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Dispense with web analytics? Heresy! But that's exactly what Adready's new Director of Marketing Jonah-Kai Hancock did - and watched as his new lead scoring model, integrated with a CRM tool, helped conversion soar 189 percent, while leads grew 196 percent. Here's how he did it.
Jonah-Kai Hancock: About four months ago, I joined AdReady and was part of this new process. From a lead-gen standpoint, our marketing function was very basic. A lot of people would come to our site, and we didn’t have a lot of web forums. We didn’t have a lot of thought leadership pieces. We really didn’t have information people could get to. We didn’t have ways to capture people who were coming. Our visitors - we really had no idea who they were.
One of my main initiatives was, how do we increase for the sales team and from my standpoint as well visibility as to who’s coming, where are they coming from, what are they searching for on our web site, and what kind of content are they downloading? What do they find valuable?
A couple things happened 1) I worked with Optify. 2) We built a lead score model. So for all the different people who come to the web site, there’s a lead score. That allows the sales rep to see who’s coming and how qualified they are. In addition, as a sales rep I also get to see what you did. What pages were you looking at? I have a little more information. “Hey, you know what? You were very interested in a precision campaign white paper.” As I talk to you, I know more about what you looked at.
The best part was we actually increased our marketing qualified leads. I’ve got suspects who come to my web site. I’ve got prospects, who may or may not be somebody I want to sell to. Then I have a marketing qualified lead. From those [general] prospects into a marketing qualified lead, we were able to increase that figure by 189 percent.
Q: How are you qualifying those leads. What are you looking at?
A: I’ll say, crawl/walk/run. When I came to AdReady, there was no concept of a lead scoring model. For each of prospect, if they’re an agency, an advertiser, or a publisher, we have a lead score. We referenced their digital display spend. We looked at the accounts. We built up a lead score that was based on their account, how much they spend on display, how many pieces of creative. One of our largest customers is Alaska Airlines. If I’m an Alaska Airlines, I’m gonna have over 3,000 pieces of creative because my display campaign for Seattle to New York City needs to look different from Seattle to Las Vegas.
Based on what we know, we gave point totals to all those and create a lead score. We mocked up that lead score in Optify. So that’ll give the sales rep an initial kind of “OK, this is a good company.” Then we build up another lead score that’s a little more granular based on the information we find out while talking with them.
I say crawl/walk/run just because it’s a very basic model. I’d much rather have a lead score model that was very verticalized and a lot more robust. This is our first stab at it. It’s been great. Obviously, statistics speak loud, but so does overall [sales team] happiness.
Q: What kind of lead volume are we talking about?
A: Any given day, we’ll have over 100 people fill out forms. We’ll probably have over 2,000 unique visits. Of those unique visits, about 100 would fill out a form and become what I would call a lead, a prospect lead. It’s not qualified yet because the sales rep hasn’t worked it. In addition to the efforts they have with ongoing sales efforts, we’ll get those numbers in. Our sales cycle is 30 to 60 days. We have a high volume deal closure rate. It’s very fast-paced for the sales reps. Any help we can give them to filter through their lists is greatly appreciated.
Q: How are you using these scored leads? Does it determine the priority in which you respond to them, or who on the sales team gets them?
A: The sales team gets them based on their verticals. Once they hit the sales rep, it gives them a priority on what to look at. Who do they look at first? I’ll look at a higher scorer first because they’re a more qualified lead. With regard to what I do with it, I’m running different campaigns. The marketing funnel and the sales funnel are two different things. I give them a marketing qualified lead, but then it goes into sales qualifying. The reps have qualifying questions.
On the marketing side, I’m scoring these. Not all people buy. People come back into my funnel up at the top of it. I run different types of drip campaigns and other types of marketing activities for lead-gen based on how they responded to those campaigns, how many touchpoints they had. I could use Salesforce. I can go in and I can say, “Give me every prospect or lead that went to my advertiser’s home page and downloaded my white paper.” I could add to that, “And spent more than two minutes on this page.” So, I could run various levels of reports to build up those leads. I use the lead scores and also just the data we store from Optify to help guide where do I push people, and who do I pull for different campaigns I want to run.
Q: Are you also using this to determine marketing expenditure, media mix and that sort of thing? A search lead is more or less valuable than somebody that comes in from display, etc., or an email?
A: We track them all. We track all our display, and we’re a display company. I know which ones generate the best response, I track, and I have metrics. But we don’t treat leads differently based on what medium they came from.
Our highest qualified leads tend to have attended a webinar. If they click through an email, they’re not really qualified yet. They’re just interested. Those are the ones I'll manage from a marketing standpoint. I’ll reach out to them periodically.
Q: What exactly increased 196 percent?
A: Let’s put numbers to it. If I have 100 people hit my web site, 80 percent of those I can give a lead score to. They come in as a prospect. That’s my 80 percent number. As a sale rep, I’ll take that lead with a lead score attached to it. I’m gonna focus my efforts on some of these leads, because others may be horrible leads. So, of those 80, let’s say 30 of them were good leads. How do I know? Because I’ve given them a lead score based on the criteria I talked about. How much they spent on display. Are they a target company? What’s the level of this person’s title?
Let’s say 30 of them. Of those 30, I have metrics I track. Of those 30 before, let’s say maybe 10 percent became actually marketing qualified leads a sales rep is going to work. With what we’ve been able to do with lead scoring and the filtering of leads, now that number from 30 is gonna be around 20. And that 20 versus that 10 is a 196 percent difference. At each step of the funnel, I was able to increase whether I’m a suspect, I’m a prospect, or I become a marketing qualified lead. A marketing qualified lead is where a sales rep takes it and says, “OK, this is marketing qualified. I’m gonna run with this.” At each of those steps, I was able to increase my numbers, and I was also able to increase my visibility at every step.
Q: Are you constantly tweaking this scoring formula?
A: Absolutely. We’re actually gonna do another revamp probably in about a week or two.
Q: How often do you look at it? Is it revised quarterly or monthly?
A: We’re looking at it about every two weeks right now.
Q: Is it determining some of your other marketing activities like the creation of marketing content? You mentioned white papers.
A: I look at reports and see how many leads I generated from which white papers. I do run reports where I can look at the number of leads I’ve got from each of our different marketing campaigns. I can also reference that with the lead score. So I can tell you this white paper has produced this many leads, but maybe they were all really bad leads based on the lead score versus this white paper which didn’t generate as many leads, but they were a lot more qualified. So where do we invest? I use that information on my monthly drip campaigns. If I find a different white paper or different content is producing more qualified leads, I’ll use that to try and get people to get interest.
I do a monthly webinar series with some lead-gen. We do media buys. [I gauge] the pulse of my industry. What are people downloading and what are they looking at? We do get a lot of small agencies that just wanna learn about display - they’re not very qualified. They don’t wanna buy. But we can get a lot of leads from certain pieces, but they might not be qualified. So, that kind of guides my efforts on which pieces I'll use and also, what are people really interested in. Demand side platforms? Real time bidding? Creation tools?
Q: Where does Optify come into the picture? It sounds like a portion of this you could be doing on your own.
A: I could, but I don’t have the time. I’m director of marketing of a two-man team. Optify sits on every single one of my pages. Each of the sales reps has their 100 accounts they focus on. We load those into Optify, and each sales rep gets a daily e-mail summary of the people that have come to the web site in their target verticals. In addition, if somebody from one of their target verticals comes to our web site, they’re instantly alerted that a person from that company is on our web site.
Everything outbound is coded with Optify trackers. We use ExactTarget for our mass distribution email. Every link, we code. So if I sent you my newsletter and you clicked on one of the articles and it sent you to a press release or a white paper or an archived webinar from the newsletter, my lead generation touchpoint was actually the newsletter. Then we associate that back to the leads in Salesforce.
Q: Has this replaced traditional web analytics for your company?
A: I have Google Analytics. I don’t use it as much. It’s a very complex application. Optify integrates with my CRM. My sales team knows how to use it. It’s giving me enough information that I can make educated decisions. I’ve used Marketo in the past [and] Omniture. I’ve used marketing automation - they were great tools. I don’t have the budget for that other stuff, in all honesty.
Q: It’s really annoying when you don’t have an unlimited budget.
A: I know, right? I also use Optify for end-to-end Twitter tracking. We have a pretty big Twitter following. I run all my tweets through there. If people respond, I know they came to our site based on a tweet.
Q: Which you can also do through regular web analytics.
A: Absolutely. But again, it's integration with Salesforce. At the end of the day I could do everything I want with web analytics. All the information is in my head and helps me make decisions, but there’s so much of it the sales team needs. We have a really fast sales cycle. If I can’t give them information in a nice, concise, clear package, it’s useless to them. And it’s really valuable information they should have their hands on. So the integration points are very important. There are business applications people develop that are very focused on business-minded people, then there’s the ability to use analytics. Hire some sort of a marketing analyst guru who could dig through all those analytics and figure out stuff? There’s definitely a place for it. But just in our world and where we’re at, Optify suffices.