Author: Cassidy Milder
Every growing organization has important thresholds to cross. For startups, the thresholds could include the day you incorporate, the day you get your first investment, or the day you start making a profit. But growing companies can hold themselves back when they grow beyond the tools that they use. That’s when it’s time to evaluate a new platform.
Flash back to 2015: We had just achieved 100% year-over-year growth. While our demand generation team celebrated this victory, we knew that with a lead database swelling to 70,000 entries and counting, we needed to embrace a more sophisticated, enterprise-grade marketing automation platform. Markets are exploding, so why go one-to-one when you can go one-to-many? That was the question that led Modernize to adopt Marketo.
Here are three ways that Marketo has allowed us to tackle the challenge of scaling our marketing processes for growth:
1. Reach Everyone at the Right Time at Scale
With our previous platform, we could reach a lot of people at once, but only by manually building lists in Excel and then uploading it to our system. Making the move to a more sophisticated marketing automation system allowed us to easily scale up from lead numbers in the hundreds to the tens of thousands.
Now, with our new instance, we can reach our entire database with one email blast if needed, while also maintaining the ability to segment and personalize. We can create smart lists that pull audiences based on data already housed in the system, and as we bring in new leads, we can build and update all kinds of information—from geographic location to company name and industry. We can also keep track of behavior, such as when a recipient opens an email, clicks links on landing pages, and more. The ability to connect with thousands of leads without all the grunt work? Now that’s truly priceless.
Example of a Marketo Smart List
Relying on outdated or manual marketing processes can make your engagement approaches seem slow and out-of-touch in this age of highly-focused data. The words “personal” and “automate” rarely go hand-in-hand, but with an engagement platform, we’re able to stay relevant, positioning us to strike at the right time, such as when they become sales-qualified. In other words, we can cut right to the heart of our prospects and customers’ needs, and reach out to them in the ways that are most appropriate based on their actions and behaviors.
2. Communicate Through Every Stage of the Lifecycle
With a growing audience comes unique buyer’s journeys—with people at all stages of the customer lifecycle. Our previous platform limited us to the bottom-of-the-funnel. We only reached out to highly qualified leads who knew about our brand and had shown direct interest in what we had to offer. But as our business grew, so did the rest of our funnel, leaving our team scrambling to provide resources and content to prospects in the early-stage who were not yet qualified, but had engaged with us in some way.
Marketo not only helps us track each buyer’s unique journey, but it also helps us track their activity across channels—on our websites and landing pages, social and display ads, and email opens and click-throughs—which was almost impossible to tie together with our previous platform. All this information is housed in our new system, so our marketing team can keep track of lead scores and get a better understanding of where they fall in the sales cycle. Instead of just classifying leads as “qualified” or “not qualified,” we can define what actions differentiate a marketing engaged lead (opened an email) from a marketing qualified lead (filled out a form and matches our target criteria) from a sales qualified lead (received a demo from a salesperson). We can send top-of-the-funnel content to engaged leads and later-stage content to marketing qualified leads, all while following which assets move them down the funnel.
3. Analytics, or It Didn’t Happen
Every marketing team knows: an A/B test is only as good as your end data. But measuring data reliably across marketing and sales teams is difficult—if not impossible—without a unified system.
Activity tracking from a sophisticated automation platform goes way beyond content segmentation—it’s also how we optimize our messaging and measure ROI on campaigns. For example, let’s say we have a subject line that’s worked well for a long time, but most of our database has already seen it. To avoid exhaustion, we’d like to find another strong option. To minimize risk, we can pull only a small, random sample of our target audience and use this as a test group—let’s say 10%. We use the other 90% as a control. With advanced analytics, we can see the open rate for each; if the new subject line meets or exceeds the opens of the old, we’ve been successful.
The same idea holds if we’re A/B testing a CTA inside the email—we can track important email KPIs to gauge its impact. We can even look at how the time an email was sent effects opens and click-throughs, as we did in the example below.
Additionally, marketing can see how many top-of-the-funnel emails leads received, how many pieces of content they engaged with, and more to understand how they were nurtured and whether the nurture stream they were part of was successful. Most importantly, we can truly track a lead from creation to customer, and there’s nothing more valuable than that. With our new marketing automation platform, we can track how the marketing team’s efforts have impacted ROI for the company by identifying which marketing asset pushed a lead from “marketing engaged” all the way to “sales qualified” and then a closed-won deal.
At Modernize, we sell our homeowners on innovation and efficiency—so using the most sophisticated tools to run our business just makes sense. Here’s to a brighter—and highly automated—future!
Have you recently made the move to a more comprehensive marketing automation platform? Share your own experiences below!
Editor’s note: If you’re running into limitations with your current marketing automation solution, check out our ebook How to Adopt Marketo After Using a Different Marketing Automation Platform.