What B2B Enterprise Tech Marketers Can Learn from Sean Ellis’s “Hacking Growth”

How can B2B enterprise tech marketers benefit from Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown’s latest book, Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success, in order to transform their enterprise tech companies into larger-scale, rapidly expanding businesses?

Early on in the book, Ellis and Morgan specify that growth hacking is not just a tool for entrepreneurs, as “it can be implemented just as effectively at a large established company as at a small fledgling start-up…it is designed to work on the largest scale (company-wide) or the smallest scale (a single campaign or project).”

Before we dive into actionable insight(s), how does Sean Ellis define his self-coined “growth hacking” term, and what does it mean?

Growth Hacking: “the methodical, rapid-fire generation and testing of new ideas for product development and marketing, and the use of data on user behavior to find the winning ideas that drive growth.”

At its core, the growth hacking process consists of a recurring, four-pronged cycle:

b2b enterprise tech marketers

(Image source: growthhacker.com)

As enterprise tech marketers, how can we maximize the power of growth hacking?

Which user behavior data should we look for, and how will it benefit our marketing efforts?

 

 

The Practical Steps of Growth Hacking

LogMeIn’s Conversion Success Story

Initially, Ellis shares that from its offset, LogMeIn was an “ingenious product”, which is what warranted his (implemented) suggestion to “pivot” LogMeIn “from a paid to freemium model in an effort to differentiate the service from its fierce competitor, GoToMyPC.”

But after the freemium model was exposed to potential customers via thorough marketing efforts, such as costly ad spending, (not to mention repeated testing of the ad copy, keywords, and advertising platforms,) the low numbers in customer acquisition, or as Ellis describes it, “woefully low conversion rates”, did not generate a positive ROI.

In order to figure out what was going wrong, how could behavioral data explain why users weren’t converting to a freemium, highly useful product? What’s more, how could the marketers and engineers involved leverage user data to not only raise the conversion rate, but to scale up their user base, too?

Ellis shows us firsthand how each step of the growth hacking method positioned LogMeIn to prove the real potential of its offering;

  • Get feedback from users:

When the decision was eventually made to ask users via email why they initially signed up for the freemium service but then weren’t using the service, the collective response was simple: “people didn’t believe the service was really free.”

  • Implement the feedback:

After many marketing and design iterations, one strategy finally worked: adding a simple link to “buy the paid version”, which resulted in the conversion rate tripling. 

  • Delve (deeper) into user behavior data:

Next, as more users were successfully converting, an even bigger drop-off rate among users was revealing itself; yes, more and more users were downloading, but this only increased the number of users who were downloading the LogMeIn service and then not using it.

  • Implement the findings:

Now that they had the behavioral data in their palm of their hands, the experimenting began:

The marketing and engineering teams kept repeatedly changing the steps of the software’s installation process and sign-up steps, and testing the outcomes.

Finally, when the teams landed upon an installation process that proved to work best, the search ads that were once ineffective had now become cost-effective — scaling the software’s profitably at over 700%.

Not only were the company’s low conversion rates nursed back to health, its growth was scaled beyond expectation.

As Ellis concludes, “the solution had been found in just weeks, using a recipe that included healthy doses of out-of-the-box thinking, cross-company collaboration, and problem solving, real-time market testing and experimentation (conducted at little or no cost), and a commitment to being nimble and responsive in acting on the results.”

No User Left Behind

Once an enterprise tech marketer can gather enough user feedback that will identify why a marketing campaign isn’t performing well enough, he must do all he can to reap every possible fruit of this insight;

He implements the feedback and digs into the behavioral data as deeply and as quickly as possible. He’s made it his duty to notice everything about his users — and act on every finding.

As a growth hacking marketer, his motto has become: ‘No user left behind!’

Fine-tuning Growth Hacking for B2B Marketing

This past May, Observer Innovation’s Ryan Holiday interviewed Sean Ellis in “Dropbox’s Growth Guru Sean Ellis on What Everyone Misses About ‘Growth Hacking”. One of Holiday’s final questions to Ellis was:

“Growth hacking is pretty straightforward for B2C companies. How do you apply the framework to B2B businesses?”

Ellis answered:

Growth hacking is important for both B2B and B2C. In both cases, you have a customer journey that generally crosses multiple teams and a process of experimentation across that journey is important for driving customer and revenue growth.

One important difference is that B2B usually has a lower volume of prospective users in the funnel so you generally can’t run as many lower funnel experiments...

Often B2B experiments will be to drive distribution for content or a free version of a product, and then additional experiments are needed to drive prospects from these funnels into the premium product funnel or to figure out how to turn new customers into long-term users.”

Growth Hacking Long-Term Users

Keep Users. Happy. Repeat.

Ellis also brings the example of Evernote’s Smile Graph, which “shows that the longer people use Evernote, the more likely they are to continue using it.”

Image source: techcrunch.com

Way back in 2012, Nir Eyal described Evernote’s Smile Graph as ‘building behaviors instead of building apps.’

Evernote’s Smile Graph is built on the premise that “your service’s usefulness improves over time” — the longer you use Evernote as your note-keeping product, the more of your information is stored there, and the more inclined you are to re-download it to access your ideas and notes, as well as add to your existing collection.

The Power of Stored Value

Otherwise known as “the opportunity to capitalize on the power of stored value” in order to “increase retention over time”, whether B2B or B2C, companies cannot solely rely on the smile graph’s intrinsic growth pattern to guarantee that “customers will continue to be actively engaged.”

Growth Hacking User Feedback

So how can you get the user insights you need to growth hack your B2B Enterprise Technology offering?

Start by gathering user feedback in the form of case studies, user testimonials, and product reviews, and use it as your basis for digging deeper into your users’ experience.

Beneath the surface lies your users’ behavioral data — indicating patterns and guiding you towards identifying what your offering’s stored value is, and how you can leverage (aka growth hack) these experiences.

Growth hacking tools in hand, the ultimate duty of the B2B enterprise tech marketer is to be constantly giving his users a reason to keep coming back to what he’s offering — and to always be sticking around for more.

Read now:
  • 17 B2B Tech Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017Read our post.
  • How to Leverage Social Media to Amplify Your B2B User Reviews — Read our post.

17 B2B Tech Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017

Our list of 17 B2B tech marketing influencers handpicks industry pioneers of 2017. These influencers specialize in areas such as revenue-building strategies, community-building, customer advocacy and engagement, content strategy initiatives, and product marketing.

  1. Lynn Vojvodich @lvojvodich ‏ 

b2b tech marketing influencersLynn Vojvodich is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, where she has developed and led growth and innovation strategies for more than 20 years, primarily in the enterprise software industry.

In her current role as CMO, Lynn leads the global marketing organization and is responsible for driving market leadership, global awareness, demand generation, strategic events and communications for salesforce.com.

  1. Roland Smart @rsmartly

b2b tech marketing influencersRoland Smart is the VP of Social & Community Marketing at Oracle, where he oversees Oracle’s user communities and advocacy program and manages acquired marketing technologies (e.g. Compendium) for the Corporate Marketing group.

Examples of Roland’s work include The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage, as well as publications on rolandsmart.com, Forbes.com, iMedia and other publications. Roland speaks at industry events such as the ad:tech, The Social Media Optimization Conference, Modern Marketing Experience, Oracle OpenWorld, and SXSW.

  1. Richard Millington @RichMillington

b2b tech marketing influencersRichard Millington is the Founder & Managing Director of FeverBee Limited. Founded in 2007, FeverBee is a team of “community veterans” consultants who have developed a training course, and published the most popular community-building book, Buzzing Communities, which is “widely cited as introducing best practices into developing successful online communities.”

Since 2004, Richard has “helped to develop over 150+ successful communities, including those for Google, The World Bank, Oracle, Amazon, Autodesk, Lego, The United Nations, Novartis, and many more.”

  1. Ardath Albee @ardathalbee

b2b tech marketing influencersArdath Albee is the CEO and B2B marketing strategist for her consulting firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. Ardath’s modus-operandi is to help her clients “create persona-driven, digital content marketing strategy with compelling content platforms that contribute to downstream revenues.”

Examples of her work include eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, and Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results.  

  1. Carter Lusher @carterlusher

b2b tech marketing influencersCarter Lusher is an analyst relations (AR) professional at Informatica, where his main focus is driving top-line revenue growth. Carter is also a co-founder, Chief Research Officer, and Master Strategist at SageCircle.

Carter earned the “Analyst of the Year” honors twice during his seven-year tenure with the Gartner Group. At Gartner, Carter developed services for support strategies, where he “concentrated on all aspects of delivering customer service and technical support for both outside customers and internal end users.”

  1. Sam Whitmore @SamWhitmore

b2b tech marketing influencersSam Whitmore is the founder and editor of Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey, where he provides tech media analysis and consulting to tech PR pros and media buyers.

Recent examples of Sam’s work include Inc.com’s Inc. Wants Contributors and Invests in Them, The Next Web’s “Contributed Content Challenges at the Next Web”, “Contributed Content: Copy Tips”, Media Survey’s “Contributed Content Gatekeepers: The Directory”.

  1. Emily Miller @Emily_S_Miller

b2b tech marketing influencersEmily Miller is Senior Director of Brand & Audience Marketing at NetApp, where she directs integrated marketing campaigns and programs “built upon a centralized content model.”

Examples of Emily’s marketing campaigns and programs include Brand Strategy & Research, Integrated Marketing Programs, Account Based Marketing, Content Development & Distribution, and Creative.

  1. Lawrence Hecht @lawrencehecht

Lawrence Hechtb2b tech marketing influencers is an Analyst, Research Director and Infomediary at Lawrence Hecht Consulting, where he produces research reports about IT markets.

In 1999, Lawrence created the Internet Public Policy Network (IPPN), a network of subject-matter experts that provided customer research, white papers, and advice about technology-related public policy issues.

Lawrence’s most recent work includes “voice of the customer” surveys for the 451 Research and TheInfoPro, which address enterprise IT B2B markets such as Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Information Security.

  1. Davin Wilfrid @dwilfrid

b2b tech marketing influencersDavid Wilfrid is the Senior Manager of Customer Advocacy at QuickBase, an app development platform whose value proposition is to “unify IT and business to quickly and easily build and maintain scalable productivity apps.”

At QuickBase, Davin drives “strategic initiatives through customer engagement, customer success, sales, marketing, and product development.”

Recent examples of Davin’s publications include How to Develop The User-Generated Content (UGC) Your Brand Desperately Needs, among others.

  1. Ann Lewnes @alewnes

b2b tech marketing influencersAnn Lewnes is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Adobe.

At Adobe, Ann is described as having led the marketing organization’s pioneering to digital, as she enabled them to deploy a “comprehensive set of digital marketing solutions, establishing an insight-driven culture, and setting a template for marketing’s strategic impact on business.”

Ann currently serves on the boards of Mattel and the Ad Council. In 2015, Ad Age named Ann to The Creativity 50, a list honoring the most creative people of the year.

  1. Bill Lee @bill_lee

b2b tech marketing influencers

Bill Lee is the Founder of the Center for Customer Engagement, a “community of top-tier corporations” built around customer advocacy and engagement. The Center for Customer Engagement’s clients include: Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce.com, CA Technologies, and more.

Bill’s book The Hidden Wealth of Customers, published by Harvard Business Press, was called “one of the most insightful business books I’ve read this year” by Forbes Online’s Dorie Clark. His annual Summit on Customer Engagement is the longest running, most respected educational conference in the world in the field.

 

  1. Scott Brinker @chiefmartech

b2b tech marketing influencersScott Brinker is the Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer at ion interactive, an interactive content platform that “provides the scalable foundation to grow from one interactive experience to one thousand interactive experiences.”

At ion, Scott oversees product development and technical operations, where he also specializes in helping marketers “implement innovative post-click marketing.”

Scott also runs the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, which “covers the intersection of marketing and technology” and boasts an audience of 40,000 readers, mostly mid-to-senior level marketers, and marketing technology experts.

Mark is also the program chair of the MarTech conference series, an international conference series for “senior-level, hybrid professionals who are both marketing- and tech-savvy: marketing technologists, creative technologists, growth hackers, data scientists, and digital strategists.”

  1. Wendy Perilli @wendyperilli

b2b tech marketing influencersWendy Perilli is VP Corporate and Digital Marketing at Druva Software, a cloud data protection and information management solution.

Previously, Wendy worked as the Senior Director of Global Campaigns and Americas Marketing at ServiceNow, where she onboarded and led a marketing team who delivered 134% of the pipeline number across nine campaigns worldwide.

Wendy has also served in various executive positions across corporate, channel, product and demand generation marketing at HPE Enterprise, OpTier, VMware, and Mercury.

  1. Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

b2b tech marketing influencersJack Marshall is a Marketing & Media Reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Jack was previously a staff writer for Digiday and a reporter for ClickZ.

Some of Jack’s latest Wall Street Journal stories include: Ad Blockers Say They Won’t Be Replaced By Google Chrome Ad Filter, Google Will Help Publishers Prepare for a Chrome Adblocker Coming Next Year, and Facebook Tool Handles Media Companies’ Video Ad Sales.

  1. Yuval Dvir @DvirYuval

b2b tech marketing influencersYuval Dvir is Head of EMEA Online Partnerships at Google Cloud. Yuval has been at Google since 2014, where he served as Head of Strategy, Change & Product Operations, Ads.

Since January 2016, in his role as Head of EMEA Online Partnerships, Yuval has been helping “organizations change and transform by adopting a lean, agile and modern way of working, powered by Google’s Cloud and App infrastructure.”

Yuval previously worked as Director of Business Transformation at Microsoft, and as Senior Manager of Product Strategy & Operations at Skype.

  1. Robert Rose @Robert_Rose

b2b tech marketing influencersRobert Rose is the Chief Content Adviser for the Content Marketing Institute.

Over the last five years alone, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100. He’s provided marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Capital One, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, and others.

Robert’s most recent book, co-authored with Joe Pulizzi, Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing has been called a “treatise, and a call to arms for marketers to lead business innovation in the 21st century.”

  1. Mark Organ @markorgan

b2b tech marketing influencersMark Organ is the CEO at Influitive, where he helps “companies mobilize their advocates to produce massive increases in referral leads, reference calls, social media participation and more.”

Previously the founding CEO of Eloqua the “world leader in marketing automation software which was acquired by Oracle for $871M, Mark has helped over a dozen companies “successfully go to market in asymmetrical or disruptive ways.”

If you’re interested in B2B tech marketing, follow IT Central Station CEO @RussRothsteinIT and IT Central Station’s Twitter feed @ITCenSta for up-to-date news and user reviews.

Looking forward to connecting!

 

Did we leave anybody out?

Tweet us @ITCenSta to let us know if you think we missed a B2B tech marketing influencer.

Read now:
  • ‘What is IT Central Station?’ — Learn about us here.
  • What B2B Enterprise Tech Marketers Can Learn from Sean Ellis’s “Hacking Growth” Read our post.
  • How to Leverage Social Media to Amplify Your B2B User Reviews — Read our post.

How to Get your Users to Write Awesome Reviews For You

Why Do You Need B2B User Reviews?

As the leading review platform for B2B enterprise technology reviews, we understand the importance of user reviews in the B2B space. Not only our own research, but research by the industry’s leading technology analysts asserts the importance of user generated content.

According to Forrester research, 74% of B2B buyers are doing more than 50% of their purchasing research online. A recent study by Gartner also revealed that 68% of a customer’s buying time is spent away from the actual vendor.

According to the Salesforce blog, “word-of-mouth recommendations from peers influence over 90% of all B2B buying decisions.”

But do buyers really trust peer content they read online? The numbers speak for themselves: 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Peer Reviews and the Buyer’s Journey

Are peer reviews only useful for top-of-the-funnel marketing, or can they play a part in other marketing strategies further down in the buyer’s journey? As you can see below, according to research by RO:Innovation, customer reviews play a huge part in influencing buyers through every stage of their journey.

b2b user reviewssource:roinnovation.com

How can software vendors rise to the challenge of providing potential buyers with B2B reviews that not only answer their questions of “Is this software right for my company needs?”, but also answer questions such as, “Why is this solution the best option among its competitors?”

How can you collect user reviews that help your prospects at every stage of their journey?

How To Collect Real User Reviews
Collecting real reviews for potential buyers can present some challenges. Not all users are willing to write a review, and dealing with internal compliance regulations can make the process difficult.

One of the big advantages of external review sites is that users can review your solutions without having to comply with company policy. This means that it is both easier to find users who are willing to share details of their experience, and also that users can be more honest and open than if they were providing a corporate case study.

What Potential Buyers Want to Know

Another challenge, once you’ve found users willing to give reviews, is knowing which questions potential buyers want answers for.

For example: Are readers most interested in your pricing model? Do they expect full disclosure of your technical support offering? Are scalability and stability the primary ‘must-have’s on their checklist?

Having helped many enterprise technology companies collect user reviews from their users, we’ve written up a quick and easy guide to help you get the best reviews from your users. 

How to Get Awesome Customer Reviews: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Where to Find Users 

At Your Conferences or User Events
By approaching users at your conferences or at events for reviews, you are targeting users who are already knowledgeable about your solutions and will have valuable feedback to share. You can also take down their feedback face-to-face, rather than rely on email or phone feedback, which can be more time consuming for your users.b2b user reviews
Via Customer Advocacy Programs
By tapping into your customer advocacy programs, you can connect with users who are not only experienced with your solution but also willing to share their feedback with others.

Via your Support Team 

Your users who have had positive interactions with your support team are a great source of positive feedback. They can also add room for improvement that your customer advocacy program users may not be able to give you.

Find happy users online

Monitor your brand online with tools like Google Alerts and Mention. Not only can it help you understand where users aren’t happy, but it can also help you identify users who love your solution and who you can potentially reach out to for user reviews.

Step 2: What to Include in your B2B User Reviews

Ask users what they find valuable about your solution. Their answers may surprise you and can provide invaluable information for your product team.

Example: When asked “What do you find valuable in IBM Spectrum Protect?”, CTO Carsten Dan Petersen writes:

“The smallest entry level sized installation can easily grow to large enterprise usages and be migrated across platforms.The product is very client-oriented which supports a lot of different platforms and products, and only have to be upgraded approx. every five years to maintain support.”

Ask users which solutions they have also evaluated. This information can give you great competitive information, and can also influence the potential buyers reading your user reviews.

Example: When asked “Did you consider any other solutions besides VMware vSAN?”, an Infrastructure Manager answers:
We looked briefly at alternatives, but nothing stood out like vSAN. Nutanix was another solution, but surprisingly, it would have cost us more..

Ask users how and where you can improve your solution. Not only is this information very valuable for your product team, it also makes your reviews more believable. Users don’t trust five-star reviews that only say good things about a product.

Example: When asked “Where do you see room for improvement in Tableau?” Data Analysis Team Leader Yali Pollak answers:

Tableau lacks machine learning algorithms that you can implement using R, SPSS Modeler, and Python.It has clustering and time-series forecasting abilities which are helpful, but adding machine learning capabilities like decision trees, CHAID analysis and K-means would make this product perfect!”

What about users who wish to remain anonymous?
Some users may be happy to give feedback, but can’t because of their own corporate compliance policies. One way around this is to allow users to give reviews either with their full details or anonymously. By giving users this choice you will collect a wider range of user reviews, which can be used as a tool throughout your marketing materials.

What are your users saying about your solution?

Sign in to IT Central Station to read what real users have to say about your solution.

IT Central Station Wins Deloitte’s Fast 50 Rising Star Award

We are delighted to have been awarded Deloitte’s prestigious Fast 50 Rising Star Award for 2016. The Rising Star selection is part of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 competition and is awarded to young startups that have the fastest growing revenues.

deloitte-2016-fast-50

Here at IT Central Station our mission is to be the #1 most influential source in the enterprise technology buying process, a $3 trillion annual market.

Reviews and user generated content have a major impact on the B2B tech market. IT Central Station’s dramatic growth since its launch has proven that many buyers want to complement, or replace, the advice from traditional players such as analyst firms, traditional tech media, and independent consultants, with user generated content from their peers. 93% of B2B buyers say that reviews and analysis drive their major purchasing decisions – many of whom have turned to IT Central Station.

IT Central Station now has over 180,000+ tech professionals in our community, and is one of the most trusted online resources for tech decision makers. Read more about our Deloitte’s Fast 50 award here.

Webinar: Using the Voice of the Customer to Empower Your Marketing

Graphic

According to Forrester, enterprise tech buyers complete 70% of the buying process before even engaging with a vendor. That’s because they search for real user feedback before going to the vendor to make their final buying decisions.

IT Central Station along with the LinkedIn B2B Tech Marketing Community hosted a panel of enterprise tech marketing executives who use customer reviews, peer content, and professional social communities to achieve marketing success. They shared their expert tips and advice on how to reach serious buyers at the crucial stage of their buying journey.

The panelists included:

  • Isaac Rodriguez, Digital Marketing Strategist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Rafael Kabesa, Senior Product Marketing Manager at VMware
  • Wendy Perilli, Senior Director of Global Integrated Programs at ServiceNow

This webinar was hosted by:

  • Russell Rothstein, CEO and Co-Founder of IT Central Station (moderator)
  • Holger Schulze, Owner of the LinkedIn B2B Technology Marketing Community

Watch the recording of the webinar here:

Thank you to our guest speakers, as well as the LinkedIn B2B Tech Marketing Community for its co-sponsorship of this webinar with IT Central Station.

Don’t Miss the Boat on Product Reviews

5 Reasons Customer Reviews Are Essential to Your Marketing Strategy

Product reviews, peer content, and professional social communities are rapidly taking over the $3 trillion enterprise technology industry.  Here at IT Central Station, we’re leading the way with our crowd-sourced platform that allows real users to share their opinions about tech products.

IT Central Station currently has over 140,000 users, discussing and reviewing all the major enterprise technology solutions.

Research from Forrester, Gartner, IDC, LinkedIn, and Google all validate the greater importance that tech buyers place on peer experiences and product ratings than on any other type of content.

Our latest infographic illustrates this, visualizing the data that make customer reviews at IT Central Station essential to any enterprise technology company’s marketing strategy.


Yelpification

The Yelpification of Enterprise Tech: 5 Reasons Customer Reviews Are Essential to Your Marketing Strategy

Download our infographic in PDF format.


 

Interested in learning more?  Learn how leading marketers at HPE, VMware, Salesforce, Oracle, and IBM use peer reviews by visiting marketing.itcentralstation.com, or contact me at ceo@itcentralstation.com.

Watch: Russell Rothstein on The ROI of Reviews at Advocamp

Last month Russell Rothstein, CEO of IT Central Station, spoke at Influitive Advocamp, the biggest customer experience and advocacy event, held in San Francisco.

He was joined on stage by Anand Akela, Director of Product Marketing at AppDynamics to discuss the ROI of Reviews.

You can watch the full video here:

See the slides: http://www.slideshare.net/Influitive/advocamp-russell-rothstein-anand-akela

The Yelpification of Enterprise Tech

Yelpification Webinar - 300 x 250We recently hosted a panel of marketing leaders who leverage customer reviews to build awareness and generate leads.  The panel of enterprise tech marketing executives shared tips and advice for utilizing product reviews, peer content, and professional social communities to achieve marketing success.

The panelists included:

  • May Petry, Vice President of Digital Marketing at HP
  • Wendy Perilli, Senior Director of Global Integrated Programs at ServiceNow
  • Anand Akela, Director of Product Marketing at AppDynamics
  • Paula Daley, Advisor for DevOps Product & Solution Marketing Operations at CA Technologies
  • Russell Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of IT Central Station (moderator)

View the recorded webinar here: The Yelpification of Enterprise Tech: 5 Reasons Why Customer Reviews Are Essential to Your Marketing Strategy.

Along with the webinar, we’ve also created a new infographic illustrating the marketing advantages of using customer reviews.  This new infographic depicts industry data confirming the importance technology buyers place on product reviews and peer experiences.  For example, research shows that tech buyers complete two-thirds of the buying process before engaging with a vendor sales representative.

HubSpot vs Marketo—Marketing Matchup

Marketing tools provide promise for scalable and efficient ways to get your content to the right audience. The better you do this, of course, the more prospects you get and ultimately more sales and revenue.

But at what cost and what is your return on investHubSpot vs Marketoment (ROI) for using these resources?

There will be some initial ramp up costs for certain. Make sure you also consider the “cost” to your employees in terms of usability and even job satisfaction.

No one likes to be mandated to use some tool that is hard to figure out while training might be sparse. We’ve all been there and it can be very frustrating. This cost could be higher than you think depending on how broad the scope, success, or failure of the tool manifests.

Here’s a quote about Marketo from a real user on IT Central Station,

“Pros:
Marketo gives me the toolset necessary to create automated drip email campaigns to my customers and prospects. HUGE ROI! Great customer service and still (relatively) nimble dev team always willing to help, even in special, or “one-off” scenarios.”

Quotes like these can help you make decisions and might help you get motivated in spite of any training hurdles. Selling to internal audiences for some solutions is very important if you’re the decision maker for IT tools.

At IT Central Station, you can begin your search for marketing tools such as Marketo and compare them to others. You can find out how others in your peer group are using specific aspects of the solutions you’re interested in adopting. You can also have your colleagues who you need to convince to take a look at reviews.

A matchup between Hubspot and Marketo is on the horizon. If you’re a real user start the reviews to establish yourself as a thought leader in marketing automation or enablement—or in another category depending on your role.

Or you might want to reach out to an established real user who contributed a review for any of the products on IT Central Station.

Here’s two ways you can do that, you can comment on the review and get into a dialogue of Q and A with the reviewer or even someone else who commented.Question

Or, you can “inbox” the reviewer directly from the site. Just push the Ask Me a Question button shown to the right.

For more information about becoming a contributor. see Become a Contributor.

Be a part of the “Yelp for Enterprise Tech” as referred to by the Wall Street Journal on IT Central Station.