Marketo’s Jon Miller Opens the Kimono and Talks Content Marketing

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Marketing strategiesRemember Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory?

She was doing so well when the chocolates were rolling by one by one. But then BAM!

The speed of the belt accelerated. She did her best to keep up. But eventually she cracked under the pressure and resorted to shoving a bunch of chocolate down her dress.

Marketo’s Jon Miller doesn’t want you to do that with your leads. That would just be sick and wrong.

So, Miller shared some of his secrets for building a killer marketing strategy at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit. You can view his groundbreaking presentation in the YouTube video below.


3 Stages of Content Marketing

Miller used Marketo’s model as a framework for his presentation. The company uses content and paid programs to generate awareness and names. People enter the funnel as names. They only move forward when they start to engage and get qualified.

Marketo divides its content marketing process into three stages.

1. Early Stage

Early stage content is either educational or entertaining to your target audience. It’s helpful. It’s not selling. It’s not promotional. It’s not about you. Marketo doesn’t put this content behind forms. They make it accessible. They want Google to index it. They want you to share it. They enjoy the brand benefits. This probably makes up about 80 percent of Marketo’s content.

2. Middle Stage

Middle stage content is the bait that Marketo puts out there to try to capture prospects when they’re in a buying cycle — perhaps a buying guide or an analyst’s report. This content is about the industry, but not always specifically about Marketo. This content is gated because they want your contact info if you’re in this stage of the buying process.

3. Late Stage

Jon Miller

Jon Miller

Late stage content is actually about Marketo. They typically don’t gate this content because they figure if somebody wants to learn about their company, they shouldn’t put up any barriers.

Content awareness makes up a significant portion of Marketo’s overall business. Almost 40 percent of its business is organic. They also do paid programs to spread their message to other audiences.

They use technology to move leads through the sales funnel because technology helps them do things at scale.

Marketo has about 750,000 people in its database. It’s moving all those people through the process in what hopefully feels to each person like an individualized process.

Without technology, it would be like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory.

How Lead Scoring Can Improve Your Sales Process

If you’re not going to send everybody to sales right away, lead scoring helps you to determine who you send to sales and when you send them to sales.

Miller says lead scoring has three key dimensions:

1. Fit tells me I am interested in you. You are you the right kind of person at the right kind of company.

2. Interest tells me you are interested in me.

3. Buying stage seals the deal. The perfect lead is interested in you while you’re interested in them — and they’re looking to make a purchase.

How do you figure all of this out?

Marketo identifies fit based on your demographic information. It pinpoints interest and buying stage by watching your behaviors. Actions speak louder than words.

Here are some behaviors that Marketo monitors:

  • Are you interacting with its content?
  • Are you attending its events?
  • Are you reading its blog?
  • Are you visiting its pricing pages?
  • Are you downloading middle and late stage content?
  • Are you searching for the keyword “Marketo”?

Marketo combines information on fit, interest and buying stage to identify its marketing-qualified leads.

Key Takeaways

Buying has changed because of information abundance. The way companies market and sell must change as well.

Use content as a way to own attention. Flirt with your leads until they’re sales ready. Use lead scoring to know when they’re ready. Then — and only then — send them to sales.

It’s not really practical to include all of Miller’s chocolaty insights in this brief blog summary. Grab more of his tasty wisdom by watching the YouTube video embedded in this post. Check out Marketo’s free resources on cost-effective lead generation here.

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