Score Product Interest in Marketo

August 7, 2019 Tom Grubb

When you shop Amazon everything you do is tracked, analyzed, and put to work with a clear purpose: make it easier/faster/better for you to buy more stuff. Most of us accept that Amazon has legions of really smart people dedicated to figuring out how to get us to buy more even before we want to buy it. The online B2C world figured out long ago that mining clicks and views for clues into buyer wants and desires is gold. Should B2B marketers take a page from the B2C marketer’s playbook to make it easier/faster/better for customers to buy more? Some companies already have, achieving enviable results. If you’re an Adobe Marketo Engage customer selling multiple products to customers, read on: there’s a proven way to use out-of-the-box Marketo for cross-selling that you can set up now. If you’re not capturing product interest you’re missing one of the best ways to get more from your Marketo investment – a lot more.

You get a much better return on your customer acquisition investment
if you can increase their Lifetime Customer Value

Everyone knows that it costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell them more. You get a much better return on your customer acquisition investment if you can increase their lifetime customer value. LCV is not a new idea, but the SaaS model gave it a whole new spin by making it okay to lose money to acquire subscribers, as long as you’re able to keep them and in the future, profit from your investment. Put simply: grow your customer base, sell them more, rinse, repeat. Stated that way, cross-selling would seem pretty important. Where others consider new customer acquisition as the whole game, I see it as the critical primary engine required to fuel many other engines of B2B growth. Most B2B marketers are so busy pursuing new logos that they aren’t even thinking about cross-sell. But when I show them a product interest dashboard, they immediately get it….and they immediately want it.

Suppose I’m your customer visiting your website. I purchased my first and only product from your company three months ago – Product A. I’m happy with my purchase, so I decide to learn more about your other products. I see you have a product – Product B that interests me, so I go to the product page and download the datasheet for Product B. If your company has set up their Marketo to see that I am a customer showing interest in Product B – your sales and marketing teams have immediate access to product-specific intelligence that enables them to respond in a way that’s relevant, smart, and timely.

The companies that implemented Digital Pi’s product interest scoring architecture all experienced significant benefits:

  • Sales can see and respond better/faster/smarter
  • Marketing can nurture customers intelligently at the first sign of cross-product interest
  • Product marketing can optimize their efforts based on measured product interest engagement
  • Sales and marketing can see and respond to multi-product interest at the account / role level
  • The company can take a strategic approach to multi-product selling using data to plan and execute on buyer propensity for adjacent products

In our first implementation we quickly determined that product interest scoring isn’t just for cross-selling to customers. It’s equally as valuable for engaging prospects. And products aren’t the only useful way to categorized interest: lines of business also make great scoring categories.

Fight the urge to build the perfect product interest scoring machine out of the gate.

Setting up Marketo to score on product interest requires planning. In fact, the secret to success is more in the planning than the building. The design relies on associating digital signals (click, attend, view…) to a product, then adding points to that product’s scoring field. When Marketo sees someone view a PDF for Product A, increment the [Product A Score] field. The concept is simple, but like all things Marketo the devil is in the details.

Here are some of the planning elements you’ll need to consider:

Score Product Interest in Marketo_1

Above all: start simple. Fight the urge to build the perfect product interest scoring machine out of the gate. Instead, stand up a model that’s easy to test, explain, modify and use. You’ll make better decisions on how to improve the model referencing your data. Even better, you would be wise to pilot your model for a few weeks to learn what to do next – no need to go-live until you’re ready.

Digital Pi designed and implemented our 1.0 version of product interest scoring several years ago for FireEye that helped earn revenue ops expert Linlin Li a B2B Innovator Award.

Score Product Interest in Marketo 2The project paved the way for several more implementations, prompting us to create a turn-key standard recipe for clients that enables us to efficiently gather requirements, define the client-specific architecture, and build/test/optimize rapidly for any company. 

 

Here’s what product interest scoring looks like in a Salesforce Lightning dashboard: Product Interest Dashboard in SFDC Lightning

We can show product interest from Marketo in SFDC because we collect people in Marketo programs as members based on their product score and synch the programs to SFDC campaigns. Every product has a program to collect members, and membership statuses are tiered based on a scoring range – low, medium or high. If you have five products, you have five programs with membership segmented in low, medium or high.  That makes it easy to compare products, asking questions like:

  • How many people showed initial interest in Product A compared with the other products last month?
  • How many people who showed initial interest last month are still in the low interest range (hint – maybe they need some marketing love to move them to mid and high range).
  • Show me how many people reached high product interest week over week for the last six weeks.
  • Show me the top 20 companies on our target list who purchased product A that showed initial interest last week in Product C.
  • Which products are not showing enough interest (hint – don’t jump to conclusions before you consider all the factors for what drives interest)

Once you start seeing what product interest scoring can do for your company, you’ll quickly discover new ways to do more with product scores: sales notifications, product marketing and product management analysis, nurture streams dedicated to cross-sell/up-sell – the possibilities are endless.

For multi-product companies, product interest scoring is a game-changer. No excuses Marketo customers – with some planning and building in a matter of weeks you can see what you’ve been missing. Your customers have been trying to tell you which products interest them. Isn’t it time you started listening?

About the Author

Tom Grubb

Tom Grubb is Chief Strategy Officer for Digital Pi, a leading Marketo Services Partner helping companies get the most value from their investment in marketing technology. Tom has over 20 years of marketing executive leadership including VP Product Marketing at Marketo. He has held marketing leadership positions at start-ups, mid-size and enterprise companies including Intuit, CA Technologies, ThreatMetrix (acquired by RELX), and co-founder of Bluecurve (acquired by Red Hat).

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