Marketo's marketing automation software provides tools to easily create, optimize, and manage social media initiatives, email campaigns, events, and content distribution across channels. The software also features CRM integration, a sales insight dashboard, and robust analytics and reporting tools, including the ability to track and compare influence and ROI over time and across efforts.
Pricing for small and medium size businesses starts at $1,195 per month, and goes up to seven figures a year for large enterprises.
Mike Turner, senior marketing manager, lead-to-revenue at Beechcraft, has been using Marketo since March 2013.
How do you use it?
Our primary purpose in using Marketo is to generate a greater volume of high-quality leads for our sales teams. We use all aspects of the system to help nurture customers through their buying process to get them to the point that we'll deliver better qualified leads than we were able to deliver through traditional marketing tactics that we used in the past.
When we log on we have what are called nurture streams that are developed for various stages of the lead lifecycle. We have non-owner, prospect, customer, and new customer streams, and more. Within Marketo, we set up a series of emails with various types of content that are applicable to each stream. Then we send the emails through Marketo on a cascading basis.
We can track who has opened what and what they have or have not engaged with. That enables us to begin the process of evaluating the status of individual people we've contacted.
Marketo has fantastic analytics tools that enable us to set up and model what's called the revenue cycle model. It's a structure that sits in the background of Marketo that tracks the progression of people from anonymous, to known prospect, to qualified prospect that we send to the sales team. We can take the interactions we're having with a customer and produce analytics that tell us who is in what stage, how that stage is progressing, and more.
If we have a problem, we call or email Marketo directly and basically create a case.
We also use a third party consultant called LeadMD that helps us with Marketo's platform. We hired LeadMD because we needed to get Marketo set up and structured for us quickly. It's extraordinarily easy to use, but there are some complexities. To take full advantage of it, I highly recommend using a resource like LeadMD to help accelerate that path. You can certainly figure it out on your own, but it's going to take some time.
How does it serve your business needs?
Marketo is a very sophisticated, extraordinarily powerful system to enable businesses to manage how they market to customers both online and offline. It represents a fundamental change for companies that have only been doing traditional marketing, for example basic emails, ads, and direct mail. It provides an immense level of depth and power that gives us much more control over how we market.
We sell airplanes and we also service them, so there's an aftermarket component to our business. Because those are two completely different paths, we built two revenue cycle models – one for sales and one for the aftermarket piece.
We built nurture streams around each revenue cycle model based on lead lifecycle and deliver content within each at certain times.
There are also stages within each stream. We engage them with early stage content that helps them in their business or that helps them understand why they should being doing certain things. Over time, they move into the middle stage and the later stage and get content that's more focused on product specifications, use case studies, how-to guides, and more.
A big part of the methodology we use is understanding our customers' personas, such as the different types of people who are buying our products, what they do with them, what their challenges are, and more. For example, issues that a lead pilot at various companies will deal with every day may or may not relate to an airplane. The more we understand those challenges, the better able we are to understand what kind of content that audience needs.
Marketo helps us mange who we deliver content to and monitor and measure the interaction with them over time. This allows us to create much better qualified marketing leads.
With traditional marketing you can get a bunch of leads, and when the sales team wins one you'll probably hear about it because of the revenue. But what happens to leads that are lost? Marketo allows us to re-engage those people with continued nurturing. The term Marketo uses is “no lead left behind.” If a lead didn't buy, we can recycle them back into the system and re-engage them, and this enables us to be more efficient.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
Marketo has the flexibility to interface with almost any other system. We have it integrated with both our internal customer database and are working toward integrating with our internal CRM system. We don't currently have it tied with our social marketing efforts, but we will integrate that by the end of this year.
What are the main benefits?
It provides centralized management for marketing activities. It is extraordinarily powerful and easy to use. Integration with other systems is relatively simple.
What are the main drawbacks?
The primary drawback for me isn't about Marketo per se – it's about the organizational change within marketing and sales departments that has to come about in order to leverage the power of Marketo.
My biggest day-to-day challenge is educating our internal marketing and sales teams to help them understand Marketo's potential.
Our internal teams are starting now to understand more about Marketo, and they want it. That's great because that's the whole purpose.
What would you like to see improved/added?
One of the wonderful things about Marketo is an interface called “Marketo Community” that enables users to submit new ideas. There are currently hundreds of ideas submitted, and the whole process makes Marketo a much better product over time.
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