- Published in Industry Insights
DemandGen International CEO David Lewis sits down with Demand Gen Report to outline how the marketer’s presence has changed over the years at Dreamforce, while also highlighting how marketing automation is continuing to grow as a major factor for companies and how it has been affecting DemandGen International.
The signs of change are everywhere. With the Salesforce acquisition of ExactTarget and Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua, the lines between CRM and marketing automation are disappearing. At the same time the roles and expectations of sales and marketing teams are being re-written.
Rather than simply driving and managing leads in the upper funnel, progressive companies are discovering a new hourglass model aimed at both accelerating customer acquisition and strengthening customer retention.
On November 14, Marketo announced the launch of LaunchPoint, the company's new partner ecosystem. The announcement was the third in a series related to the company's Marketing Nation initiative, which was launched in late October.
The current announcements related to the Marketing Nation initiative include:
Marketo Program Exchange. Marketo is developing a shared library of pre-built, verified marketing programs for the company's user community. Program Exchange templates cover categories such as lead scoring, email campaigns, lead nurturing, webinar creation and SEM.
Marketing automation vendor Pardot reported its most successful quarter to date, adding 143 new clients in Q2 2012. The company also sealed a significant deal with Dell in the second quarter, with the computer manufacturer now offering Pardot to its small business customers. Also in Q2, Pardot was awarded a large line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank, which, according to the company, will be used to fund its growth and customer service initiatives. Pardot’s client list includes more than 1,300 companies worldwide.
Marketo this week launched Marketo Social Marketing, a suite of social marketing automation products including Marketo Social Boost, Marketo Social Promotions, and Social Data analysis. The suite is aimed at helping marketers to identify key influencers using social media services.
The company announced the launch this week at the Marketo User Summit in San Francisco. “We are in an incredible, worldwide business shift, with digital and social media at its core,” said Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez during the opening keynote. “The buyer is in control. Marketing and selling must now adapt.”
The announcement comes in the wake of Marketo's acquisition last month of social marketing startup Crowd Factory, which provided much of the underlying technology included in the Marketo Social Marketing suite.
Last month we published an article predicting adoption of demand generation and marketing automation solutions was poised for a growth surge in 2010. However, the fourth quarter sales growth reported by several vendors, combined with a significant uptick in pipeline activity during the first few weeks of the New Year, point to 2010 emerging as a breakout year for the category.
In this economy, mitigating personal and corporate risk is as much a priority for BtoB buyers as it is for consumers. Although many marketers have successfully addressed risk-averse shoppers by offering free trials for the past few years, industry experts say those offers are starting to lose their appeal and suggest that marketers now need to look at alternative means of showcasing their product and demonstrating ROI without a significant time commitment from the prospective buyer.
“There’s great over-reliance on the free trial strategy, especially in the high-tech sector and specifically for hosted (SaaS) software vendors,” says Howard Sewell, President, Connect Direct, Inc. “Free trials are popular because they’re perceived to be the shortest route to a sale, but what they really do is eliminate a huge subset of potential customers at the outset—people who may well have the relevant pain or problem, but who simply don’t want to expend the time or hassle downloading, installing and evaluating the actual product.”