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Why Are Marketing Automation Managers So Hard to Find?

LeadSloth

Even though some vendors have been around for almost 10 years, Marketing Automation is still relatively new. According to Forrester, only  2-5% of B2B firms have invested in full-featured Marketing Automation. But that percentage is rapidly growing. Increasingly, B2B companies realize that Marketing Automation software requires skilled operators. But – if you decide to hire a Marketing Automation manager – what should you look for, and where do you find them? New technology requires people with a new set of skills, nothing new about that. But that’s for web analysts.

7 Reasons Why Marketing Automation Projects Fail

LeadSloth

Needless to say, Marketing Automation software is very popular today. It can be used for email campaigns, drip marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, landing page management and for brewing coffee. It is often positioned as something that will solve all your marketing problems for a couple of thousand dollars per month. Okay, I made up the part about brewing coffee. Unclear Prospect Profile(s).

Marketing Automation Trends for 2010

LeadSloth

2009 was the year in which Marketing Automation really took off. See also her recent blog post Five B2B Marketing Surprises From 2009. Several new vendors appeared on the market, many existing vendors experienced rapid growth, and Marketing Automation as a term gained popularity among B2B marketers. In this post I want to focus on the trends in Marketing Automation for 2010. have asked many of the vendors, consultants and thought leaders to give their opinion. The response was overwhelming: see below for all 18 (!) predictions. Creation of buyer-centric content. The Contributors.

Guest Post: Best Practices in Marketing Automation

LeadSloth

In 2009, Lisa was recognized as one of the top five “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. By: Lisa J. Cramer, President & Co-Founder, LeadLife Solutions. There are certainly a lot of capabilities within marketing automation. As such there are a variety of best practices to be followed in order to maximize the use of these systems. Use Drip Marketing Based on Triggers.

9 Marketing Automation Metrics

LeadSloth

Marketing Automation is on its way to the peak of the hype cycle. People start adopting software because it’s cool, not because they know what to do with it. The result: inflated expectations. However, there are a couple of B2B Marketing experts who understand how to avoid inflated expectations. One of them is Megan Heuer of SiriusDecisions. Key Performance Indicators. investment-to-pipeline.

Are You Old Enough for Inbound Marketing?

LeadSloth

The tech industry is known for inventing new names for existing things, mainly to promote their own company. Great for them, but bad for customers: there’s always so much confusion about these new terms (earlier I wrote about the confusion around Demand Generation and Sales 2.0 ). LinkedIn showed this poll to randomly selected marketing professionals who work in the Tech Industry.

Inbound Marketing Automation

LeadSloth

Should Marketing Automation systems add Inbound Marketing tools as standard features? Or is it better to keep those tools separate? brought up this question in my previous blog post , and Maria Pergolino had some very good comments on which tools to use and how to integrate them for ROI reporting. That gave me enough ideas for a new post, so here it is. What is Inbound Marketing?

Review of FormAssembly Form Builder

LeadSloth

On this blog I primarily write about integrated Lead Management systems , rather than small tools. However, in a previous post I wrote about a project in which I’m replacing a full-blown Marketing Automation system with tools that add on to Salesforce.com. You can simply add form fields to the form, position or group them, and get a live preview. Advanced Features. Submission of the Form.

ActiveConversion Review - SMB Lead Management

LeadSloth

From Web Analytics to Demand Generation. ActiveConversion first became known for its sales-focused Web Analytics, such as identifying companies that visit your website (similar to Leadlander ). Therefore I initially called them a ‘niche vendor’ However, the product has evolved into a fairly complete marketing automation suite for SMB companies. Anonymous Visitor Identification.

How Are CRM and Marketing Automation Different?

LeadSloth

Last week I presented a session at Silverpop’s B2B Marketing University in Atlanta. In addition to Marketing Automation, there were two big topics: Social Media and CRM. will write about Social Media some other time, and focus on CRM in this post. Many attendees were confused by CRM vendors claiming to offer full marketing functionality. If that’s true, why would you still need Marketing Automation? So let’s dig in and find how Marketing Automation and CRM are different. Strong Features of CRM. For CRM, I focused on Salesforce.com. Opportunity creation. Forecasting. Sometimes.

MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit Boston

LeadSloth

Monday and Tuesday I’m attending the Boston MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit. About two weeks ago I attended the San Francisco event, which had a similar program and exhibitors. In this post some thoughts about the program… First of all, the best thing about this event is that the speakers are marketing practitioners, not vendors. This ensures that you get lots of real-life advice. However, there are also many different perspectives, and it’s not always easy to link them together. But, that can easily be addressed: Classify the Topics. Lead Management. Content creation.

8 Tips to Get Started with Marketing Automation

LeadSloth

“Where do I start?” is the question I get asked most by attendees of the  MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit in San Francisco. Marketing Automation is still very new for many companies, and it’s not immediately obvious how you can get started step-by-step. In this post I listed 8 ideas to address this question (and feel free to share yours in the comments!). Choose Your Products and/or Business Unit. If you start doing marketing automation or lead nurturing, first focus on the most attractive subset of your prospects. Make Sure You Have Enough Leads. Set Your Goals.

LeadSloth Marketing Automation Blog – Survey Results

LeadSloth

LeadSloth Marketing Automation Blog – Survey Results. About two weeks ago I posted a survey that asked the LeadSloth readers what they wanted to read about. As it goes with surveys, it took some effort to get people to fill it out. But this week it reached critical mass, so I was able to draw some interesting conclusions. The Most Requested Topics. The top 6 topics mentioned in the survey were: Metrics & ROI. Marketing Automation Best Practices. Lead Nurturing / Drip campaigns. Landing Pages & Forms. Social Media. Multi-channel Campaigns (not for everyone). The Favorite Types of Posts.

What Should LeadSloth Write About?

LeadSloth

I’ve been writing this blog for a while now, but I’ve never explicitly asked for your input. The topics have been diverse, and I’d like to focus a little more on what you would like to read about. So So please tell me about your preferences! Can you please fill out this questionnaire? If you have any questions, please let me know (jep on leadsloth dot com). Loading… Tags: Uncategorized LeadSloth survey

Marketing Automation ROI: Efficiency or Revenue?

LeadSloth

As a response to my posts  7 Reasons Why Marketing Automation Projects Fail and Marketing Automation ROI , several people mentioned that the benefits of Marketing Automation are not just increased sales. They are also increased efficiency. That made me think: aren’t benefits either cost savings, or increased revenue? Marketing Automation Increases Revenue. The key marketing performance indicators suggested by SiriusDecisions are all related to revenue: Marketing sourced pipeline. Marketing influenced pipeline. Investment-to-pipeline. Investment-to-revenue. Is productivity improved?

B2B Marketing University: What Do You Want to Learn About?

LeadSloth

There has been quite a bit of change in B2B marketing over the past couple of years. Buyers have moved online, which has had a major impact on the buying process. Prospects now have instant access to much more information, so marketing’s involvement reaches much further down the sales cycle: they need to nurture prospects with relevant content until they are sales-ready. Sales people are still very important, but they can focus on facilitating the buying process rather than distributing information. 10 years ago, email marketing was in its infancy. Continuing Education for B2B Marketers.

B2B Pay Per Click Advertising

LeadSloth

Interview with Terry Whalen from CPC Search. To generate demand for your products, it’s not enough to nurture the existing leads in your database. You also need a steady stream of fresh leads coming in. There are many ways to find these new leads: inbound marketing, search advertising, tradeshows, lead programs, etc. They all have their pros and cons, and most companies use a combination of strategies. have written a lot about Inbound Marketing ( social media and search engine optimization ): it’s free, but takes a fair amount of time to set up. What is your take?

Measure Your ROI on Social Media Leads

LeadSloth

On Tuesday Genius.com announced the Genius URL Shortener (GURL), which makes it easier to measure the results of social media campaigns. At first I thought: “what’s new about that?&# , and Marketo wrote a post on an alternative way to create tracking links. But when I read Ardath Albee’s post about the Genius URL Shortener I really got it: GURLs are cool! Lead Source Measurement Needs Improvement. Tracking where a visitor comes from is not a new technique. first used it inside AdWords, in which they offered cross-media conversion tracking. Let me know your suggestions.

Free Trials Aren’t What They Used to Be

LeadSloth

An important aspect of Demand Generation are the offers: what will your prospects register for? popular offer for software vendors is the free trial. read an interesting article on the decreasing effectiveness of free trials as a lead generation tool in the DemandGen Report. In the article Howard Sewell says that free trials “eliminate a huge subset of potential customers at the outset—people who (…) simply don’t want to expend the time or hassle downloading, installing and evaluating the actual product.&# Very true. Over 100,000 Downloads! Very frustrating. Developers or End-Users?

Social Media for B2B Lead Generation

LeadSloth

Earlier this year Jame-Ane Ervin wrote a great post about the results of promoting her webinar via Social Media. She got a 400% increase in leads! Now that’s effective use of social media. couple of weeks ago I met one of the founders of the site Social Media B2B : Jeff Cohen ( @dgtlpapercuts ). We started talking and he asked me to write a post about using Social Media for B2B Lead Generation, as LeadSloth has done a fair bit of work in that area. decided to limit myself to Blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter. “Twitter is getting more popular every day. Let me know what you think!

SEO Optimization - 3 Steps to Success

LeadSloth

In the last years I’ve done a lot of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) projects. What keeps surprising me is that most people think it’s some kind of black art. Basic SEO is actually quite straightforward: hence my 3 steps to SEO Success. Agreed: I had to simplify some things, so please don’t bash me on that. My goal is to expose the basic principles of SEO, not to provide a comprehensive cookbook. Side note: I mainly write about Marketing Automation, but I’ve come to believe that Inbound Marketing (which includes SEO) should go hand-in-hand with Marketing Automation.

Demand Generation Blogs Continued

LeadSloth

In the spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday I’d like to finally publish the remaining Demand Generation blogs that I enjoy reading. Earlier I published the Top 10 Demand Generation vendor blogs and the Top 10 Marketing Automation Blogs. Of course, there were many great blogs that I forgot to include, so here are the remaining ones! B2B Marketing Zone. This is more of a meta-blog, aggregating a large number of B2B blogs, including this blog. I’ve discovered several new and interesting blogs on the B2B Marketing Zone, so highly recommended. DemandGen Report. Net-Results blog.

Marketing Automation Introduction

LeadSloth

Many posts on this blog are fairly in-depth, so it was fun to write an introduction to Marketing Automation on the Genius.com blog. For easy digestion, I split up the marketing automation process in four steps: Getting more visitors to your website. Get more visitors to register. Lead nurturing and scoring. Marketing & Sales Collaboration. In addition to the overview article that I linked to above, I’ve written one post for each step. Those will be published this week and next week.

Inbound Marketing & Marketing Automation

LeadSloth

The Marketing Automation industry is evolving continuously. Many digital marketers are using marketing automation tools to automate lead nurturing. But if you want to expand your business, you also need to continuously add new leads to your database. Traditional lead sources are tradeshows or lead programs with magazines. Those are definitely useful, but the number of leads is low and the cost per lead is high. It may be attractive to shift more budget to generating leads via your company’s website. And that’s where Inbound Marketing comes in. But it can quickly get expensive. 

Interview about Marketing Automation on the Genius blog

LeadSloth

Parker Trewin at Genius just posted an interview with me on the Genius blog. It gives some background on the name ‘LeadSloth’ and my plans for the future. We also discuss some trends in the Marketing Automation space.

Freelance Marketing Automation Consultant

LeadSloth

This week I’m finishing up my day job as Sr Marketing Manager at Backbase, and will be available full-time for Marketing Automation Consulting. If you have Marketing Automation challenges, I’d love to hear from you ( or toll-free 1-888-4A-SLOTH). have hands-on experience with Marketo, Market2Lead, Pardot, Hubspot, Salesforce.com, DemandTools, various Email Service Providers, multiple CMSs (Wordpress, Drupal), and a range of other tools. Because I understand Marketing Automation in-depth, I can usually get up to speed quickly with any other tools that you may have. See you then!

Top-10 Demand Generation Vendor Blogs

LeadSloth

In my previous post I listed the Top-10 Demand Generation blog by marketers and consultants. Today I’ve put together a list of vendor blogs. Most of these vendors blogs really get ‘online marketing’, so they talk about best practices rather then just touting their products, and they post regularly. In alphabetical order: ActiveConversion B2B Marketing Blog. This is my new discovery. Recently, they are writing more posts, and some good ones too! For example, I like Six Steps to Punching Above Your Weight. Eloqua Marketing Insights and Digital Body Language. Marketbright blog.

Top-10 Marketing Automation Blogs

LeadSloth

A couple of people recently asked me which blogs I’m frequently reading. So here’s the list. Please send me your favorite blogs, because there must be lots of great Marketing Automation blogs that I haven’t found yet! BTW 1: Some of these blogs are more about lead generation, demand generation or inbound marketing, so maybe the title of this blog post is not ideal. But regardless of the terminology, these are the blogs that I enjoy most :- ). BTW 2: I have not included vendor weblogs: I will put those in a separate post. Jame Ervin ’s @Work blog (@ jameane ). Thanks!

Abandon Your Marketing Automation System!?

LeadSloth

I’m working on an interesting project right now: moving away from a marketing automation system. The plan is to go back to using only Salesforce.com with some cheap add-on tools for email, form submission and data quality. Smart or foolish? I’d love to have your input on the potential pitfalls (and benefits) of this approach. Background. The company in question has used a comprehensive marketing automation system for about 2 years. In the early days it was used to sift through hundreds of new B2B leads per day to identify the valuable leads. How to Replace a Marketing Automation System?

2009 Big List of B2B Marketing and Sales Blogs

Proteus B2B Marketing Blog

With all the micro-blogging, I’ve often wondered whether the number of bloggers who actually create original, substantial content is decreasing. Don’t get me wrong, you can create meaningful thought in 140 characters, but it’s a lot easier to write 140 characters (no matter how well crafted) than it is to consistently create original content for [.].

Sales Ready Leads: Quality vs. Quantity

Smashmouth Marketing

The topic of Quality vs. Quantity in demand gen has been a constant debate. Whether it's inbound marketing or outbound marketing there are costs associated with a lead, there are costs associated with the time and effort needed to convert that lead to an opportunity, and there are costs tied to the quality of those leads and how that impacts conversion rates. As David Greenberg, Sr. Quality Vendor.

2009 Junta42 Golf for Autism Another Success - $30k in Proceeds in 3 Years

Junta 42

  Our original goal for 2009 was $12,000. 2009 was our first year and we have every intention of participating next year. It was another perfect day for an amazing cause.    On August 14th, nearly 100 golfers and over 80 sponsors and contributors came together to raise more than $10,000 to help get children with autism get speech therapy services. All proceeds for the event go to Easter Seals Northern Ohio. By late 2008, it was apparent that this year was going to be much more challenging. All told, we feel pretty good about surpassing the $10k level. Thanks Joe!

GPS 20

6 steps to writing a better Request for Proposals, a primer

Confluent Forms

We believe strongly in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a tool for companies to find the best products and services at competitive prices, but also as an evaluation method for finding that elusive "best fit". However, too often the RFP process is run by people who have never experienced the process before, either from the issuer or vendor side, and essentially don't know what to say or what to ask.

What Exactly IS Digital Body Language?

Digital Body Language

I've been using the term "Digital Body Language" on this blog quite a lot for obvious reasons. However, I have not really taken a moment to define the term, as I realized recently after a presentation on the topic. So what is it? What we are referring to when we talk about Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual.