/Onboarding Programs
· Subscription Renewal Programs
· Upsell/Cross Sell Promotions

Tool #3: Lead Management/Scoring
One of the biggest complaints sales has with marketing-generated leads is that they are not qualified. Typically the flow goes like this: (1) Marketing generates a fresh batch of leads and sends them to sales, (2) sales cherry picks the good leads and (3) the rest leak out of the funnel. (4) Marketing generates a new batch of fresh leads and…(see #2). The endless lead-loop scenario.

This is where marketers should show a little love to poor salespeople. Why send ALL leads to sales and make them waste their valuable time qualifying everybody when marketing can now leverage nurturing/scoring, sending over ONLY qualified leads at the precise moment they are worthy of sales interaction.

Sales wins because they now have a priority list of who to call first, second, third. Marketing wins because their hard-fought leads won’t get ignored anymore just because they aren’t ready to buy this minute.

Tool #4: Closed-Loop ReportingNo matter what, your boss will expect quantifiable results from this new tool. Both you and your boss will want to know things like:

· How much additional revenue did our nurturing/scoring program generate last quarter?
· What was the percentage increase of our subscription renewals since implementing these automated programs?
· Which campaign(s) were the most effective at reducing the sales cycle?
· Which campaign(s) were the most effective at increasing the average revenue per deal?
· Which segment had the highest ROI growth?
· Which segment within the above segment produced the highest ROI growth? Are these our new best customers?
· How much additional revenue was generated from our ‘inactive’ database as a result of our re-engagement automation program?
· Which of our assets (case studies, white papers, etc) produced the highest opportunity to close rate last quarter?

While your new marketing toolbox will tell you the I in ROI, you’ll need a true CRM integration to tell you the R in ROI. For this reason it is important that your new marketing toolbox be able to fully integrate with your CRM. The more automated the integration, the better.

Tool #5: Get a GPS (Warning – Sales Pitch Ahead)
Those of us who have a GPS have come to completely rely on them. So why would you ever start down this road without a clear roadmap?

Astadia is Eloqua’s #1 deployable partner as well as SFDC’s #1 deployable partner. Astadia has over 200 sales specialists and marketing specialists that can help you completely architect and integrate your whole sales and marketing transformation. They know the bottlenecks, the shortcuts, the detours, in short the fastest route in getting everything working. Armed with the experience of helping Best in Class companies around the world, there aren't many sales and marketing transformation challenges they haven’t faced and solved before.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Marketing Automation Best Practices

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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