B2B Search Engine Marketing & Marketing Automation: An Interview with Marketo’s Jon Miller


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Marketo's Jon MillerLead generation is at the top of almost every B2B marketer’s responsibility list. Generate more leads, generate better leads, and improve the rate to which lead opportunities turn into closed wins for the sales teams. A marketing automation solution is one tool B2B marketers use for succeeding at these lead management challenges.

Marketo is considered a leader in the lead management / marketing automation industry. We were honored that Marketo VP, Marketing Content and Strategy Jon Miller would take the time to answer a few questions KoMarketing Associates had on marketing automation.Here are our interview questions and responses.

What is Marketing Automation?

Every business has one thing in common: The desire to achieve higher revenue and faster growth. Marketing automation can help you get there by enabling companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.

Marketing automation software is used in many modern marketing processes, including lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, relationship marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, social marketing, and marketing ROI measurement.

What is the value and ROI of marketing automation?

Companies can expect three core benefits: more pipeline, more productive sales reps, and higher revenue. Furthermore, according to Nuclear Research, 95% of companies reported some benefit from marketing automation. They found that companies can expect to achieve an increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9% and increase sales productivity by an average of 4%.

In fact, most companies see ROI from marketing automation within a year. According to a Focus Research Study, most companies start seeing a 32% improvement in as little as 7-12 months.

What are some of the features of a marketing automation solution that search engine marketers will find of value / importance?

Search engine marketers are typically amazing at getting the right traffic to their website. But what do you do with prospects once they get there? An even bigger question is: Are prospects ready to take the next step that you want them to? For example, if your primary website conversion is “contact us” or “request a quote,” that is a pretty big ask, requiring a certain level of trust from a prospect which ordinarily takes time to build.

Do you get plenty of search engine traffic already? Awesome! But what percentage of visitors complete your contact form? Typically, that figure is less than 1%. Marketing automation systematically bridges the gap between “Hmm, this site is interesting.” to “I’m ready to buy from this site!” It provides numerous contact points for new prospects starting with very low barriers to entry. It then automates the follow up process and tracks the activity of every one of your prospects at any stage in the funnel.

After prospects have reached a certain level of activity (for example, downloaded 3 whitepapers AND attended a webinar, or finally completed that contact form), your sales team is notified that they have a new warm lead!

How can search engine marketers leverage the functionality of Marketo specifically?

Marketo is a powerful addition to any search engine marketing campaign. By integrating with every marketing channel, we help websites do a lot more with each and every visitor.

A huge majority of the traffic most websites receive from search engines are not ready to buy – from you, or from anybody. Marketo’s automated lead nurturing systems prepare those leads to buy. Plus, Marketo scores leads according to their specific activity in your sales funnel, so you have a better idea where they are in the buying process.

As an example, a lead may be scored higher for downloading a pricing sheet than for downloading a top-of-the-funnel ebook.

Does marketing automation tie into B2B social media strategy? If so, would you be able to share some brief ideas?

Where do people share new content? Social media. If you are creating amazing content online that is getting shared (white paper downloads, PDF guides, webinars and videos), then you are off to a great start. But all that content should be producing leads for you.

Is your content getting shared, but not generating any leads? Marketing automation principles help you determine how to get more leads out of each piece of content.

Is your content generating leads, but you’re not sure what to do with them next? Marketing automation puts every lead into one strategic lead nurturing funnel. Good leads filter to the top, and worthless leads sink to the bottom.

Many marketing automation platforms also offer functionality to create and track social campaigns. Engage your audience on social by creating referral or voting campaigns. Then track your top influencers so you can see exactly who is an evangelist for your business and who is create lasting relationships.

Could you point us to a few key resources Marketo has to offer for further learning?

Absolutely. We recently released the Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation which equips businesses with best practices to put these processes to work. If you are interested in learning more about social media, check out our Definitive Guide to Social Marketing. We update our resources constantly, so be sure to frequently visit Marketo’s Resource Center. And there’s always something exciting happening on the Marketo B2B Marketing Blog.

Thank you Jon, for your time in answering questions for this interview!

About Jon Miller: Jon leads strategy and execution for all aspects of Marketo’s thought leadership and content marketing programs. He is executive editor of the popular Marketo blog, Modern B2B Marketing. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Follow Jon on Twitter: @jonmiller.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Derek Edmond
As a part of the team of Internet marketing professionals at KoMarketing Associates, Derek focuses on developing online marketing strategies - search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social media - for clients, ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. As Managing Partner of KoMarketing Associates, Derek leads strategy, direction, and growth of the organization.


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