Marketing Automation Feed

Cartoon for the Weekend: Make Sure Your Marketing Automation Touches Are Applicable

You have permission from the Sales Lead Management Association and the Cartoonist, Stu Heinecke to copy and distribute this cartoon as is with attribution!


It isn't always easy for marketing to give prospects (and customers*)  appropriate content.   It's far too easy to snatch "something," jam it into the automated system and not think-out the needs of the end users.  It isn't enough to have your name on something and think that the touch is delivering something of value.   Garbage-in, Garbage-out;  deliver value every time.


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If you rearrange your website, don't forget to check inbound links.

Technology, security and more are constantly evolving. We have to stay on top of our websites. We need to clear out clutter, outdated items and more. But when we do BIG updates and restructure our sites, we have to remember to go back and check for fallout, or the fall-off of inbound links due to errors.

The SLMA has sponsors. 


Each sponsor gives us a link to their site for their banner ad. Most of them send us a link they can track. BUT, when these sponsors change marketing team members, structure of their site, campaigns, the links most likely will change resulting in a 404 error when people click on the ad. This makes us look bad. We have clicks but they show no conversions due to the 404. 

A great way to see what is happening is to use the search console from Google (FREE) to check for errors in the inbound links. You can see what pages are having issues and who is linking to them. This is a good task for an intern or marketing assistant to check monthly. Doing this will help you correct issues, connect with companies that believe in you enough to link to your content.

Hey, don't forget to check drip campaigns and email marketing templates, too. Once we set up these auto-pilot types of campaigns, we forget that if we restructure the links, change our provider on squeeze pages and more, we break our drip campaigns which will increase our unsubscribes and grumpy recipients. These are great tasks to add to a quarterly calendar. We have found in the past that once in a while we have a typo in a link, but then we share that same content or post with some reworking bringing along the broken link, so we perpetuate our own 404 errors. Search console will help you find those types of errors, too.

While you're at it, send the people linking to broken pages a thank you and the URL with corrected link so they can quickly find it and update it. If you make it easy, they will usually do it for you. 


Tips on Using Marketing Automation for B2B Industrial Companies: Listen While You Work

 Listen to Fred Yee as he gives advice on converting sales leads that have a long sales cycle. 

Long Sales Cycles are difficult enough for salespeople to keep top of mind, much less gearing up a marketing automation program to do it for you. Too many marketers are so short of content that the longer the sales cycle the more likely that the content and communications may be lacking in specificity for each prospects need.  During this live program, Fred Yee, CEO and founder of ActiveConversion discusses how to use the “smarts” in marketing automation to your advantage for long sales cycles. The host is Jim Obermayer.

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Vista Equity Partners Acquires Marketo for $1.79 Billion

Significant news, while posted on the SLMA Home page is also posted on our blog. 

Vista Equity Partners to acquire all outstanding Marketo common stock for $35.25 per share

  ImagesSAN MATEO, Calif, – May 31, 2016 – Marketo, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTO), the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading private equity firm focused on investments in software, data and technology-enabled businesses. 

The terms of this all-cash deal provide substantial value to Marketo

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Cartoon for the Weekend: That came From our Marketing Automation Program?

This cartoon is one of many that appear in Stu Heinecke's new book, "How to Get a Meeting with Anyone."

I think marketing automation came about for two reasons:

  1. Desperation for sales lead follow-up when sales management failed to enforce a 100% sales lead follow-up policy on the part of its sales people
  2. Marketing learned it can do it with email nurturing of  inquires and sales leads without begging someone else to do it.  Note:  See Sales Management's Biggest Opportunity for Failure.

Why it Matters:


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Is Marketing Automation Leading or Bleeding Edge? Listen While You Work!

In this interview with Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD we discuss how to avoid being part of the 87% of marketing automation users who fail. The host this week is Susan Finch.   Lively program, great insight. 

It’s one thing to buy a marketing automation tool and install it. Its another thing to use it every day to manage and nurture, your most precious asset: sales leads. And yet some would say that this leading edge technology could be aptly named bleeding edge because of the effort it extracts from the users to make it work.

Justin Gray , CEO & Chief Marketing Evangelist

You might know Justin from the incredible amounts of quality best practices content

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A Story: How a Marketing Manager Learned to Build a Demand Creation Plan Based on Sales Quotas

IStock_000018180137Small“How do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on marketing, and how many inquiries and leads to produce?”

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Posting to various social media venues requires a change of content.


Every social media venue has it's own language and style of posts. Some are hashtag laden, some prefer warmer stories, and some are all business.  You wouldn't wear the same outfit to a wedding, a business conference, a BBQ and a cocktail party - or would you? If you think one look covers it all, you may want to stop reading. If you only think you need to change shoes, stop reading.

Let's first cover the posting, not commenting styles for these venues that are often or exclusively used for business.


Include a LINK to something, unless you are sure that the inspiring quote you are posting is a standalone. But you have my attention for that VERY brief second or two - make it count. 

Find the company or people you are referring to and @mention them to give them an alert that someone is talking about them.

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How Can Marketing Automation Build Revenue?


In this short SLMA Radio interview, Lars Helgeson, CEO of GreenRope makes the case that the right marketing automation program can definitely build revenue and users can measure the ROI from the campaigns. But how it does it is not necessarily what we have been taught to think. 

Certainly every marketing automation program makes this same claim, but as Lars points out, not every program can integrate all of the points of contact and properly allocate each one to understand what is contributing to sales.  You get the feeling it is working but you don’t know why.

Lars says that the right program can help businesses to understand what is driving people to take action on your site.  Yes, he gives us examples from GreenRope’s software product, but in doing so he easily points out the issues with so many software applications that boast and fail to perform. 

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A Report on the State of Marketing Maturity: Users are getting business value but not following best practices!

Slma-recommended-187Spear Marketing,  a B2B demand generation agency, released this month a free report on the state of the use of marketing automation, with some surprising statistics.  These statistics can serve as a guide to companies using the technology or considering purchasing the software.  The ‘State of Marketing Automation Maturity’ report is based on the results of more than 100 (a minimum statistical sampling which makes it reasonably projectable) marketing automation users’ responses to an email marketing and social media request. 

MA Maturity Survey Report Cover ImageThe agency started with a hypothesis that marketing automation is underutilized by B2B companies that have the product.  The respondents were assigned a grade depending on a best practices opinion (by the agency, I assume).  The primary result is that current owners are underutilizing the software, with the implied implication that this under-utilization comes at a high price in lost revenue.   Spear Marketing states that the users are “achieving real business value,” but have much room for improvement.  In many categories, they contend best practices in marketing automation are relatively uncommon.

The report broke out the results into the following categories (answers and pie charts):

  1. Analytics and Reporting – Six questions
  2. Programs – Nine questions
  3. Forms and Landing Pages –Four questions
  4. Lead Scoring – Eight questions
  5. Data – Five questions

Aside from the 32 charts and results based on the five categories, there are “17 Key Results” listed.

I am most interested in the analytics portion, which showed:

  • Do you measure and report on the pipeline contribution?
    • Answer: 77.3% said yes.
    • Do you measure and report on the revenue contribution?
      • Answer:  58.6% said yes. 
      • Have you defined the stages in your company’s sales cycle based on industry standards (MQL, SQL, etc.)?
        • Answer: 69.5 % said yes. 

I recommend that readers of this report who have their own marketing automation system in place create a score card to measure themselves against the results, and then make the needed changes to get the most from their system.  Getting the most to me means increases in revenue, or why else would you do this?  There are many actions to take for users that are not immediately measurable in revenue but taken together everything counts.

For those who do not have a marketing automation system in place, the report can provide a road map of how to get the most from your system as you implement it.

When asked which marketing automation platform the respondents used, they reported:

Get report here.


Note:  Spear Marketing and Act-On are both sponsors of the SLMA.  Eloqua, HubSpot and Marketo have sponsored various programs in the past but are not currently sponsors.