Marketo is the clear Angles of Impact™ top-ranked Winner. It’s first for paid search, landing page and lead follow-up and is a not-so-shabby second for its confirmation page.
The Marketo paid-search program was outstanding. Marketo dominates the search category for marketing automation, showing how to do more with less: Its search budget is 32 percent less than the average of the companies researched. Its ad copy aligns well with very focused keywords, and it undergoes frequent A/B testing.
Marketo follow-up with leads started off well but faltered. An email with a content download reached a prospect’s inbox one minute after he requested it, but there was no phone follow-up. Omitting an outbound-call component for engagement is a typical misstep among the companies researched. For Marketo, it’s surprising.
Marketo sweeps the paid-search category with an aggressive $81,600 monthly Google AdWords spend, 60 different landing pages and ongoing A/B testing for continually refined results.Marketo’s laser-like category focus on “marketing automation” and narrow head terms (e.g. “marketing automation,” “marketing automation software,” “marketing automation comparison,” “marketing automation platform”) reflects its strategy to be the category killer.
Marketo’s laser-like category focus on “marketing automation” and narrow head terms (e.g. “marketing automation,” “marketing automation software,” “marketing automation comparison,” “marketing automation platform”) reflects its strategy to be the category killer.
That effort comes at a relatively high cost: $29.98 cost per click for its 10 best-performing keywords. Marketo, however, makes the most of that investment by using its keywords in its ad copy. (See below.)
Note that “marketing automation” appears twice in the Marketing Automation 101 ad, and combining it with “101” makes it seem simple, yet comprehensive. This also makes it easy for a busy prospect searching for “marketing automation” to find what he’s looking for and turn into a Marketo lead.
To make its landing page a home run, Marketo should move up its “Rave Reviews from Leading Experts.” (See below.) The third-party validation it offers falls below the fold. Additionally, Marketo fails to feature some of its truly blue-chip brands. It does a very good job, however, keeping prospects focused on marketing automation and the download it’s offering.
A prospect won’t see this without some digging, but Marketo does practice what it preaches: It uses display advertising, retargeting, analytics, automation, social media and customer interaction technologies to learn more about and better serve its prospects. Some of the apps Marketo has deployed are Bizo, DoubleClick.net, Google Analytics and Retargeting, AdRoll, Optimizely, CrazyEgg and Live Person. (For more information, ask for the detailed Marketo scorecard, available from Angles, Inc.)
Given its investment in a superb landing page, the use of 11 apps − including its own − it’s surprising that the Marketo confirmation page doesn’t include any personalization, like the prospect’s first name or company affiliation that had just been submitted. (See below.)
The page, though, works well otherwise: It thanks the user, explains what’s next and offers additional, immediate engagement opportunities (e.g., watch a demo, explore the resource center). It also reflects the Marketo brand in look and feel and in tone.
The company’s strong performance continued with the Marketo email follow-up with prospects. Its Marketing Automation 101 guide hit the prospect’s inbox in one minute, in much less time than it took competitors’ initial email to arrive. It wasn’t personalized, though. (See below.) That’s odd since the Marketo application enables that smart touch.
While the subject line of the first Marketo email − Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation − was relevant, it too lacked personalization and wasn’t engaging. A more personalized, action-oriented line would be better: Mary, Check out Your Marketing Automation 101 Guide.
The copy in this first email and Marketo email overall was very good: It’s relevant to the prospect’s stated need and offers additional complimentary content and webinars. In a series of five email, Marketo methodically makes its case by showcasing its benefits in bite-sized pieces. It misses the mark, however, by failing to weave in third-party validation or social proof like the big-name customers featured on the Marketo home page.
The fifth email received in five days was the weakest in the series. It featured “Marketing Summer Reading Guides,” not exactly gripping beach reading. It read as though Marketo ran out of anything new to say. A better approach: Feature a customer case study.
Marketo should optimize its email since it’s hard-pressed to do any outbound calling at this stage − even if it sees a high “Lead Score” (a Marketo activity metric) from a prospect spending a lot of time on Marketo.com. That’s because it didn’t ask for a telephone number on its landing-page form, a strategic albeit puzzling move. Inbound marketing, while important, doesn’t negate the need for outreach to reel in and hook a lead.