Category: Random

Data-Driven Marketing: Are We There Yet?

Marketers now have access to more customer data than ever before.  So why are so many struggling to implement successful data-driven marketing strategies?

To find the answer, Return Path partnered with Ascend2 to conduct interviews with over 229 marketing influencers in the B2C space.  The research compiled in our Strategies and Tactics for Data-Driven Marketing report provides strategic and tactical insights to achieve data-driven marketing goals for personalization and customer acquisition.  Here are a few highlights to inform your data-driven marketing strategy:

Personalization is a priority
Personalizing the customer experience is a critical component of most data-driven marketing strategies. In fact, the vast majority of marketers surveyed (72 percent) chose the ability to personalize the customer experience over acquiring new customers (41 percent), and the ability to measure data-driven marketing ROI (37 percent), among other data-driven strategy goals.

Key Takeaway: As a growing number of marketers continue to look for opportunities to drive personalization in emails, subscribers’ expectations of a personalized email experience are also increasing.  As a result, email messages that aren’t tailored to accurately reflect individual subscriber interests, behaviors, or even anticipate needs will be more likely to be deemed as irrelevant, or worse, unwanted spam.

Data drives success
At the same time, marketers are driving email personalization efforts forward, they are often held back by the availability, quality, and integration of data across platforms. Almost half of marketerssurveyed (49 percent) reported enriching data quality and completeness as a significant barrier to data-driven marketing success while integrating data across platforms and measuring ROI were each significant barriers for 41 percent.

Key Takeaway: When developing a data-driven marketing plan, it’s critical to evaluate risk vs reward. Determine the key objectives for your strategy and factor in what role dependencies such as data integration; data integrity, and ROI measurement may play in a successful outcome.

Top goals offset barriers
Personalization is an important goal for twice as many marketers than those who view it as a barrier to success (72 percent vs 35 percent, respectively). In contrast, marketers report challenges with both data integration and quality are more significant than what they offer as important goals.

Key Takeaway: Availability of data typically isn’t a problem for most brands. Challenges arise from a lack of clear understanding about how to organize, categorize and utilize the information across platforms for relevant, ongoing targeting.  Brands with a solid approach to multi-platform data integration and data quality are best positioned to deliver a personalized, relevant customer experience. 

Tactical effectiveness varies
Targeted landing pages and personalized email messages are considered among the most effective data-driven marketing tactics and present the least difficulty for marketers.  Conversely, the least effective tactic – lead intelligence collection – is seen as 13 percent more difficult than it is effective.

Key Takeaway: Understanding which personalization tactics are most effective for your email program will help focus your efforts.  As you execute these tactics, continue to reevaluate their effectiveness as your customer needs, interests and expectations evolve.  Approach your data-driven marketing strategy as an evolution, not a revolution.

Read the full report for more insight on data-driven strategies. And to find out what role technology can play in your program’s success, read Technology is Changing, Is Your Marketing Strategy?

Is Your Marketing Automation Engaging?

Your marketing automation tool has a lot of features, but it has one goal: to engage your prospects – from the time they are captured, through opportunity, and after. But are you using it in the best way? Does your lead scoring work? Is nurturing moving people down the funnel? Are your emails and landing pages responsive to all devices and sizes? Is your marketing automation platform engaging your prospects?

You know your marketing automation platform is engaging your prospects when:

  1. Your campaigns integrate multiple channels, including emails, social media, and retargeting.
  2. Your marketing has blossomed from creating display ads and datasheets to a fully-realized member of the revenue team.
  3. The personas you spit-balled at first are proven to be on target.
  4. You can watch your KPIs increase in your dashboards.

Is Your Marketing Engaging?

Take the Engagement Marketing Maturity Model (EM3), a fast and easy self-assessment to measure your marketing team on their use of your marketing platform. Answer a few questions and discover your level of engagement in five different dimensions.

EM3 Results are rendered as engagement stages using the acronym PACE:

  • Passive
  • Active
  • Coordinated
  • Engaging

Results also include tips and benefits to increasing your PACE. So set your PACE of engagement marketing. Take the EM3 now.

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Are Your People & Processes Setting the PACE of Engagement?

The goal of marketing – whether it’s focused on demand gen, account based, or revenue – is engagement. Getting prospects engaged at every level helps move them closer to a sale. It’s imperative that your marketing is moving in the same direction. But is your team setting the pace?

Four ways to help your people and processes increase your pace of engagement:

  1. Track time spent on campaign or task delivery to determine which tasks take the most time but add the least value
  2. Unveil those processes that are bottlenecks and consider leveraging an outside source of skills to assist with delivery and alignment
  3. Consider where you should centralize or decentralize marketing functions
  4. Relieve your team from “the clutter” and encourage a more productive environment

What is your team’s current pace of engagement?

Take the Engagement Marketing Maturity Model (EM3), a fast and easy tool that allows you to self-assess your marketing team on their marketing processes. 

EM3 Results are rendered as engagement stages using the acronym PACE:

  • Passive
  • Active
  • Coordinated
  • Engaging

Results also include tips and benefits to increasing your PACE. So set your PACE of engagement marketing. Take the EM3 now.


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Dealing with Plain-Text Email Recipients

Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon and Caryl Mostacho, all Senior Consultants at Perkuto, responded to user questions during Perkuto Public Office Hour. Amarjit asked them how to manage plain text emails. Amarjit reports that the html links are being stripped, probably on the client-side server, as a security measure, for example, when subscribers have a government email address. They receive the emails but aren’t able to click through. 

Plain Text Emails

Caryl hasn’t seen this happen personally, so she recommends that the full URL be placed in the content, since she doesn’t know what mechanism is stripping the links on the user’s end.  Ashley has experienced this and says that whenever you’re emailing users at government domains, put the URL in brackets for a registration page or download page instead of placing a hyperlink so they still have the information. Amarjit, however, is concerned about this solution. He doesn’t want the email to look ugly or unprofessional for subscribers who are able to see the html version. Caryl agrees, and says it’s going to be tough to get around. She recommends leveraging things like dynamic contents so that the non html users can get a different version of the email that has a different format so that the call-to-action is legible and clearly defined in the absence of hyperlinks.

In addition to Caryl and Ashley’s responses, it’s worth noting that one of the main difficulties in marketing to clients who can only access plain-text emails is that tracking pixels aren’t accessible, so marketers won’t know if an email has been read.  Setting up a separate list for plain-text recipients may mean creating custom URLS to track their activity once they click through.  Marketo allows you to set up tracked links for text-only recipients, and it does take a little more time to manage a separate list but if a significant portion of your clients are on servers that strip the html content from their emails, then it may be worth the extra steps to create plain-text versions for those clients. 

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Dealing with Duplicated Leads During SFDC to Marketo Sync

During a recent Office Hour webinar, the Perkuto team was asked:

“When we upload lists in Marketo, does it not check to see if an email already exists? Could it allow duplicate records to be created?”

The individual that asked the question suspected that sync errors are the source of his duplicate contacts and hopes to find a solution during this call.

Duplicate Leads

Justin clarified that Marketo should be eliminating duplicates when a SFDC database is being uploaded, but that the parameters for de-duping need to be clarified. Adam offered insight about the source of the duplication and offered suggestions for setting up the process of removing the duplicates.

It may be that a contact in SFDC with no email address listed in the primary field isn’t being recognized as a duplicate. Marketo ignores contacts with no email address, since the purpose of it is to send emails.  Additionally, SFDC allows contacts to have multiple email addresses, and in the database one will be a “primary” while the second will be an “alternate.” Marketo ignores the “alternate” email address and retains only the primary email address.  If a subscriber opts in with an alternate email address, Marketo will not realize that it’s a duplicate entry because the email address is different. There are plenty of people in the world with the same first and last name.


Justin also says that Marketo can be programmed to de-dupe based on additional input lines, so that if you’re syncing a database with multiple variables, you can set it up to respond to multiple sources of input. This is beneficial when your SFDC and email campaigns are being used for multiple product lines, filtering contacts into more than once mailing list.

Troubleshooting sync issues can be a major issue and there are a wide range of factors to consider. Data handling can be amazing when it’s working flawlessly, but getting everything set up isn’t always fun. Designing a functional sync flow is one of Perkuto’s specialties. Seamless communication between SFDC and Marketo makes data analysis more accurate and helps users fine-tune their marketing efforts. Watch the video for more: 

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Best Practices for Setting up Lead Scoring in Marketo

During Perkuto’s Public Office Hour, Senior Consultants Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon, and Caryl Mostacho were asked about the current best practices for setting up lead scoring in Marketo.  Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing process for identifying the hottest leads for future sales, based on qualities you define as success indicators. Many companies struggle with lead scoring, but it’s wise to get the most out of your Marketo and CRM integration and scoring increases your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness. It’s an important aspect of sales and marketing automation strategies.

Lead Scoring in Marketo

Caryl explains that this is often one of the first and most important questions new clients ask and all three consultants agreed that it was fun. She says that new clients are right to be eager to begin scoring each new subscriber as soon as they engage with content.  However, she cautions that lead scoring should be as centralized and as consolidated as possible. It should be its own dedicated program, and she recommends leveraging myTokens, which allows you to easily change the value of each variable as you go, to keep your program flexible and responsive to real users.

Marketo offers a best practice program that can be downloaded and applied to your first Marketo instance, which will give you a feel for how this is set up and Ashley recommends this as a good starting point for users who are unfamiliar with how lead scoring works. Also, in the Marketo community, there are implementation resources, guides and tons of advice for things you can score, including demographics brought in from other databases via web hooks, or based on user behavior and specific engagement patterns that you recognize or are alerted to in analytics. The Marketo resources include a Lead Scoring Cheat Sheet, The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring, The Big List of Lead Scoring Rules and also The Who, What, Why, How of Lead Scoring.  Spend some time exploring these resource materials  for a better understanding of how lead scoring in Marketo works and how you can optimize Tokens for more effective scoring.

Caryl advises users to periodically review the tokens that you’ve put into place and make sure that the sales team is involved in the conversation, since they’re the ones using the score. Don’t be afraid to make changes based on what you’re learning about your users.

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How Perkuto & Uberflip Migrated from Hubspot to Marketo in Three Weeks


Uberflip is a platform for marketers to create, manage, and optimize content experiences, so that content can be fully leveraged by all company stakeholders at every stage of the buyer journey. By providing marketers with the tools they need to boost engagement, generate leads, and fuel demand generation, they can better leverage content to meet their goals.

Several years ago, Uberflip had selected Hubspot as their marketing automation platform. HubSpot was a great tool to start building processes for campaigns, but as Uberflip marketing got more complex, certain limitations were hit. These limits prevented the Uberflip team from being able to execute their marketing vision fully in the system. It also decreased their efficiency and ability to rapidly deploy campaigns as they scaled the volume of marketing initiatives.


  • Had outgrown Hubspot
  • Needed more customization
  • Desired a deeper integration with Salesforce
  • Needed scalability to meet the needs of a growing company


After a competitive selection process involving both Marketo and Pardot, Marketo was chosen as Uberflip’s new marketing automation platform. With 90,000 records in the contact database, a marketing team of four, and the Hubspot license expiring in a month, it was clear that migration help would be needed. 

 “We recruited Perkuto to help us manage the project and minimize team disruption, since our team still had our regular demand generation programs to run,” said Shannon Dougall, VP Marketing at Uberflip. “With a project of this scale, we had to ensure the business and operations kept running while we slowly switched things over on the back end.”

Why Perkuto:

  • Long-standing partnership
  • Experience with multiple migrations
  • Expertise (Multiple MCSAs, MCEs and Marketo Champions on staff)
  • Commitment to deliver project within near-impossible timeline 


Migration kicked off with a discovery session between Uberflip and Perkuto, walking through the operational workflows, scoring models, landing page templates, email templates, hand-off processes, data schema, sales processes, and general business roles in Salesforce and HubSpot.

Based on discovery, the Perkuto team put together a Technical Design Document (TDD) that served as the bible for the migration. The TDD acted as a project management document, and also detailed a strategy of Minimum Viable Project (MVP): the minimum to migrate for normal functionality while hitting the deadline. The MVP scope included migrating the database, campaign templates, and operational workflows. Full funnel nurtures, more templates, and in-depth scoring models would come later.

Usually migrations of this scale take a few months to complete, but with Perkuto’s strategic guidance and extra hands, along with the MVP strategy and team dedication, Uberflip was up and running in three weeks. As Kamil Ali Rextin, Growth & Demand Generation at Uberflip, recounts, “I still remember Perkuto saying, “Typically a migration takes months, three weeks is unheard of!” 

For more detail, please visit Uberflip’s post “Migrating from HubSpot to Marketo — How We Did It in Just Three Weeks” on the blog.

Perkuto services provided:

  • Hubspot to Marketo Migration
  • Marketo Strategy
  • Technical Documentation
  • Project Management
  • Extra Marketo Expertise

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Centralized Programs for Lead Source and UTM Tracking

In a recent Office Hour session, the Perkuto team was asked about having a centralized program for lead source tracking and multi-touch UTM tracking.

Lead Source Tracking

First, Justin Norris, Solutions Architect at Perkuto, discussed the option of building or buying a tracking infrastructure. An out-of-the-box solution works well for the majority of businesses.  With the build-your-own model, custom tracking scripts can be deployed and converted to cookies in a user’s system, using that data to sort potential clients and users into campaigns. While the customization possibilities are enormous in that environment, a marketer would still need analytic software to process the data. Justin recommends Visible Analyst because the tracking is built into every touch point. It’s like having Google Analytics plugged into every step of your campaign. Unfortunately, however, the reports aren’t robust enough to manipulate the data and tie the results into your life cycle. So it works well for tracking but the data it serves isn’t  always useful for strategic planning. Different tools have their own distinctive features and benefits. Other popular options are:

  • Marketo RCE
  • Salesforce
  • BrightFunnel

Lead Processing

On the topic of centralized lead processing, Justin says that it’s important to have a working model of the life cycle of each lead, so that each event triggers the next logical event in the process. Justin gives a typical example of a lead processing life cycle:

The lead is created, a web hook retrieves additional data to enrich the lead’s profile, a lead is scored, and then routed to the CRM. If those processes are occurring in the wrong order, sales staff can receive incomplete data. Each of those processes needs to be daisy-chained together in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for the sales team to do their job.

A rigorous testing grid should be applied before the system is determined functional. Life cycle processing is the heart of your system and little things that don’t work can snowball into missed opportunities. Here’s a short video that captured part of the conversation: 

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Tips and Ideas for Using Webhooks

If you’re ready to unlock one of the most powerful tools in the Launch Point Ecosystem, start integrating webhooks. Webhooks are a data interaction tool that gives marketers the power to create custom flow actions based on a network of hundreds of pre-existing and user-defined databases. Consultants Justin Norris and Adam Hodgden recently shared helpful information about web hooks during one of our free Office Hour sessions.

Use of Webhooks

Justin believes that webhooks are not used frequently enough. Webhooks push or pull data from another URL when a user takes action, creating an engagement or enriching your database, automatically. In response to specific actions when using marketing automation, some users have set up webhooks to:

  • trigger tactile marketing moments
  • send gift packages, thank-you cards and post cards
  • automatically send a text message to sales representatives when a prospect or client attends an event
  • push lead data directly to an external analytics platform or Salesforce

ClearBit and CrunchBase integration aggregates user data from public social media profiles and other external sources. Imagine using big data to see that a large portion of your most loyal clients were cigar enthusiasts. Information like that might impact your decision to publish a lung cancer article on your company blog or place ads directly targeting cigar smokers. A bigger tool kit broadens your horizons. Instead of analyzing revenue cycles intuitively, you can use data to tweak your pipeline and funnel, maximizing what works best and minimizing what’s ineffective. With just a few clicks, you can create visual timelines of engagement. For an individual client, your organization looks professional and organized. For large groups of clients, you can ensure that your process is meeting their needs. If 40% of your users in Minneapolis decide to purchase or unsubscribe after reading the week 3 email, you’d want to know about it.

Get More from Webhooks

For search engine marketing, social campaigns, and online advertising, webhooks really shine. You can measure ROI from demand generation media campaigns, retrieve a list of new users and their Klout score, optimize media programs based on their highest converting parameters, and improve lead quality by providing early insight into potential data issues. Make the most of available data on your current users, and future prospects by integrating webhooks with your marketing and customer relationship experience. Watch the video clip to hear more from their conversation:  

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Demandbase Closes $65M In Funding To Fuel AI, Machine-Learning Growth

Written by: Brian Anderson

demandbase fundingDemandbase, a leading account-based marketing (ABM) platform vendor, announced that it has closed $65 million in funding to fuel growth in its artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology. The round of funding was led by existing investor Sageview Capital, along with new investor Silver Lake Waterman.

The funding continues Demandbase’s expansion into the AI landscape. The company acquired data science company Spiderbook in 2016 to extend its AI capabilities. The company also acquired WhoToo in 2015 to enhance its data intelligence offerings.

Along with accelerating growth in its AI and machine-learning capabilities, the company stated that the funds will also help extend its ABM leadership position as ABM adoption expands. Existing investors Adobe Systems, Altos Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Scale Venture Partners, Sigma Partners and Split Rock Partners also participated in the funding round. Demandbase has received more than $150 million in funding to date.

“Companies spend more than $40 billion every year marketing themselves digitally to other businesses. ABM provides a much more efficient way to laser-target the right accounts and better align marketing spend with sales activity,” said Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, in a statement. “This additional financing will allow us to fast-track the innovation behind our AI-powered ABM solutions and make our platform a must-have for all B2B companies.”