Content Marketing from the Pros: A Quick Webinar Recap

fasttracks pngBy Jackie Jordahl, marketing coordinator for Heinz Marketing

We’re on a mission to provide rich information and education for busy B2B marketing and sales professionals. As part of this mission, Heinz Marketing developed the B2B Marketing FastTracks Webinar Series that offers marketing and sales strategies you can take back to the office and implement. The current B2B FastTracks Webinar Series was designed around the popular topic: content marketing. We’ve crafted the entire webinar series around how to create a marketing content strategy from start to finish.

To kick off the series, Matt covered the ins-and-outs of building a bullet-proof content marketing strategy. For those of you who missed the webinar, Customize, Strategize and Prioritize the Right Content Strategy for Your Business, here is a short recap of the topics that were covered, along with key takeaways.

Part of a successful content strategy includes customizing a plan that fits your target market and overall objectives. Do you know what your customers care about? One of the most common content marketing mistakes is not understanding your customer. Matt stressed the importance of understanding who your customers are and what they want, along with being able to use your customer’s pain points to drive your messaging.

No army goes to war without a solid strategy. The same goes for your marketing team; they shouldn’t be publishing or executing marketing efforts and material without an established strategy.  But how do you build a successful strategy? First, answer these three questions: What do you want people to see, hear and/or learn? What do you want people to think? And what do you want people to do? More specifically, Matt outlined five steps to developing a better content strategy:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Know your customer’s pain points
  3. Define your customer’s ecosystem
  4. Map the sales and buying process
  5. Plan to fire lots of bullets.

Mapping these five steps back to your organization’s goals will help you customize an effective content strategy.

What’s your content marketing game-plan? What are your content themes and topics? Who specifically in your target market are you hoping to reach? What are the main points associated with each topic? What is the publishing frequency? In order to keep all team members on the same page you’ve got to establish a plan.  Draft an editorial calendar that states target titles, overall theme, particular topics, and most importantly when the content will be published.

Regularly coming up with topics and themes for content can be difficult for even the most seasoned content guru which is why Matt shared several tips on how to create more and better content:

  • Write more ideas down
  • Keep a single, ongoing list of those ideas
  • Ideas, then outlines, then drafts
  • Write ahead of time
  • Use guest contributors

The beauty of content is that it can be repurposed for future content marketing efforts like blog articles, whitepapers, collateral pieces, etc. Not only does this save you a little time, but it also helps distribute your ideas through various channels. Plus, who doesn’t like recycling?

Although you weren’t able to attend the first webinar we hope this blog recap gave you some insight into how to start your content marketing strategy. If you’d like more details, you can watch a recording of the webinar now.

Don’t forget to join us for the next two B2B FastTracks Webinars to learn more about content creation and distribution as well as driving ROI and leads through content marketing.

Register here!



The 50 most influential people at Marketo’s #MktgNation14 this week

purple balloonsWe did this for last fall’s Dreamforce, and wanted to give it another shot for one of the spring’s most anticipated B2B marketing event, Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit kicking off today in San Francisco.

As we did for Dreamforce, we used Little Bird to rank the top 50 individuals in the Marketo universe (many of whom you’ll find in the halls and at the parties for the next three days).

How was this list built? Fairly simple. We started with the keyword “Marketo”, and Little Bird scoured the Web for anybody who talks about Marketo regularly. Little Bird then stack-ranked those individuals against each other, based on which individuals were followed by the most other individuals (Little Bird calls this their “insider score“, and it’s a far more accurate way of measuring influence than follower or tweet volume).

We also eliminated companies from the rankings. Some company Twitter accounts had higher insider scores than people on this list, but we intentionally wanted to focus on individuals.

What I particularly love about lists like this are the surprises.  The people you may not have heard of but who clearly have significant influence and “voice” among others talking actively about a particular topic or brand. Note as well how many journalists show up on the list for Marketo, particularly financial types covering the company’s stock progress.

So, without further adieu, below in ranked order are the most influential people talking about Marketo online, including their name, Twitter handle and Twitter bio/description.

  1. Ann Handley, @marketingprofs, Head of Content here at ‘Profs. I’m waging a war on mediocrity in content.
  2. Jay Baer, @jaybaer, NY Times best selling author, marketing consultant, keynote speaker. President of Convince & Convert (
  3. Jon Miller, @jonmiller, VP Marketing & co-founder of @Marketo. Advisor to @GetScripted, @Optimizely, @Newscred. Tweets about email, content, marketing automation & demand generation.
  4. Ted Rubin, @tedrubin, “‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ :-)”
  5. Jeff Bullas, @jeffbullas, Social Media Marketing Blogger,Strategist & Speaker,Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer 2013,Huffington Post Top 100 Business Twitter Accounts
  6. Mari Smith, @marismith, Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | ‘Mari like Ferrari’ | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian! ツ❤♫♪
  7. Jason Falls, @jasonfalls, Founder and smartass in residence at Social Media Explorer. Husband, Father, Author, Humorist. Not safe for the easily offended. I like bourbon.
  8. David Meerman Scott, @dmscott, Marketing & Sales Strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 9 books including The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Newsjacking.
  9. Andrew Ross Sorkin, @andrewrsorkin, New York Times Columnist & CNBC Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) Co-Anchor. Author, Too Big To Fail. Founder, @DealBook. Proud father. RTs ≠ endorsements
  10. Jason Miller, @jasonmillerca, Sr. Manager Content & Social @Linkedin Marketing Solutions, Blogger, RocknRoll Photographer, amateur comedian, aspiring magician. Opinions here are mine.
  11. Maria Pergolino, @inboundmarketer, VP Marketing @Apttus (Previously @Marketo), Passionate abt Demand Generation, Online, & Content Marketing. #B2BMarketer. Friend to @Salesforce. Also love wine!
  12. Scott Monty, @scottmonty, Global digital communications at Ford Motor Company, husband, dad, editor & co-host of, generally nice guy. Originally from Boston.
  13. Jim Cramer, @jimcramer, I am founder of TheStreet and I run the charitable trust portfolio, Action Alerts PLUS. I also host CNBC’s Mad Money and blog daily on Booyah!
  14. Michael Brenner, @brennermichael, Vice President of #Marketing and #Content #Strategy @SAP. Managing Editor for @Biz_Innovations. Speaker, Author and Blogger @Forbes and @B2BMKTGInsider.
  15. Cathy Harrison, @virtualMRX, “Virtual Research Director:Creative, skilled, & methodologically agnostic. Market research and social media consultation”
  16. Diane Hessan, @dianehessan, Chairman of Communispace, author, lover of all things marketing, baseball and politics. Mom to 2 fabulous daughters. My Twitter Journey:
  17. Neal Schaffer, @nealschaffer, Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+:
  18. Bryan Kramer, @bryankramer, CEO of @PureMatter in Silicon Valley. Author of Human to Human, #H2H. Listed on @Forbes & @HuffingtonPost as Top 50 Global Social CEO/Influencer.
  19. Gavin Heaton, @servantofchaos, Digital Marketer. Speaker. Instigator of Ideas. Doer of Things. Herder of Cats. GM at @AskUcommunity. @Vibewire President
  20. Amy Porterfield, @amyporterfield, I’m a social media strategist and trainer. Get my latest free training here: Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.
  21. Amber Naslund, @ambercadabra, Collaboration consulting @SideraWorks. Author. Musician. Pittie rescue mama. CrossFitter. Word Nerd. I solemnly swear I am up to no good.
  22. Paul Slakey, @paulslakey, EVP at Findly. Social recruiting. Zen student. Traveler. Runner. Amateur philosopher. Previously @LinkedIn
  23. Ardath Albee, @ardath421, B2B Marketer, Content Strategist, Writer, Storyteller and Author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale – Helps B2B companies turn prospects into buyers
  24. DJ Waldow, @djwaldow, Digital Marketing Evangelist @Marketo | U of Michigan | Co-host of The #WorkTalkShow podcast – | Lover of beer, coffee, & people
  25. Craig Rosenberg, @funnelholic, sales. marketing. revenue. student of the game
  26. Tom De Ruyck, @tomderuyck, Managing Partner & Head of #MROC @InSites Consulting | Keynote Speaker | Co-author ‘The Consumer Consulting Board’ | President @BAQMaR | Prof. @ IÉSEG | #mrx
  27. Amy D. Howell, @howellmarketing, CEO; #PR & Crisis PR; Author @WomenInHighGear Results, Wife, Mom, Investor @4MemphisMag; God lover #BA75; TN river rat; RHODES grad
  28. Michael Q Todd, @mqtodd, Hi. Recovering NZ lawyer. Author @The7PillarsBook about online presence & Winner Shorty Awards Vote #Green 2011-14. I follow back. Why?
  29. Scott Brinker, @chiefmartec, Marketing technology entrepreneur, ion interactive co-founder & CTO, agile marketing advocate, and author of the Chief Marketing Technologist blog.
  30. Heather Watkins, @heather_watkins, Run Customer Marketing @ Optimizely, Workplace Rebel & Sun Devil at Heart
  31. Phil Fernandez, @philf1217, CEO, president & co-founder of Marketo, the leading provider of cloud-based marketing software, successful serial entrepreneur & author of Revenue Disruption.
  32. Kayla Tausche, @kaylatausche, CNBC correspondent: Banks, deals, natural disasters. Native southerner & serial marathoner. (It’s pronounced TAO-shee.) News tips:
  33. Brad Bennett, @bradbennett, Kiwi Living in France. #custexp advocate through Social Media. All opinions are my own #genesyslab #custserv #sm #scrm #leadership
  34. Charles Pearson, @easyinsites, Specialists in online custom panels/insight communities and innovative online research methods, email
  35. Steve Susina, @ssusina, Chicago area B2B Marketing Technologist | Marketo fan | Demand Generator. Experienced in thought leadership, branding, content marketing & marketing automation
  36. Jay Famico, @jayfamico, Marketing and Sales Technology Practice Director, SiriusDecisions.
  37. Cindy King, @cindyking, Director of Editorial at Social Media Examiner. I also host the International Stories podcast and blog, inspiring professionals to go international.
  38. David Faber, @davidfaber, (no bio)
  39. Jeffrey L. Cohen, @jeffreylcohen, Dad, Marketing Faculty: @BallState, Co-Author: The B2B Social Media Book (, Managing Editor: @smb2b, Social Media Speaker
  40. Rick Siegfried, @rickgrind, son of 2, brother of 1, drummer of @requiem4thedead, customer marketer of @Marketo…. what i say and think is my own stupidity
  41. Brian Carter, @briancarter, Author of The Like Economy, Facebook Marketing, LinkedIn For Business. Search/social marketer, keynote speaker and trainer. Improv and stand-up comic.
  42. Charles Gasparino, @cgasparino, Charles Gasparino joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in February 2010 as Senior Correspondent.
  43. Will Scully-Power, @willscullypower, Managing Director, Datarati
  44. Betty Adamou, @bettyadamou, I make games & specialise in Game-based Research (ResearchGames™). CEO/Founder Research Through Gaming Ltd. Writer, Speaker, University Lecturer & PhD student.
  45. Dominic Chu, @thedomino, “Markets & business news for @CNBC…hunting for the perfect tee time. Now you know & knowing is half the battle! Tweets are mine, retweets aren’t endorsements.”
  46. Anne Deeter Gallaher, @annedgallaher, PA #SM, CEO #marketing #PR #IABC founder Harrisburg #SMC, author @WomenInHighGear #WiHG Powerful language. Smart marketing. Member #85Broads #BA75 #ULI
  47. Dennis Yu, @dennisyu, Facebook ROI for retailers, agencies, brands, and small biz. See what the buzz is about.
  48. Liz Courter, @liz_courter, Community Manager @Marketo. Musician, food lover, and true SCU Bronco!
  49. Richie Kawamoto, @richiekawamoto, @ImagiBrand Creative #Marketing Director who left Hollywood movie biz to get his #MBA. Fan of #Branding + #ContentMarketing + #SocialMedia + #Seattle #Seahawks.
  50. Betty Liu, @bettyintheloop, Anchor/Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg TV. Author: Work Smarts: What CEOs Say You Need to Know to Get Ahead. ABC News Contributor. Retweets are not endorsements.

Three insider tips to take your marketing plan to the next level

Guest post by Lee Frederiksen, managing partner at Hinge Marketing

Marketing plans are like many projects—easy to begin, but hard to maintain. Before we know it, we’ve slipped back into patterns that are easy and familiar. Unfortunately, “easy and familiar” does not equate to growth and profitability. To achieve those goals, your marketing plan will need to be much more deliberate. In this article, you’ll find three insider tips to make this your year of marketing success.

1.   Sharpen Your Differentiators

What came first, the chicken or the egg? In the marketing world, it’s differentiators. Your differentiators are what separate you from your competitors, helping you stand out in the marketplace.

To be successful, a differentiator must meet three critical criteria:

  • It must be true. You can’t simply make it up.
  • It must be highly relevant to your audience. Otherwise, who cares?
  • It must be provable. If you can’t show it, it won’t be believed.

Now let’s take a look at some real-life examples of differentiators used by three very different firms:

Lindquist LLP: Linquist LLP has differentiated itself in the accounting industry by providing services for labor organizations, payroll auditing, and employee benefits plans.

LBMC Security & Risk Services: In the technology industry, LBMC has developed a powerful a niche by focusing on providing IT security for the healthcare sector.

The Alford Group: The Alford Group has set itself apart from other consulting firms by focusing on growth and fundraising solutions for the nonprofit sector.

Hands down, the best way to identify your firm’s differentiators is through research. Without research, you are basing your differentiators on educated guesses—guesses that, in our experience, often turn out to be wrong. And the statistics support our experience. In our recent study, we found that firms that do frequent research achieve higher growth and profitability than firms that do not.


2.   Use Proven Techniques 

It’s human nature to fall back on what’s familiar or what’s popular. But don’t be sidetracked by techniques that work for major companies, like Apple, or by the newest, shiniest bells and whistles. If you’re going to spend valuable resources on marketing, you should use techniques that have been proven to work, and that are geared towards your specific industry.

The good news is that you don’t need to guess or waste time reinventing the wheel. There is a wealth of well-researched, public information available. You just need to know where to look. Attending conferences hosted by organizations like the American Marketing Association (AMA) is a great way to stay up-to-date on industry research and best practices. Subscribe to organizations that produce primary research, like Content Marketing Institute. With the advent of content marketing (see below), many marketing consulting firms are also sharing research on what works—Matt’s blog, which you’re reading right now, is a great example.

3.   Balancing Traditional and Online Marketing

Over the past two years, there has been a strong shift in the professional services industry towards online marketing. Why are more firms adopting these new practices?

In contrast to traditional marketing, online marketing is relatively inexpensive, it works 24 hours a day, and it is highly measurable. All of that equates to greater growth and profitability. In fact, our research showed that firms that generate at least 40% of their new business leads online grow four times faster than firms that generate 15% or less of their leads online.


While we are not suggesting that you eliminate traditional marketing tactics, it is wise to conduct periodic reevaluation. How much time are you spending on offline marketing activities? How many new leads do these tactics bring in? Commit yourself to discarding tactics that are no longer working and replacing them with targeted online activities.

Which online techniques should you incorporate? The following chart shows a ranking of online techniques used by both high growth and average growth firms in our recent study.


Let’s explore the two tactics with the highest ranking:


Blog posts are articles, videos, or infographics that are relevant to your audience. Creating and publishing blog posts on your website is well worth the time investment, as our research shows that firms that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t.

 2.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO can turn your website into a powerful lead-generation resource. SEO best practices start with a commitment to producing quality, non-spammy content. If the content is also focused around frequently searched terms, it will be easily found on Google and other search engines. For more information on SEO, check out this free guide.

Many of the online techniques on the chart fall under a larger marketing strategy called content marketing. Here’s an example of how content marketing works: consumers find your blog post by searching online. They read your post and visit your website. Next, they register their email in order to download a free whitepaper they found on your website. Now you have their email address, and you periodically send them valuable content and offers. They continue to be engaged and impressed. When they need services, they think of you first.

Putting it all together

Thanks to technology, firms now have a greater power to reach audiences and achieve growth than ever before. Effective marketing is the key to this growth, and the basic ingredients are available to all of us: the time to create a plan, the tenacity to stick to it, the humility to recognize what is not working, and the flexibility to make adjustments. Armed with your new knowledge, it’s time to take your marketing plan to the next level.

Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is Managing Partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge is a leader in rebranding firms to help them grow faster and maximize value.

Matt’s App of the Week: No Hitter Alerts

appoftheweekSometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

Now that baseball season is (finally!) upon us once more, I’ll be spending an embarrassing amount of time following games on a variety of devices.  I have the cable package at home, the MLB.TV package online, plus access to all audio and real-time updates on mobile.  I’m a little nutso, given, but I love it.

I’m already signed up for text alerts with the final score of every Chicago Cubs game (no snickering or bad Billy Goat jokes please), so between that and my handy daily schedule of game times, I figured I had everything I needed for the upcoming season.

Then Ben Packard went and created No Hitter Alerts.  Where has this been all my life??  The premise is extremely simple.  The app will tell you when a no-hitter is in progress.  You tell it how early you want to be alerted (6th inning?  8th inning?) and wait for the magic.

So maybe you get an alert and you can’t get to a screen to watch.  At least you know.  And the chance to see a no-hitter live when you can, as a baseball fan, is some kind of awesome.

Worth checking out.

B2B Reads: science, cheat sheet & shock therapy

best-blogsIn addition to our Sunday App of the Week feature, we also summarize some of our favorite B2B sales & marketing posts from around the Web each week.  We’ll miss a ton of great stuff, so if you found something you think is worth sharing please add it to the comments below.

In the meantime, here’s some of what we’re reading:

Why you should shift your content marketing focus to ROI
What priorities are you keeping at the top of your content marketing list? Measuring ROI is sometimes ranked at the bottom of people’s lists. It’s time to reconsider that ranking. Great article from Michael Gerard.

Demand generation skill set of the no-so-distant future
To be a well-rounded marketing professional, there are a lot of skill sets that can apply. Here is a list of great skills that every marketer should be thinking about. Awesome tips from Erin Kelley.

8 brilliant landing page examples you need to see
Learning how to put together an A+ landing page is tricky. It all comes down to what your landing page goals are. Great advice from Ginny Soskey.

The science of emotion in marketing: how we decide what to share and whom to trust
There are four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. Marketing campaigns that target the emotions can be very effective. Awesome stuff from Courtney Seiter.

Ultimate cheat sheet for mastering LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals. Don’t let LinkedIn slip between your fingers, but really take advantage of it and use it to its fullest. Good stuff from Pamela Vaughan.

The problem with inbound leads – A sales rep’s perspective (& solution)
Inbounds leads can either work out great for you, or completely waste your time. How can you attract better inbound leads? Great stuff from Ian Adams.

Content shock therapy: a completely biased diagnosis of LinkedIn’s publishing platform
A few weeks ago, LinkedIn opened their publishing platform to the public. It had been limited to specific influencers before. What do you think of it? Interesting post via ShareBloc.

3 newer types of content tactics to support lead gen
Generating leads can be a constant struggle for marketers. Check out these amazing new forms of content that capture leads at amazing rates. What do you think? Good stuff from Josh Haynam.

How to speak up and be assertive with a sales prospect
Sales people don’t always have it easy. They can get lucky and have someone so easily on board, or they can get negative or ambiguous people who are hard to read. Great tips from Carol Rosdobutko.

Best Practice: The Social Selling Wheel Of Destiny

wheel of destinyI wish I could take credit for this awesome idea, but one of our clients figured it out first.

It’s a small professional services company without a sales staff, but with a great reputation.  Their technical client managers have amazing relationships and referral potential, so a big part of our strategy has been to drive more active networking and social selling habits among a group of people that aren’t naturally inclined to think about this.

We did a social selling training with follow-up & reinforcement among the ranks, highlighting early success stories along the way.  Then one of the company’s partners came up with the Social Selling Wheel of Destiny.

The whole company does a daily huddle meeting every day.  It’s a 8-10 minute meeting to level-set on priorities for the day, challenges or obstacles to overcome, etc.  At the end of the meeting, someone spins this wheel to determine what the day’s social selling challenge is.  It could be reconnecting with an old client, sending a recommendation, following someone new, sharing a good article with someone, etc.

Love this idea and execution.  Makes it simple but fun, and in the meantime reinforces the regular habits and discipline required to make social selling work.

Full image below so you can read the panels a little better.

wheel of destiny

“How I Work”: DJ Waldow, digital marketing evangelist, Marketo

djwaldow“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including  Anthony IannarinoDave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.

Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions.  You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.

This week I’m excited to feature DJ Waldow, a content & social media expert who currently manages content & influencer strategy for Marketo.  He’s a fascinating guy, wicked smart about social and content strategy, and juggles lots of jobs at Marketo.  He gets stuff done.  Here, in his own words, is how he works:

Location: Redwood City, California

Current computers: MackBook Air – what else do you need?

Current mobile devices: iPhone 5s and iPad mini, but rarely use the iPad – mostly for my 4-year old (games, movies, etc)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Email (of course), Evernote as well as Evernote Clipper for Chrome (, Calendar (Outlook and Google Calendar), IM (Adium), text, Marketo (ha!),

What’s your workspace like? Paper-free for the most part, pretty clean/sparse. I have a monitor that I hook up my MacBook AIr to so I don’t kill my eyes, but find I don’t always connect it. I worked from home/coffee shops for 4 years before joining Marketo in September and, well, I guess I am a bit of a creature of habit. I have a stapler and tape (old school “essential” supplies) buried in my drawer somewhere. Though lately, I have found myself printing out essential emails/docs so they don’t get lost in my inbox. I know – killing trees!

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack? Evernote Clipper for Chrome (  is amazing. I send out a weekly email newsletter every Friday and as good/relevant articles come across my virtual desk, I can quickly add them to my “swipe file.” I also use TextExpander ( all the time. It’s GREAT for all of the replies you type over and over again. For example, instead of typing out my phone number, I type “ttl” (no quotes) and it auto-completes with my phone number. I do this for many repeatable text snippets. I am pretty diligent with my inbox – close to Inbox Zero. I delete/archive all the time.  I also use Nudgemail - - to help manage my inbox. It helps clear stuff out that I don’t need now (will “nudge” me when I want it back in my inbox). It also helps remind me of something at a later date. SUPER easy to use – and free!

What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Hmmmm. That’s a tough one. I think I am pretty good at writing – but have to be in the mood. When I am, the words just flow onto the screen.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? I have not found a tool that works for me. Let me know if you have one? Ha. Seriously though, I have my own system – sometimes pen/paper, sometimes Nudgemail, sometimes just blocking out time on my calendar to GSD.

What do you listen to while at work? Believe it or not – and I know this is strange considering my name IS DJ - I don’t listen to much music at all … at work or at home.

What are you currently reading? Orange is the New Black. Just finished Jo Nesbo’s The Police <–all of his books are amazing!

What’s your sleep routine like? We have a 4-year old and a almost 2 year old. Sleep? Routine? Ha!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? This too shall pass. See Chris Penn blog post:

Anything else you want to add? Smile. Dance. Laugh. Have some fun! 

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see CHRIS PENN answer these questions. Tell him DJ sent him!



My Must-Attend Sessions for Marketo Marketing Nation 2014

marketing-nation-summit-44-0-s-307x512By Brian Hansford, marketing automation practice lead for Heinz Marketing

Marketo kicks off Marketing Nation 2014 next week in San Francisco.  I’m excited to attend and eager to learn from the fantastic line up of sessions.  Two areas I’m particularly interested in are the sessions on analytics and and how to utilize sales in demand generation strategies. In my opinion, Marketo has led the marketing automation space with their analytics capabilities and understanding how to utilize the capabilities in-house.  (Jon Miller’s math and physics expertise was hugely influential in this, and beneficial for Marketo users.)

As always I’m very interested to hear the customer stories to learn from their experiences.  Some of the sessions may be driven by sponsors and my main hope is those are truly informative and very light on the commercial promotion. I’m also very interested to see the keynote from GE’s CMO, Beth Comstock.

So here’s my agenda for Marketo Marketing Nation so far:

Create Gorgeous Marketing Dashboards Your Executives Will Love
Apr 08 2014 8:00 AM
This session isn’t just about cosmetics.  Well-designed dashboards are critical for presenting the right information that CxO’s find valuable.

The Full Cycle: How to Budget, Plan, Execute and Measure Effective Marketing Campaigns in Marketo
Apr 08 2014 9:00 AM
This is a customer profile on how Moody’s Analytics globally deployed Revenue Cycle Explorer to generate standardized reports that can identify trends and highlight top performers as well as Marketo Financial Management to forecast and inform budgeting decisions. I’m very interested in this session.

Lead Lifecycle Management and Analytics for the Complex Sale
Apr 08 2014 10:00 AM
Mapping the lead lifecycle from awareness through to post-sale is critical. Demand generation isn’t just about capturing leads at the awareness stage. Analytics is the critical component to help understand where to engage and how.

Global Budget Management: Your How-To Guide to Creating a Well-Oiled Machine
Apr 08 2014 4:30 PM
CA Technologies will share details how they manage budgets to help optimize their marketing operations and programs.

Marketing Automation as a Powerful Sales Tool
Apr 09 2014 11:00 AM
Sales teams can help extend marketing programs and optimize bottom of funnel marketing programs. I’m always eager to see how sales can utilize marketing automation programs integrated with their CRM platforms.

Use Marketo Analytics to Deliver the Right Metrics
Apr 09 2014 1:00 PM
Campaign attribution and pipeline efficiency are critical for measuring success.  This session will provide information to help marketers get out of the Marketing 1.0 world.

Unleashing Sales Insight on your Sales People!
Apr 09 2014 2:00 PM
Marketers like to say it’s all about ROI.  I disagree.  To me marketing’s primary role is to bring efficiency to the revenue pipeline by helping shorten lead lifecycle and conversion to revenue.  This session will shed light how sales can use Sales Insights to accelerate their sales cycle.

Using Predictive Data to Accelerate Lead to Revenue Conversion
Apr 09 2014 3:00 PM
This is a panel discussion that is intended to panel discussion with marketing executives who will share their ideas about using predictive data to dramatically accelerate the rate at which leads are generated and converted into revenue.

I’m looking forward to an informative event.  What sessions are you looking to attend?


What if the FCC did regulate or prohibit social media spam?

april-fools-day-meme-brown-esDid we get you?

Earlier today our blog covered a fake story, written as an April Fools Day prank, detailing the federal government’s plans to regulate social media similar to commercial email in an expansion of the CAN-SPAM law.  As far as we know, this isn’t in the offing.  But it’s not really that much of a stretch to think it might come down the road at some point, as the use of social channels proliferates and the instances of abuse increase.

At minimum, it’s worth a quick look at your own social media practices.  Are you respecting the relationship you have with your followers?

Are you sending outbound messages, invitations, InMails and other social communication where at minimum permission or context exists?

Does the social interaction provide value for both you (the sender) and the recipient?

Worth a consideration or conversation at minimum.  Today’s joke could become tomorrow’s standard, especially in this case.

Federal government set to expand CAN-SPAM to social media

socialspamThis could get interesting in a hurry.

The United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) last night announced its intention to expand and strengthen the basic tenets of the nation’s CAN-SPAM law to include not just email but now social media as well.  According to FCC reports, this will at minimum include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and could explicitly stretch to include other social and community networks.

The details are still being finalized, but the FCC is working quickly so that these new regulations would go into effect before the end of the year, and as early as this summer.

Included in the FCC’s proposal are the following:

  • LinkedIn connection requests sent without proof of a pre-existing relationship will be subject to fines for each instance
  • InMails from LinkedIn will be considered unsolicited emails and subject to fines for each instance
  • Brands and high-volume Twitter users with high follow counts will be subject to spot-check audits to ensure documented, active relationships exist with those they are following
  • Twitter direct messages (DMs) will be equivalent to unsolicited email and subject to fines for each instance
  • High-volume blog commenting will be considered “social spam” and subject to audits to ensure content/context legitimacy and pre-existing relationships with the originating blogger

Details of the FCC’s proposal were purposely kept under wraps until after the completion of last week’s Social Media Marketing World conference to minimize an organized backlash from social media companies, influencers and power users.

I’m sure we’ll get more detail on the specific and timing of these new regulations in the coming days and weeks.

How will this affect your marketing efforts?  How at risk is your current social strategy if these regulations were to go into effect today?

More on the FCC’s proposal here.