B2B Inbound Marketing

Silverpop Engage Certified

Mon, 30 January 2012

Here we are with just a quick little note to brag about being Silverpop Engage Certified. The sneaky thing about being a marketer in the digital age is just how much technical knowledge you need to have. I’m not talking about being able to write Java code, or write a SQL query (although some marketers likely have to do this too). I’m talking about getting certified in all of the technical tools we mix together on a daily basis to do our jobs. From Excel to Salesforce.com, from Adobe Photoshop to WordPress, from CSS to CMS, we are constantly required to use one of the more diverse kits of technical tools needed by any industry.

I know that engineers and architects get certified in everything from building codes to AutoCAD, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t know if they are asked on a nearly daily basis to be fluent in a new tool. From one marketing tactic to the next, there is always a new piece of management software, syndication software, creative software, Cloud Whozit, and SaaS Whatzit. So, when a vendor takes the time to offer a certification, you know they are in the business of user proficiency and user adoption. Silverpop knows that to beat their competitors at Marketo and Eloqua, they need a legion of loyal fans who are rock-star proficient at using their software to make marketing magic. If I weren’t in the weeds with the system every day trying to prove its value to my company, I might not have even bothered. I found the certification process thorough and useful in learning many corners of the software I might not have explored otherwise. With that knowledge, I just might be more ambitious with my marketing than I would have before. Mission accomplished, Silverpop. You have my thanks for the Certification challenge, and I have this handsome certificate not suitable for framing to adorn my blog and resume.

Posted in: B2B Inbound Marketing, B2B Lead Generation/Management, E-mail marketing, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms | No Comments »
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My B2B Takeaways From the Silverpop Client Summit 2011

Thu, 19 May 2011

spop-summitbanner

 

I had the pleasure of attending the 2011 Silverpop Client Summit. This was my first summit as we are a relatively new customer for Silverpop. First, let me just say that Silverpop put on a heck of an event.

Memorable Event Details

Here’s some things that made the event planning/production itself memorable

  • Any truly great event has great keynote speakers.  Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame, and Gary Vaynerchuk of passionate social media fame knocked their keynotes out of the park. It was a nice touch that their latest books were made available for free to all attendees.
  • It sounds stupid, but the endless promotion of the hastag #SPOP11 and displaying the tweets from it up on the big screen was really fun. It was fun to tweet and get your words up in front of a crowd in seconds.
  • A great venue. Hotel Intercontinental Buckhead had plenty of space, and outstanding food and accomodations. The staff was super professional.
  • Fun after hours events at World of Coke and listening to Girlz Girlz Girlz rock it.
  • Very well-planned learning tracks for B2B and B2C customers kept separate.
  • Plenty of networking time between presentations made making business connections very easy.

Now, My Marketing Takeaways

  • Silverpop has an outstanding staff of product strategists and support people that really are leading the field of Marketing Automation Software. I have a much higher confidence level that we made the right system selection after having attended the event and meeting the people behind the product. From the CEO, Bill Nussey to Lead Product Strategist Bryan Brown to product ninja John Field, these guys really have great vision to lead toward the future and understand the problems we as marketers all face in trying to get there.
  • Not only do they know their own product, but I feel way better about how well they understand Salesforce.com. Engage 8.3 is a far superior product to Engage B2B in how well it integrates with Salesforce.
  • I am reassured by presentations from analysts at Sirius Decisions (Meg Heuer) that all of this pain and suffering in trying to migrate to a new sales and marketing model aligned process-wise and powered by marketing automation and CRM tools is defintely the right direction.
  • I also learned that there are plenty of other organizations out there that share the challenges of getting to that vision.
  • I finally have face-to-face connections with support staff at Silverpop, from my account rep, to our product transition specialist and even to the internal marketing team. Every single person is willing and enthusiastic about helping customers adopt and take advantage of the Silverpop platform.
  • Birds of a feather. Holy cow there are plenty of marketing people out there with similar responsibilities and the varied skillsets needed to operate Marketing Automation and Lead Management. The emerging title is Marketing Operations. I didn’t know this discipline existed, especially living in such a small and lean marketing department as I currently do.

That’s it for now. I reserve the right to add to this post. It’s what I could come up with as I sit in the airport to return home after my first visit to Atlanta. My mind is mush and my motivation is high. Thanks for a great conference!

Posted in: B2B Inbound Marketing, B2B Lead Generation/Management, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing Strategy | No Comments »
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Marketing Campaign Diagrams – Not for the Faint at Heart

Mon, 22 February 2010

I have spent since the beginning of the year working with my teammates here at Hudson on putting our first true B2B Lead Generation campaign into the market. The first is a bit of a misnomer, because we’ve done plenty of webinars, email blasts, tradeshows and breakfasts in the past. What we haven’t done is hook these activities into a CRM for tracking of leads with the sales team and a marketing automation system to really turbocharge the messaging, calls-to-action, follow up and lead nurturing.

We all know the feeling when we’ve been “nurtured”. We sign up for a webinar. 1 minute later you get a contact from a sales person. After the webinar you get follow up emails on additional offers and additional whitepapers on the subject you were interested in. What you don’t realize is all of the pre-thought, strategy, and setup that goes into that orchestrated series of events. Let me tell you, it’s not for the faint at heart. After countless hours with a full-time consultant building our strategy and integrating automation systems it all comes down to a diagram. To be able to visualize all of the steps and how they will work together you need a campaign diagram, so says our vendor Silverpop. I’ve built plenty of information architecture diagrams in my career, but never anything like this. Apparently these are notoriously complex exercises, since Silverpop themselves had a contest last year to find the most convoluted marketing campaign diagram.

My Piece of Convolutedness

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Here’s my rookie effort at a campaign diagram (page 1 only). This was at its very worst. I have since revised the diagram many times to simplify and better communicate how we will be setting up all of the assets in our different systems. Nonetheless, you have to go this far if you want to pre-plan an automated campaign. This has been an awesome learning experience. I’m very much looking forward to the campaign launch and finding out how effective each little block in the diagram will or will not be. Stay tuned.

Posted in: B2B Inbound Marketing, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Marketing skills, Marketing Strategy | 1 Comment »
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This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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