Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with digital marketing thought leaders. This week, we sit down with Joe Lucas, Director of Demand Generation & Marketing Operations at InsideView®, which provides CRM Intelligence™ to drive marketing, sales and account management results. InsideView provides the data, insights and connections that make every prospect and customer conversation more relevant, valuable and productive. InsideView is used by more than 350,000 sales and marketing professionals, and in over 13,000 market-leading companies.
Hi Joe, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Tell us about your digital marketing operations – what is your overall lead generation strategy, and how many leads do you bring in each month?
We have a fairly standard inbound marketing approach. We invest in content marketing, have a strong social presence, and back all of that up with a supporting paid media and retargeting strategy. Obviously, we also use our own technology to enable our sales teams, create more effective outbound campaigns, and make our lead nurturing programs more relevant and timely. This year we’re also going to add a strong field-marketing program, which is pretty exciting to me. Technology has really impacted more traditional forms of marketing in ways that make certain activities that were once out of reach for small companies effective again.
Right now we are averaging about 7,500 leads per month from all of our efforts combined.
What precipitated the need for tag management? What problems were you experiencing?
At the time, we needed a solution to make doing things like deploying vendor tags much simpler. In addition, we were using a significant amount of tags on our website and we were starting to notice some performance issues, and so was Google. So, the combination of both these needs made tag management a no-brainer for us.
We also do a lot of experimentation with new online advertising channels, and each one has its own type of tracking technology. This gets to be pretty hairy from both a page load and a maintenance standpoint. Tealium iQ helps us test and evaluate much quicker.
How has Tealium helped you solve some of your challenges – can you share any ROI results?
Of course! There are two areas that Tealium has really impacted for us outside of normal time savings. The first is in page load speed. Pushing all of our tags through Tealium resulted in about a 25 percent improvement in our page load speeds. Google definitely took notice and we saw a 2X increase in organic search referrals. Lots of things go into this and this has been a focus for us, but page load speed and general site performance play a big part. We’ve been seeing aggressive growth in search over the last year, and each month is about double when comparing to the same month year over year. Our timing with Tealium has worked out where we’ve now been happy users for 13 months.
The second area that has shown a positive impact is in the area of being able to test and evaluate new programs. Prior to our use of Tealium, deploying code would be a challenge for us, especially if we wanted to only test out certain sections of our site. Remember, I’m the one actually doing that type of work, along with running demand gen, which is a full-time job in itself. Our use of Bizo is a great example of how a simplified approach saved us money.
Can you talk about how Tealium helped you save time and money implementing Bizo?
Sure. We wanted to test out Bizo to see if we could improve the performance of our banner and retargeting efforts. We were already using Tealium at the time, so deploying the code in a targeted fashion on the site took me about five minutes. We were able to run a quick two-week test, evaluate the results and make a decision on switching platforms. The whole process took about three weeks. If we didn’t have Tealium, that process likely would have taken a lot longer, which would have pushed us into a longer engagement with our former provider. Tealium allowed us to make a quick decision and move to a more effective platform, which not only saved us money, but also drove pipeline and revenue for our sales team.
You’ve mentioned previously that you rely on four key solutions to power your digital marketing – what are they?
InsideView, Marketo, Tealium, and Optimizely. These are our essential technologies. I look at them this way: InsideView tells us who we should be talking to and what we should be saying; Marketo powers our communication to that audience; Optimizely lets us dial in the message and content for the audience; and Tealium holds all of that together.
How will you use Tealium in the future? Can you talk about how Tealium will help you with your data strategy?
I can share some I have two big initiatives planned for this year and Tealium is at the core of something really cool I’m building. I’m planning on leveraging the data layer capability of Tealium in a big way. There is a big gap in the market right now in making different systems talk to each other and Tealium really has a really nice solution for that. I’m going to have some fun with it over the next few months.
What do you see as the three most important trends for digital marketers in 2014?
I think the first big trend is CRM Intelligence. This is something that people are really struggling with. As marketers, we have some really powerful tools and tons of data at our disposal, but don’t have the ability to sort through the noise in order to capitalize on it. Marketing automation has been both a blessing and a curse in this regard. I get inundated with spray and pray campaigns now because they’re easy to do. I think you’ll see a big push towards helping MA become more intelligent. I know InsideView is developing some cool integrations to make things like event-based marketing easy to do. Every company has a CRM and the market needs to respond to make it more intelligent. As we like to say at InsideView, CRM Intelligence is here.
The second trend I see happening this year is in the area of sales enablement. This is particularly interesting for me. I’m sure most of your audience is like me and that some of their compensation is tied to revenue. I have a big incentive for making sure that my leads turn into deals. I think most enablement solutions out there suck and most companies don’t really do it right. I’ve seen some really cool things coming to market in the last few months that are really aimed at making sure your sales team is fully prepared to capitalize on the demand their marketing orgs are creating. One of these days I’ll start a “bad sales” tumblr blog or something and share all the bad voicemails and cold emails I get sent. It’s not their fault though – marketing needs to do a better job of setting them up for success.
The third trend for me is customer success automation. This is an area where a lot of venture capital is going. Sales and marketing each have tools for automating processes and trying to scale up what their teams can do. Customer success management (CSM) doesn’t have that. Most organizations can’t scale up, so what you see are really bad customer experiences or really high people costs for ensuring success. There are a lot of really good companies trying to solve this problem. We’ve developed a solution for CSMs to help them keep on top of growing account lists and you have other really great technologies like Gainsight and Evergage, which allow a CSM team to become proactive within their accounts rather than reacting to their accounts. The trick is taking what has traditionally been a one-to-one process, and turning it into a one-to-many process without the customer realizing there’s been a shift.