Get Started: Taking the First Step to Bigger Marketing Results | Episode 41

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Growth can be a hard-fought journey – especially in this economy. And sometimes it is hard to know where to even begin with amping up efforts to improve revenue results.

In this episode, we are joined by fellow demand generation expert, Mary Keough, to talk about an initial step you can take to get on your way to the path that moves the needle and delivers bigger results through marketing to support your company’s growth mission.

We talk about how taking a look back at your marketing programs and tying it back to outcomes will arm you with information to map out a go-forward plan that can help point you in the right direction. Listen now to learn tips to get bigger results and sustainable long-term growth.

00:01 | Introduction
01:44 | Why playing the marketing short game is a mistake
03:31 | The importance of focusing on the marketing long game
08:01 | Analyzing goals, strategy, and KPIs
09:43 | Qualitative data analysis
10:39 | Quantitative data analysis
13:18 | Example of a company not using their CRM effectively
19:27 | Analyzing data to determine where leads are coming from
22:06 | Revenue as the ultimate measure of marketing success
24:01 | Focusing on leads with buying intent
26:42 | Own the result and contribute to growth
28:24 | Stop ineffective marketing tactics and focus on what works
30:07 | User experience matters, make it easy for prospects
31:27 | Tie marketing programs to outcomes to improve results
31:46 | Conclusion

0:00:01 Jenni: Hey, everybody. It’s Jenni from GrowthMode Marketing. You’re listening to The Demand Gen Fix, the podcast where our team of GrowthModers and our guests discuss the ins and outs of demand generation and why we believe it’s the key to long term sustainable growth, especially in the HR tech industry.

0:00:20 Deanna: Hello, Deanna here. If your company is behind on revenue targets, this episode is for you. We’re going to dig in to talk about an initial step you can take to get on your way to the path that moves the needle and delivers bigger results through marketing support to support your company’s growth mission. I’m excited to have my friend and fellow demand generation marketer, Mary Keough, on the show today to chat about this topic.

0:00:44 Deanna: Mary is co-host of the Purposeful Marketing Podcast, and an active influencer in the marketing space on LinkedIn. In fact, that’s how I met her, was through LinkedIn. So Mary, welcome to the show.

0:00:56 Mary Keough: Thanks, Deanna. I’m so excited to be here. This is a cool space for me to talk about. I’m not usually in HR finance. I’ve spent a lot of time, like agency side, software as a service in sales and marketing, and then industrial manufacturing. So, so fun to explore other industries.

0:01:13 Deanna: Indeed, and I have been connected with you for quite a while on LinkedIn, and I know, even though you’ve got your specializations in different industries, that a lot of the things that you talk about from a marketing perspective and demand generation align very well with how we think about marketing and how we help our clients at GrowthMode Marketing. And so, whether it’s a technology in the industrial space, or in the HR tech space, there’s a lot we can learn from each other, and I’m excited to share some of those thoughts with our audience today.

0:01:44 Deanna: So, let’s dig in and talk about some of the marketing mistakes that we commonly see companies make. I know you and I agree on this one, but playing the short game, and I don’t think most marketers realize that they’re playing the short game, but if they’re not putting enough, or any focus on the long game, that really hurts. And so, I’d love, from your perspective, Mary, what does that mean? Playing the short game versus playing the long game.

0:02:12 Mary Keough: Yeah, so super, super tactically, like in digital marketing space, playing the short game would be doing Google ads, doing ebook downloads, getting basically super generalized personal contact information, like a first name, last name, email company, maybe even just digging through Zoom info, and then handing it off to your sales team to try and start a conversation. So, what that short game does is boost your lead numbers for that particular week, month, quarter, whatever short term game you’re playing.

0:02:44 Mary Keough: And in the long run, if you’re not tracking all of those leads through to opportunity, and closed one, or closed box customer, you’re really doing yourself and your sales team a disservice. So, that’s why. That’s what playing the short game means to me and why it is not necessarily what marketers should be doing.

0:03:01 Deanna: As marketers over the years, we’ve been trained to like, our job is to bring in leads, right? And so, it started becoming a quantity game, and what happened is then the quality became secondary to the quantity. That’s where when you start to talk about lead generation versus demand generation, in my perspective, if you’re doing lead generation, you’re really only focused on trying to uncover the 5% that are in market to buy right now.

0:03:31 Deanna: And when the economy is bad, it’s probably not 5%, it’s probably 1% of companies that are actually in market, and in essence, you’re playing the short game because you’re trying to find leads now, but you’re ignoring that 95 to 90% of the market that’s not ready to buy today. And that’s a problem because from a long term perspective, if you’re going to grow your revenue and hit those growth targets, you’ve got to be ahead of the game, and you’ve got to understand how prospects are buying today because, I think, it’s getting harder and harder to uncover those in market opportunities.

0:04:09 Deanna: And if you aren’t in front of them long before they’re ready to buy, to build that brand awareness, that trust, that credibility, and ultimately that demand in the market, you’re going to have a lot less opportunities to actually get in front of the 5% that are in market today.

0:04:28 Mary Keough: Yeah, 100%. And I know you’re in the SaaS space, so this is probably very unique to the technology space, finance, healthcare, I’ve heard this a lot in. I come from industrial manufacturing, and the space is even more, I would call it short term or almost just like nearsighted, so marketing isn’t even responsible for leads in the manufacturing world, which is really interesting. So we’re not responsible for most of the ones I’ve worked for in the mid market space.

0:04:56 Mary Keough: You’re just responsible for doing what sales and product tells you to do. That is literally your job as a marketer. We’re about to release this new feature, or an upgraded product, so an upgraded nozzle system. Your job is to go update the product page, go make a brochure, and send out an e-blast. That’s it.

0:05:14 Mary Keough: Okay, go do it, go do it!

0:05:17 Mary Keough: No strategic input; you’re not measured on anything aside from number of activities, like number of requests that come in versus number of requests that you fulfill in any given time period. So, it’s even more frustrating, I feel, in the manufacturing and industrial space, and it’s what I hear a lot from marketers in that space, is not even that we’re not hitting a goal; we don’t have a goal.

0:05:41 Mary Keough: I have no idea how the activities I’m doing translate, except that it makes my engineering and sales team happy, so it’s even more frustrating for that industry.

0:05:53 Deanna: Well, and I think some marketers might sit back and be like, you know what, I would rather work in that environment where I don’t have that pressure on my shoulders. A little later in the conversation, we’ll come back to this topic because I think there are some things you need to think about on that perspective. If you take the easy path, it puts you at a lot more risk. There’s a reason that marketing is often, unfortunately, one of the first spots where budget cuts hit in an organization,

0:06:19 Deanna: and if you’re going to live in that world, you’ve got to do things to really add meaningful value to the organization in a way that they understand that the last thing they should be doing, when revenue is down, is cutting down their marketing programs.

0:06:35 Mary Keough: Yep, exactly. Yeah. Well said.

0:06:39 Deanna: So, I think the first step to moving the needle with marketing, let’s talk about it. You’re already doing marketing. I know you have come into organizations, Mary, we’ve talked about this, where you had to pick up where the marketing is and figure out how do we become more effective; how do we find the low hanging fruit to make an impact and help that organization move forward because I think that’s where a lot of marketing teams are at. They’re like, hey, we’re doing marketing.

0:07:11 Deanna: We can’t figure out, or break through what we’re doing wrong, or what we’re missing because we’re doing all the things we’re reading about. We’re doing digital advertising. We’ve got our website; we’re doing webinars; we’re doing trade shows. They’re checking all the boxes, but they’re still falling short from a growth perspective with the organization.

0:07:31 Mary Keough: Yeah, I actually agree with that. And that’s exactly where marketing was at the company I just previously worked for, Map My Customers, which was a software as a service company for the sales world. It was like, marketing is hitting numbers, but we’re missing major targets; major revenue targets, so while marketing is celebrating their wins, we’re missing revenue at the company’s bottom lines. If this is where you’re at, there’s two things that you can do to help yourself really get a clear vision.

0:08:01 Mary Keough: So, number one is get a high level idea of what the goal, strategy, and KPI is for, not just your marketing department, but for your business as a whole is. So, what’s the goal for 2023, 2024? What is the strategy to reach that goal and how are we going to measure it? So what are the KPIs you can use to measure it? So, that’ll kind of help you just really put some guardrails on what you should and should not be doing, because if something doesn’t fit in the strategy, it’s a really easy way to say, I’m not going to do that, but then figuring out what’s working and what’s not working;

0:08:35 Mary Keough: you’re going to want to do a two part analysis, so a quantitative and a qualitative analysis. So, what numbers is marketing hitting that they’re celebrating, but why are we missing that target down the line? And you and I talked about this a few weeks ago, and it’s really just, marketing just hands off the leads and they’re done. It’s like an assembly line, right? So, you’re part of this big manufacturing line. I come from manufacturing, so I do these analogies really well.

0:08:58 Mary Keough: You’re just one piece in that line. We’re building a car. You’re in charge of the engine. You hand off that engine to sales; sales puts some parts onto the engine, hands it off to customer success; customer success puts it together, and then you guys ship off the product.

0:09:12 Mary Keough: That’s the kind of way that we operate., but now what we’re doing is, what if that engine is faulty, which is what we’re finding out, right? You’re missing your growth target, so something is not working in that engine. So you need to reverse engineer that whole process and say, why is the engine not working? So, where are you getting a ton of leads from these short term things, like ebook downloads, Zoom info, contacts, like really bad quality Google Ads? Why are they not converting into opportunities and customers?

0:09:43 Mary Keough: So that’s a really good way to find out what’s not working, and then on the other side, where you’re winning, why are you winning those deals? Where are they coming from? What kind of journey are they having in your CRM? Your CRM is going to be your best friend during this quantitative analysis. So, you’re really just reverse engineering, like what’s working and what’s not in that quantitative analysis. Like what you and I talked about, I think that’s like the biggest miss for most marketing teams.

0:10:07 Deanna: I absolutely agree. I think a lot of organizations, they don’t measure it, and they don’t know how. One of the challenges that I see working with clients at GrowthMode, and just talking to a lot of companies out there that always surprises me, but at this point it shouldn’t, because I run into it all the time, is they don’t know how to go about getting the data. It’s one thing to do the qualitative because you can look at things and take a gut read on them. What’s the feedback from the sales team?

0:10:39 Deanna: What does it feel like is working and what isn’t? What does it feel like, the handoff between sales and marketing, but the quantitative piece, the data is only as good as the data that was inputted, right? And so, the challenge that I see a lot of organizations have, where they’re like, we don’t even know where to begin with this because they haven’t kept good data, and I’m not talking about an organization that is even a startup. We’ve seen this with organizations that are ten figures or more.

0:11:10 Deanna: Ten figures, that’s a really big number, but you know what I mean? Like, they might be a $35 million company. They don’t have good data. They don’t have a true CRM, and if they do, they’re putting it in there and they’ve never cleaned it up, and they don’t know how to track it back to the marketing things. I mean, I’m sure you’ve run into that in your career too, Mary, even just walking into organizations, and having worked previously in the agency world, if you’re in that spot as a marketer, where do you start? How do you dig in when the data doesn’t exist?

0:11:40 Mary Keough: I’ll start with my high level and then some examples that I’ve seen, so the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today. Just because you didn’t do it ten years ago doesn’t mean you can’t start getting really good data if you already have a CRM today. If you do not have a CRM and you’re looking into it, highly, highly recommend hiring a consultant who specializes in the CRM space. They’re really going to help you narrow that down.

0:12:06 Mary Keough: I’ve heard nothing but great experiences when companies do this because they don’t have to deal with the nitty gritty, like, what questions should I be asking? What questions am I not asking? So, high level hire a consultant if you don’t have one. Second is, what do we do with the data that we have? And I think this has to get really specific into the problem your company is having, so I’ll use one really specific example from my agency world. We had an industrial company, who 90% of their revenue was coming from their existing customer base, which is awesome, right?

0:12:38 Mary Keough: We know from Business 101 it takes a lot of energy resources to acquire a new customer, but their growth was incredibly plateaued, like plateaued for the past five years. They were growing at really, really small rates, like three to five percent. They were attributing it to not getting enough new customers, and when we dug into their website, they had just a general email inbox for inquiries. There were leads coming in from companies they had never done business with that just weren’t getting answered; no follow up. Just, like knowing what the goal is. So, this company wanted to grow their new customer base because their existing customer base was so strong.

0:13:18 Mary Keough: So, how do you get new customers? Let’s see how you’re getting new customers today, so today it was through this email inbox and their website form, and they were just disappearing. So we talk about low hanging fruit. That’s probably the lowest hanging fruit there is. You have somebody in your inbox saying, I want to do business with you and you’re not answering them.

0:13:37 Deanna: That happens so often, and it’s sad because we’re all desperate to get more leads in the inbox, right? And the best leads are the ones that raise their hands and say, I want to talk to you. That’s going to be a million times better than the lead that the SDR went out and found, and asked to take an appointment, and they said yes because in this case, it’s the opposite. They’re asking us for an appointment and when you don’t respond to them the right way, it is such a missed opportunity, and I just think of all the resources and money that got thrown out the door to bring that lead in just to let it go to waste.

0:14:12 Mary Keough: Yeah, 100%. That happens so often, especially in teams that don’t have a CRM, because the benefits of a CRM, if you use it the right way, is you can automate a lot of those reminders. So, it can send an automated reminder to Deanna in her email inbox saying, hey, you have a lead waiting for you, and you can give her reminders every two to three days, if you want to do that. So yeah, you’re definitely missing out on the benefits of automation within a CRM if you don’t have one. Can’t recommend CRMs enough. They are not a sales tool, they are not a marketing tool; They are a business tool., and I think the faster that businesses realize that, the faster that they can make really big leaps and bounds, but that’s a story for another day.

0:14:54 Deanna: I agree, and, I think, a lot of organizations, they have some sort of CRM, and their mind is there like, we need this, but they don’t know how to use it; they don’t necessarily set it up the right way, and they’re not capturing some of the information that, from a marketing and sales standpoint, will help you get that data that you need to be able to make more informed decisions about what’s working in marketing and what’s not and where you need to adjust to things.

0:15:21 Mary Keough: I think that has so much to do with expecting the tool to solve your problem, when it’s really like the tool is a tool to help you initiate the solution that you already figured out. So, again, from the manufacturing world, there’s a concept called lean manufacturing, and what you do in lean manufacturing is, like the number one goal is to find and eliminate waste in any process; that’s like number one goal of lean manufacturing.

0:15:47 Mary Keough: So, the way that you do this is you first, define what the process is and how it brings value to the customer; just making sure the customer is always at the center of your business process, and then second, you do a thing called value stream mapping. And what that is, is just a diagram of the business process that you’re trying to eliminate waste in. So, you brought it up perfectly. You have a lead handoff; you have the way that a lead comes in and the way that it’s processed by your sales team, whether that’s an existing customer or a new customer coming in. So, the first thing you want to do is just diagram that process.

0:16:22 Mary Keough: So, maybe a lead comes in, it’s an existing customer, they email your salesperson and say, hey sales guy, I need a quote for this piece of product, or I need a quote. I need to know; I have a new sales guy coming in and I need to bring them into our software as a service. So, lead emails the rep. Rep processes that; creates a quote. The quote goes in through back to the customer, so they can either sign it, then it goes through negotiation, then it either goes to accepted or rejected, right? So, that’s the quote process.

0:16:53 Mary Keough: So, number one is you’re expecting your CRM to just solve this magic thing, but there’s the solution right there. Now it’s reverse engineering that process and saying, where can our CRM help us track this process better? So, how can it help us process the email? That’s pretty easy. Most CRMs have some kind of email integration, so it automatically uploads into the CRM system of record. Then you have this quote processing system.

0:17:22 Mary Keough: So, whether you do that through an ERP; whether you do that through PDFs, it doesn’t matter. You can attach it into the CRM. So, okay, now that’s in the CRM. So, what’s the next step in the process? It goes back to the customer and is negotiated. That whole email chain is now saved in the CRM, and then you have accepted or rejected. So, within that process, there you go, so your solution is how do we capture each of those steps into our now CRM and then how do we optimize it in the long run?

0:17:53 Mary Keough: So many teams, whether it’s marketing, sales, businesses; they want the quick win. They want to just solve the issue now; they want to buy the thing that’s going to solve the issue without first defining the problem. What are we actually trying to do here?

0:18:07 Deanna: Yeah, that’s so true, and I see that a lot too. Okay, so let’s say they have the CRM, they have the data there, and it’s time to start digging in because they know they need to do something differently in marketing. I know that you did this at the last company you were at because I saw your post about it on LinkedIn. How do you look at the data? What should you be trying to figure out from it?

0:18:31 Mary Keough: Yeah, so I’m really lucky that the way that my sales team was using the CRM was pretty robust, so they were capturing a lot of data in a lot of very well defined fields. So, the first thing I did was just say, where are all our closed one or close lost opportunities from the last 18 months? So, that’s column one, was just like customer; it was a closed one or close lost. Then you have where did they come from? So, we called it source; other people might call it something different, deal, source, whatever.

0:19:01 Mary Keough: Where did it come from, so that’s one. Then it was how long did it take to go to close one and close lost? And then what was the amount of that closed one or close lost opportunity. So, from there it’s really easy, you could just do a pivot table, or create your own report in your CRM. We had HubSpot, so it’s really, really easy to do this in HubSpot, which is awesome. You can just say, here is exactly where our closed lost customers are coming, so where are we losing them all? Where are we winning most of them?

0:19:27 Mary Keough: And what I found out was, unfortunately, our old outbound notion, which we were just cold calling people and convincing them to sit in on a demo, shockingly, was not converting that well. While it was creating a lot of pipeline, it was not converting into revenue for the company. And then on the opposite side, so on the inbound side, we had a lot of inbound leads coming in from SEO, but those leads were not converting to opportunities, so they weren’t converting to pipeline because they were just low quality.

0:19:58 Mary Keough: They didn’t really meet our ICP, but where a really vast majority of our converted closed one customers were coming from were things like the tour, so our product tour, our pricing page, stuff we were doing with thought leadership. So, we had a podcast, so that’s like where most of our customers were coming from. Not surprising to Deanna or myself, but might be surprising to some of the marketing teams out there.

0:20:23 Mary Keough: So, it’s now your job to present that data to your CEO; your CRO, whoever’s in charge of it, and say, hey, this is where we’re winning; this is where we’re losing. We need to do more of what’s winning; we need to do less of what’s losing. Like, what do you want to do with this information?

0:20:40 Deanna: When you look at the data. on the surface you’re doing cold calling, you’re getting people to say, yes, I’ll sit through a demo, and it’s filling the sales pipeline, it feels like marketing is really effective, right? And you’re like, we’re doing our job. Let’s keep cold calling; let’s keep finding people to go to demos, and I think it’s really common, I hear clients and prospects say all the time, we just need to get them to a demo because our demo conversion rate is really high. Well, that’s awesome if it is, but when you dig into the data, it may be looking really high because it fills your sales pipeline.

0:21:16 Deanna: But to your point, Mary, you’ve got to reverse engineer it and look at that data to say, is it actually closing? And I think there is a big disconnect for a lot of organizations. They take it as far as measuring the pipeline. They don’t take it as far to measure what is closing.

0:21:35 Mary Keough: Yeah, 100%. And it’s especially prevalent in SaaS because SaaS isn’t really held to the same profitability numbers as some other more well established industries. So, they’re just like burning cash to bring cash and they get to report to their board or to their VCs, hey, look how much pipeline we created. And in the end, I think they’re starting to wake up more and more, but in the end, it really is all like, to your point, it’s revenue, that’s what matters.

0:22:00 Mary Keough: Don’t tell me that your demos convert to pipeline. I could care less. Do they convert to revenue or don’t they?

0:22:06 Deanna: Exactly. At the end of the day, the revenue is the one true measure of success on whether your marketing is supporting the growth mission of the company. If the revenue is not there, yes, there are market factors that impact it. I mean, this year, for example, in the HR tech industry, a lot of companies pulled back on HR spend, and that hit companies in this space hard, but take that out of the equation on a normal year, if you’re having trouble gaining market share and really hitting the growth numbers your organization believes they should be hitting, take a good hard look at marketing and figure out the data, because are you really moving the needle, or is it this false sense of we filled the pipeline?

0:22:55 Deanna: And I think honestly, this is where a lot of the sales and marketing misalignment and tensions between the teams start to come in because when you’re behind on revenue, everybody’s stressed out; there’s big pressure on the sales team to fix that. The sales team turns to marketing and they’re like, help, we need leads now, and at the end of the day, marketing is sitting there saying, we gave you a bunch of leads, you guys don’t seem to be capable of closing them, but on the other side of the fence, sales are sitting there saying, all your leads are crap, I have better success with these leads over here that I found myself.

0:23:33 Deanna: There’s some truth to that. Certainly, you’ve got to look at all angles and figure it out, but if the sales team is telling you the leads are not good quality, dig into that and find out exactly what they think is not working on that, and take a good hard look at what you’re sending over to them, and determine, are these leads that actually have buying intent demonstrated, or are these leads that filled out a form and they might not be ready to buy for two years yet?

0:24:01 Mary Keough: Yeah, yeah, I love, love that, and in the end, wouldn’t that make you more fulfilled as a marketer? Taking it back to the assembly line analogy, if your job is just to make the engine, and the only thing; you have blinders on, on either side of the assembly line, and all you care about is the number of engines that you’re handing over, and you’re not checking the defects, so to your point, you’re not checking the quality down the line; you’re not seeing the end goal. Doesn’t that make you more fulfilled when you take those blinders off and you’re like, what’s the quality of this engine? Is it actually producing more cars; more revenue for us as a company? It just makes your sense of purpose and your sense of effectiveness within the organization so much stronger.

0:24:42 Deanna: Definitely, at the end of the day, you take the data, you reverse engineer it to identify who are your best customers and who are your worst customers. And that data is powerful because you can start to look at it and say, okay, we’re going to stop doing the things that attract the worst customers. We’re going to stop handing over the leads that fit that profile of the worst customers, and we’re going to start focusing more on those best customers and those activities that seem to move the needle much more than the ones that have the illusion of moving the needle. You take that data, you start to be able to build out what that ideal customer profile, and build everything else around that so you attract more of those best fit customers.

0:25:29 Mary Keough: Yeah, 100%.

0:25:30 Deanna: Going back to the marketing versus sales, and we touched on it early in this conversation, but as a marketer own the results. Sales has to hit their sales numbers. If you’re a marketing leader, you need to take the perspective, whether you’re in the HR tech industry or the manufacturing industry, and whatever the expectations are coming in, be the leader that walks in and says, okay, I see the revenue, we’re going to figure out how we can help contribute to the success of this organization to hit those growth targets.

0:26:01 Deanna: I’m not saying that marketers, when they walk in the door that they’re not thinking that, but there are definitely marketers out there; they’re about creating content; they’re about creating a brand experience, but they’re not thinking about the end number and owning that, and then there are the marketers who come in and get their hands really dirty and say, I’m going to dig in deep, and I’m going to figure out how we can truly make a contribution and move the needle, and when you build that kind of value for the organization, I think the budget cuts, that come to marketing as soon as revenue are down, become less of a threat. Losing your job to layoffs become less of a threat because if you’re approaching it from, we’re going to move the needle, and we’re going to analyze this stuff, and we’re going to figure out what works and what doesn’t, you’re going to build more value for marketing within the organization and they’re going to see you as critical to hitting those growth goals, instead of thinking we’re behind on revenue, it’s a good idea to cut marketing. That’s counterintuitive, right?

0:27:05 Deanna: The whole purpose of marketing is to support the growth of the organization. But we’re not always seen that way, and I think as marketers, we’ve created that ourselves.

0:27:13 Mary Keough: Owning the results is the first step, absolutely. It’s just like admitting you have a problem and then saying, where can marketing fit in this greater business objective, which is to grow revenue.

0:27:24 Deanna: Yeah, absolutely. So, to wrap this up, let’s talk about the actions to take based on the data. You dig in, you’ve found all this data; you think you have identified what the best customers are, and who the worst are, and which marketing tactics tend to be associated with those best customers and those best opportunities. What do you do with that?

0:27:46 Mary Keough: I’ll use Map My Customers, a company I came from, as an example. So, we proved SEO doesn’t work. So, we know inbound works. Inbound is better than outbound, and then when we dug into Inbound, we knew that equipping buyers with things that showed the product worked much better than high volume keyword blogs. Okay? So, we stopped doing high volume keyword blogs. It was a really tough decision, but I had to cut that whole part out of our budget, so that meant bloggers, and we had a freelancer, so that’s out. We can’t spend money there anymore because it’s not producing results, so we need to focus on ,what I would call, just like basic product marketing.

0:28:24 Mary Keough: So, making sure we are optimizing our tour, so our tour was converting really well; it was gated number one, and it was 57 steps long. Our interactive product tour. First step is, hey, this is converting, which is amazing, considering it’s both gated and 57 steps long, how can we optimize this? So, we went to, Navattic was the company that we used for the interactive product tour; went to Navattic, they gave me some best practices.

0:28:54 Mary Keough: Hey, this is how companies use this really well; here’s what you should do; here’s what we found just looking at all of this data. Great, implemented that. Our product tour is now ten steps long. It’s ungated.

0:29:05 Mary Keough: Okay, we’ve given that for free. Next thing to do is make certain pieces of information easier to find on the website. So booking a demo, for example, was actually surprisingly hard. Our main CTA was take a tour of the product, and then after that, you had to go through like 57 steps to book the demo, and then to book a demo on the homepage, you had to scroll all the way down to the bottom, which is expecting a lot from people who visit your website.

0:29:31 Mary Keough: So, making book a demo much easier to click, and then making that process much smoother. So, we had HubSpot, and they had an auto booking tool that didn’t really work very well. It was a little bit buggy, so we ended up just doing the typical email. So, here’s your booking email, but we made the thank you page really easy to navigate. Before, it was just a pop up that said, thanks for booking this. You’re like, did I book it? I don’t remember booking it. Like, are you sure I booked it? So, we made the thank you page just really simple. Thank you for booking, we just sent you an email, you will be able to book a demo that works with your schedule.

0:30:07 Mary Keough: Oh, and by the way, we have this product tour that we recently optimized, which wasn’t in the copy, but is in my head, and if you really want to check out how the product works, you should check out this product tour. So, just making it really, really customer centric, and bringing the customer to the forefront of all of your decision making. We’re talking about low hanging fruit on the website. All of those are super low hanging fruit for SaaS companies right now.

0:30:29 Deanna: That’s a great example, and really good advice for organizations. Find out what works, and then make it better. The key takeaway from the story you just told is user experience matters. You need to make it as easy as possible for prospects to learn about you, engage with your company, and raise their hand when they’re ready to have that conversation.

0:30:53 Mary Keough: Yeah, 100%.

0:30:54 Deanna: Well, Mary, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. Lots of great knowledge and experience that you brought to the conversation. For those who are interested in learning more from Mary, she really does post really great content on LinkedIn, so look her up. There’s probably over 20,000 people that follow her for a reason. She has great advice. Mary Keough on LinkedIn.

0:31:16 Deanna: To wrap this up, I think growth can be a hard fought journey for many organizations, and sometimes it is really hard to know where to even begin with amping up efforts to improve results, but taking a look back at your marketing programs and really trying to tie it back to outcomes will arm you with the information to map out a go forward plan that can help you put your company in the right direction.

0:31:42 Mary Keough: Yeah, totally agree with that.

0:31:46 Jenni: Thanks for joining us on The Demand Gen Fix, a podcast for HR tech workers, brought to you by GrowthMode Marketing. We sure hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to subscribe for more perspectives on demand generation and B2B marketing strategies. Plus, give us a like, tell your friends. We’ll see you next time.

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