In the next few weeks, I am chatting with the top demand generation, marketing automation, and Marketo experts. With the rapid changes in Marketo and the marketing automation landscape, it can be hard to keep track of the technology, let alone who can help you make the most of it.
Quite a few of the interviews are with people whom I’ve worked with in the past couple of years as Marketo and demand gen experts. I respect their skills and marketing acumen. These aren’t pitches for their services, but rather my way of helping you understand the kinds of services out there to help you make great things happen with Marketo.
Here’s a quick overview of the firms and experts I am interviewing in the coming weeks:
- Sam Boush at LeadLizard is a good friend and one of the better known multi-platform marketing automation agencies out there. LeadLizard will help your team determine the best way to build campaigns, reports, scoring and marketing programs.
- Ryan Vong at Digital-Pi. Many of you will know Ryan as a Marketo Champion, Expert, and the Silicon Valley MUG Leader. He’s just opened his own agency and I am excited to learn more. Digital Pi offers marketing automation training, implementation, and operations outsourcing.
- David Carnes at OpFocus, Inc. David’s a good friend and mentor to me. His firm started in his basement and now he has a thriving Salesforce and Marketo service firm to help you build closed loop marketing systems. OpFocus is ideal for those who need expert implementations of Salesforce and marketing automation. David’s team has also built tremendous SFDC Apps.
- Rhoan Morgan at DemandLab. Rhoan is one of the top marketing automation consultants in the Northeast. Rhoan’s team covers the complete range of demand generation activities from Marketo Operations, Sales Alignment, Content Creation and Testing, and Revenue Management.
- Madhu Gulati at Show Me the Leads came right out of Marketo and into marketing automation consulting. Her expert team is ready to help across a range of SFDC+Marketo needs. Madhu’s team also helps with design services and RCA. When you hire Madhu, she will help you build a complete closed funnel system.
- Alex Pelletier. You may know Alex from the Marketo Community and Marketo User Summits. He’s one of the premier practitioners of Revenue Cycle Analytics. He’s also a good friend. Alex also works with Google Apps, AdWords, and HubSpot and is ideally suited to a full funnel solution.
When you look for a marketing automation consultant, you will want to know many things, including pricing. I’ve written about marketing automation engagement fees before. My take on 2013’s pricing is that most firms are staying about the same. My fees are still $145/hr for training or consulting. I expect most of the full firms are charging $150-250/hr. You may still be able to find inexperienced Marketo users for $75-100/hr, however I’m not certain that’s always a good idea. Most consultants will offer packages of hours or projects.
Other than price, it is good to explore your other factors for hiring a demand gen/marketing automation consultant. Here are a few questions to ask:
- What is your technical capability?
- Can you help me with connect Salesforce, Marketo, and my other database?
- Do you offer content creation?
- Can you be an extension of my team, since I’m overstretched?
- Are you able to do a project instead of hourly?
- Are you familiar with migration from X system to Marketo?
- Are you available for onsite work? (Personally, I have no issue with a remote consultant. I’ve never met most of my clients in person. I do know some people prefer an onsite consultant, or at least an in person meeting).
- Can you provide references?
- Which firms have you worked with?
- Are you comfortable doing X, Y, and Z?
- Can you spend an hour or two with me to determine our needs?
- Is this your full time gig? (this is important if you anticipate the project is large or requires work day discussions).
- Check their LinkedIn profiles for recommendations.
- Check out their online profile with the keyword “reviews”.
Remember, a real consultant will tell you up front if they are a good fit for your needs or if they should recommend someone else. If you get the sense they are not comfortable or don’t seem to have the right experience, try to find someone else.
Some consultants (like me) will offer a money back guarantee. LeadMD is famous for their “twice your money back” guarantee. I suspect most consultants do not offer a particular guarantee. You are welcome to ask about it. The people that I know and work with above will definitely work with you until you are happy with the results, regardless of any guarantees.
Stay tuned for interviews with each consulting team! And share your experiences with us below.
Image: flickr user servantofchaos