I was in Chicago yesterday for the @Marketo #rocktherev Revenue Rockstar tour with TPG’s own Lady Qaqish, @revenuemarketer Debbie Qaqish, and Marketo’s Jon Miller (@jonmiller2).  I have to say it was a fantastic event!  I usually can’t stand sitting through three hours of PPT presentations, but this was different.  The content was really meaty and kept my attention.  Make sure you check it out at a city near you if you haven’t already (click here for the complete list).

For those of you who can’t make it, I wanted to share a brief recap of some of the highlights.  As I said, there were some dense presentations here, so I’ll break it up into a few parts.  I actually want to start with the case studies, as those were the coolest part to really see this stuff in action.  The first case study was from Ken Moorhead (@kenmoorhead) and Isaac Pellerin (@theisaacfix) of Compendium, who have been Marketo users since October of 2010.  That’s no typo – I mean 2010.  And they are already a case study because they’ve managed to accelerate their adoption so quickly.  They started where the majority of B2B companies are today – no consistent infrastructure, no process, very little in terms of metrics.  And to date (6 months!), they’ve managed to put into place a great process, metrics, and some great campaigns that are driving leads.  Some of the highlights of the presentation and my follow-up conversation with these guys:

  • Their motto was to ask forgiveness, not permission.  That’s how they’ve managed to push through some change so quickly.  They have also not been afraid to take some risks and make mistakes along the way to learn some valuable lessons.
  • They clearly defined their “quest” up front – to drive revenue growth.  They understood that there needed to be a single shared goal with sales and marketing and worked together to do that.
  • They started simple and built out.  And they are still building out – their journey is by no means over.
  • They think that one of the big mistakes is visualizing the buy cycle like a funnel that people naturally fall through or you push them through (they had a great graphic with a plunger at the top of the funnel here).  So instead, they visualize this as stair steps that you need to help people climb.  Great insight!

The second case study was from Marketo’s own Jon Miller.  These guys are really drinking their own Kool-Aid here.  They are one of the fastest growing SaaS companies out there and have a really highly efficient revenue engine.  They skew their spend towards marketing to make their sales team super-efficient (i.e., their sales team is only following-up on pre-qualified leads most of the time).  And this makes their revenue efficiency much better than others in their industry.

Jon has a physics background, so he loves numbers and formulas.  And has done some cool stuff with this.  He has dug into his marketing more than just how many leads and cost per lead.  He actually goes to the level of profitability so he can understand even when a tactic might cost more, it may still be better than other tactics because it converts quicker and uses less of a salesperson’s time.  You should see all the fun charts and graphs he has to show his executive team.  His goal is to make sure his board doesn’t look at him as the “arts and crafts guy” but rather as a contributing member driving revenue.  We can all get behind that!  Oh, and one more thing, everyone (everyone!) on his marketing team carries a revenue goal.  Great things to aspire to, and thanks for the inspiration, Jon!

In part 2 of this recap, I’ll cover the other great presentations.