As part of our Marketo Power User Series, we sat down with Elizabeth Downing, Manager of Marketing Operations at Pantheon Project, to learn about how she got into marketing automation and get her perspective on Marketo best practices.
Zak: Can you start by telling us about Pantheon Platform and what you do.
Elizabeth: Pantheon is a web management hosting platform for WordPress and Drupal. Our product allows agencies to elegantly and easily collaborate with their teammates and clients, and then long term hand off and manage websites they build in those platforms. We also have a user base outside of agencies of those looking to build websites in WordPress or Drupal, and manage them as a team.
Zak: What is your role and area of responsibilities?
Elizabeth: I am the manager of marketing operations which means I’m responsible for our email marketing strategy which includes both demand generation and nurturing; developing and distributing our full funnel reporting system; general management of the marketing calendar; the health of the marketing database; and our marketing technology stack which includes Marketo, Salesforce, AdRoll, Google Analytics and GoToWebinar, plus auditioning any new technologies we may be considering.
Zak: How did you get into marketing technology and marketing automation?
Elizabeth: In 2010, the first job I worked for out of college was a small hardware and software company. I stepped into marketing because that’s where the company was weakest.
At that point we needed a marketing automation system, and we looked at a bunch of different tools and ultimately chose Marketo. I became the power user and general owner.
Zak: What is your current lead process at Pantheon?
Elizabeth: Our two main entry points for leads are gated content and contact forms. Product trials are the key pathway for us – anyone who signs up for the product and meets demographic criteria is considered an MQL. Although first and foremost we want prospects to be able to self on-board themselves, so we give them a few weeks before the sales team reaches out to them.
Zak: Interesting, and at that point how do you align their product experience and your marketing?
Elizabeth: That’s where it gets pretty exciting. We have an integration between our product and Salesforce and Marketo – using Salesforce custom objects – which informs how we follow up and engage. We know, for example, if you were invited to be a developer on a site but haven’t started your account yet.
It also gets us information we can use for targeting. For example, we can target message to certain types of developers based on what features they have been using and their level of activity. Are you Drupal or WordPress? Are you highly engaged around our workflows functionality? Are you using the product for lightweight management?
Zak: One of the hot topics of this series has been closed loop reporting. What is your approach?
Elizabeth: I’ve worked with many companies by also spending time as a Marketo consultant for a few years, and generally I’ve seen that reporting split across two or three different systems.
Here at Pantheon we are working through various data and process challenges, and while we are doing that I am bringing the closed loop marketing spirit to whatever we do. We’re keeping a close eye on the data, we’re bringing follow up procedures after each of our campaigns – a regular review of channel performance. We’re setting up the right habits.
Zak: What are some tips you’d like to share with other Marketo users?
Elizabeth: What I’d say is - Marketo is a tool. It happens to be one I love. I bleed purple. But it’s not about the tool – it’s about the process around the tool that matters.
One process I have a lot of passion for is database cleanliness.
Zak: OK, and what is your approach to database cleanliness?
Elizabeth: You need to identify what matters to you, so you can be diligent around the data points that matter. What is the data that is going to be crucial to your reporting?
That is going to be driven by what fields you’re using the measure lead quality, and guide your marketing focus. In the past at different companies I’ve worked with that includes some combination of lead sources, geography, role and marketing activity interaction. And then here at Pantheon, as I mentioned earlier, engagement with the product is a key dimension as well.
Zak: OK, any closing thoughts before we wrap up?
Elizabeth: Just want to give a big shout out for the marketing operations role. What’s really captivated me is that the role has such as an ability to influence so many other parts of the company.
We are the channel driving information about prospects and customers into the mind of the company. We are the ones who aggregate and position reams of information, to create insight, which helps us get better.
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