Lead Scoring Best Practices

More and more B2B marketers are turning to lead scoring as a way of optimizing lead management. Many of us will remember when we used to process raw Excel lists, handing over hundreds of names with job titles and companies to our sales department, only to find that leads weren’t being followed up on. It wasn’t possible to know which leads were the most interested in your company, and wasn’t easy to see which matched your target buyer.

Recent advances in marketing automation and sales CRM software have made it easier to streamline the whole process. Marketing and sales professionals can apply lead scoring algorithms to leads, effectively sorting and prioritizing them for nurturing programs and sales follow-up.

In a recent episode of the weekly #B2Bchat on Twitter, we dug into questions surrounding lead scoring. Here is a summary of the questions and comments, compiled:

Q. What is lead scoring?

  • There are a lot of online resources on the topic lead scoring. We’ve posted a couple of articles on lead scoring including The 5 Basics of Lead Scoring on B2Bbloggers.com.
  • Here are a couple of definitions of lead scoring in 140 characters or less: Lead scoring is assigning a probability/weight to a lead based on its online behavior while interacting with your digital assets (via @joezuc) and Lead scoring is giving a rating system to prospects so more time spent with qualified leads (via @NuSparkMktg)

Q. What do you need in order to get started with lead scoring?

  • A marketing automation system. Vendors that were mentioned by name in the session included Marketo, Vtrenz, Eloqua, Genius, Marketbright and Silverpop. @jepc referred us to a comprehensive list of marketing automation systems that he has compiled.
  • You need a list of the possible paths/interactions a customer can have with your digital assets. This can be quite complex, depending on the type of product/service.
  • A target audience definition is needed, and an understanding of your buyer personas.
  • You need to understand your customer buying behavior. Talk to sales in order to learn buying behaviors, and look at previous activities associated with closed deals.
  • An agreement on the definition of a lead is essential. Sales and marketing need to come up with the definition together. Any discussion of lead scoring helps sales and marketing connect better with goals.
  • Executive buy-in from sales & marketing leadership is needed.

Q. What advice would you give to marketers that want to take lead scoring to the next level?

  • Normalize job titles to get better scoring, or restrict job titles to a pick list.
  • If possible, include consideration of offline activities as well.
  • The following high-value interactions should be weighted accordingly: E.g. “How We Help” page = higher score
  • The combo of product page w. case study or contact us page = bonus points
  • More visits from more people in one company within a shorter time frame = bonus points
  • Use negative scoring for certain job titles, e.g. consultant, student and assistant.
  • Review lead scores of closed sales to assess the validity of your scoring assumptions

This post appeared originally at b2bbloggers.com.

What is Google TV?

The product managers at Google TV released a new video today explaining what Google TV is and what it may mean to you.

On May 20, 2010, Google announced the launch of Google TV, a service which brings the Web and TV closer together.

Here are some of the main features that Google TV will offer:

  • Tune to channels or specific shows by conducting a text search
  • Record and play back shows
  • Browse the Web
  • Multi-task on the same screen, i.e. browse a web page while watching a TV show
  • Download and use apps from the Android market

Read Google’s official announcement for further details: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/announcing-google-tv-tv-meets-web-web.html.

YouTube Turns Five

YouTube has reached a couple of milestones recently, including:

  • more than 24 hours of video uploaded per minute
  • over two billion video views per day (see the Mashable post)

YouTube also turned five years old a couple of weeks ago, and here is a video which celebrates its remarkable short history and growth.

How to opt out of Facebook’s new Instant Personalization Program

Over the past couple of weeks, a storm of angst has been gathering over Facebook’s new Instant Personalization Program. The program has been criticized by privacy advocates as many Facebook users are unaware that it now shares your personal information with partner websites, by default.

Here’s how you can opt out of the new instant personalization program:

In the top right hand corner of your Facebook page, click on Account and then Privacy Settings.

On the privacy settings page, click on Applications and Websites.  At the bottom, you’ll see Instant Personalization Pilot Program. Click on the Edit Setting button.

Un-check the tick box beside “Allow select partners to instantly personalize their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites.”

That should do it.

Measuring the Value of Digital Marketing

How do B2B marketers tackle the question of marketing campaign value? Do we make strategic decisions based on real, actionable data? With the firehose of data that is available to marketers now-a-days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the information that truly matters. And this is especially true for B2B with their typically complex, drawn out sales cycles.

In our latest episode of #B2Bchat, we dug into questions surrounding metrics. Here is a summary of the questions and comments, compiled:

Q. Which components of your digital marketing campaigns are delivering the best results? E.g. Search, Email, Display Advertising, Social Media?

  • Search (PPC and SEO). These are most effective when in used in conjunction with great landing pages.
  • Email
  • Mediums are secondary, success depends on the contextual relevance of the message.

Q. Why do campaign budgets get cut? Poor performance or lack of tracking?

  • Both: poor performance due to lack of clear objectives. and lack of tracking because no analysis properly done during campaign
  • Most of the time the problem is poorly defined goals and metrics
  • Budget cuts can also come due to lack of well defined baselines.
  • Lack of commitment to the campaign. Unreasonable expectations of sales impact.
  • On social media budgets: Shyness with social media due to it being unproven, thus high risk. Execs are holding back.
  • Measuring metrics a science, but knowing how to explain them can sometimes be an art. e.g. convincing your boss to keep budget.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to marketing reports?

  • First Dashboard reports need to be customized (management level) and meet biz needs…focus on actionable metrics!
  • A lot of people over-do it with reports. Too much data and too complex = danger of focusing on wrong metrics.

Q. How do you assess the value of a digital marketing campaign? Where do you start?

  • Have specific goals and objectives
  • Start with the dollar value of new sales and work backwards
  • Measure the number of sales-ready leads and wins
  • A good marketing dashboard is fundamental

Q. What metrics (Key Performance Indicators) do you track? Which matter most?

  • “Actionable” metrics, data which will allow us to make better decisions and take action
  • PDF downloads, newsletter subscriptions, sales leads, e-commerce transactions
  • Clicks, conversion, leads
  • Customer retention
  • Qualified leads, Reach, Buzz, Sentiment
  • Engagement: comments/replies
  • Predictive actions: signups, downloads, resource access

Word art of transcript from April 29 #B2Bchat – Measuring the Value of Digital Marketing (courtesy of Wordle.net).

This summary was originally posted at www.b2bbloggers.com.

How Productivity is Killed

Thought-provoking insight on the contemporary workplace from Jason Fried, co-founder of 37 Signals and author of New York Times bestseller, Rework.

Get Ready for the iBoard

I saw this image as a blog post comment yesterday and unfortunately can’t remember where I found it. If you know the copyright owner, please let me know so I can attribute it accordingly. This was just too funny to not share.

The Top 10 iPad Apps

It was just over two months ago that Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad, the company’s new flagship product. As with the iPhone and iPod Touch, apps are going to be central to the iPad. Nearly all of Apple’s iPhone apps will run on the iPad, but there is also an emerging market for apps designed specifically for the iPad.

Here are the top 10 iPad apps available today, based on revenue:

  1. Things for iPad
    A task manager,  helping you keep track of to-do lists, due dates and projects.
  2. The Elements: A Visual Exploration
    The periodic table of elements, displayed intuitively and spectacularly on the iPad.
  3. OmniGraffle
    Turns the iPad into a canvas, white board or cocktail napkin.
  4. Flight Control HD
    The iPad version of the popular iPhone game which puts you in the role of a flight controller, with this version offering more space for landings and more airports.
  5. Plants vs. Zombies HD
    Based on the popular iPhone game – defend your home from a mob of zombies using plants to stop them in their tracks.
  6. N.O.V.A. – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance HD
    Fight for humanity`s survival in this immersive space opera, also previously available for the iPhone.
  7. At Bat 2010 for iPad
    MLB`s latest app is a live game simulation, plus allows subscribers to tune in to live MLB games.
  8. Real Racing HD
    One of the top racing games for the iPhone, now available for iPad.
  9. Civilization Revolution for iPad
    The popular strategy game redesigned for the iPad.
  10. Geometry Wars: Touch for iPad
    The successful arcade game, with enhanced graphics and additional game modes exclusive to the iPad version.

The apps in the top 10 list are all relatively high priced, with the lowest being Flight Control HD for $4.99. But there are some apps in the top 50 which are more economically priced, such as the $1.99 World Atlas HD app from the National Geographic Society.

Apple has an up-to-date view of the top grossing iPad apps here. And if you’re looking for a complete list of iPad apps available in the app store, you can find them here as well.

Predicting Twitter’s Success in 2006

Twitter Feasibilty Study Excerpt (2006) from 747 Media on Vimeo.

When did you first hear of Twitter? Four years ago, could people have predicted the evolution of this micro-blogging site at its onset?

Apparently, yes.

The 20-somethings that were interviewed as part of a study by 747 Media were able to assess the power of Twitter quite accurately, even though they had never used it. In this video, you will see them react to the information they’re given and talk through several of the applications that have made Twitter into what it is today.

Story originally posted by Mashable.

The More You Think About ROI…

The More You Think About ROI

What is the Return on Investment (ROI) of an ad campaign? How do you go about measuring it? Which attribution models work best for your sales process?

These are some of the things I was working on this afternoon which led me to ponder the following relationship. As you start to think of the ROI question, it sounds very straight forward.

Return on Investment = (Gain – Investment) / Investment

Then you begin to realize that there are a lot of different ways to define each of these. And what about the interplay between the various ad campaign investments? Where does it end?

It’s not until you work it through further that it becomes clearer once again.