Monday, December 20, 2010

When Holiday Greeting Cards Go Bad (a marketing spoof)

Since this is my first video blog post, I wanted it to be a funny one, so here goes:

Watch as I create what I thought would be a beautifully rendered, extremely customized personal online holiday greeting card.

The result? Let's just say that the final output was not what I expected! Its pretty funny.

A marketing spoof

P.S. Feel free to pass it along to anyone in marketing!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS
From one marketer to another!

P.S. If you happen to be thinking of actually setting something like this up, this video is proof that I thought of it first :)

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

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Friday, December 17, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #6

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #6:
HARVEST THE UNKNOWN VISITOR

Congratulations! If you’ve implemented the first 5 Marketing Automation New Year’s Resolutions, you moved from Demand Generation to Demand Management – a major and significant evolution!

You now control every square inch of the funnel and are able to fully report on each funnel stage’s contribution to revenue. All leaks are plugged, all metrics fully in place, data standards in place and your funnel is now fully aligned with both sales and marketing.

So what’s next, a vacation? You certainly deserve one! And when you return, get ready for the final frontier -- the universe before the funnel.

There are 4 steps to this:



Step 1: Inventory All Pre-Funnel Feeders

Leads live a double life. The life you know about as they become known to you (through tracked implicit and explicit indicators) and the life you don’t know about. The specific journey that got them introduced to your neighborhood. LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, Google Buzz, Twitter, PPC, Wikipedia, organic web searches, blogs and a number of other sources we may not even know of, all play a role in crafting an invitation to your party.

It is this journey, this universe of unknown activities that we need to understand and then harvest in order to provide a perpetual feeder into our now healthy, happy funnel.

Step 2: Establish Dashboards That Determine Influenced Revenue of Each
Build Dashboards that focus on mapping the pre-funnel journey. Find and track every single freeway, side street and back road that leads to your website and begin to make a connection to these initial pre-funnel activities and resulting influenced ROI.

Step 3: Prioritize Initiatives That Consistently Influence the Most Revenue
As you gain insight into the pre-funnel sources that ultimately contribute the most to influenced revenue, you can begin to rank and prioritize the major pre-funnel influences. This ultimately gives you the metrics you need to support increased efforts and resources on those influences.

Step 4: Focus Resources on Expanding Those Initiatives

From here it’s just a matter of focusing resources on what is working while abandoning the support of pre-funnel efforts that don’t pay off in influenced revenue.

There you have it, a complete 2011 Marketing Automation Roadmap.

Can you implement all 6 Resolutions in 2011? It’s possible. But don’t get frustrated if it takes longer than you’d like. As you’ve heard many times by now, marketing automation is a journey, not an event.

But if your organization is ready to start tackling each Resolution one at a time and in the order prescribed, you are on your way to being added to that very elite group of "Best in Class" performers.

Updated: 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Social Media Marketing

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor


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

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Friday, December 10, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #5

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #5:
TIGHTEN THE PLUMBING

There are 4 parts to this:



Step 1: Identify all funnel leaks
There are typically 3 areas of the funnel that leak:
  • Sales Ignored Leads
  • Sales Rejected Leads
  • Customer Retention and post sale Cross-Sell/Upsell opportunities

Tighten your funnel metrics to provide insight into all 3 of these typical leak sources. Institute a deadline for sales to either accept your MQL or reject it, within a certain period of time. Find out how long sales really needs to make a decision about these and then develop a process that manages these leads after the cutoff period. Consider reassigning the lead or drop them into a sales-rejected lead nurturing programs. I wrote about this in a recent blog post called Funnel Goo.

Step 2: Build/Modify Nurturing/Scoring Programs to Plug the Leaks
If you discover a significant leak where sales is rejecting or ignoring an unusually high number of MQLs for example, build a specific nurturing program just for this leak. If a relationship has already been established with a sales rep, marketing can continue to own the conversation but can, through marketing automation make it appear that the message came directly from the sales person.

Sales people love this, since they don’t have to do much except answer their phone or their email, should the lead reach out. Marketing loves it because they regain control of an already nurtured lead, one that marketing has already spent time and money to acquire and nurture.

You might also consider creating a separate sales-rejected lead scoring program just for this group. For example, say you are getting lots of web leads who turn out to be college students. Sales rejects these, but marketing can nurture and add them to a long-term scoring program, tracking their activities all the way through graduation and onto their initial career path.

By the time they have the ability to make a purchase they already have a great long-standing relationship with you! Granted it’s a long-term approach, but what better way to grow your own leads who are often literally raving fans by the time they reach career readiness.

Step 3: :Leverage Better Data to Drive More Relevant Conversations
If you followed and adopted Resolution #3, you’ve repaired your data to the point that you can start to really start taking advantage of it. Target your new found segments to take relevance to an even higher level. Your segments will get smaller and your messaging more precise. This is where you can really start to make traction towards right time, right person right message targeting.

Step 4: Communicate What’s Working
Larger companies in particular sometimes work in Silos. Different regions or verticals generate a particularly successful campaign without word of it getting out to the rest of the global organization. China might have tremendous success with an SMS campaign combined with email that could be re purposed and replicated elsewhere for instance.

When something works, especially if it beats your existing benchmarks, don’t keep it a secret. Make sure there is a vehicle that communicates the wins on a regular basis. Maybe an internal marketing newsletter or “Win of the Month” internal email. Often teams end up competing for Best Metric awards.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Marketing Operations

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor

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

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #4

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #4:
FILL IN ALL ASSET CONTENT GAPS

There are 4 parts to this:


Step 1:
The first step is to inventory all your existing marketing assets. Make a complete list of everything you've got. Videos, White Papers, Recorded Webinars, Product Brochures, even content-rich web pages.  If you have different Geos or marketing groups, make sure they all contribute to the list. You might discover assets you didn't even know you had.

Step 2:
Identify which stage of the buying cycle each asset belong in - Early Mile, Middle Mile or Last Mile. Each stage requires a different conversation, along with a different set of assets.

For example, when a lead first enters your universe they may be just kicking the tires, wanting to learn more about your capabilities. This is typically the Early Mile, so the content they receive should focus on things like Thought Leadership. Start the conversation by establishing your company's credibility as a viable solution provider. It should answer the question, "Why Buy?"

The Middle Mile focuses on "Why Buy from Me". So assets that differentiate your company's services/products is best. Prospects may not be ready to review specific product specs just yet, but they usually want to know the specific benefits of your company.

The Last Mile is the final evaluation period. Spec sheets, pricing promos, etc. It's finally all about you. Focus on answering the question, "Why Buy from Me Now."

Step 3:
Once you've done a complete Asset Inventory and mapped out which buying stage each asset belongs in, it will be very clear where you are asset rich and where you are asset poor. You may have plenty of assets in the Early Mile and Last Mile, but not much in the Middle Mile area. Wherever your gaps are, the next step is to fill those gaps ASAP.

Step 4:
Once you start delivering these assets you can determine which ones are contributing the most to revenue. There are usually a few solid winners and some solid losers as well. Map out the most effective at contributing to revenue and create more just like them. This keeps the focus on New Year's Resolution #1, Align with the Goal of the CEO.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Content Marketing

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor

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

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Friday, November 26, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #3

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #3:
ESTABLISH DATA STANDARDIZATION

There are 4 parts to this:



Step 1: Establish a Standardized Data Set
Collectively establish and agree on a list of standard data fields. What fields do you consistently need to capture? Once you establish your master set of fields, make a Data Dictionary out of it. Convert to pick lists wherever possible – avoid open text fields, since there is no way to consistently score, report or segment on them. Spread the word that this is the Standard Data Set.

Step 2: Enforce the Standardized Data Set at every Acquisition Source
Review every data acquisition source and convert the process to the Standardized Data Set dictionary. Forms, list uploads, you name it.

Step 3: Append Incomplete Data fields
It’s hard to target a marketing campaign to specific Job Functions if the field is only 10% complete. Append those fields that are important for segmentation and/or scoring first. Then focus on filling in the remaining blanks.

Step 4: Build a “Data Washing Machine” to clean existing bad data
Normalize as many fields as possible. Start with all the open text fields you always wanted to leverage for scoring and/or segmentation but couldn’t.

Step 5: Merge and Purge
Clean up your duplicate records and build a process that requires a search for existing records prior to creating new ones.

Step 6: Keep the New Data, Discard the Old Data
Aging plays an important role in overall DB health. According to Eloqua, Lists older than 1 year have a decrease of 25% in open rates and 12% in CTR. Create active and inactive contact groups and treat appropriately.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Data Standardization

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor

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

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Friday, November 19, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #2

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #2:
ALIGN TO ONE VIEW OF THE TRUTH

There are 4 steps to this:


Step 1: Fully Integrate Marketing Automation to CRM
Sales enablement tools are a crucial component of marketing automation. It is marketing's gift to sales in helping them identify not only a pecking order of who to call first, second, third but also to provide key insight into online behaviors that will drive a much more relevant conversation. Getting Lead, Company and Contact data in full 2-way sync between CRM and Eloqua is what keeps the trust and value of these sales enablement tools in place for salespeople. It's what establishes one view of the truth.

Step 2: Set up a Full Lead Funnel Stage Evaluation Process

If you haven't yet fully adopted the Sirius Decisions Funnel model, you should. It opens up some extremely insightful reporting capabilities.

SUSPECT | INQUIRY | MQL | SAL | SQL | CLOSED WON
  • How many leads are at each stage of your funnel?
  • Is this number growing or shrinking?
  • How long have they been at each stage?
  • What is the conversion rate to the next stage of the funnel?
  • What is is costing you to get these conversions at each stage?

Step 3: Align All Reporting to Support the Goal of the CEO
Tracking your marketing effectiveness at the level described above helps provide tangible metrics to the CEO as proof that their goal is being adopted by both sales and marketing, supported, measured and (hopefully) reached.

Step 4: Evaluate the Overall Health of the Data
As you evaluate the metrics above you will begin to spot weaknesses in effectiveness. Certain target groups might be performing better than others for instance. Conversions from Inquiry to MQL may be lower than expected. It's time to take a hard look at the completeness of your data.

You'll never get out of the Batch and Blast era of marketing without focusing on your data. This is typically a huge problem for most companies. Legacy databases, 3rd party list rentals, no data acquisition standards -- the result: incomplete and unreliable data. It's time to evoke a full data standardization process.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Marketing Return on Investment (ROMI)

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor

Steve Kellogg

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

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Friday, November 12, 2010

6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions - #1

This is typically the time of year that many companies revisit their goals, initiatives and 2011 objectives. So in looking ahead to next year, what marketing automation resolutions/goals should you focus on, and in which order?

While this is often driven by your company's overall business objectives, we do know that tackling specific goals in a specific order can greatly influence your chances for long term success - best in class success in fact.

At some point in your career you were probably told that marketing automation is not an event but a journey. It’s so true.

No matter how badly your company wants to be on the marketing automation autobaun at 120 MPH, there is a ramp-up period. You can't fight the laws of physics. So step one for next year is to get everyone over the fact that it is impossible to achieve every goal/resolution first.

Marketing Automation New Year's Resolution #1:
ALIGN WITH THE GOAL OF YOUR CEO


There are 4 steps to this:


Step 1: Aligning with Your CEO:
It goes without saying that making your CEO look good makes you and your team look good. And since the goal of almost every CEO is growth, make sure everyone on your team is clear about what specific kind of growth the CEO is expecting. Is it revenue growth? Is it growth in profit?

Step 2: Align Sales and Marketing Success Metrics:
If marketing measures its success by growth in new leads but sales is measuring success based on growth in sales revenue, this disconnect will prevent establishing true corporate alignment. Eloqua recently launched RPM - Revenue Performance Management, a brilliant concept that best of breed companies seem to have in common as a methodology. For example, just having sales and marketing aligned to the same measurements of success is a huge step towards best in class performance.

Step 3: Determine contribution to Goal by Sales and Marketing
So if the CEO’s goal is $100m in revenue, the next step is to determine the contribution to goal by both sales and marketing. Who owns what percentage of the goal? Does marketing own 60% and sales 40% for example? Get clear about who contributes what. This prevents any year-end finger pointing concerning who didn’t perform.

Step 4: Define Resulting Targets at Each Lead Funnel Stage
Marketing’s next step is to work the funnel backwards in determining the volume you need at each lead stage to achieve your revenue goal. If marketing’s goal is to generate $60m in revenue then you’ll need to determine the quantity of leads required at the SQL stage, the SAL stage, the MQL stage, the Inquiry stage and the Suspect stage in order to reach the goal. Use historical conversion metrics as your guide. If you don’t have these metrics, Sirius Decisions has benchmark conversion data at each stage you can leverage.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about marketing metrics and ROMI

See all 6 Marketing Automation New Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1 - Establish Corporate Alignment
Resolution #2 - Establish One View of the Truth
Resolution #3 - Establish Data Standardization
Resolution #4 - Fill in the Content Gaps
Resolution #5 - Tighten the Plumbing
Resolution #6 - Harvest the Unknown Visitor

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

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Left Brain is the New Right Brain


Are you more Left Brain dominant (logical, analytical, plays it safe) or more Right Brain dominant (passionate, creative, risk taker) in your work?

In general, if you are in IT, chances are you are more Left Brain dominant. If you are in sales or marketing, you are probably more Right Brain dominant.

But when it comes to adopting marketing automation, the left brain is the new right brain, at least for marketers. Being creative, artful and engaging isn’t enough to get your message through all the clutter any more.

Like it or not, we (us marketers) have to start getting (gulp) data-centric. The sad truth is that if your company has been in existence for more than a couple of years, chances are, the quality of your data is awful. I can almost guarantee you that this will severely impact your long-term marketing success.

Even the most expensive marketing automation tools in the world won’t get you results if your message isn’t relevant. You can’t have relevance without good data. You can’t have good data without data standards. You can't have data standards without a process and you can’t have a process without the left brain.

To illustrate, I've created a little graphic that shows how the two brains need to work together in delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. (Notice the double entendre – right person, right brain -- clever eh?)


Marketing automation is definitely a group effort, with both dominant left brainers and right brainers crossing paths and working hand in hand to deliver results.

So fear not right brainers, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone, get technical and embrace data. BTW: There are some great new data tools out there, including Jigsaw and others. Eloqua has a good Data Normalization program that can help as well.

BTW: If you are curious as to whether you are left or right brain dominant, take this interesting little test.

P.S. If the test shows you with equal dominance on both sides, you’re one of us :)

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about marketing automation

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

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Easy Way to Increase CTR by 55%?


An interesting SMB study recently released from GetResponse revealed up to a 55% increase in promotional email CTR if social media links were also present in the email.

In fact the more social media links you include, the higher the click through rate increases, according to the study.

3 social media icons or more: 11.20% average CTR

2 icons: 9.30% average CTR

1 icon: 8.7% average CTR

No icons: 7.20% average CTR

So going from no social media link icons (7.2% CTR) to adding 3 social media icon links (11.20% CTR) actually increases average click thru rates by 55%, again according to the study.

The study also found that when adding just one social media link:

Twitter offered the highest CTR: 10.2%

Facebook: 9.1%

MySpace: 8.7%

LinkedIn: 7.20%

Digg: 5.30%

(Hmmm...the fact that LinkedIn was so low tells me this study was likely from SMB B2C companies)

Also what the study didn’t mention was whether or not the increase in CTR was actually caused by recipients clicking the social media links themselves, thereby causing the uplift in CTR.

Either way, it seems to be a likely candidate to do some quick A/B testing yourself, especially since marketing automation vendors such as Eloqua provides such a easy way to add these icons to your emails.

I’d love to hear any metrics from any testing you do or have already done in this area.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Social Media Marketing

Steve Kellogg

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

-Join me on: Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook

Photo from ymedialabs.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

Everyone Wants a Discount!


How many times have we bought something and then realized we could of gotten it cheaper? The avoidance of this pain and embarrassment is what typically fuels our need for discounts, often more than the need to actually save money.

In B2B, many sales reps rely on discounts near the end of the sales cycle as a way of getting stalled leads to take action. For example, it’s the end of the quarter, they are close to making quota but need more sales on the books quickly to make their bonus.

Many marketers however realize that as soon as the “D” word is mentioned, it immediately changes the game. The buying decision process moves from a pragmatic, long-term needs-based evaluation, to a short-term emotional decision. And while the sales rep is happy he/she's made the sale, C-levels need certain margins to keep the Exec Team happy. Isn’t there a way to make the sale and keep the margins higher?

SiriusDecisions recently offered this advice:

  •  Avoid turning to financial levers and discounts too quickly and look at “information voids” which may be causing deals to stall.
  • Try leveraging tools such as online savings calculators, gap templates and feature/functionality side-by-side comparisons as stimulus offers, which successfully match the needs of the prospect.
By delivering these types of assets at the right time, you will help satisfy the emotional needs of the lead by proving that your product/service will solve their problem and eliminate their pain. If you don’t have these assets, create them ASAP.

Eliminating long-term pain (right solution) is far more valuable than eliminating short-term pain (right price) and the better your assets are at communicating this, the further down the funnel your leads will go, and usually the more loyal they will become.

BTW: Offering a discount too soon is often more harmful as it raises several concerns to a potential buyer:

  1.  “I don’t even know if I want your product/service yet, why are you already offering me a discount?”
  2. “Now that you’ve given me a discount, what else can I get?"
Apple doesn’t do discounts. You want an iPad? iPhone? MacBook Pro? You will pay retail for it – but it offers a proven long-term solution.

Apple has done a great job training consumers that retail is the price everyone pays. There are no discounts to be had. Still, despite this, Apple managed so sell over 2 million iPads in less than the first 2 months since its release.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about lead nurturing

 Steve Kellogg

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

-Join me on: Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook

Images by: http://fordesigner.com

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's No Such Thing as a "Pretty Good" Alligator Wrestler


While this statement is a great starting point for many topics, if you define the alligator as Data and the wrestler as Data Management, you see where this post is going. You either have really good data management or you live with bad data.

We have found that customers that leverage data quality tools generate an average of 260% more leads per month.

Bad Data Hurts You
Like the wrestler who never really perfected his technique, you can get seriously hurt by bad data. And it’s not just the reporting that gets fouled up, it’s the loss of confidence in those reports, and ultimately the loss of confidence in you to provide accurate information that does the real damage. Once trust in data is lost it is extremely difficult to regain it. You typically have to prove yourself over and over again before any confidence returns.

It’s Not Bad Data, Just Bad Processes
Salespeople fill in fields in their CRM with any answer, just because they are required. Form fields are open text fields instead of pick lists, so anything goes.

6 Steps to “Really Good” Data Management
After surveying other colleagues both internally and externally, (thank you Astadia and Eloqua) the following Best Practices were identified:

Step 1: Establish a Standardized Data Set
Collectively establish and agree on a list of standard data fields. What fields do you consistently need to capture? Once you establish your master set of fields, make a Data Dictionary out of it. Convert to pick lists wherever possible – avoid open text fields, since there is no way to consistently score, report or segment on them. Spread the word that this is the Standard Data Set.

Step 2: Enforce the Standardized Data Set at every Acquisition Source
Review every data acquisition source and convert the process to the Standardized Data Set dictionary. Forms, list uploads, you name it.

Step 3: Append Incomplete Data fields
It’s hard to target a marketing campaign to specific Job Functions if the field is only 10% complete. Append those fields that are important for segmentation and/or scoring first. Then focus on filling in the remaining blanks.

Step 4: Build a “Data Washing Machine” to clean existing bad data
Normalize as many fields as possible. Start with all the open text fields you always wanted to leverage for scoring and/or segmentation but couldn’t.

Step 5: Merge and Purge
Clean up your duplicate records and build a process that requires a search for existing records prior to creating new ones.

Step 6: Keep the New Data, Discard the Old Data
Aging plays an important role in overall DB health. According to Eloqua, Lists older than 1 year have a decrease of 25% in open rates and 12% in CTR. Create active and inactive contact groups and treat appropriately.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about data standardization best practices

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

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 Lessons in Subscription Management

The #1 reason people unsubscribe is because they receive irrelevant emails. So assuming you have your segmentation in place, the next step is to focus on subscription management. Rather than just having subscribers globally opt out, providing the option to edit their own communication preferences is considered a best practice.

But what categories should you offer? Preferences by industry, by product type, by type of offer (newsletters, events, product updates, etc)?

Lesson 1:
I’ve seen subscription preference pages that first ask for Job Role, Industry, # of employees, etc. Understand that “Manage Your Preferences” is different than “Update Your Profile”. And while trying to combine both on the same page is very tempting, it usually results in a very busy and often overwhelming form. If it takes longer than 15-20 seconds for someone to update their preferences, you run the risk of subscribers simply checking the “Unsubscribe from All” checkbox instead.

Lesson 2:
Offer an easy way to manage their preferences AND/OR update their profile, but not on the same page. Here’s an example of helping subscribers understand the options:



The one suggestion I might make to the screenshot above is to consider changing the label: “Update Your Profile” to something like “Update Your Career Profile”. This reduces potential confusion as to the difference between Update Your Profile and Update Your Preferences, which could easily be construed to mean the same thing.

Lesson 3:
Make it easy to update both. Avoid the back button. Include a link on the Preference page to also update their career profile. Add a link on their career profile page to also update their subscription management preferences. Back button = bad. Same page link =good.

Lesson 4:
Deciding which subscription preferences to offer depends on the types of content you actually send. If you sell very few products/services you might break it down simply by type; Newsletters, Events, Webinars, Product Promotions, etc.

For those with multiple products or solutions or verticals, you’ll need to identify which core segments you typically send different content to and break it down that way. Is your content geo based? Industry based? Solution based? Product based? A good rule of thumb is to mirror the main menu options you have on your website. Is your site broken down by Geo? Solution? Product Type? Industry? Managing preferences in parallel with website navigation helps keep things in parallel.

Lesson 5:
Don’t use “Update Your Career Profile” as your primary driver to obtain/update explicit information. Keep in mind most people will never see this page unless they are about to unsubscribe and stumble upon this as they update their preferences. Better to gather this type of information through progressive profiling.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ask for additional information on this page. But make it optional, pre-populate as many fields as you can and wherever possible make the fields picklists. Finally make it clear why filling in the fields will benefit them. Try using a headline such as: “Updating your career profile helps us deliver more relevant and timely information.”

SUMMARY
Apple’s new iPad is the latest device your customers can now use to receive your emails. Together with iPhones and other smart phones, these devices have become so personalized that “invading their space” takes on a whole new meaning. People are becoming much less tolerant of non-relevant emails.

Making it easy for them to establish their preferences reduces the dreaded global unsubscribe. And since they’re already in “updating” mode, making it easy for them to also update their career profile is often an easier sell, as long it’s crystal clear what’s in it for them.

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

-Join me on: Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Segmenting the Zoo

Photo by E.G. Bucknell

Let’s say you sell wild animal food and you have a new line of vitamin-enriched foods to announce. Your target market includes all the animals in zoos.

Obviously you wouldn’t send the same announcement out to the whole database. Lions will be interested in learning about the benefits that pertain to them, while flamingos will be interested in relevant benefits to them.

So while you could send a completely different message to each of the 1,857 different animals, is this practical? How do you decide which segments are worth creating and targeting?

 Segmentation Best Practices:

Does your segment meet all of the following criteria?
  • Is this segment possible to produce? Do I have (or can I get) the implicit/explicit data to even capture them?
  • Is this segment accessible? Do I have their contact information?
  • Is this segment worthy of a different message than others?
  • Is this segment fairly stable? Do the members move in and out of this segment quickly or do they remain fairly dormant?
  • Is the segment substantial enough to be profitable?
If the answer is NO for any of the above, targeting your message to this group is probably not worth it.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about marketing segmentation best practices

Steve Kellogg

-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant
-Join me on:  Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook

Friday, March 19, 2010

Social Media: The Next Big Content Discovery Tool?


  • 80% of companies are now using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees. 

  • YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine in the world. It is also fast becoming the World’s largest product review site.

  • 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 brands are links to user-generated content.

  • 78% of consumers trust peer-to-peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements

SEARCH is a significant reason to adopt a formal social media strategy.

In fact in the near future, social media my drive an entire paradigm shift in the way we conduct search. Content may begin to find us through social media networks, rather than the other way around.

For the complete story, check out this enlightening and entertaining Social Media Revolution video on YouTube.

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

Steve Kellogg

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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Would You Buy a Ferarri if You Lived on a Dirt Road?



In a blog by Brian Steel posted back in 2008, he asked this same question.

2 years later, this is still a very relevant question to ask. The point being that your “Ferrari” (Marketing Automation tool, CRM tool, BI Tool, etc), once configured will look gorgeous and powerful in your driveway, but if you want to get the most out of it, you’ll have to:

  1. Insist the team really learns how to drive it (Training)
  2. Pave the dirt road (Develop new processes and infrastructure to support/service it)
  3. Have an up-to-date map of where to go (Discover the best destinations that will make the road trips both successful and satisfying)
If you’ve never raced before, take advanced driving classes (training). If you’ve never paved a road, hire a reputable paving company (consulting). If you need a map, hire an experienced guide (consulting).

It’s all part of “Ferrari” ownership.

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

Steve Kellogg

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Great Example of B2B Viral Campaign


Getting unknown leads to forward your marketing message to other unknown leads is no easy task, but viral marketing, when done right can generate significant spikes in overall interest in your products/services, often at far less cost than tryng to build the interest yourself.

In a recent post I outlined several key criteria that make up a winning viral campaign. In general, successful viral campaigns (success being measured as how many times a video was viewed, along with sourced visits to your website and ultimately conversions via form submits or contact) contain the following criteria:

Successful viral campaigns are:
  • Very funny and/or
  • Very entertaining and/or
  • Very irreverent and
  • Never contain a sales pitch

There are plenty of B2C viral campaigns on YouTube that meet this criteria, but how about B2B? There are far fewer examples.

Let's take data storage solutions for example. There's not much that's funny about that. But one company has created something that is very funny and offers an excellent example of how to generate B2B web traffic without a sales pitch, using viral marketing.

Watch it here:

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


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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Measuring Lead Attention Span

Here is an easy way to measure the general attention span of your active lead database. It borrows the same formula used to track Churn Rate.

definition -

Churn rate is a measure of customer attrition, and is defined as the number of customers who discontinue a service during a specified time period divided by the average total number of customers over that same time period.

So the formula looks like this:


While churn rates are closely watched by companies that depend on subscribers, such as cell carriers and cable TV operators, we can adapt this churn formula to quickly detect the overall loss of attention within our active lead database.

In our churn definition above, let’s define customers who discontinue service as: Inactive Leads + Hard Bounces + Unsubscribes, within a specified time period

Let’s also define customers as: Leads with at least 1 web visit, 1 form submit and/or 1 email open, within the same specified time period

If we do a little napkin math, here is how this might look:

10,000 Inactive Leads (measured as the total # of once-active leads but now with no web visits, no form submits and/or no email opens) during the last quarter

+300 Unsubscribes last quarter

+200 Hard Bounces last quarter

= 10,500 total leads in last quarter that no longer pay attention to us

Divided by

75,000 = Average total of leads with at least 1 web visit, 1 form submit and/or 1 email open in the last 3 months

= Lead Attention Span Loss Rate = 10,500/75,000 = 14%

So essentially, we lost the attention of 14% of our active leads last quarter.

This is a good metric to trend quarter over quarter as it tells you in general how well you are improving your segmentation, messaging relevance and nurturing efforts.

It's hard enough to get a lead to respond, much less keep them engaged. Use this Lead Attention Span metric to guage the overall effectiveness of your engagement efforts over time.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about marketing metrics best practices

Steve Kellogg

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Puppy Training Your Leads


I recently got an 8-week old Great Dane puppy. My family and I had to train her as quickly as possible, since she was already getting really big, really fast.

Top on the training list (other than potty training) were things that would likely ruin the relationship: like, no jumping on people, no dragging us around while on the leash, no sitting on us (Great Danes are the world’s largest lap dog).

Luna is now 6 months old and already weighs 81 lbs, on her way to 140 lbs. While the training continues, she has done very well. The techniques used to train her turned out to be remarkably similar to the techniques we recommend when nurturing (training) new leads.

#1: Don’t Overwhelm Them
Puppies have very short attention spans. Trying to teach them to sit, stay, heal and lay down all in one training session is too much. Focus on only one concept at a time.

The same holds true for leads. I’ve seen nurturing emails that offer 4, 5, even 6 or more multiple offerings all in the same email.. Focus on one concept at a time, one Call to Action at a time.

#2: Use Rewards, Not Punishment
Like all animals (and most humans too) dogs seek pleasure while avoiding pain. Luna made much more progress when the training was kept both fun and rewarding, Try and make things as much fun as possible when nurturing your leads.

For example, avoid lengthy forms that cause pain. Instead keep them short and as pleasant as possible. I’ve seen some very creative (and even funny) ways to ask for (and get answers to) form questions. For example,

Change "Job Title" ___________ to
“What Your Boss Thinks You Do”:____________


Change "Job Role" ___________to
“What you Really Do”________________


Change the picklist values for "Purchasing Timeframe"

Old picklist:

0-3 months
3-6 months
6-9 months
9-12 months
No plans to purchase

New picklist:

-My problem is keeping me up at night. I’ve got to get some sleep
-While annoying, I’ll probably have to wait a few months
-I’m just checking you out. So far so good, but don't call me yet
-I’m just not that into you yet

(try and make the picklist answers relevant to your target segment)

#3: Don’t Bore Them
I noticed that Luna got bored with the treats I was giving her during our training sessions. She began to spit out even her favorite treats after 4-5 offerings.

Create plenty of variety when offering treats to your leads. Don’t just offer white paper after white paper, or case study after case study. Mix it up, keep things different.

Even the look of the emails should vary. I’ve seen many nurturing emails that all looked exactly the same, no matter what the offer was.

You can keep your general branding intact and still provide plenty of visual variety. Maybe create one template for white papers, one for case studies and one for webinars, all looking very different, yet keeping the overall branding elements intact.

#4: Be Very Clear About What You Expect
My trainer told me never to repeat a command more than once. In the beginning I was telling Luna to sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, SIT. Most of the time she just stared at me. Each time I would say sit even louder hoping for a response. Nope. Wrong.

Say it once. Then if they don’t do it, show them what you expect them to do and then reward them after they do it.

You’ve seen emails that offer 8 links to the same whitepaper sprinkled throughout the message. Additionally there is a DOWNLOAD NOW button and then a few more links that all click to the same white paper. (See how annoying this is?)

This is like saying sit, sit, sit, sit, over and over. If you are including this many links, your emails are way too long to begin with.

By highlighting your link (command) once you keep things much simpler and make it blatantly obvious what you expect your lead to do.

The only caveat is to make sure the link or button is VERY obvious. Don’t hide it. The more links, the more indecisive we get. Make the ONE link to the whitepaper big and bold.

Summary
I think it's actually harder to train leads than puppies. Why? Puppies are only getting lessons from us. Same teacher, same lessons.

Leads are getting multiple lessons from every nurture program they are a part of; ours, competitors, other sites of interest to the lead, etc. It’s no wonder they are already overwhelmed.

This makes the techniques above even more important to implement. Your leads will greatly appreciate all your efforts and might just reward YOU with a sale.

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

Steve Kellogg

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sharing the Love This Valentine's Day


Sending flowers to your Sales Department is probably not something you’ve thought of this Valentine’s Day, but why not take a minute to reflect on how to make this special relationship even better.


Step 1: Identify Where the Relationship is Now

Just Dating – Sales and Marketing have a casual, non-committed relationship. Each helps the other when they get a request, otherwise both work independently.

Engaged – Sales and Marketing have made a commitment to work together in meeting each other’s needs and are exploring/testing solutions.

Blissfully Married – Sales and Marketing are successful in meeting each other’s needs on a continual basis. Marketing is continually generating highly qualified sales leads and sales is both accepting and actively working those leads.

Separated – Sales and Marketing simply ignore each other, except in meetings, where Sales blames marketing for sending over too many junk leads and Marketing blames sales for ignoring all but the best cherry picked leads.

Divorced – Sales and Marketing won’t set foot in the same room together.

Step 2: Identify and meet each other’s needs to help repair or enhance the relationship:

Typical Sales Needs:

More qualified leads
This can be accomplished by nurturing and scoring not ready to buy leads until they show strong buying signals

A pecking order of who to call first
Lead scoring manages this by providing a combined lead rating based on both implicit and explicit criteria

Better insight into lead activity
Marketing Automation tools such as Eloqua provide excellent lead activity reports that identify online activities including email click thru, web site visits by page, form submissions, asset downloads, etc. This provides incredible insight into what solution(s) the lead is most interested in.

Typical Marketing Needs:

Sales accepts the leads marketing has spent time nurturing
If not-ready-to-buy leads are nurtured, chances are sales will happily except a significant portion of them. Still, there are times when even highly scored leads will get rejected (no budget for instance). Marketing needs a process by which sales enters these rejected leads into a re-nurturing program – This is typically a link in CRM that adds rejected leads into a special re-nurturing campaign, usually driven by marketing where the emails appear to have come from the sales rep.

Plug all leaks in the sales funnel
Sales will need to fulfill on the internal processes that marketing has established to plug all funnel leaks. To learn more about how to do this, read my recent blog post on Funnel Goo.

Collaborate on continual adjustments of nurturing and scoring efforts
Marketing needs the input of Sales on how well the nurturing/scoring programs are performing. Are leads being scored too high? Too low? Is nurturing doing its job in building the relationship? A continual review of all scored/nurtured leads is essential, including the adoption of new processes. For instance there are typically certain lead status fields in CRM that marketing needs sales to keep up to date in order for Marketing to measure ROI and other KPIs.

Summary

The best relationships are those where everyone wins. The needs of each are continuously being met by the other.

It’s not that most companies aren’t striving for this, it’s just that until recently there haven’t been many of the tools which are now currently available to actually meet these needs.

Hmmm, maybe we should send flowers to all those who keep our marketing automation system running too.

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"I was told there would be no form."

You've probably spent countless hours and lots of money driving traffic to your website, where you intice potential leads with demo request forms, contact us forms, high value content download forms, etc.

If you have a relatively long sales cycle, chances are you will be asking someone to fill out multiple forms over the course of their buying cycle.

Any idea what your average form drop off rate is? You might be surprised that the average is about 90%. Yikes! That means that only about 10% of visitors to web forms actually fill them out. This is probably because these forms did not adhere to the form submitter's Bill of Rights.

FORM SUBMITTER'S BILL OF RIGHTS:
  1. I only want to fill out your stupid form once.
  2. I never want to give you the same information you've already asked me for previously.
  3. Your content better be worth the number of fields you want me to fill out – and btw, if there are more than 5 or so fields…forget it.
  4. PLEASE – make it easy! Give me pick lists wherever possible (but don't give me more than a handful of picklist choices).
  5. Don’t expect me to tell the truth (at least not initially).
So how does your current form process stack up against managing the expectations of most form submitters?

Do you ask for the same form information over and over? Are your forms too long? Too complicated? Too much?

Here's a summary of possible form solutions, from worst to best-in-class:

1. Do Nothing - Continue to present the full form every time.
  • Pros: Nowhere to go but up
  • Cons: 10% form conversion on average
2. Pre-populate known form fields
  • Pros: At least it displays what you already know about them
  • Cons: The entire form is still visible, causing noise and clutter.
3. Use a Gated Form

  • Pros: Checks to see if the form has already been filled out, if yes, then goes straight to the asset, etc.
  • Cons: Requires technical resources to develop
4. Use a Gated Form combined with Progressive Profiling

  • Pros: Checks to see if the form has already been filled out, if yes, then asks one additional question (usually a question tied to lead scoring) each time the form is presented
  • Cons: Requires technical resources to develop
5. Use a Gated Form combined with Progressive Profiling, combined with a date lookup to allow updating outdated information

  • Pros: Checks to see if the form has already been filled out. If yes BUT the information is older than say 1 year, it then displays only previously submitted data older than 1 year and requests it be updated. If all the form data is newer than 1 year, it then asks one additional question (usually a question tied to lead scoring) each time the form is presented.
  • Cons: Requires technical resources to develop
Of course, like anything else, testing will drive your decisions. Especially if you develop gated forms with progressive profiling. Maybe you can get away with asking 2 additional questions instead of just one each time, for example.

Forms are a fact of online life. But the closer you can get to adhering to the form submitter's Bill of Rights, the higher your conversions will be.

For additional form best practices, see my blog post:
You Had Me at Submit.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about form conversion best practices

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Funnel Goo

Leads cost money to generate, yet almost all companies lose thousands of dollars in lost revenue due to a leaky sales funnel. Now you can repair the leaks quickly and easily! Simply apply Funnel Goo directly to the leaks and watch as it stops them instantly.


Perfect for repairing:

• Leads that leak out after Sales has cherry picked the DB

• Leads that leak out after sales rejects those that marketing deems qualified

• Existing customers who receive no-cross sell or up-sell nurturing

• Even works on customers who leak out at the end of their subscription renewal

Funnel Goo has been especially formulated to repair even the most costly leaks, including the following:



Leak #1: Marketing generates fresh leads and hands them off to sales. Sales cherry pick the best, the rest leak out.


Leak #2: Marketing generates fresh leads and nurtures/scores them. Once qualified they are handed off to sales. Sales accepts some and rejects others. These sales-rejected leads leak out.


Leak #3: Leads purchase products and services and become customers. Yet, because there are no up-sell and/or cross-selling activities, the customer leaks out at the end of their lifecycle.


Leak #4: Leads purchase subscription services and become customers. Yet, because there are no renewal activities during the subscription period, the customer leaks out at the end of their term.

~ Ah, if it were only this simple…But maybe it is.

Step 1: Identify the leaks (chances are they include all 4 above)

Step 2: Decide which leak to repair first

Step 3: Develop a process to plug that leak

Step 4: Once the 'goo' (process) works, move to the next leak and go to Step 3

Imagine how much stronger your sales revenue would be if you did nothing else but focus on repairing these leaks this year.

SHOUT OUT
A special shout out to my Father-in-Law, a retired NASA Physicist and avid tennis player, who invented the original Shoe Goo after getting tired of wasting so much money buying new tennis shoes, simply because there was no effective way to repair his existing ones.

I like his thinking.

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

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Social Media Executive Primer Part 8

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t: Allow anyone and everyone within your organization to do whatever they want on social media sites.
Do: Develop a social media policy that outlines for your employees what they can communicate about in the online world. It’s your job as CXO to push for a social media policy and to educate your employees on it. They need to understand how they can communicate about their employer in the online world. You can’t expect your Legal Team or anyone else to understand the negative ramifications that can occur from not having this policy. But you, as CXO, understand how powerful social media can be and how one employee tweeting about issues your organization is experiencing can have some serious repercussions with your clients, potential clients, investors, partners, and other employees. It’s important to develop a clear social media policy, establish a format to educate your employees on it, and enforce some form of punishment when it is violated.

Don’t: Hire a young marketer that’s savvy on social sites without requiring they have experience in online marketing.
Do: Utilize your online marketer(s) to manage your social media marketing. They may not be social media marketing experts but they can quickly educate themselves and work with you to create your social media marketing plan. If they do not have the bandwidth, hire an online marketer with experience in social media marketing. If you don’t have the budget for a new hire, look at other employees in your organization that might have the social media marketing experience. The key is assigning one person to head your social media marketing efforts so the efforts coincide and maintain brand consistency. You don’t need 3 “Company X” accounts on Twitter or Facebook as it will just confuse and deter people. Already hired a young marketer that’s just not doing the job? It might be worth it to keep them on board and train them but if you lack confidence that they’ll get it, let them go.

Don’t: Tweet every day about your company only with no personal mix or opinions. And just let anyone follow you.
Do: Tweet at least once a week about both business and personal topics. And follow your followers. Mesh both business and personal topics in your tweets which should be done once a week, at the minimum but beware of over-tweeting/spam-tweeting! People will stop reading your tweets and your brand can quickly lose credibility. Also, follow as many people as you can, don’t just let people follow you. It shows your business is interested in what others have to say (you listen) and that you are not just a voice trying to be heard.

Don’t: Allow your target audience to hunt for you in vain in the social world.
Do: Make it easy for your target audience to find you in the social world. Let your clients, prospects, partners, and employees know that you play in the social media world. Promote your social sites on your website(s), employee signatures, and email footers. LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and others even provide logos for you to use in your marketing materials and of course they do – it’s free advertising for them. Tap into their brand strength to help promote yours!

Don’t: Send your team to get you on every social media site possible.
Do: Focus on the social sites where your target audience is most likely to be found. You should have an organized plan for your social media marketing and it’s ok to start small. The key is managing your presence well on the sites you choose to be on and monitoring what’s being said about you elsewhere. This will help you determine what sites make the most sense and better evaluate where you should focus.

Part 1-Social Media: An Executive Primer
Part 2-Define Your Strategy
Part 3-Define Your Purpose
Part 4-Define Your Voice
Part 5-Audience Relationships
Part 6-How to Start
Part 7-Measuring Success
Part 8-Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

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

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

Monday, January 4, 2010

Social Media Executive Primer Part 7

Measuring Success

Metrics from Social Media are a hot topic these days. Even the ability to actually measure true ROI is under debate. New Social Media metrics acronyms such as ROE (Return on Engagement), RORE (Return on Ripple Effect) and others muddy the metric waters even more.

Still new tools are launching every day to help make the impact of Social Media more quantifiable. Traditional clipping services are now offering daily insight into who is saying what about you. Social Media ROI calculators abound. But you have to ask yourself – so what? What it comes down to is what specific metrics do I need to make decisions?

To answer this, you’ll need to articulate your overall objectives. Are you looking to increase your website traffic? Are you looking to add qualified leads to your funnel? Are you interested in expanding the reach of your overall brand? Are you looking to increase your blog subscriptions? The list goes on and on.

Social Media Analytics

Website Traffic
Social Media that drives traffic to your website is a good (and easy) place to start. While you may already incorporate web analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Woopra or Omniture, some don’t always measure the effects of social media effectively out of the box. But 3rd party extension are now being developed that help bridge the gap.

If you use Eloqua, they recentlfy released 'sub sites' which allow website vistor tracking specifically from social media sites. There is a new application developed for use with Omniture (Now part of Adobe) that tracks page-level statistics on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook and LinkedIn. Greasemonkey offers an extension that adds a social media information layer to Google Analytics, providing information on Diggs, stumbles, delicious bookmarks and others. Do a search for “Blog Metrics” and you’ll see a host of other available apps.

As with any website traffic metric, showing the volume of traffic to your site is one thing, but you are probably more interested in conversions. How many filled out and submitted a form? If you use a marketing automation tool such as Eloqua, you can easily track conversions of any form, including the source of the submitter. If you have Eloqua integrated with your CRM you can track full closed-loop ROI reporting, including opportunities, closed-won specifically generated from your blogs, etc. Eloqua has also just released a new social media viral tool that allows prospects to easily repurpose and share your content on their own social networks. Integrated reporting helps track which social media sites are driving traffic to your website.

Even if you don’t currently deploy any website analytics, there are some stand-alone apps that will help. Here are some you might consider:

SocialToo is a tool for creating social surveys and tracking social stats on Twitter and Facebook. It also will send you a daily email describing follows and unfollows.

Xinureturns: Offers a dashboard overview of your website’s standing in social media. Run a report and you will receive stats on Technorati, Google Pagerank, Diggs. It also includes backlinks to your website.

PostRank offers detailed information on Tweets, stumbles, diggs, and FriendFeed all in one place.

Bit.ly: If you use a URL shortener, it’s a good idea make sure it has analytics information as well. Bity.ly is one such app. It will track information including the number of clicks, traffic sources, even the time clicks occur.

Blog Traffic
Another fairly easy metric you can incorporate is the “stickiness” of your blog. You can track subscriber growth, reader comments vs. views, etc. As mentioned above there are a number of tools that act like web analytics tools but are specifically designed for your blogs, posts, etc. It’s a good way to judge the success of your social media efforts on their own.

Track as Campaigns
You can segment your efforts into campaigns and track them that way, providing a campaign ID in the query string for any subsequent form submission.

Additional Social Media Metrics Resources:
http://www.radian6.com/
http://www.techrigy.com/

Part 1-Social Media: An Executive Primer
Part 2-Define Your Strategy
Part 3-Define Your Purpose
Part 4-Define Your Voice
Part 5-Audience Relationships
Part 6-How to Start
Part 7-Measuring Success
Part 8-Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

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

Steve Kellogg

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