Marketo Helps Obero Increase Qualified Leads by 13% & Cut Time on Delivering Marketing Campaigns by Two-Thirds
One of the biggest operational challenges a marketer encounters is letting your amazing go-to-market strategy get stuck in production hell. That’s where you need the right tools. I’ve been a huge Marketo fan since I started using their platform in a previous role in 2010. Since then I’ve worked with numerous marketing automation tools, and in my experience Marketo always comes out on top.
Before I explain, let me introduce you to my company. Obero SPM helps subscription-based businesses streamline their sales planning, execution, and optimization processes. It is an amazing, cutting-edge solution that empowers forward looking organizations to devise and run the best sales strategies in the world. But, as a fast-growing and highly innovative technology company ourselves, one of our biggest challenge is educating customers about our solution. In fact, we spend more than a half of our marketing time and effort on educating our market and providing thought-leadership in the sales performance management space.
From the conversations we were having during our initial contact, we’ve learned that almost 70% of our customers—sales, finance, and compensation professionals—don’t know that solutions like Obero exist. They run their sophisticated sales operations wizardry in Excel, or by using in-house solutions, and just aren’t aware of tools that will make their jobs easier while increasing revenue and profitability.
What we needed to amplify our thought-leadership initiatives was a marketing automation solution that would help us attract high-quality leads, educate and nurture them, and turn them into happy customers. But most marketing automation tools we tried, failed to deliver high-quality leads.
We spent months consulting with our previous vendor, but we just couldn’t make it work. Lead scoring, email deliverability, campaigns analysis - the vendor didn’t have the best practices or knowledge to help us solve our problems and drive results.
A “Lego Block” Solution
As I said, I’ve been a Marketo fan since 2010. With Marketo, we can create custom lead scoring systems based on both buyer behavior and demographics, and their engagement with our product offerings across the entire account. And since one of the pillars of our marketing strategy is Account-Based Selling, we knew that the right scoring and segmentation would help us deliver high-quality leads and see them through the entire buyer's journey.
In this way, Marketo is like Lego: you can build what’s on the cover of the box or you can use the same blocks for your own, epic creation. The marketing geek in me appreciates that I can customize Marketo to my exact specifications, my unique processes, and my company’s individual DNA.
Luckily, we didn’t need to do much convincing to get buy-in for Marketo in an innovative organization that is Obero. And that’s when the fun began.
Improving Email Deliverability Rates by 300%
With our previous marketing automation system, we had some serious email deliverability challenges. Before we could even attempt to improve click-through rates (CTR), we needed to ensure our prospects were actually receiving our emails.
If you can’t deliver emails, no one will click them!
After adopting Marketo in December 2016, we ran both Marketo and our previous system in tandem for the first month. We put the same couple of email blasts to the same test list of about 7% of our database, and saw a 35% improvement in our deliverability rate with Marketo. Once we started using Marketo for all emails, our deliverability rate, in some segments, was 4x higher than with our previous solution. We even ditched the dedicated IP that we had to buy from the previous vendor.
By just improving deliverability, our open, click-through (CTR), and program success rates have also increased dramatically, and that success has also seeped into the overall size of our list. Now that we’re able to deliver our high-quality educational content with Marketo, our marketable database has grown by 36.7%!
Spend 3x Less Time Deploying Marketing Campaigns
Improved delivery, however, is only one benefit of Marketo. Much of the value for the marketing team is added even before the campaign ever launches.
In the past, if we wanted to get the word out about a webinar series, or a multi-city roadshow tour, we would spend hours recreating emails, landing pages, and building audience segments for every individual event. This would cost our team a considerable amount of time and sometimes resulted in undesirable delays.
With Marketo we can easily clone assets and automation scripts of past campaigns, so now we spend almost 3x less time deploying marketing programs. Even people who don’t regularly work in marketing automation platforms can build new campaigns from cloning old ones. This ease of use is invaluable for a company that tries to do a lot with a lean and mean marketing team. It also means faster time-to-market with less opportunity for errors, improvement in both these ‘metrics’ have been noticed by our leadership.
Our Most Successful Webinar Ever
The ability to minimize the effort we spend on producing the marketing assets for a webinar frees us up to focus on the value our webinars add to our audience. And when we create highly valuable content, people take notice.
I’ll give you an example. We recently held a webinar on the new financial regulations that will impact how subscription-based companies recognize revenue (you may have heard of ASC 606?), and ultimately do the accounting for their sales commissions and bonuses. We used Marketo to build the webinar’s landing page and send the emails to a relatively new segment (for us) within our target accounts.
Through Marketo, we targeted a new (for us) segment: finance professionals, the people who will have to deal with the consequences of these new regulations. The results were quite staggering. We had about 126 registrants and 53 attended—a 50% webinar attendance rate, well above the 41% average for SaaS companies. The icing on the cake, a lot of the attendees were CFOs—people who are usually too busy to spend an hour on a webinar.
These numbers were well beyond our expectations. Thanks to the ease of use of the Marketo platform, we were able to spend more time perfecting the content to deliver an impactful webinar.
The Power of Alignment: 13% More Qualified Leads
All of this, though—the amazing CTR, deliverability, and event attendance—boils down to one thing: qualified leads and pipeline. Without qualified leads, the rest is mere vanity. As I often say to my team, the pipeline is our sun and our entire marketing system revolves around it.
That ability to attribute marketing efforts to real dollars and cents is a challenge many marketing professionals know all too well. We can create amazing content and get it into the hands of prospects, but if we can’t illustrate how that content converts, it’s incredibly difficult to show the ROI of our efforts.
That’s why I love Marketo’s Sales Insight. It integrates seamlessly into Salesforce and allows our sales reps to see how their prospects engage with our brand, which content they download, which pages they visit, which events they register for, and which ones they attend… All in real time and rolled up on the account level!
Our sales team can also prioritize their calls and emails based on how recent and how are the prospects’ engagements. These insights help reps decide how and when to move on an opportunity and helps bridge the gap between marketing and sales. This alignment across our organization’s subdivisions has increased our marketing-qualified leads to sales-accepted leads ratio by 13%! With our previous vendor, it was less than 5%; now, with Marketo, it’s more than 18%, and we will likely get to 30% by the end of the year. That’s the power of alignment. That’s radical transparency. For us, it was all brought together by Marketo.
Aligning Innovation With Your Market
Obero continues to work and partner with the forward-looking and innovative organizations. Being one, that’s how we find the most synergy with our clients. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that we use the same approach when selecting the technology mix for our operations, sales, marketing, customer success, IT management, billing or other functions. When you require flexibility and agility, you need a solution that aligns not only with your immediate needs, but also with your vision and your growth path. For our marketing team, Marketo was that solution that delivered on all of our requirements and allowed us to become one of the most successful marketing teams, capable of supporting Obero’s transition from the start-up to the growth stage.