Tag Archives: marketo

CloudTalk: Data Deadlines and Marketing Automation

Within ReadyTalk’s Customer Care department are the specialists that work with our marketing and CRM automations. Clayton Hagen answers every phone call with his technical sensibilities, along with a touch of Michigander. Learn how Clay keeps our customers’ attendance data in check, plus stories on the best Halloween costumes this side of Spencer’s Gifts.   

When working with CRM and marketing automation, what’s the most common integrations obstacle?

First we need to drill down the customer’s initial concerns. If there’s an issue that’s preventing our software from communicating with their marketing program — like Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, and Salesforce — it’s important that we address the snag immediately. One obstacle that comes up involves their event communication. The invitation and reminder emails used to promote the webinar or webcast are integrated with their marketing program. If there’s some block that’s not properly tracking or delivering data it’s our job to isolate the problem. This can happen days before an event or even while one is taking place. We realize the urgency and importance of everything running smoothly, so we’re under the gun to help our customers fast.

Realizing you may be slightly biased, why do you think ReadyTalk’s customer care outperforms our competitors’?

I think our team genuinely cares about our customers. We put in a lot of effort to streamline the process for them. At times we’ve been known to go out of our way to make sure they have what they need. That means communicating with other members of my department — or even reaching out to other departments if I’m not an expert in a particular area. A lot of people in customer care know what it’s like hosting a webinar. It can be scary, high pressure, with lots of time invested. We put ourselves in their shoes because it’s what we’re here for.

In five seconds, tell me how integrations work.

No. Here’s a Marketo chart.

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen at ReadyTalk?

Always Halloween. When each department dresses up for the costume contest. It’s hilarious because each department has a theme. A baby giraffe costume stands out. It was a traumatic sight for the entire company.

Marketo Summit Learnings: The Engagement Economy

The ReadyTalk team has returned from the 2017 Marketo Summit – we’re thankful for the wealth of knowledge we gained at different sessions, the friendly faces of customers and other visitors who stopped by our booth and the ever-popular sounds of Train to wrap up a great week.

The primary theme that rose to the top after our four days at the Marketo Summit is engagement. Marketo posits the idea of the Engagement Economy. The Engagement Economy is the convergence of sales and marketing, buyers and sellers, management, partners, prospects, and all other stakeholders in the business world. In order to succeed, companies need to create a more personalized and more meaningful experience for their buyers than ever before. In this new world, there are three cardinal rules: listen, learn and inspire.

Rule #1: Listen

This oft-forgotten behavior is vital in the Engagement Economy. It’s more than reading suggestion box submissions, escalating customer complaints and checking out your latest NPS score. Now more than ever, we need to be aware of how customers interact with our brand or company virtually and indirectly. During a panel discussion, Penny Wilson, CMO at Hootsuite, put it best when she said, “Now it’s time to empower your whole organization. You need to give your whole organization the tools, training, and content to engage with your customers. You can have them really work in social harmony with your customers.” Here at ReadyTalk, we are active listeners. We empower our client-facing teams to be active on social media and use it to consume and share relevant content, keep a pulse on what is important to potential buyers and stay in the know on the latest buzz. This turns social media like LinkedIn and Twitter into forums they can use to strike up meaningful conversations. Everyone is a brand ambassador and everyone plays a role.

Rule #2: Learn

It’s been said that we should never stop learning. From where we sit, this means continuously learning what “value” means to our customers and creating it. In today’s technology-driven world, there is a plethora of data we can use to make meaning and seek understanding. In addition to what we learn through listening, data allows us to learn about our customers and prospects in ways we couldn’t before. The need for greater understanding is leading to new concepts like account-based marketing, and new tools to support these concepts, like Marketo ABM, which was announced at the Summit. We have learned that, like most things in life, marketing is not “one size fits all.” We keep learning at ReadyTalk by working in cross-functional teams, which allow us to collaborate, share experiences, align our goals and keep progressing as a business. It’s a great feeling to sit in a room with an account executive, a marketing manager, a product manager and an engineer and work together to solve complex problems that are easily broken down into digestible parts with our varied talents and perspectives, resulting in a deeper understanding for us and better experiences for our customers because we’re delivering what matters to them.

Rule #3: Inspire – You inspire through engagement. Despite the importance of data and the rise of technology, nothing replaces personal human interactions, as we learned from Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal. While his business is centered around live events, and ours around web events, we here at ReadyTalk certainly share his view on the importance of 1 on 1 interaction to help engage customers and prospects. These interactions add up to relationships and relationships create value. This is engrained in our company’s culture and it is the primary way we engage with our customers. Our Customer Care and Event Services team (and all of us here, for that matter) truly care about creating memorable experiences and forming meaningful relationships with our customers. Simply put, our customers’ success is ours as well. I could tell countless stories of ReadyTalk Event Managers providing a little extra support and guidance for a first-time webinar organizer or cracking a joke during pre-conference to calm their nerves, or a Customer Care team member providing expert advice during a critical moment and going the extra mile to ensure a worry-free meeting. We want to be more than just your webinar provider; we want to inspire you to do your best work by taking the potential stress of technology off your plate and making it as easy. We will gladly step in as a technical trainer, trusted advisor, or a sounding board for your ideas as you plan your perfect webinar program.

The bottom line? The days of traditional sales tactics and marketing plans are over and it is changing the way all of us do business. The engagement economy requires increased attention to what really matters, heightened focus on data and broader and deeper relationships across all stakeholders. This results in better outcomes for businesses and buyers alike – we might even call it harmony.

Our Affinity for Marketing and Where It Aligns with Marketo Summit Sessions

If it wasn’t already painfully obvious, we’re adamant about our love for marketing. Our webinar and webcasting teams champion the marketer and their objectives every single day and we’re obsessed with helping them deliver business success.

Marketo’s annual Marketing Nation Summit presents an invaluable opportunity for us to meet many of those marketers face-to-face, and we’ll be sending a crew over to San Francisco next week to show off ReadyTalk’s latest webinar platform offerings, share the most inventive ways that marketers are utilizing webinars and live video webcasts as part of their content marketing, and demonstrate how they’re feeding marketing automation and CRM systems with webinar attendee engagement data and analytics.

While we can’t wait to see how James Corden and Queen Latifah bring the celebrity glamor to follow up last year’s Will Smith sightings, we’re most excited about the sessions where our passions intersect with innumerable chances for marketers to share and learn from each other. Here are five sessions that we think are going to be especially good:

1) From Personalization to Individualization: Micro-targeting and Big Data with Michael Fauscette, G2Crowd

When it comes to webinars and the actionable lead gen insights that they can deliver for marketers, which in turn allow sales teams to tailor interactions with prospects and customers, personalization and individualization are hugely important. We’re keen to hear how webinars and similar strategies might fit into this talk.

2) Embrace Customer-Centric Measurement to Optimize Business Performance with Rusty Warner, Forrester

Can we make a collective confession? We’re measurement geeks. And we fully expect Forrester to deliver the goods on how to tie marketing measurement and analytics to sales outcomes and business performance, otherwise known as the holy grail of marketing. Hopefully, they’ll also present a few illustrative case studies along the way.

3) What’s Your Story? How Powerful Narratives Drive Great Companies with Deb Lavoy, Narrative Builders

Spoiler alert: We love a good brand narrative. Plus, we strive to help customers tell their stories through video and other content. Deb is also running a companion workshop on the same topic, so if your company is struggling to figure out your brand story and the channels to tell it through, check this pairing out.

4) SiriusDecisions Unveils New “State of Marketing Automation” Research…and What It Means for You! with Jay Famico, SiriusDecisions

What would a Marketo conference be without a little marketing automation discussion? SiriusDecisions employs some of the sharpest analysts we know when it comes to best practices, benchmark reports and strategies for marketers, so we’re eager to hear how far MA has come and where we can take it from here.

5) The Rise of AI in Marketing: IDC Shares What Every Marketer Should Know with Gerry Murray, IDC

–AND–

How to Use AI to Add Relevance to Your Marketing with J.J. Kardwell of EverString, Kristen Wendel of VersionOne and Peter Herbert of VersionOne

Ok, we cheated on this last one and combined two sessions about AI. It’s still very much the Wild West of every industry, and particularly within marketing, so we figured the more info we can gather on it, the better. We’ll aim to get a blend of overarching AI trends from IDC’s research director and more practical insights from VersionOne based on their implementation of the technology in the context of their marketing program.

See you in San Francisco, Marketing Nation! We’ll be at booth #S446, so stop by and say hello!

Why Spending 4 Days with Customers Rocked

It’s not every day you get to spend a week in Las Vegas with your customers. Somehow, I managed to do just that in the middle of the desert with 6,000 other marketers at Marketo’s conference — Marketing Nation Summit.

In four days, I handed out cold hard cash, met with customers, listened to keynote presentations, and learned a lot about tradeshows.

But my biggest takeaways are from talking with our customers.

It helps to get out of the office.

No matter what you do at your company, it’s important to get out of the office and talk with prospects … and more importantly your customers. If you have the opportunity to work a tradeshow booth for even an hour, jump on it. I learned more about how people use ReadyTalk over those four days than I would in a month. Working the booth gave me a chance to have one-on-one conversations that would have taken me weeks to schedule if I was back at the office.

Bottom line: Schedule time to meet with your customers.

Customer marketing

Prospects love talking with current customers.

I’m a lucky guy. I get to work with people every day that love using ReadyTalk. So, when I reached out to customers in the Summit Club, our online customer community, I got an overwhelming amount of responses volunteering to help in the booth. Fortunately, Shelby Knops from Birst emailed me back first and wanted to get involved. I asked Shelby if he would be able to talk with others about his ReadyTalk experience.

That’s it.

In return, people that stopped by our booth got to talk with an actual customer, not sales, about how ReadyTalk is helping him achieve his goals. The response was fantastic. Shelby made the difference, providing a true customer and user perspective.

Bottom line: Cherish your customers and give them an opportunity to shine. They will. And they’ll help you, too.

Foster a dialogue for current customers.

It’s important to create a sense of community around what you’re selling. People love to feel like they’re a part of something — something bigger than themselves. I don’t mean that it needs to be a movement or a political campaign necessarily, but getting like-minded people in a room creates a dialogue. It creates instant community. People find commonalities quickly, beyond just being your customer.

We scheduled a dinner for 20 customers who were attending the conference with the sole purpose of fostering a dialogue around:

  • What other customers struggle with or like?
  • How do they use ReadyTalk?
  • What best practices can they share?

While working the booth was beneficial for me, scheduling time for our customers to talk to each other was powerful for us and them.

Bottom line: Get your customers into a room. Only good things will happen, especially for you.

Of course, so much more happened throughout the week like but nothing as powerful to me as spending time with our customers. Customers made the difference, especially for me.