Tommie O'Brien (pictured, below, right) at Salesforce, kicked off the presentation at the Shangri La Hotel on the 34th floor of the Shard (pictured, below, left, view from the Shard). I was deeply impressed by the demo, which illustrated a relatively high level of sophistication for Small businesses.
For example, when setting up workflows, they demonstrated a real-time and highly effective way to re-engage prospects that hadn't signed up for an email offer; by sending them targeted ads across Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords.
Marketing Automation lies at the heart of most Start-up demand generation programs. During my career, I have run Marketing Campaigns using a variety of tools, from Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, Dynamics, and more. Last year I had to learn to use the Microsoft Dynamics with Clickdimensions whilst running global campaigns for a company of around 500 employees, Headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
Currently, I'm switching from using Microsoft Dynamics to Salesforce. I've never learned to run campaigns in Pardot, so I thought that this session would be particularly helpful. After just 3 weeks, I can tell the level of support on Pardot is streets ahead of Microsoft Dynamics.
I had to learn to use Dynamics by reading manuals and watching videos online. Particularly challenging was trying to coordinate fixing several serious bugs in the system with our IT team that was based in Canada.
The Salesforce team initiated some useful discussions around lead generation forms - often these forms ask for too much information. I know I have been guilty of this. According to Salesforce, 3-5 questions maximum is the standard and really first name and email are enough. The part of the talk devoted to the automation workflow was fascinating and really got me thinking about the way I run campaigns.
And they had some great insights on Lead scoring; they talked about the usual ones of course, like Job title and company revenue. But there were some surprises. This slide shows that they can track your prospects sentiments about your company and products across social media, like this:
That can really give your sales and marketing team an edge over your competition. Pardot can also allow you to create buyer personas within Salesforce so that you can use these to gauge your ideal prospect, for even more accurate lead scoring. But what really blew me away was the analytics on the dashboard and Pardot's ability to measure marketing campaigns' effectiveness in a way that will appeal to CFO's and CEO's.
Not only can you demonstrate return on investment for entire programs, you can also dig in at the granular level, to show what specific leads generated what specific revenue. As a metric-driven marketer, with an MBA in Finance, this is what I'm aiming to accomplish.
Tommie told some great anecdotes, with his classic Irish wit; I couldn't help thinking Tommie would go down a storm in my old hometown, Boston, which is pretty much run by Irish Americans. And of course, they love anyone from the old country, particularly if he or she has a lot of drive and a good sense of humour.
One of Tommie's best stories was about him setting up a new internet provider in his new home. The provider was terrible and he was forced to contact them multiple times whilst suffering from flu and working from home.
All this time he was receiving prospecting advertisements and emails from the company; which only exacerbated his annoyance with their poor service. Imagine how much money this company is throwing out the window!
At the end of the talk, Rory O'Neill, Data and Systems Manager at the Drum came to talk about his experience using Pardot. I know the Drum very well. When I was at Visual IQ (now part of Nielsen), we successfully exhibited at several of their events.
I found out in the presentation that Rory is responsible for sending 35 Million emails a year. My last email contact list was 30,000 strong (B-2-B) and the largest I've worked with was 400,000 (B-2-C).
I was able to ask him a question in at the end, which was to ask his advice as to what first steps he would take if he was in my shoes, rolling out pardot at my company. He recommended that the most important was that I consult with the sales team and get them on board with our plan. He also offered to give me some advice on that if I got in touch with him. I will definitely take Rory up on his generous suggestion.
For more information on how to set up Marketing automation for your B-2-B business, sign up for my free guide here