Even More Tips on How to Get on the Inc 500: How Two Companies Did It

Modern Marketing


We had a great webinar last week on 10 Tips to Get on the Inc 500: How Two Companies Did It with Jon Miller, VP of Marketing Content and Strategy and Co-Founder at Marketo, and Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute. Our audience asked some great questions, but unfortunately we ran out of time. So, we wanted to do a follow-up blog post and share our answers with all of our readers.

Q. What happens when there is only one person in marketing doing everything? Would you say that is a non-effective marketing department?

A (Jon and Joe). We get it, but honestly, it’s an excuse. If you look at many of the Inc 500 list (like us), we started as a one-person band. A great way to get more out of what you are already doing is to effectively outsource tasks. Additionally, when it comes to content, make sure you are re-purposing it. An example is this webinar. From the webinar we have a SlideShare presentation, a video, and this blog post. Sometimes we will even create a whitepaper or an infographic from our webinars. Make sure you are getting the most out of what you already have.

Q. How is a lead being tracked across all touch points? Is this built into the Marketo platform?

A (Jon). This is something that Marketo does. We can track all online activity, webpage visits, keywords, email clicks, etc. More broadly, we can also track lead progression through marketing programs. As an example, for an event we can track who has been invited, who has registered, and who has attended. Everything is automated to drive success.

Q. How do you measure your investment? Including employee time?

A. (Jon). Great question! To really measure marketing ROI you do need to think of all the costs. Take a look at section 2 and 3 in The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics . This will give you a really good explanation of how you should be tracking measurements. However, tracking ROI is really difficult to do. At Marketo, we typically focus on only measuring variable program costs, although the product can track other kinds of costs. We decide what to track on a cost benefit basis–where should we be spending our time? With employee time, this is absolutely something to take into consideration, but we do not have our employees track exact time. For instance, it might not be as important to us that an employee spent 37 hours producing this webinar. However, it is important to note that an employee spent a good chunk of time producing this webinar. Ideally, you would track time, but is it worth it? Especially for a smaller business.

Q. Can you share any information about the cost of contributed content? Eg. Per blog post or having an influencer/blogger share content? Or is it generally a horse trade of exposure for content?

A (Joe). It’s all over the board. Traditionally (in the publishing business) $1 per word used to be standard. Now, you can get a very good blog post for under $100 per post (but probably not a great one, and you need great content). At CMI, we partner with industry influencers to have them write content for us (at no cost) in exchange for promotion on our site. That is why building your email channels and traffic is so important. The faster you can grow your influence, the easier it will be to get influencers to contribute to your site.

Q. How do you interact with the sales people? How do you manage conversion of leads sent?

A (Jon). At Marketo, we have defined a rigorous revenue cycle that tracks the entire process from entering the funnel to marketing activities to sales, including leads that get recycled from sales back to marketing. By having this well-defined, it lets us establish common definitions and service level agreements between marketing and sales. That way, when marketing sends a lead to sales everyone knows exactly what it is and exactly what needs to happen. This greatly helps sales and marketing alignment. Additionally, by tracking the movement through the revenue stages it gives us the ability to understand conversion in a detailed fashion.

Q. Do you incentivize the influencers you work with?

A (Joe). Yes, by promoting their information on all of our channels and editing their content so they look and sound like rock stars! Any other forms of incentive don’t make sense to me.

Q. Do you have any suggestions on where to look for building your marketing department?

A (Jon). We have had great success with both employee referrals and LinkedIn. At Marketo, we use an application called Jobvite to process all employee referrals. Through the interface an employee can log on and see what we have available. They can also set up Tweets or Linkedin and Facebook posts advertising our job availabilities. When someone applies directly through the employee’s personal link we can track that. We also do recruiting on LinkedIn, which is a great platform to source the right kind of candidate. Take a look at one of our recent blog posts, Where to Find a Marketing Automation Expert , which has some great information on our recruiting techniques.

Missed the webinar? Check out the slides for a recap!