Influencer & Demand Gen: Top VC SaaS Metrics

VC SaaS Metrics

Challenge: Drive awareness of our newly released SaaS metrics reporting with key influencers in the SaaS and Venture Capital community.

Solution: Create a highly valuable piece of content that Top VC Influencers could want to share with their portfolios and online communities, and that the SaaS community could use to understand how to calculate these challenging metrics.

– 27x more traffic than average post in first month
– 1.2k shares, 60x the amount of average shares
– Top 5 most trafficked posts for 4 months
– Shared by 75% of VCs featured, including introductions to portfolio companies

Making a Monster: An Integrated Campaign

Challenge: Create an integrated marketing campaign that would make sales analytics accessible for sales leaders while hitting demand and pipeline goals — at a conference with 120,000 attendees.

Solution: Meet Data.

Channels: Social media, OOH ads (pedicab), guerilla/street, tradeshow, sales collateral, email, blog content.

Summary: At Dreamforce 2015, we needed to cut through the noise of hundreds of sponsors and speakers to reach our target audience: sales leaders who run an inside sales model and need to use data to grow more effectively.

We needed an idea that would accelerate the brand, could not be ignored, and would break through the traditional trade show hullabaloo.

While thinking about these sales leaders I considered their day-to-day when it came to using data: As a leader in charge of performance and “hitting a number”, sales leaders can  be overwhelmed by the time and effort it takes to analyze their CRM data, leading to data overload or paralysis. The cleanliness and accuracy of CRM data can also often be terrifying. Data can be terrifying. But it can also be a powerful tool to grow your business…

I thought about what this dichotomous creature might look like and act like if it came to life. Enter Data: a monster capable of being terrifying or transforming your sales team, depending on how you use it.

The campaign, which launched in late August and completed in late September, included email messaging to drive participants to “meet” and “spot” Data, a guerilla street contest that involved snapping pics and retweeting with hashtag #DataMonster, a conference video and supporting booth collateral, a game to drive traffic to our booth, branded pedicabs around San Francisco, and a live mascot who made friends everywhere he went.

Outcomes: Data was a hit, and took 1000’s of selfies throughout the week, but more importantly, drove interest and traffic to support our bottom line business goals. As a booth and conference icebreaker, Data allowed marketing and sales team to hit our demand generation goals at Dreamforce and capture over 3,500 leads over 4 days.



Partnerships & Awareness: Periodic Table of Apps for Sales & Marketing


Challenge: Develop a collaborative partnership with the Salesforce AppExchange, while driving awareness of InsightSquared’s free sales and marketing apps.


Solution: Create a high-quality,  viral piece of content that featured great companies in the Salesforce ecosystem, highlighted the power of the Salesforce AppExchange, and provided value to the sales and marketing community.



– 17x more traffic than average post in first month
– 1.3k shares, 65x the amount of average shares
– Top 5 most-trafficked posts on blog for 8 months
– Shared by top Salesforce excutives and @Salesforce twitter handle

Naviance Press Release

SEP.06, 2012 — Today Alleyoop and Hobsons announced a partnership that will give teens all the help they need to get ready for college – from goal-setting all the way to personalized, self-guided math and science tutoring based on their needs. Alleyoop, the customized, gamified learning app designed just for teens, is all about helping students succeed by connecting them with the right resources at the right time; an idea that fits perfectly within Naviance Family Connection to provide actionable guidance to students activated on the Naviance Network.

Need help with your Chemistry homework, or struggling to follow what’s being taught in Algebra II? Alleyoop uses its SmartBrain technology to understand how you learn most effectively, and then recommends activities based on what will help you achieve the most success. It’s the math and science tutor that most teens need but not everyone can afford – and it’s free to connect through your Naviance account. The best thing about Alleyoop is that it’s personalized just for you, and aimed at getting you ready for the college or career of your dreams. The more you use it, the smarter it gets – and so do you!

Want to learn more about Alleyoop? Look for Alleyoop in the Naviance Marketplace to get started. Alleyoop and Naviance are a great resource for supplementary guidance at any middle-school or high-school: Naviance strives to connect everything a student learns to a real-world goal and objective, and Alleyoop guides students’ interests and skills to real college majors and careers.

We’re excited to help students get ready for college with this great new partnership! Learn more about Alleyoop in the Naviance Marketplace.

Don’t Get Zombified: Fight Back Against Summer Brain Drain

Zombies love brains. It’s a fact.

Oh, and they’ll strike at any time and suck your brain up like an ice cream cone. This summer vacation, there will be zombies lurking around every corner waiting to drain your brain – of every valuable piece of information you learned this past school year.

These zombies could take the form of your video game console, your buddies hanging around all day, cruising websites, your comfy bed, or the TV in your room.  Like we said, they’re everywhere. It’s your responsibility to fight back.

Summer Brain Drain is the “zombie” we’re talking about, and this summer slump isn’t just a myth that teachers and parents warn about to spook you into reading your summer reading assignment: it’s a loss that’s been proven across studies and test scores for years. In fact, ask your favorite teacher what they plan to cover in the first month of school next year, and they’ll probably tell you they need to re-teachstudents what they already knew when they left in June.

Worried about zombie brain loss this school vacation? These frightening facts might help prevent you from getting zombified this summer:

So what can you do to keep your brain from being eaten up this summer? Fight back! Read good books, do math problems you’ll see next year, and learn about science topics that interest you (who doesn’t like volcanoes, for example?)

When it comes to staving off the zombies this summer: get armed and ready. Your brain will thank you next fall.

Guest Post: Australian Wineries Join Forces, Tout Family to Gain Shares in Global Market

A recent guest blog post, as featured on the Emerson Graduate IMC Blog, January 24, 2012:

Most wine drinkers, even wine neophytes, know where the best wines in the world traditionally come from: France and Italy. Wine drinkers are ingrained to think of Bordeaux, Champagne and Italian Reds as some of the best in the world –but if there’s one thing wine lovers know even more than where to find the finest pours, it is where to find bad wine and how to avoid it.

Australia is a notorious offender in the bad wine department.

Although parts of Australia have been producing wine for over one hundred years, recently Australia’s global wine production reputation has been tainted, thanks mostly to large wine corporations that make up 75% of Australia’s wine exports annually and mass produce cheap, low quality wine for export.

In addition to a poor reputation, Australian exports also began suffering because of increased competition in the global market – a market that Australian wineries had once captured large UK and US market shares due to a lack of competition from other emerging wine producing regions like South Africa, Argentina and Chile for mainly political reasons. Now that the UK, US, Canada and other global market were importing inexpensive wine from these other regions, Australia had much more competition in the low priced international wine market.

In 2009 a group of family owned Australian winemakers formed an alliance called “Australia’s First Families of Wine” and underwent a large scale marketing initiative to differentiate these 12 families, their vineyards, and their wines from the rest of the Australian competition. In August 2009 they a  marketing initiative to set them apart from the negative connotations of mass-production and low-quality that the much larger Australian wine corporations had created for Australian wines. Their aim was to “change the global perception of Australian wine,” as announced by their Chairman Alister Purbrick at the launch, “We don’t believe as individual companies we can stem the avalanche of news stories about Australia producing nothing but cheap industrial wines. But together we can present a powerful showcase of terrific regional wines of great diversity.”

Read more on the Emerson Graduation IMC Blog…

Guest Post: 6 Ways to Spice Up Your Email Marketing

My most recent guest blog post, as featured on Wednesday, January 4th post on Hubspot blog:

Do you remember creating your first email marketing campaign? Those emails were going to catapult your business to new levels, blow your content’s ROI through the roof, and make you an instant digital mogul in your industry.Spice Up Your Email Marketing

How long did that excitement last? Are you still in the honeymoon phase, or do you find yourself staring at your email templates bored, uninspired, and unsure of where to go next?

Whichever way you feel about your email marketing, whether you’re on your first campaign or the hundredth, emails can fall flat and lose the appeal they once had for both you and your subscribers. So how do you bring the spark back into a boring email program and inject some va-va-voom into your campaigns? It’s all about approaching your email with a little creativity. Here are 6 ways to spice up your email marketing the next time your creativity (and email marketing ROI) needs a jolt.

1. Try On-the-Fly A/B Testing

For a marketer, there are few things more appealing than knowing whether your campaigns are successful while they are still in motion. In this sense, A/B testing is the sexiest email marketing feature there is! Nowadays, many email service providers (ESPs) have a feature built into their platforms that allows marketers to send and compare the performance of variables like subject line and “From” sender names to sample audiences, with the winning email getting deployed to the remainder of the audience.

2. Crowdsource Your Next Email Campaign

As hard as you try, it’s sometimes impossible to know exactly what your subscribers want, which is why your next email should flat-out ask them. Survey your customers to see what they want more of, less of, or what would make them visit your site more. Not only do prospects and customers appreciate your consideration of their opinion, but you may also be handed a brand new email campaign that your marketing department never would have thought of.

Although many ESPs have basic survey tools included, you can also collect information on your website through a customized landing page or a survey collection tool. Suggestions for what to ask might include their topic preferences for articles you produce, what sorts of deals would entice them to purchase more often, what additional products and services they’d like your company to offer, and what sorts of service updates would be helpful to hear from your company.

[Continue Reading on the HubSpot Blog…]

Why Offline Marketing Isn’t “For the Birds”

*Originally written for and posted on the ListEngage blog*

marketing1Admittedly, we’ve been urging (ok, harassing) our clients to get their marketing efforts online and moving with social networks, email, and blogs for the past few years, however, we’d also like to take a moment to just reflect on “good old fashion marketing”. That’s right, we’d like to suggest despite our love for HTML, landing pages, and dynamic content in emails that Offline Marketing isn’t just some hairbrained idea for old turkeys and people who still use a rotary phone.

The truth of the matter is that until the human race is completely pushed to our electronic limits with 24 hours a day of iPhones, mp3 players, laptops, tablets, and the likes – we all have to, at some point during the day, look up! So why not:

  • take that time to put your online marketing efforts on an offline print ad?
  • use your company wheels as a rolling billboard? – foodcart or not, it’s “mobile advertising”, minus the smartphone
  • tweak your business cards to include your facebook page or twitter profile?
  • host a “tweetup” or “blog party” for people who share your business interests
  • think outside the box: t-shirts with your @TwitterHandle on ‘em at conferences? QR code for a free burrito on a train advertisement? SMS campaign contest that starts with an advertisement at a sporting event? Stress balls with your cleverly named Industry Blog & URL at your next networking event? Yes, yes, yes and yes!


Guest Post: 5 Lessons Trick-or-Treaters Can Teach Us About Inbound Marketing

Original post featured on the HubSpot blog – October 31, 2011

5 Lessons Trick-or-Treaters Can Teach Us About Inbound Marketing:

Each Halloween the ghouls, goblins, and princesses come out and parade their costumes en masse across towns and cities everywhere. With hundreds of houses and apartments to pick from, what makes some places a raging success, while others can’t get a ‘treater to save their lives? It turns out all of those little super heroes and skeletons can actually teach us a thing or two about our own inbound marketing efforts.

Lesson 1: Make Sure They Know You’re Home

Remember those houses with the lights off, no cars in the driveway, and no decorations adorning the walkway? Not only were they spooky, but you had no idea whether anyone was home to give you candy! Although the occasional trick-or-treater might be brave enough to run up and ring the bell, these houses are generally overlooked even if they have great goodies inside.

Marketing Takeaway: Make sure people know you’re open for business. For marketers, this means always keeping your website up-to-date and providing fresh content through your various online channels such — posting often to your blog and social media accounts, making sure your landing pages are optimized and filled with valuable offers and content, etc. No matter where your visitors stop by, they should always feel like “someone’s home” to help them out.

Lesson 2: Tell a Great Tale

Whether it’s like a haunted mansion, a spooky graveyard, or a zombie apocalypse – what makes your house stand out from the rest? Pull in the candy-grubbers with a great, consistent tale about your home and goodies. Parents and kids alike always remember the places that surprise, enchant, and entertain them, so slap those bolts to your neck, get out the green face paint and lab supplies, and get your Frankenstein on!

Marketing Takeaway: Telling compelling stories is a major part of getting your new audience’s attention. Captivate them by telling the tales you know best. While for trick-or-treaters, this might mean tales of ghosts and gore, for your business, this means sharing riveting case studies, addressing industry problems on your blog, orcreating a valuable ebook to attract and generate leads at the top of the funnel.

Lesson 3: Give Out the Good Stuff (But Don’t Just Give it Away!)

If telling great stories is a major part of getting new ‘treaters to your door, then another big piece of the pie is: what kinds of goodies do you have? The best houses don’t hand out lollipops and hard candies. Instead, they give out the chocolatiest chocolate bars, the chewiest gummies, and the sourest sour candies! Make sure you’re offering the best of the best, and never just leave your goodies on the doorstep unattended. The smart candy-givers know it’s a two-way street: trick-or-treaters request their loot, and candy-givers get a chance to enjoy their goofy little costumes and squeaky thank you’s!

Marketing Takeaway: Give away valuable content freely, and always interact with the folks who stop by! Find your customers’ pain-points, have the conversations they want to hear about most, and talk about the technologies you see revolutionizing your industry in the next few years. Then create ebooks, webinars, podcasts, and other content around these great topics. Just like you require a “trick-or-treat” in exchange for candy from the kids who knock on your door on Halloween, make sure you’re distributing your marketing content in exchange for lead information; use landing pages with lead-capture forms and plan to follow up on visitors’ clicks, form submissions, and downloads with a phone call or a timely lead nurturing campaign.

Lesson 4: Be Prepared. Don’t Run Out.

When you decide to open up your doors to the candy-frenzied masses, don’t get caught off guard when your house is a wild success. Be prepared to bring out more goodies, as the zombies, witches, and dinosaurs keep asking for them. Remember those houses that *gasp* ran out of candy when you were little? Definitely don’t make that same mistake.

Marketing Takeaway: There’s nothing worse than disappointing potential new customers with false hopes of content. Letting potential enthusiasts down on their first visit can almost guarantee they won’t make a second. For marketers, this means having a long list of ideas and content lined up as users come to your site looking for more great resources. Create content calendars, crowdsource new ideas from your employees and customers, and collaborate with like-minded businesses to make sure you can keep delivering those “delicious” goodies that feed your visitors as well as your inbound marketing programs.

Lesson 5: Reward Your Biggest Fans

Remember that pirate who’s been coming to your haunted house for years and bringing new friends every time? Don’t forget to say thank-you and give him the candy bar you know he likes best. Or maybe even an extra one for good measure.

Marketing Takeaway: When it comes to your business’ top fans who absolutely love what you’re doing – send the appreciation right back their way! For Halloween, this might mean a King Size candy bar for your loyal ‘treaters, but for your business, this likely means sending the retweeting love, celebrating your Facebook fanswith “insider” perks, or running a special contest for your biggest advocates. No matter how you choose to thank your best fans and customers, just remember to pay it forward. Who knows, down the road they might even help keep those naughty older ‘treaters from egging your house!

What else can trick-or-treaters teach you about inbound marketing?

Image Credit: scott feldstein