Please describe your organization.
We are a consulting and managed services company working with enterprise-level clients. We focus mostly on the B2B [business-to-business] space and work to deliver marketing and sales solutions. We deliver four core solutions for our clients: demand creation, lead nurturing, sales enablement, and loyalty and retention solutions all with the goal of accelerating the buyer's journey and generating more sales for our clients.
What is your role and responsibilities?
I'm the corporate marketing manager. I'm responsible for the strategy and execution of our marketing. I manage the campaigns that allow us to deliver our solutions and value proposition across multiple digital channels.
What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for a content marketing platform? How do you implement Marketo?
I started with this company about two and a half years ago. They had already implemented Marketo, but it wasn't being used to its full capacity. The team prior to me joining used Marketo very simple one-off email campaigns and simple data-based management with the tool. Prior to coming here, I had an extensive background using Marketo in my previous role. I was Marketo technically certified. When I got here I shifted our use toward multitouch campaigns, set up nurturing, and set up an inbound lead management program within the tool. It was a two-part process: one, set up multitouch campaigns that when people came into our system or downloaded a form or something we kept continually engaging them and tracking their behavior. Then as a more robust data management qualification tool so once people got into a certain cadence with us or interacted with us on multiple levels, which then has the ability to qualify them and send them over to sales for further qualification – hopefully for a final purchase.
Did your company have a formal selection process for deciding on a content marketing platform?
Marketo is perfect for us. I have worked with other marketing automation platforms. Others are more complex or just email focused and not true automation. I think Marketo is perfect for us because it's a simple tool that can be managed by one or two people. It doesn't require a lot of IT [information technology] or technical skills and does not require a lot of configuration. It's an agile system, and it allows are company to move very quickly.
Did you initially begin with the platform's free version or trial period? What pricing plan does your company currently utilize?
Marketo uses a database subscription model so their pricing goes up as the contacts in your database increase. Our company has less than 100,000 contacts, so we pay around $40,000 a year to implement Marketo, which is actually pretty expensive as far as marketing automation tools go, but we get a discount because we're a Marketo partner. As far as value for our money, this is a twofold question. I think the system offers a lot as far as usability, and what you can do with it.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your content marketing campaign since initial implementation of the platform?
Our inbound traffic has gone up a ton. People who have come to our website, filled out the contact form, and qualified as good lead through the Marketo system has greatly increased. When I first joined this company, we received 350 total inbound leads for the year. Last year, I think we doubled that if not a 60 percent to 70 percent increase.
We are now able to implement and develop a qualified lead process. No one before was able to say, "Hey, this lead came into the system. Are they in our right demographic? Are they doing the right behaviors? Yes. Send them over to sales." We use Marketo to say what triggers and behaviors we want to look for to indicate whether the lead is worthy of a sales call. Marketo has helped us to qualify and generate leads. Marketo has improved our inbound marketing and ability to nurture qualified leads. With Marketo, we are able to get leads to a place where they're worthy of a sale and tracking their behavior. Without Marketo, we wouldn't be able to do that.
Were there any software features or tools that you were really impressed by that potential buyers should be aware of?
I enjoy Marketo's alerts that are sent when certain triggers are hit. For example, you are able to set up campaigns to say, "if X lead does this, send an alert to the sales and marketing team." The alerts are real time and our team gets excited when a potential buyer sets off one of the triggers.
Are there any areas of the platform that you feel are not intuitive or that you feel could be improved upon?
I think that Marketo lacks on the services side. I also work with Eloquent, so I'm using that tool as my comparison. On the services side, Eloquent does a better job of implementing a customer success manager. I'm not really affected by the lack of a success manager because I know the Marketo system very well. However, I wish there was someone on the Marketo services side to say, "Here are the new things we're rolling out. Do you want to implement this? How do you see yourself using it in the next six to 12 months? Let us help you get there." For what our company is paying, I wish that was an aspect that was more involved. Marketo's analytics functionality has always been a lacking area for me. In their reporting section, they give you rounded data. So, 1,000 people opened this email, but you can't dive deeper to see who those people actually are. You have to go into another section of the platform to get the individual people who actually took an action that you would like to pull a report together on.
We ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the top score. What would you give the platform for ease of use and implementation?
Four and a half.
What would you give the platform's features for desired functionality?
Three and a half. I think Marketo has room to grow. I think it could get more advanced. For a small company like us, I think it works great because we don't have a lot of demands, and we are not doing a lot of advanced marketing. But, if we were a bigger company and wanted higher-level customization, the features wouldn't be there.
For support, as in responsiveness and resources available?
Two and a half. As someone who's experienced in Marketo, I know support has been dead wrong before. If you want high-level support you have to pay for it. I don't think that's right. I'm not a fan.
For overall usability and satisfaction with the platform?
Four and a half. For what we need to do it's great. It's easy to use and quick. I can turn things around fast. I can do basic reporting that I need. I can get data that I need out of it. For our particular uses, it definitely does the job.
How likely are you to recommend the platform to a similar business?
Five. If they're enterprise probably a lesser score. But, if you're an SMB [small- and medium-sized business] or a small company, I'd recommend it for sure.