Every once in a while a great marketing idea comes along. Something that is fresh, informative and interesting.
Eloqua, the marketing automation and revenue performance management platform, developed a great way to share information with their market: a series of informational guides/videos tied to a fictional character named Juan Eloqua. Here's what Brian Kardon, Eloqua’s CMO, had to say about the creation of this series.
Where did the idea for Juan Eloqua come from?
As you know, Trish, marketers are increasingly becoming content marketers and publishers. The volume of white papers, guides, lists, blog posts, videos, webinars is rising fast. But much of what is published is dull and lacks excitement. I am a student of marketing and love the enduring legacy – and marketing genius – of brand characters like The Jolly Green Giant, Mr. Clean, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and the social-savvy Old Spice guy. We were interested in launching a series of helpful marketing guides. So, rather than just launch these guides we wanted to make it exciting by creating a character that becomes part of the brand. That’s Juan Eloqua, master grower of coffee and revenue.
Juan is the way we will introduce our Grande Guides. The first guide is about lead scoring. The second, sales enablement. We have many others planned. Marketers are crazy busy, so our idea was to create something they could read in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Something very consumable – averaging 6-10 pages long.
People always think video production is crazy expensive. What kind of investment did you make in this series?
When we started talking about this idea, one of my kids, who is in high school, suggested I speak to their high school video production teacher, Mr. Garland. Well, I did and Mr. Garland ended up directing the spots. The camera operator was one of his former students who is now studying film in college. The man who plays Juan Eloqua is a Professor of Drama at Wellesley College, and he was born in Columbia. He’s great isn’t he? And finally, based on our budget, we shot it at my house.
You went with “lead scoring” for your first guide, how do you think about the difference between explicit and implicit scoring?
Explicit scoring is based on the “who you are”. Your demographics… name, title, company revenues, etc.
Implicit scoring is “what you do”. Your behavior: Have you downloaded a white paper? Have you been to a pricing paging? What search terms did you use on Google?
What we have learned is that, for us, what you do (implicit) is more important than who you are (explicit). We are constantly validating our lead scoring algorithms to see how well they correlate with actual buying behavior. Until you correlate lead score with actual purchase, it’s all guessing.
Our mantra to our clients is that you have to understand people, process & technology to be successful. How do you relate that to lead scoring?
Totally agree, Trish! Too many people believe the technology alone will solve the problem. As you know, it will not. Technology is a secondary consideration. One big indicator for success that we see across our clients is the collaboration between Sales and Marketing. This is a journey, and the leaders in Sales and Marketing have to take the journey together.
We've found that when companies fist purchase a marketing automation system, their excitement about the new process/technology leads them to then beat the crap out of their database. What's your read on this tendancy towards "subscriber fatigue"?
Great question. We recommend you go at a pace that maintains a conversation. If a prospect says “hello” to you, say “hello” back. But, if someone has not said “hello” to you in months, don’t keep saying “hello…hello…hello”. If prospects in the database keep engaging you, keep engaging them. For instance, if they download a white paper on a specific topic it makes sense to send them info on other relevant topics. You want to have a conversation going and the foundation of that conversation is content that is relevant to the buyer. On the flip side of the coin, if they aren’t engaging with you then once a month is enough.
That said, it’s OK to start a nurturing program that touches prospects in the database 2-3x/month. But you should advance beyond that as you take your journey. Many marketers, feeling pressure to hit a target # of inquiries or MQLs in a particular quarter, will hit their database too often and see their unsubscribes spike. Rookie mistake.
The other thing you have to keep in mind is that you have to add names consistently. I have seen too many marketers do the porpoise… one quarter they come up for air and add a ton of names and hit them hard and the next quarter they submerge and do nothing. Marketing is really a formula and net new names is a big part of a successful formula.
Much thanks to Brian for his time and insight. You can download the Guides on Lead Scoring and Sales Enablement and watch the most recent video at the Grande Guides page.