Upon encountering several sub-optimal Marketo implementations, I’d like to share considerations that Senior Management needs to review prior to adding Marketo to their arsenal of marketing tools.
- Marketing Talent. Marketo offers a very simple interface that is easy to learn; however, functionality is quite robust and offers advanced email, lead management and automation capabilities. Inevitably, there is learning curve for marketers on your team and some may not be receptive to a shift in their day-to-day responsibilities. Ask the question whether they WANT to learn it, assess whether there is sufficient base-level skillset and provision for any external help to guide and ramp you up in your implementation.
- Technology Implications. An automation system works hand in hand and “connects” a lot of your data and processes. For example, a webinar attendee will update status in Marketo, receive a confirmation email and data will sync to CRM in real time. This adds requirements in tech architecture, systems integration, and inherently exposes any existing inefficiencies and data issues. The good news, Marketo can help the alignment across the organization; however, you should be aware that Marketo touches many parts of the organization beyond marketing.
- Change Management. The bottom line, Marketo is not just another email marketing tool. Robust functionality and cutting edge marketing practices that Marketo brings to the table increases transparency in the organization and creates new requirements to marketing team. The new marketer has to understand data management, sales process (CRM system, if connected) in addition to email marketing, and have the ability to evolve the skills to constantly changing automation practices.
The beauty of Marketo marketing solution is, you can configure to your specific business needs. The downside? If the person configuring it doesn’t have the understanding of all the moving pieces involved and still learning functionality – it creates a lot of inefficiencies. If you made the decision to invest in this solution over many down market providers, change management is important and is key to your success in utilizing Marketo functionality. Ignoring any or all of the points above puts your organization at risk of incurring extra cost, poor reporting and organizational design / collaboration issues.
Lastly, even if you have a talented automation specialist on your team (or hiring one), you will highly benefit from adding guidance from an experienced consultant or consultancy specializing in Marketo implementations. Having exposure to multiple Marketo and CRM instances gives you an advantage of utilizing best practices in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving.
Many of my fellow marketers would acknowledge that Marketing as a function was commonly viewed as a cost center. Marketing “spends” the money. Sales “makes” the money. Right? With the automation tools in the market today, things changed dramatically. This New Marketer becomes the center of a company’s revenue engine and yes, takes “magic” out of that black box past Lead Gen activities before a sale happens. New reporting gives deep insights into revenue flow and gets the marketer a seat at the decision table.
So why friends with the CFO? The Chief Financial Officer is a corporate officer primarily responsible for managing the financial risks of the corporation. Marketing, especially back in the TV commercial days was a big ticket that didn’t always yield results. Or, I should say, we couldn’t always attribute them properly. Automation tools and new CRM systems allow us to create a seamless connection between Marketing and Sales. They bring about transparency, accountability and change the way “success” is defined – from email clicks to actual sales opportunities and revenue. Campaign optimization is also taken to the next level. This revenue is predictable and can be optimized because it is basically driven by Math.
If you are trying to establish successful Demand Generation initiatives within your organization, large or small, make friends with the CFO and your Financial Operations team. They will help you get the funding for the new tools and often can help break down the barriers for adoption.
After my conversation with Paul, the CEO of GigaOM I was puzzled. What do you mean, you don’t care where your employees work from? And there is no established rule / designated tool to use to communicate with each other? “I am not worried,” Paul said, “People use what they like and then the best solution will be naturally adopted. People make it work.”
When I went to visit the GigaOM San Francisco offices, I saw it in action. People & teams communicate and work with each other in the most real way and respect each other’s “space” (you can use any free spot, so there is no designated desk either). They sit where it works for them at that moment.
I have a certain affinity to creating “my own space” but I decided to challenge myself and try FLUID rather than STRUCTURE. It’s changing how I think and perceive space around me. I find myself more focused, more creative and it’s easier to collaborate on projects. The downside? Well, it’s something new and I am experiencing some healthy anxiety…
Bottom line? I love it! Try it.
…you can have two of the three…
I came across Marketo after years of using competitive solutions. At that point, I felt quite proficient, if not slightly arrogant, using sales & marketing automaton. To my own surprise, I found myself learning a lot of new concepts. I felt that although functionality was familiar, Marketo brought something very new to the table. Marketo’s thought leadership initiatives help learn about the most successful practices that drive company revenue and connect top experts within their Community. Implementing Marketo is bound to break down barriers, cause seamless orchestration of marketing and sales functions (no more “throwing leads over the wall”) and instill transparency through built-in performance analytics. Marketo allows us marketers get the most advanced metrics, previously only available through Business Intelligence (BI) reporting, instantly and easily. The latter is what gets us the seat at the C-table where strategic business decisions are made. For me it’s not surprising to see an overwhelming interest in reporting topics at New York Marketo User Group meetings that I lead.
My story of career growth is not about climbing the ladder, it’s about learning about performance management along a fast learning curve and becoming a leader in marketing community. It’s also about expanding my marketing vision beyond marketing campaigns & analytics into sales and revenue. Marketo solution and approach to business propelled me to the forefront of what’s happening in the industry, helped me become one among those who shape the future marketing function. It also moved Marketing from a cost center to a revenue function – a great place to be for those who want to make a difference and drive efficiency within organizations.
Edited version, originally posted by Marketo Community under 2013 Revvie Awards 2013 – Most Dramatic Career Growth (log in required)
Our last new York Marketo user group meeting on August 21st had double the usual turnout and no wonder – the topic was the popular RCA, or Revenue Cycle Analytics product. We could barely fit into the meeting room!
Revenue Cycle Analytics reporting allows marketing team to provide deep insight into how programs, acquisition campaigns and leads perform very easily, without having to set up and run complex BI reports. This type of insights is highly sought in organizations and is not always readily available. By using the product, marketing people can impact business decisions and inform leadership team of the best possible scenario to reach maximum ROI and increase revenue.
Our guest speaker was TJ Kim from Marketo, Senior Manager for RCA and analyzers who did a product demo. The group had many questions and few very good discussions among users took place. I immediately thought, we should host several follow up sessions tailored to different user levels (current user, advanced, intro for beginners) – it’s a hot topic for marketers!
Key takeaways from the meeting:
- For attribution model to work, there needs to be a proper set up (e.g. lead source field, interesting moments, or progressions statuses)
- Beyond built-in standard reports, there is an option to customize your views within Revenue Explorer
- Marketers can leverage help of the Enablement Team from Marketo which is available as an add-on
- Get a bigger room for any RCA sessions!
As marketers, we need to make two major decisions: where to invest the money, and how to allocate internal resources to support your most effective programs. RCA allows to analyze marketing program effectiveness via multi-touch revenue attribution without having to run complex manual reports. This is exactly what gets us a seat at the C-table as we are able to quickly provide strategic insights into company’s investment in marketing.
Download Marketo Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics & Analytics here
(For all NY Marketo User Group meetings we use hashtag #NYMUG .)
I thought that this famous Russian fable happens to describe many of the business situations…
Once Crawfish, Swan and Pike
Set out to pull a loaded cart,
And all together settled in the traces;
They pulled with all their might, but still the cart refused to budge!
The load it seemed was not too much for them:
Yet Crawfish scrambled backwards,
Swan strained up skywards, Pike pulled toward the sea.
Who’s guilty here and who is right is
not for us to say-
But anyway the cart’s still there today.