Eloqua Experience 2012 – Vodeo Vendors

As usually, Eloqua Experience is a great introduction to new vendors with Eloqua-compatible tools (or just approaches that  are beneficial for modern marketers).

VidYard – a video hosting platform with built-in analytics.  The platform allows import of videos from you tube, adding calls to action during and after video, using in lead scoring, and easy drop on Eloqua landing pages with Eloqua integration. Also allow A/B testing (loved by every marketer!  🙂 ).  Quite interesting opportunities!

Unfortunately, I did not find an easy way to embed into WordPress – though it does not mean that it is not possible…. 😉

VidYard Pricing

VidYard seems to be a good solution for many video issues faced by a modern marketer.

Another video vendor with an Eloqua cloud connector is Brainshark.   Brainshark seem to concentrate more on the ease of creating of the video (it is possible to upload a PPT and record a voice-over from the phone – quite interesting).

Book – Running the Gauntlet

Wonderful, and very inspirational reading!  I love the dedication:

“To all the naysayers, opportunists, and obstructionists who do their best to stop the progress of change in an organization. Note: we will beat you. “

Oh – love it!!  🙂

Notes and sources from the book:

  • “Change” video used for employees and customers to explain company’s move to digital
  • Quality of the leaders of the change:
    • Problem solvers, not problem seekers
    • Change agents for the processes
    • Cheerleaders who reinforce goals
    • Seam operators

  • “…established way is rife with negatives and change is full of opportunities.”
  • Not everything can be measured in ROI; the objective of change agents is improvement, what can be expressed in:
    • growth
    • margins
    • savings
    • customers
    • customer satisfaction
    • time
    • morale
  • …”tell 90% of what sucks in a company just by walking around and getting a feel of what is going on…”
  • It is important for business leaders to “fire themselves” from the jobs they are not doing well (detail-oriented, etc.) to be more efficient and to have more time.  However, it is even more important to “fire themselves” from the jobs they can do well to save the time that needs to be devoted to something else, something more beneficial for the organization.
  • Organizing principle FAST – Focus, Accountability, Simplicity, Trust.
  • “…never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any direction. In business, the bull is your competition, the horse is your team, and the fools are the people who stand in your way – and you if you let them!”
  • Kodak tried to understand what is the most important for the people in a camera setting.  The discovery: 90% of all people user the default button on the camera… so Kodak put all top 10 features that people wanted (such as facial recognition and red-eye reduction) into the default. 
  • People still want to talk with human to deal with service issues
  • Focused executive program
    • Executives of the company establish top-to-top strategic relationships with top customers
    • This approach prevents issues in case of any changes in both companies (sales rep moved away)
    • This approach shows customers that they are important and helps company’s executives to understand and connect with the top customers
    • Sales people may not like the program at first, but feel comfortable when they understand that day-to-day operations are remain in their responsibility
  • “Young bull” marketing plans waste your and your business’s energy and money. They stampede into awareness on the backs of huge, expensive, one-off plans that require massive resources… Create salable plans that unfolds as you grow.

Book – The Challenger Sale

Great book!

Oh, yes, just like everybody else, I thought that the “relationship builder” is the most effective sales person…   However, remembering the most successful sales reps I met over the years, I must admit they were challengers.  They were educators.

They invented simple categorizations of the customers’ needs that explained why the product was needed. They succeeded not because of one lucky large deal, but because of many average-size deals they were able to generate on a regular basis. Their methodology has later been taught to the rest of the reps…

(Great 1-hour book presentation).

Quick points from “The Challenger Sale” web site:

challenger-sales

Challengers: What They Do Differently
While most reps focus on building customer relationships, the best focus on pushing customers’ thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook.
Specifically, they:

  • Teach
  • Tailor
  • Take Control

Challengers: Who They Target
While most reps are trying to master solutions selling, the best evaluate which accounts to prioritize and which specific buyers within those accounts to target.
Specifically, they target:

  • Accounts where their needs are still undefined
  • Individual buyers who are skeptical change agents — called “Mobilizers” — over friendly “Talkers”

One of the most thought-provoking ideas in the book: in some cases, the presentation of the company’s rep feels to the prospect as a wasted time, but in other cases, the prospect would be willing to pay for that presentation.  Presentation needs to open the prospect’s eyes on the aspects of his/her problems that were not clear before.

Highly recommend!

Book – Insanely Simple

Quite interesting overview of the main approach and character that contributed to the phenomenal success of the business icon – Apple.  Simplicity is highlighted in several “business universes:”

  • Simplicity in product development (what is rather understandable  but  seems to be so difficult to achieve for many organizations)
  • Branding and “version” simplicity (what is very similar to the approach in the marketing fundamental “Origin of Brands”)
  • Simplicity in messaging (also obvious, but as difficult to achieve for many businesses)
  • Simplicity in business organization (this was an interesting point for me – simplicity in running a meeting for example)

Curious concept: Thou shalt not lust for your neighbor’s marketing.  Love it! 🙂  Splitting categories because a competitor is doing something similar, or naming product categories similar to an unrelated business (I experienced that one – nobody could pronounce it 😉  or doing something absolutely not fitting for a brand “because Apple does it” – are great example of this sin.

MIMA – Marketing and Online Video Content

Despite a drive to St. Paul, I was glad to attend the event (of course meeting old friends and learning about new diets was part of the fun 🙂 ). A few notes from lovely  MIMA Video discussion:

  • Is quality important?  Quality establishes benchmark of credibility.  However, not good quality still works if the content is good
  • Google is considering length of video watching as part of ranking algorithm
  • Target Created a “shop-able” video – quite interesting.  Though you probably need to be a teenager to watch the entire video…  and – I guess – teenagers are the target audience 🙂

  • Is there an optimal length of the video?  If people don’t know the company well – a shorter video will be more effective.  If people are familiar with the company – longer is OK.  Long is about 4 minutes.  However, some long videos might be OK.  The informational stage of the buying cycle is suitable for longer videos.
  • One of the resources recommendation was The YouTube Marketing Book (under $5 on Amazon)
  • One of the presenters represented Wistia, a video hosting company that has an interesting blog with useful video information.

Chicken (snack after the event) was very tasty 🙂

Eloqua Experience 2012

Excellent as usually!  The unexpected surprise is availability of most of the presentations right after the conference (actually before the last speakers concluded their presentations).  Thanks to this wonderful organizational approach, I can use great quality screenshots for my own notes.

Joe, thank you for posting your keynote presentation and doing it so quickly – I am sure some of your points will find its way into countless PPTs of the conference attendees 😉  One of the best slides is the changing funnel (below).

Conference points that I found interesting:

  • Recommendation to have a cross-functional data quality team. This team could maintain the data dictionary and take care of the data normalization process to assure that the purchased lists are normalized before they are loaded into Eloqua.
  • Idea from the advocates reception: use “forwarded-looking” emails from sales when the white papers or webinars are “forwarded” by the rep to the contact.  For one company it increased the open rate over 3 times.
  • SLA between marketing and sales is different for each company – should the lead go to marketing when the lead has expired?  Maybe 😉
  • Book recommended “Emotional Branding” (though I am not sure when I can read everything I want to read… 😉  )
  • Eloqua seem to create a responsive design email templates…  I would love to learn more.  So far our developers did not find a good approach.  Also, it does not look like Eloqua has a report for who opens emails on which device – we can try Litmus when we ready. I am hoping I can learn more about email design suitable for mobile devices…

Very interesting: new DemandBase targeting method (I would call it “Evolved Remarketing”  😉  )  The new method allows to target only companies desired and offer different ads based on the company.  For example, a prospect receives one ad, and the customer company receives another.

Traditional targeting is not that effective (though more effective as no targeting at all).  Yes, I would love to try it!!  I would love to try remarketing first (easier to do) – we will see how easy it will be 😉

  • New measurement approach. About three years ago Eloqua rolled out 16 recommended measures (and probably all of us understood that it was excessive 😉  ).  However, now Eloqua recommends only 4 (perfect!) “
    • Reach (contact database size)
    • Velocity (technically the length of the sales cycle)
    • Conversion
    • “One view of the truth” for sales and marketing
  • Larry recommended to read Revenue Engine, which I still have not read.
  • Subscription for Eloqua Chart of the Week – great resource!  I particularly love the button – one more example in my library of “proper way” of using “submit” in any form 🙂
  • I received a recommendation from fellow Eloqua user to check out http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com/ as an organization that can have benchmark information on sales organizations in the same industry to counteract the general perception “oh, our industry does not use modern marketing…” what his organization did rather successfully.
  • How to get sales to surrender their hidden lists and share them with marketing: one organization asked sales reps to send them photocopied business cards to minimize any work reps would need to do.  Marketing hired a company to transcribe the cards and enter them into the database.  First person to complete the task won the iPad.  The company successfully extracted hundreds of contacts from sales “back pocket.”
  • Sales organization success – if 50% of sales reps show up for marketing training, it is good! 🙂

Content marketing.  

Interesting approach – success measure of content is leads generated (I could not agree more! The “Awareness” is just so previous century when we could not measure anything 🙂  ).

Content should focus on how do you solve my problem.
Content is important at the top of the funnel.

“I don’t believe in social media marketing; I believe in content marketing where social media is just a channel.”   Yes!  Hooray!!  Now I can quote it!!

Content is useful in three areas: email, search, social (and I can quote it too!!  )

In general, I personally believe that potential of social media is overrated.  I do not deny the new possibilities that social media presents, but I question their effectiveness compared to the older channels, such as email, search, retargeting, etc.  I know that Eloqua was doing A/B test to see how social sign on compared with the plain old form.  I have not heard about any results…

Social media effectiveness seem to be similar to pharmaceutical research – compared to placebo it works, but cheap previous generation medication is still more effective and has less side effects… and costs less.  Still, we are infatuated with the new medication because it is new…  Social media is similar – yes, it can be used as a tactic, but compared to other tactics in our arsenal, it is less effective and more costly for the goal of lead generation.

Social media has its place… but its importance is generally overrated… I think 😉

Modern Marketing  (and word of mouth is great, but probably a little overstated 😉  )

  1. Understanding buyers
  2. Offer compelling content
  3. Leverage power of word of mouth
  4. Deliver right information to your sales channel
  5. Ensure your action drive results

CMO

  • CMOs used to be brand builders; now CMOs are more analytically and tech savvy compared to other people of executive team
  • CMOs believe that market and technology are two powerful forces (great!!  finally!  hopefully the days when CMOs were either terrified of technology or could not care less about the market are passé)
  • Landscape is changing… Customer demographics is changing… Shift from markets to individuals.
  • CMOs must be technology innovators
  • ROI is no longer optional; ROI is top priority, but not all feel they can actually do it
  • Interesting – the “home” of the marketing operations is still undetermined… 🙂  Eloqua pulled marketing operation organization to report to CMO – ability to scale.  Previously marketing operation reported to demand gen.

“Getting back to Why” by Motorola

  • Standardization and normalization are part of the crawl stage (very smart…  it seems to be silly to try to produce more complex campaigns before simple ability to normalize a purchased list…)

  • Lead scoring needs to be reviewed on regular basis
  • Motorola did web site personalization based on their CMS and Eloqua… DemandBase has a solution – though it would require somewhat reasonable CMS
  • Motorola experienced “content explosion” – no wonder everybody is hiring content writers 😉  
  • Lesson learned by Motorola – process.  The system can automate the process, but the process needs to exist or be developed (what is a reoccurring theme in digital marketing during last several years). 

The most inspiring part of the event was probably the keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett – where we all were inspired to “lead the revolution” and not to limit our organizations’ potentials to the least common denominator. In modern marketing – it is very true!  I shall read this book… 

Wonderful conference – as usually.  Hope to be there next year!  

Relationship One – thank you very much for a wonderful dinner for everybody who was able to attend the conference from our organization!