I am continuing my Marketing Automation and Demand Gen Leaders series with an interview with DemandLab founder, Rhoan Morgan. Rhoan is CEO of this boutique firm based in Philadelphia. Rhoan founded DemandLab in 2009 and has grown the firm into what I would call a full service demand generation agency. Since my first conversation with her last year, I have known this is someone to both watch and admire. Let’s learn from her today.
How did you get started in marketing automation?
I fell in love with marketing automation when we deployed Marketo in a company I worked for. Until then, we were pretty much just tossing leads over the fence to the sales department using our CRM, with zero insight into the needs and behaviors of our prospects and customers. Marketo changed everything. It was a revelation, and I knew this was where the future of marketing—and my future—was headed.
[I felt the same way when I started with Marketo – Josh]
Why did you decide to start your agency?
After working as an independent consultant with a handful of clients for about a year, I founded DemandLab so that I could give clients more complete, integrated services. This expansion brought in staff to support deployment and implementation while I could provide more focus on strategic advisory.
Also, we found that many clients deployed these great systems and then said, “Now what?” They didn’t have the fuel to power the engine: professionally designed and written content that creates brand awareness and guides prospects skillfully through the funnel. So we further expanded into offering design and content services to help our clients take their efforts to the next level.
Tell me about your approach to client engagements.
As a consultant, I learned to collaborate closely with my clients. As an agency, we follow the same approach. We do a lot of listening and learning to understand the client’s business holistically and build on the experience and expertise of their marketing team.
We also prioritize structure, because we’ve found it results in a smoother project experience and a better end result. We hired a full-time project manager this year, and we use Clarizen to keep projects on track and moving swiftly.
What’s your favorite marketing automation platform?
That’s a tough question. My “first love” and my area of greatest expertise is Marketo, but when it comes to choosing the right platform for a client we will keep options open and consider the business need of the client. Everyone’s needs are unique, which is why it’s great to have so many strong marketing automation options to choose from.
What’s been your favorite engagement so far?
It’s really hard to choose, but ultimately I’m most proud of the work that produces highest levels of return for a client or pushes the envelope with respect to what we think the technology can produce. As part of a recent Marketo deployment we also included a newsletter “makeover” that’s saving our client about $300,000 each year.
How many people do you have on your team?
We have seven people on staff, including consultants, a designer, a content strategist, and a project manager. We also team with partners when a project calls for an expertise outside of our core capabilities.
Why should people choose you?
Because we structure every engagement as a tailor made project to deliver quick wins and long-term value; and have the capabilities to jump in and create a turnkey program that can be quickly implemented. We live and breathe marketing automation, so we bring a wealth of innovation, best practices, and practical experience to every project and we pass that expertise on to our clients so that they can continue to create success within their organization.
Which areas do you specialize in?
We specialize in ensuring the optimized use of a client’s marketing automation system from pre-deployment planning to implementation, integration with other systems, and leveraging the MAP to support all marketing efforts.
A big focus is on end-to-end lead life-cycle management, helping clients map out the life cycle of a lead and move that lead through their systems efficiently, from initial touch to conversion and beyond.
Our approach is different because it takes both technology processes and people processes into consideration. People often forget the “people” part of the equation, but the system has to work for the inside sales person and everyone else who has a role to play.
We also provide content and brand development when clients need help laying the groundwork for an effective campaign. No matter how finely tuned your marketing automation system is, you won’t see results if you’re not sending excellent content and spot on messaging.
Do you have a Package or Pricing Summary?
We offer a range of packaged services, including marketing automation audits (a complete audit of your existing system and setup), marketing automation deployments, managed services, content planning and creation, positioning, persona development and consulting.
What kinds of firms would find you the most helpful?
We have a diverse clientele, but we bring particular value to:
- Value-driven companies. Because we’re very focused on optimizing ROI, we’re a good fit for companies that want to see more value from their existing system as well as those that want to make a wise investment in the technology.
- Global companies. We have experience deploying solutions for global organizations, which tend to require more process mapping and training engagements to bring disparate teams together, and accommodate different priorities and work styles.
- Smaller marketing teams. Having design and content specialists on staff allows us to deliver fully integrated marketing campaigns to companies that may not have the capacity to create new marketing assets in-house. Also, offering managed services packages mean we can keep the engine running while smaller teams focus on strategic efforts.
What do you do for fun?
Hang out with my husband and four-year-old daughter (reading, playing, and learning as much as possible). And when I want to relax I try my hand at baking a really complex dessert. When I want to get full of energy and excited I read about and plan my ultimate productivity process (I know that is really geeky but I won’t be satisfied until life is seamless – which means I’ll be at it for the next 50 years!).
What’s the best way for marketers to get in touch?
Best way to get in touch is by emailing contact [at] demandlab.com.
And remember to stay with me this month – new Marketo How Tos are underway.