While social media and content marketing are relatively new channels in the B2B space, they are increasingly popular. Oktopost, a B2B company offering a social media management platform, is one such company riding the crest of the social media wave and helping customers to bridge the gap between social media, content marketing and lead generation.
As a lean start-up, one of the key challenges is the ability to align sales and marketing. Prior to Marketo, the marketing team was manually processing and running marketing email campaigns and all lead generation activity. All the while, they needed to ensure the sales team was aware of which leads were warm and when to move them along in the sales cycle.
“The ability to know when we had a warm lead and when to reach out was of paramount importance, coupled with the ability to free up the marketing team from the herculean task of manually processing campaigns,” said Mark Lerner, Director of Marketing at Oktopost. “We needed an automated marketing platform, based on a scoring system, which immediately alerted sales to pick up the phone and close a deal. This would enable us to focus more on strategy than tactics.”
“Marketo provided a 10 hour course, and in that short time the very powerful features were clear to see - it was the firm winner after reviewing the alternatives on the market,” added Lerner. “Our platform, Oktopost, is integrated with Marketo, as is Salesforce.com. The integration with our social media platform means we’re able to see how activity within social media affects the scoring of leads within the system. Lead scoring is definitely something we want to do more of - with limited resources, being able to automate is a huge help.”
Prior to using Marketo, Oktopost was doing its own A/B testing based on a few key variables. Marketo has given the company more insight into how subtle nuances can make a difference to an email campaign, such as choice of graphics and subject headers, for example, which has a significant effect on open rates and engagement and how leads react to specific email content.
“The relationship between sales and marketing is significantly more in line,” said Lerner. “Previously, we sat in the same room and discussed who should call which lead. Since using Marketo – and one of its many features – the automated scoring system, I don’t need to visit the sales team every time a lead needs to be called. Our meetings are now more about future plans and how things are working, making us more efficient and productive as a company.”
Marketo has been instrumental in the success of significantly increasing revenue and lead flow, enabling the company to make better and informed decisions.
“Implementing a zero touch strategy has been something we were looking to do and we can now see that 80 per cent of the conversions we have from lead to paid have been in zero touch - solely based on the automated nurturing process from Marketo,” Lerner said. “In addition to the lead scoring and nurturing, analytics have uncovered where leads come from and enabled us to measure the effectiveness of specific programmes.”
Oktopost has seen a 15 per cent increase in lead to conversion rates since using Marketo. Acquisition costs have decreased significantly, while the lifetime value of leads is increasing. Velocity over sales, both in terms of the amount on a month-by-month basis and from each individual sale, has also significantly increased.
“Marketo has enabled us to execute significantly more campaigns, giving us the ability to automate and set them up in advance, increasing productivity,” concluded Lerner. “Ultimately, for us, the greatest benefit from Marketo is the ability to sync sales and marketing. It’s a challenge for a lot of companies. Marketo’s insight helps us look at open rates, engagements, and movement from a lead to a nurturing campaign, for example, where they become a customer. On a weekly basis, we sit and discuss the analytics we get from Marketo and strategise about the future and our targets. We wouldn’t be able to do that without Marketo.”