Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation (Marketo Blog)

I recently was asked to be a contributor to a post by Marketo discussing the Dos and Don’t of Marketing Automation in their Marketing Automation 101 blog.  The full article is posted below and can be found by clicking on the Marketo image, please let me know what you think of my feedback within the comments section, or by sending me a tweet @marissapick. Enjoy!

Marketo-Logo-Large

Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool with the ability to greatly increase your conversions.  However, in order for marketing automation to be effective, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should understand, including how it fits into the larger context of your business. Based on information collected from experts in the marketing field, let’s look at the specific do’s and don’ts for marketing automation

“Marketing automation plays a key role in the customer/client acquisition process as it automates lead scoring, routing of qualified leads, nurturing those that are not ready to buy, and greater transparency into prospect/customer behavior on its own. It is important that a CMO and his/her team understand that marketing automation, as with any technology solution, is an enabler to their business strategy vs. a strategy on its own.

-Andrea C. Levine, Chief Outsiders,(@andreaclevine1)

DO FOCUS ON YOUR TARGET

​Unfortunately, marketing automation does not automatically recognize your best target audiences.  As a result, it is important that you are knowledgeable in regards to your personas.  If you are not 100 percent certain who you are targeting, there is a good chance that your efforts will not reverberate with anyone.  Obtaining well defined personas gives you the chance to create more concentrated campaigns through careful segmentation and targeting.  When segmenting and targeting are done correctly, it will lead to increased engagement, as well as more conversions over time

“Do personalize your B2B (business to business) marketing. The last time I looked, buildings and factories don’t process PO’s and write checks. People do. Use marketing automation to build segments to provide the right content, and the right time, to the right people. An IT director for a $50 million financial services company will have different needs and interests than an IT network administrator at a $200 million medical device manufacturer. Share stories with people that matter to them. Don’t talk AT them. Use marketing automation to personalize content based on buying stages, roles, companies, industries, and regions.

-Brian Hansford, Heinz Marketing, (@RemarkMarketing)

DO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CANNOT “SET IT AND FORGET IT”

​While it can be easy to simply set everything up and move on to something else, this is not effective. You will gain the most from marketing automation by frequently revisiting, reevaluating, and adjusting your settings based on their performance. This also applies to social media. It can be very easy to schedule tweets ahead of time that are completely irrelevant when they are finally published. Keep track of what is coming up and readjust messages if needed.

“Do take the time to create your content strategy, and assess your people and the process changes that will be needed prior to investing in marketing automation. Marketing automation is a must-have technology for digital marketing programs, providing the visibility and automation necessary to execute on strategy, and the lack of it can result in failure. Given the functionality that marketing automation makes available, it’s also critically important to determine goals and how you’ll measure them to set up the appropriate lead-scoring scenarios and progression planning that gets contacts to a qualified state that your sales team will appreciate.”

-Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions, (@ardath421)

DO URGE YOUR MARKETING AND SALES TEAMS TO POOL THEIR RESOURCES

​In the past, there has been some tension between these two teams, but marketing automation should reduce that.  Using marketing automation, your marketing team should be able to provide higher quality leads to the sales team.  In addition, it provides integration and analytic features to help the teams work together to identify certain business opportunities to follow.

“It’s critical to come to an agreement with sales on lead definitions and process steps.  Working with sales can provide feedback and data on lead quality and opportunities for future campaigns, which marketing automation can support.”

-Brian Hansford, (@RemarkMarketing)

Don’t Think Marketing Automation Will Create Your Content For You

​While it does not create content for you, it will point you in the right direction as to how to push your content.  Essentially, it acts as a delivery system between your audience and what you already have in place.  Use data analysis to make automation benefit your business.

“Do leverage data and analysis to make automation work for your brand. Review, revisit, measure and adjust to understand the full range of data triggers from your campaigns and get the most out of your automation. Take advantage of the rich behavioral data provided by marketing automation to create more focused, personalized, and successful campaigns.”

-Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

DON’T USE MARKETING AUTOMATION TO CREATE SPAM MAIL

​Marketing automation has numerous email capabilities that can potentially be used to spam prospective and existing clients with unnecessary and unwanted emails.  Do not give in to this temptation.  It will only backfire!  Instead use it to your advantage, as well as that of your current and potential clients.  Examples include using marketing automation to create a monthly newsletter or any number of follow-up actions based upon how a lead reacts to an original email.

“Don’t commit email spam by merely automating the recipient’s first name, you must step up your game and deliver more personalized and engaging content. You must ensure emails sent through automation are customized for the individual reader, and leverage the sophistication of your platform. Your clients must feel as though they’re receiving communication from humans, not robots.”

-Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

DON’T ALLOW MARKETING AUTOMATION TO LET YOU BECOME LAZY

​In order for marketing automation to truly work, you have to come up with something to automate.  Simply utilizing the extra time you have to think about other initiatives, such as how to effectively reach clients in a more personalized way.  When content is personalized and tailored to meet a client’s specific needs, they are more likely to convert.  By spending your extra time getting to truly understand your audience, you have the potential for even bigger payoffs.

“Over the past few years, marketing automation has rapidly evolved and has enabled marketers much needed ease in performing daily tasks at work. One of the most important things to remember before embarking with marketing automation is that it’s a technology not a strategy. It’s simply a tool available to help leverage the desired results from a more cohesive and planned strategy. Marketing automation should allow your brand and people to take advantage of the efficiencies gained by focusing times and efforts on other parts of the business, by automating otherwise time-consuming tasks.”

-Marissa Pick, (@MarissaPick)

“Do not ‘set it and forget it.’ The beauty of marketing automation is that it can relieve marketers from manual tasks. This ‘freed up time’ should be redirected into monitoring and refining, to continuously improvement the programs run by your marketing automation platform. Even if you’ve done the research and groundwork to create your content strategy, it’s still a ‘best guess’ until it’s in execution. With continuous improvements, marketing campaign performance can reach heights you might not have thought possible. Don’t settle for good enough when you’ve got the potential for greatness.”

-Ardath Albee


Marketing automation has proven to be very valuable for both marketers and clients.  Businesses will appreciate the increased lead conversion rate, while clients and customers appreciate their improved online experience.  By taking the following tips into account, you can ensure that marketing automation works most effectively for you.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Inspired by a slideshare posted by Natascha Thomson, The 10 Rules of B2B Social Media MarketingI wanted to share my top five rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success.  Let me know if you agree, or what rules you follow by tweeting me @MarissaPick.

#1: BREAK THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!

  • Social media provides a way for marketers to test the waters and try something new.  Social media is an exciting and new space to experiment, and see major returns.  Break the rules, have a little fun, and as a brand let your corporate hair down.  Social media gives a behind the scenes look into a person or brand, and can help to facilitate deeper engagement with your audience.

#2: KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign.  All social media platforms are not the same, so leveraging the proper channels, and having a way to measure your campaign is so very important, and sadly often over looked. Think strategically and decide what you’re going to do before you launch, and start small, you can always expand once you have results.

#3: SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY WORKS!

  • Natascha shared a great statistic from Forrester Research within her SlideShare deck, “85% of business decision-­‐makers said at least one social media channel is important when making technology purchase decisions.”  Social Media has the power to influence the decision makers.  When leveraged properly social media channels are a great place to share content to help influence and drive decision making at the very early stages.  Make sure you have solid content which targets and engages with  your audience.

#4: ENGAGEMENT = ESSENTIAL

  • Social Media is a platform to drive conversation and any post should always focus around engagement.  It doesn’t matter if you have 20,000 or 200 followers, what matters is that you have a captive and engaged audience.  I find visual content works well for my account to drive the RTs, Likes, and Shares.
  • Quick Tip: Find a quote or stat and download the Quoter App. It’s a great tool to brighten up your content, and quickly share on social media.  I shared the quote below from MarketingProfs Ann Handley during the recent NYC Social Media Week.  Since posting this to my account it has generated 45 ReTweets and 38 Favorites making this one of my most popular posts to date
  • Bg7px1pIcAA033h

#5: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Why should your audience follow you, and what’s in it for them? You need to answer this question, and them means the people within your social media community.  It’s crucial to wear their hats and build content which excites, engages, and motivates your audience. Know your audience’s needs, and be the source they go to get information and content. This takes me back to the top rule, always have fun and mix it up!

2014 #SuperBowl MVP: The #EsuranceSave30 campaign and the brillant use of #SocialMedia

During the 2014 Super Bowl I gathered with friends for a relaxing evening of football, wings, and of course watching the new and expensive super bowl ads! Thoroughly under impressed with this year’s game as well as the ad’s the Esurance commercial which ran immediately after the Super Bowl ended was a breath of fresh air.

The ad featured actor John Krasinski telling viewer’s how Esurance saved 1.5 million dollars by running the ad after the game ended. In order to pass on the savings, Esurance will be sharing the $1.5 million (the 30% discount the company saved by running the ad after the game) with one lucky winner who enters the contents simply by tweeting with hash tag #EsuranceSave30. Krasinski will be reveling the winner of the $1.5 million dollars on Jimmy Kimmel Live this upcoming Wednesday after the contest’s 36 hour period runs out. Genius.

This is one of the simplest uses of a hash tag to drive social media engagement both online and offline. Why do I love this campaign so much? For the below five reasons:

1) Since this ad aired under 24 hours ago, it’s received more than 2.1 million tweets using the hash tag for the campaign #esurancesave30. Talk about some serious online buzz.

2) 200,000 of the tweets for the campaign came within the first minute of the ad airing. Some serious instantaneous ROI and Interest!

3) The campaign as of this morning has received over 1 billion impressions. Showing not only that the online world reacted immediately, but people shared, followed, and engaged hoping to be the big winner. (i’m equally guilty for my shameless tweet)..

4) The @esurance twitter account has received a massive bump in followers, since the commercial aired the account has increased its follower count by over 90,000! With thousands of Retweets & Favorites on each post the account has some serious engagement going on with it’s end users.

5) It’s a short, sweet, and effective campaign successfully tapping into the 61% of Super Bowl Viewers who share ads on
social media (Source:Mashable). It drove discussion online, and will most likely drive a bump in viewers tuning into Jimmy Kimmel this week as Krasinski announces the winner.

Wishing everyone good luck in claiming the $1.5 million, and a big vitual high five to @Esurance for an effective digital and social ad! Well done #EsuranceSave30

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

It’s no surprise that as we enter into 2014 we’ve seen a social media explosion.  Now there’s over 800 million people connecting with each other on social media networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many more. I had the privilege of joining Sarah Lawrence, senior associate, DLA Piper; Lucy McNulty, managing editor, IFLR; and Callum Sinclair, partner, DLA Piper on a webcast run by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and sponsored by DLA Piper on using social media to further your career. This webcast was the first in IFLR’s Women in Business Law Group’s webinar series.  We each explained our experience and insights into how the rise of social media has fundamentally changed, and how we each communicate within our professional worlds.   At the bottom of this post is the slide share of the powerpoint deck we used during our presentation, and if you would like to access and listen to the webinar broadcast please visit this link.

During the Q&A portion of the webcast, one of the questions directed to me focused on best practice for the use of social media platforms. Below are my top ten tips for utilizing social media to advance your reputation and further your career.. 

  1. Stand out within your social media profiles. On twitter you have only 140 characters to tell the world who you are, so make your profile catchy and interesting.  Although this seems basic, many profiles across social media are missing photos, contact information, and other crucial data.  Highlighting your interest, job duties, location and other keywords helps people find out more about you.  In addition, consider cross promoting your other social media platforms as well to boost your digital footprint.  If you want to be taken seriously online, including a link within your profile is encouraged; for example feature your LinkedIn profile within your twitter bio to make easy for people to connect with you. 
  2. Lock It Down. What happens online doesn’t stay online.  We live in a world within limited privacy, so as your setting up your social media profiles make sure to check your privacy settings and ensure they’re set properly. As employees we are a representation of the company which employs us, so remember to think before you post, or you can be held liable.
  3. Transparency is key in building and maintaining a strong reputation.  Be honest, respectful, and mindful across all social media platforms.  It’s important to be open and transparent, this makes people relate to you.  It’s important to align your online persona with your offline personalty to avoid trouble. 
  4. Content is King. The key to any social media strategy whether you’re trying to advance your career or increase your businesses visibility should focus around a solid content marketing plan.  What you share across social media platforms should be interesting and engaging for others to enjoy, read, and share.  All social media platforms are not a one size fits all model, it’s important to craft posts for each social networks to maximize and leverage content.   As a reminder content doesn’t always have to be original.  Test quotes, statistics, and visual content and images across social media and see what works best.
  5. Incorporate Images.  Visual social marketing is the next generation of social media.  90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visually based, and the human brains processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Utilize social media tools Instagram & Vine which let you embed posts and videos easily, and use free apps like Quoter which provide ready to go quotes, or let quickly create a visual image.  Mix it up and create content that is visually pleasing and easily shareable. 
  6. Become an authority and add value. Choose a focus, and share information relevant to your niche career area. Join LinkedIn groups, start discussions and comment on existing discussions, find and engage within Twitter chats, and most importantly always add value.  As you engage more within social media you will gain the trust of others who will follow you to find information.  As you focus and carve our a niche area, you will build trust, and people will begin to share your content and come to you for advice.
  7. Establish Yourself Offline. Establishing yourself as a brand both online and offline allows people to put a face to your name.  Nothing takes the place of face to face interaction, so ideally building a strong online presence can translate to building a stronger and larger network of offline connections.
  8. Stay up on Digital Trends: Demonstrating your proficiency with all things digital shows you’re up on digital trends, which are currently affecting every company.  Employers are increasingly looking for social media and digital proficiency in potential employees.
  9. Make time.  Social Media is easy, but it does take time, carve out an hour a week at a minimum to go in spend within social media platforms.  Setting up a social media profile is a great first step, but as with anything else it takes time and a comfort level to become successful. If you’re going to let your platforms sit and never update them, why bother even setting up a profile?
  10. Have Fun.  Social Media is a great place to have fun and let your corporate hair down.  Whether your using social media to advance your career, or build your business remember to utilize your profiles as an avenue to have fun!

Please share your feedback below in the comments section, or tweet me @MarissaPick.