What to Look for in a New Marketing Hire at the End of 2019

As you prepare to make your final hires of 2019, it's important to look ahead and consider the impact they'll have on the company for years to come. As the next decade approaches, companies need marketing experts who are as up to date with the trends as they are well-versed in common practices. 

Keep these criteria in mind as you embark on the next hiring process.

What Will 2020 Require?

Entrepreneur identifies the top four 2020 marketing trends companies should be aware of in the new year. According to Econsultancy, the ability to identify and respond to emerging technology, especially voice search and smart speakers, will prove immeasurably valuable as your company develops its 2020 marketing strategy. 

The right hire will demonstrate awareness and predictive problem-solving ability; they know how to integrate and transition new ideas and presentations into existing models to establish a streamlined marketing strategy that doesn't disrupt or confuse your audience. 

Be sure to check for a conscious awareness of future trends that runs parallel to current practices. In doing so, you can assure that your next marketing hire is capable of performing their job well and will contribute more to the company in the long run.

Look for Leadership Qualities

According to The Hire Talent, good leaders have high levels of emotional intelligence—look for candidates who communicate and express themselves in a direct and clear manner. Even if they aren't running a team, everyone who works in your company should demonstrate the key qualities of a good leader. 

The ability to receive, appreciate, and respond to feedback is invaluable, but it's a skill many people lack. A good marketing hire will also be willing to collaborate and strike the perfect balance between independence and teamwork. Personality tests and psychometric profiling during the hiring process can help you choose candidates with the strongest leadership qualities or potential.

Encourage a Versatile Mindset

Marketing theory only goes so far; today, modern marketers are at the forefront of innovation. Anyone with a fixed philosophy that ultimately makes them opposed to change is not the right fit for your position. According to Digital Marketing Institute, modern marketing hires should also be flexible, inquisitive, and goal-oriented.

The right marketing hire in the next year will understand that their career will require lifelong learning and the willingness to adapt; focusing on this and asking open questions during an interview to assess how aware and in-touch a candidate is with their marketing landscape will be beneficial for your company.

Interested in getting some help with your marketing in Q4? Contact us to learn how we can help!

Using people instead of bots

We all love it when you can replace a job that was previously handled by a person with a bot, new piece of software, or simplified process. But there are times when a person can handle a situation far better than a bot or automated tool ever could. 

Here are the top scenarios you should avoid using a chatbot and instead have a person handle the conversation on your website. 

  1. A highly qualified company is visiting the website - with the use of a tool like Clearbit Reveal you can very easily understand the companies visiting your website then route those visitors directly to the appropriate sales rep. Just like you how you put your top reps on the largest potential deals, make sure you doing that from the moment they land on the website.

  2. Bot engages a top lead, immediately hand off - the largest benefit of a bot is that it can engage with a ton of visitors without wasting anyone’s time. But when you get someone engaged don’t just send them through to book a meeting or say a rep will follow-up - they are already engaged right now! Get them on the phone immediately or start the sales process via chat. You will cut out all of those people that book a meeting then don’t show up.

  3. Known leads already in the sales process - your sales team is spending a lot of time to get people to buy, then a bot engages with one of them and there is a weird experience or they get targeted with a top of the funnel offer - this slows down the sale. Any lead that is currently an opportunity should have prompts that immediately bring them to the rep they are working with to keep the line of communication clean.

There are certainly other times when a person will improve the experience compared to a chatbot, but this is a great place to start. 

We work with companies everyday to build out these types of setups across chatbot tools like Drift and Hubspot. Contact us to learn more about how we can help or chat with our bot ;-)

Lead Scoring vs Lead Grading - You need both!

If you’re in marketing you have without a doubt heard about lead scoring. It’s one of those buzzwords that been around for a while and typically drives people to spending months mapping out their leads to develop a score. This process involves taking everything you possibly know about a lead - website activity, demographic data, form submissions, sales activity, etc - then rolling it all into one number.

Then there is the expectation that this score will now indicate how engagement should take place with this lead going forward.

Two examples:

  1. Lead is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and has registered for one webinar - Score = 100

  2. Lead is an individual contributor at a 10 person company that has engaged with every piece of content on the website - Score = 100

How would we use this score then? Two very different leads look the same.

Obviously this is just an example, but something that happens everyday for marketers. When there is an attempt to roll so much information into a single number, you quickly run into an issue where the score doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

So - the solution? Start grading your leads.

Take the qualifications of the Person and use this to determine a grade, while the activity/engagement data is used only within the score.

The Lead Grade can be A/B/C/D or 1/2/3/4 or Good/Okay/Bad - but ultimately is an indication of “How qualified is this person to buy what we are selling?”

Here is a quick list of some things to include within the Lead Grade:

  • Job Title

  • Company Size

  • Location (City/State/Country)

  • Form Data - Current pain/solution needed.

  • Check with the sales team - they probably have some attributes they look at to quickly determine if someone is a good fit.

Once you’ve built out your Lead Grade - now it’s time to take all of these factors out to the Lead Score, so that it is entirely activity based.

Now let’s look at our examples again, but this time with a Lead Grade and Score applied:

  1. Lead is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and has registered for one webinar - Grade = A & Score = 10

  2. Lead is an individual contributor at a 10 person company that has engaged with every piece of content on the website - Grade = C & Score = 100

See the difference? This will have a big impact on how you market to these leads going forward.

For #1 - we need to focus on driving engagement with additional content to warm them up and increase the score.

For #2 - we can tell they are super engaged but not a great fit, so would probably want to filter them out from any marketing focused on driving them to sales.


One last thing! Don’t try to get your Lead Grade or Score perfect the first time around - because you won’t. Take a best guess and get it live. Then look through some recent customers - how does the score/grade look there? Check with sales and have them review their leads - does the grade line up with their quick gut check on lead quality?

You can continuously iterate on both the lead grade and score to ultimately have powerful indicators on the quality and engagement of the leads you’re marketing to.

Let me know your thoughts or pointers in the comments! If you need help with lead grading/scoring - don’t hesitate to reach out and we will be happy to help!

Growth gets better with age

You hear startup stories everyday about how someone went from nothing, to being huge in no time at all. These are always great to hear, but if you pull back the curtain there is a lot more to it than just that quick win.

Even the stories that everyone talks about like Slack - they started in 2013, didn’t actually launch any product for 2 years, then quickly started gaining free users, but took quite a bit longer before the sales started rolling in. That certainly wasn’t an overnight success, but they do indeed set the bar on growth.

The mindset companies have on growth typically fall into two rather distinct buckets:

The Visionaries - that are full of grand ideas and are the go big or go home type. There are usually a lot of moving pieces in their growth plan, that if they all don’t fall in at the perfect time, in the perfect order, in the perfect place -> there will be no success.

The Realists - that have big ideas, but realize that in order to get there it takes time and each step builds on top of the other to drive the growth that is needed.

When it comes to driving growth in your business the point is to not try and skip all of the steps to get to the “end” all at once. Yes - we can all agree it would be amazing to go from $0->$1B in 6 months, but that realistically is not going to happen.

Here are a few strategies that we’ve seen work well to help businesses continually drive substantial growth over time:

  1. Anything is better than nothing - the website doesn’t need to be perfect, the logo can suck, the email can confuse people - but you need to do something. Get to 80% done and go for it, the worst that happens if someone points out a flaw and you fix it, not a big deal.

  2. Ask for and listen to feedback - when you’re moving quickly there are things you’ll do wrong (see #1) and also things you’ll miss. Continually ask for and be open to feedback to make the process better for the next person. But be sure not to just disregard feedback, that doesn’t help anyone.

  3. You’re never done - great the conversion rate improved 25% or sales are up 50%. Okay good job… now go do that again to get another 30% improvement.

Focus on continually pushing forward and you will get where you want to go. Don’t give up!

“It’s easy to dream about it… Much harder to execute it… Work!”

~Gary Vaynerchuk

How to have an Immediate Impact in Marketing

Whether you’re a new hire internally or an agency/contractor externally - most people want to have an immediate impact to the business. Naturally this leads folks to look into what projects are currently in the works or need to be completed, and try to find something they want to do. 

But there is a much better way to get started...

Find the Lowest Hanging Fruit

What is a small change that can have a huge impact on an important metric (usually leads generated) that will be noticeable almost immediately. 

Here are some ideas on how to find that low hanging fruit you can grab. 

  1. Look at the top 10 pages based on traffic - regardless of what type of page they are. Then ask yourself, “How can we can get more people to convert?” A lot of times it will be something as simple as adding a CTA, form, or maybe a bot. Think like your buyer and go with your gut. 
  2. Look at your blog - is there always a CTA in view regardless of where on the page someone is? Simple change and get a few more CTAs driving conversions. 
  3. Are any bots being used for lead generation? Use an existing tool or try out bots from Drift or HubSpot. Put them on your landing pages with a 15 second delay for people not already converting. 

These are just a few simple things you can try to help point you in the direction of finding some quick wins that you can implement. 

Be sure to make sure you’re tracking the performance of whatever changes you make to show that it worked. 

Share what you’ve tried in the comments below to help others hit the ground running when kicking off their time with a new marketing team. 

Need more help with finding the low hanging fruit? Connect with us and we will be happy to help!

Custom cookie prompts for GDPR when using HubSpot, Marketo, Drift, etc.

Most of the marketing platforms have their own options when it comes to asking for consent to drop cookies, but there are two big problems:

  1. Most are very generic and just an on/off - no option to target differently based on GEO, etc. 
  2. They often don't play nicely with other tools, so someone may have opted-out of tracking but other tools are still tracking them since you don't want 15 separate prompts for every visitor. 

In the past few weeks we've worked with a number of customers that were interested in having one prompt for only folks in the EU and to control a number of different systems based on that response. 

Everyone is talking about GDPR this week as the deadline fast approaches, so wanted to share the tools that we used. 

CookieConsent Pop-Up - We had originally planned to build this custom, but after seeing the level of customization that was allowed this was the smartest route to go to handle a variety of different requirements.

Ipdata Geolocation - Generous free plan to get started, along with one tag via the API "is_eu" to know if you need to show the pop-up. 

With these two tools, we quickly wired up some custom code that would check if someone is in the EU and display the option to opt-in for cookies. Once someone has opted-in then the tracking codes for whatever tools you need can be loaded easily. 

If you're working on getting GDPR compliant and need some help with this piece, don't hesitate to reach out and we will be happy to help!

Finally did it!

This was originally posted on LinkedIn in January 2018:

I finally did it!

For those of you that know me well - you probably have heard about the variety of side hustles I've had over the years and wanting to build my own business. 

I'd just been too afraid to do it full time.

Even last year I made enough revenue to live off, but wasn't ready to pull the trigger. 

Well I did it - last week was my last week at Drift.

I'm building out - the side business that I had from back in my HubSpot days which has been growing since then. 

We are a full service sales and marketing agency with a heavy focus in sales & marketing automation.  Have something you need help with today?

Let's get in touch! ( or DM)

Thank you to everyone that had been pushing me to do this.

What is a Marketing Migration?

A marketing migration is what you need when you’ve found that the marketing tools you’re currently using no longer meet the marketing needs of today and tomorrow. When that time comes you need to find a replacement solution and move over everything that has been built to ensure you don’t lose any valuable content.

The process of a marketing migration is pretty straightforward, but with all of the moving parts it can easily get out of hand. Here is the standard process you will need to go through.

  1. Find the new software solution and ensure that all of your needs are met. Many times a solution is chosen that misses a big chunk of the requirements and it will take additional work and potentially additional software to solve the problem.

  2. Determine the migration path. This step often depends on your needs as an organization and if multiple tools are being consolidated into one. Plan the path at a high level of what is going where. When it is a simple email -> email tool migration it’s easy, but not all scenarios are like that.

  3. Outline all of the content that needs to be migrated. How many templates, content pieces, pages, workflows, etc. need to be moved? Dig through your old tools and find everything that you want to keep - you’ll be surprised what you find!

  4. Move everything to the new tool. Make sure you don’t forget to move the asset files like images, PDFs, and so on. We see it all the time; email templates get moved but still reference images on your old tool - then it gets shut off and you have broken emails.

  5. Roll it live. Please don’t do it all at once! Start with one or two email campaigns and make sure you didn’t miss anything. Start linking to the new landing pages from your homepage and see the leads flow through. Once you feel comfortable with the setup, then make the full switch.

  6. Don’t forget the redirects. Most of the time your URL structure for any pages will be changing a bit. Go through and ensure all of your old links still work by setting up 301 redirects. This makes sure that all of your shared links don’t break and that Google can find your new pages.

Going through a marketing migration is definitely not an easy task. The part that most people miss is staying organized throughout all of the steps. If there is a large marketing team in place, this can get to be a bit more difficult and the organization is even more important.

Don’t be afraid of working with external resources when it comes to a marketing migration. If you have an existing marketing agency they might be able to help or reach out to us and we’d be thrilled to help make the transition painless.