In the second episode of the Marketing Automation Moment podcast, Mike and Hannah share their thoughts about why third-party form vendors are so successful.

Mike shares his views of whether marketers should use software review sites like G2 to determine which marketing automation system to use, and Hannah shares her thoughts on why lead scoring can be effective if used properly.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

Transcript: Marketing Automation Moment Episode One – Should You Trust Software Review Sites?

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Hannah Kelly

Hannah: Welcome to the market automation moment Podcast. I’m Hannah Kelly.

Mike: And I’m Mike Maynard. This is Napier’s podcast to tell you about the latest news from the world of marketing automation.

Hannah: Welcome to mark to automation moment. It’s great to have you with us this week.

Mike: Yeah, we got a great discussion this week, when I talk about forms, and I discuss why I think party form vendors are still so successful. And I talked about why I love lead scoring. And I have some strong views on whether or not you should use software review sites like G to determine which marketing automation system you use.

Hannah: So the first thing I wanted to address, I came across a cool report, which has some mind blowing figures, Mike and I not sure if they blow your mind as well. But the marketer automation market is actually looking to be valued at nearly 47 billion by 2027. And don’t be wrong, I don’t live under a rock. So I know that digital marketing is accelerating, and we’ve had COVID We’ve had everything like that. But the numbers did actually kind of blow my mind a little bit. Are you as shocked as I am?

Mike: Well, I’m gonna think it means that nape is only going to take about half the market without struggle. Seriously, it is a mind boggling amount $50 billion. But I was also impressed by the growth rate as well. I mean, they’re talking about a 14% a year growth rate, you know, in an industry where it feels like pretty much everybody already has bought marketing automation. So, you know, the fact that this industry is still growing so quickly, and at a point where the technology, frankly, is getting simpler and cheaper. It’s just incredible. I mean, clearly, I think it shows the value of marketing automation.

Hannah: Yeah, it’s pretty epic, especially when you’re looking at figures like that. And I’d say actually, it’s good for 75% of the market, not 50%. Let’s aim for the stars, at least, you know, stretch goals. So, yeah, it’s clear, you know, the market automation market is booming. And I’m really intrigued, you know, we enjoy the bait between ourselves, Mike. And one of the things that’s interested me is that G two who are a technology review platform, have actually released their badges and rankings of market automation platforms. And what’s been quite interesting in my eyes is that act on one of the most automation platforms has come up quite well got quite a few significant badges such as most implementable, but my question is, what about the big guys? So you’ve got HubSpot, you’ve got Pardot, you’ve got Marketo. Are they? Are these reviews true? Or have they perhaps been a little bit swayed by the customer reviews?

Mike: Yeah, well, what you’re really asking is how comes the cult of of HubSpot hasn’t caused everything. You know, I think it’s funny, I like GE to I use GE to like most people. But the reality is, I think anyone who’s ever placed review knows that, once you place review, get endless offers to place more reviews and promises of money and bribery to do that. And that probably isn’t the best way to get, you know, independent and accurate. Reviews, do you think?

Hannah: Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting that you say about bribery, because almost playing devil’s advocate is, is so much of it bribery, that actually the reviews can’t be trusted at all, or should big players like Marketo. And Pardo actually be worried because apt on is actually the best platform according to the customers out there?

Mike: Well, I think the problem with these platforms is that they’re actually not doing comparisons, what they’re doing is they’re asking users, how easy it is to implement the platform, for example. And I’m pretty certain that none of those users have implemented all the marketing automation platforms, and that can then give her a relatively independent rating. So it’s really how easy is it versus expectations? And let’s be honest, I mean, axons, you know, it’s not one of the biggest, but actually, it’s a pretty good marketing automation platform. So, I mean, I think good luck to them, you know, these reviews, they do tell you something, it does say that act on actually is not that difficult to implement. Yeah. And I think that’s useful. Is it the easiest, maybe not. But you know, that’s not the point. It’s telling you that, here’s where the key benefits of axon are. And you can look at that and compare it to you know, for example, a HubSpot, which might rank you know, really high and ease of use, for example, rather than implementation. I think these things really do work. And even though you’ve got to take with a little bit of pinch of salt, some of the ratings, you know, I’d say it, it’s great. And actually we should applaud act on for, for having done such a good job of getting its fans to review the product. Yeah,

Hannah: I was about to say, you know, really, they’ve got a bit of great promotion here because in my opinion, and you might disagree. I don’t think act on it is in the same league as HubSpot and Pardot and Marketo. So, actually, what they’ve done is generated great bit of PR for themselves.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. The although you know, act on fits a certain sort of market, which is, you know, typically much smaller than, than some of the big guys. And those guys probably would hate something like a Marketo. So I think they’ve done a great job, and they’ve created some great PR out of it. So hats off to them, they’ve done well.

Hannah: So moving on, I want to talk about a topic, I think a lot of b2b marketers get frustrated by, and that is box. Now bots do things such as skew email marketing reports, they skew form submissions, every b2b marketer is facing a challenge with this at the moment. But one thing that we came across was that actually Google were introducing a CAPTCHA integration. And as I understand it, this is going to help companies determine if the form was actually legitimately completed by a lead or a bot. And you’re definitely the more technical one out of us both. Mike, can you explain a bit more to me? And to the listeners? What that actually what’s that actually going to do for campaigns?

Mike: Yeah, so what Google’s done is they’ve released a new version of their capture tool, so capture three, and it’s been adopted by people like Marketo. And what Google is trying to do is they’re trying to make the process of determining whether someone at the other end of an internet connection is a human or not a little bit easier for that person at the end. And so, I don’t know, you know, if you remember, it used to be you had all those messed up letters. And what you had to do was you had to work out what those letters were. And, you know, actually, sometimes it was really difficult. And then you’ve got Google who actually realised that they could use the CAPTCHA to generate useful information. So now you get asked, you know, can you show me click all the pictures on stairs, and what they will do is they’ll ask you often twice. And the reason is, is the first time is to make sure you match the answers of other people. If you do your property, a human because you recognise the stairs. And then the second time, once they trust you, then they’ll ask you something and you start setting the benchmark. So quite often, you get two sets of influence. I mean, I’ve had, you know, Spot the lion, it felt like it was almost a competition. But but in theory, what Google is trying to reduce the number of times you have to pick the pictures, and more increasingly, you tick the box, and it understands that you’re human, because it tracks things like mouse movements. And I think it’s great, I totally agree with you, I think it’s a great thing to have done.

Hannah: I think it’s gonna be really cool. And, you know, as a non geek turning into a geek, I think I really like it, when you see the big guys like Google coming in to save the b2b marketers, is like their, you know, Google’s kind of like the Saviour to our problems. But one cool feature that I quite liked on top of it, obviously, you mentioned that Marketo has adapted this is gonna allow automations to automatically delete submissions from bots, how is that going to work within the Marketo platform.

Mike: So it’s really interesting, and there’s lots of ways you, you can do this, and lots of ways you can set rules up. But one of the things that new Google capture does is it gives you a score, which estimates how likely people are to be a bot. And so what you could do, for example, is you could start deleting based upon, you know, how likely people are to be humans or not. And so I think it’s a, it’s a really interesting move, it’s not necessarily something I don’t always feel comfortable about, I think it’s, you know, automatically deleting things on the assumption, they’re not real people, that that’s where you can get into trouble. But, you know, I do think it’s going to be a valuable addition, it’s going to start start clearing out some of the rubbish now we’ve all seen the obvious, you know, form stuffing things where you get 25 copies of exactly the same form, there’s meaningless rubbish, you know, if Marketo can help us delete those sorts of things, then eliminating the last one or 2% manually probably isn’t so painful.

Hannah: Yeah, I think you make some really interesting points there. Because it’s not without risk is it that you do run the risk of deleting actually a really valid lead. But even if it reduced, I don’t know, 10% of bots have in your market automation system, you’re already winning, and you’re already being more effective than you are now.

Mike: Absolutely, I think anything that can help us is always good, and these things will get better. You know, as Google learns more and more about how to identify bots, obviously, it’s a bit of a competition, you know, the, the people running the bots, they’re really trying to, you know, outfox Google. So, you know, it’s kind of a bit of an arms race between the two sides. But there’s some smart people at Google, I’ve got a lot of confidence.

Hannah: I agree. I mean, this is version three. So they’re already on version three, which we’re in good hands. On the topic of Marketo, something else that I think is quite cool of what they’re doing is they’ve introduced a couple of new features with their forms. And there’s something I think that we’re going to really like from an agency perspective, perhaps not so much from our client perspective. And one of these is actually given permissions to certain people to make changes to forms so not anybody can go in now and make changes. That’s going to be quite cool concept when it comes to GDP. You’re making sure everything’s compliant. What do you think?

Mike: Yeah, it’s interesting. I just talked about automation. And now we’re talking about, actually, what we need to do is limit the humans that can be involved and get the right humans involved. It’s like, a completely different tack. But I think, you know, one of the things we’ve seen is that there’s a lot of forms companies that, you know, maybe 10 years ago, we’d say, well, Mark information is going to kill dedicated companies that just make foam products. But actually, they’ve done incredibly well, they’ve grown. And they’ve grown off the back that they offer a number of features that marketing automation tools don’t. And the reason it’s so important is, for example, if you let anybody who’s got access to market automation system, create forms, there’s a risk, you might not, for example, connect GDPR consent. And then in theory, what you should be doing is deleting those contacts in practice, what might happen is that companies then become non compliant with the law, which is clearly not we want to be so you know, it is very different. It’s about managing humans rather than automating things. But I think, you know, actually ensuring that people who know and understand the legislation are the only ones that can actually deploy a form is a really good idea.

Hannah: Yeah. And I think as well, I mean, just today, I was listening to a podcast for JotForm for the other Napier podcast, and, and he was mentioned in some fantastic things around conversions and maximising your conversion. So it really does allow the experts to get in there and be able to make sure we’re maximising the performance of the form without too many interfering hands.

Mike: You got a great point. And I think it’s not, you know, it’s not just about legislation. It’s also about optimising the form. And that could be, you know, designing the form, right to maximise conversions. Or it could be we’ve seen with some clients, for example, they need certain data on the form. In order to route it as a lead, you know, classically in America, you need to know which state somebody is in. To be able to route as a lead is a very typical requirement. If you’ve got someone who doesn’t understand that creating forms, they might leave state out for the American audience. And that’s, that’s not good. Or they might leave it in for a European audience, which then becomes very difficult because certain countries don’t have states. So I absolutely agree with you. It’s a real benefit, not only in terms of compliance, but also in terms of actually the performance of the forms as well.

Hannah: Yeah. And I think actually, it’s a really good point you made about, you know, the US compared to other parts of the world, because at the end of the day, clients do use Marketo, globally. So there’ll be different constraints, different needs for each form on different websites across the globe.

Mike: I absolutely agree. You know, you have issues like, for example, people will will make ZIP Code mandatory, and then they’ll run the form in Ireland, and there’s no zip code. So, you know, I think it’s important to have an understanding of the issues globally. And sometimes it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Hannah: Definitely. So we agreed earlier on today, Mike, that for our insightful Tip of the Week, we were going to talk about lead scoring. And I do know that we have some opposing views on lead scoring. So for me, I’m personally a big fan of lead scoring, you know, it’s good to understand what actions lead to a quality lead, especially in a campaign know what score relates to an action that’s been taken by, you know, a consumer or a customer. But I do also understand that it comes with some risks. And it’s not always the right sales tactics. So could you give an example of where lead scoring perhaps isn’t the right approach to take within a marked automation platform?

Mike: Well, firstly, you’re not completely wrong. But I would say that, if you look at lead scoring, we see where lead scoring falls down is people get a bit too focused on it. And they think just about hitting a certain artificial score. And that then defines a lead. Now, in general, that can be right. But actually, in practice, certain actions can be very, very specific to towards quality. So if we look at Napier, for example, if someone comes to looks at our clients and our people, that’s a great indication, they’re a potential prospect, and you can implement that on lead scoring. But the problem is, is most people go well, I just don’t want those two pages, that’s too simple. You know, I can do all these things. I can look at downloads, I can look at email opens, I can, and they create this complex model. And actually, basically, if someone comes to our website, looks at those two pages, that’s the people we want to approach. So I think people over engineer it sometimes. And they kind of expect that the more effort and complexity they put in, the better the result. And to me, that’s where it goes wrong. You know, what you need to do is often look at simplicity. And try and avoid volume as well. You know, just looking at the number of things people do.

Hannah: I think it’s a good point to keep it simple. And I’d be interested to hear your thoughts around. So for Napier, you’re right, it’s these people visit these two pages, you know, we know that they’re a good lead for us. But market automation platforms are often used to align sales and marketing teams. So how does lead scoring actually help the sales team know what marketing actions to make sure that they’re, you know, a sales qualified lead?

Mike: Yeah, and I think this is the It’s a sign of between sales and marketing is where it’s difficult because what happens is you hand over lead and go Scott score 75 cents a lead, and the sales team go. Okay? And what does that mean? What do I say to them when I pick the phone up, and where I’ve seen that people do things really well, is that I’ll have relatively simple scoring scheme. So you know, a few things really move the needle in terms of the score. And they’ll record those key events. And obviously, Marketo has the ability to do this, particularly, it’s really good at recording key events. But other platforms will do the same thing in terms of lead history. But if you can communicate to the salesperson, this is a lead because this person did this and this, then that suddenly becomes incredibly valuable. So there’s some element of you know, don’t be, you know, too much of a slave to a score. Don’t try and make it too complicated. But equally, once you’ve got that lead that you feel is worth following up, explain to the salespeople in English, why it’s worth following up. Don’t just give them a score. And that’s really important.

Hannah: Yeah, it’s definitely finding the right balance. It always is between the sales and marketing teams, but especially when it comes to lead scoring. What does the score actually mean for the sales and finding that right balance to make it effective?

Mike: Totally agree. Totally.

Hannah: So we’re coming up to the end of our time. So it’s been a really insightful conversation today, Mike, thank you.

Mike: It’s been great. It’s always good to discuss things.

Hannah: All right. we’ll speak next time. Thank you. Thanks for listening to the marketing automation moment podcast.

Mike: Don’t forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast application, and we’ll see you next time.