Marketing automation is still in a serious growth phase. This continues to surprise and excite me because each day I see more and more firms embracing automation. The best part is, there is still an entire world of firms who need help from firms like Marketo.
I had the privilege of hearing about the expansion of demand generation and marketing automation into Europe when I interviewed Simon Harvey, founder of Demodia, a successful B2B agency based in the United Kingdom. Demodia provides the entire range of demand generation services from creative to automation. Simon gives us a view of how his firm works and how Europe is still different.
How did you get started in marketing automation?
I’ve been working in the content marketing area for just about as long as I can remember. My introduction to marketing automation in its current form was around 5 years ago. A good friend of mine was working in a product marketing role at Eloqua and he introduced me to the concepts and technologies that their company was selling. At around the same time my former employer also started looking at marketing automation tools to standardize processes and improve marketing efficiencies in-house. That initiative was largely focused around improving email click-thru rates in the early days, but things quickly moved on and I started to see some of the real benefits of the tools when used to automate nurturing and when they were integrated properly into content marketing programs. I’ve never looked back.
Why did you decide to start your agency?
We formed Demodia back in 2009 in response to the general lack of marketing automation and demand generation expertise in the European market. With marketing automation initially being much more mainstream in North America we found European companies that were looking to adopt MAPs were being forced to work with major demand generation agencies that were based on the other side of the Atlantic. The opportunity presented itself to take the expertise that we had already gained from running a content marketing and demand generation team within a large global company, and share that knowledge with others more locally.
Tell me about your approach to client engagements.
Each client is different and we like to treat them as such. Some clients will come to us directly asking for content to fit in with existing automated processes they have in place, others are marketing automation virgins that need to be taught a lot more about the whole inbound marketing and lead nurturing approach before they are happy to commit.
Whenever we begin we typically start by working with our clients to understand their buyers and their sales process. We will then develop campaigns, content and nurturing programs that generate leads and advance them through the sales funnel. To ensure that marketing content is used effectively across the company it is also not uncommon for us to also be involved in the creation of associated sales enablement programs.
What’s your favorite platform?
Depending on the needs of our clients we work with a number of different platforms including Eloqua, HubSpot, Pardot, and Prospecteer. We’re very partial to Pardot, but being our own platform I would have to say that Prospecteer is my favourite. The reason I prefer Prospecteer is that unlike most traditional MAPs it provides us with the ability to really bring together the demand generation, content marketing and sales enablement processes providing a single point through which our clients can develop and publish content directly into campaigns whilst at the same time feeding the sales team with content assets to help them sell. With analytics wrapped around the whole thing, it’s a pretty compelling solution.
What’s been your favorite engagement so far?
We have done many great projects, but one of my favourites has to be one of our award winning ones. We built a customer on-boarding program for a large Canadian software company. The campaign was built upon two major components – a series of telemarketing activities and a personalized customer on-boarding website.
We used a combination of Eloqua and the Prospecteer content marketing platforms to develop a highly personalized experience. Each registered visitor to the site was presented with information about their own corporate environment, including details of the products that they, or others in their organization had already purchased. Content assets and other information within the campaign website were then personalized around the products the customer had in-house. Prospecteer was used to deliver, amongst other things, a social assets framework. This enabled visitors to view and interact with a variety of content assets in a social fashion within the context of the on-boarding experience site.
The campaign has now been running for about 6 months. During this time it has delivered a pipeline in the millions of dollars. Not a bad return on investment.
How is marketing automation perceived in the UK and European market?
Marketing automation is finally taking off in Europe. With Eloqua, Pardot, and HubSpot all setting up European offices in the last few years we are finally starting to see proper vendor presence and local support available. The adoption of marketing automation across Europe varies wildly though. The UK tends to be much more aligned to North America, and hence tends to be the early adopter. Elsewhere in Europe things are taking longer. In the last year we have started to see larger adoption in Germany and the Nordic regions, but other countries such are still well behind the curve and still use more traditional email based approaches. We are hearing more and more about building personalized web experiences right across Europe though, so maybe this will be the lead into Marketing Automation for more firms.
Can you share your perspective on how leads like to be treated in the EU?
Europeans tend to value their privacy, and this is always interesting when working with marketing automation tools. Whilst most people are prepared to provide an email address as part of an initial transaction, it can often have a very negative impact on conversion rates to request too much more, especially if you have no prior relationship with the visitor. For that reason we have found lead nurturing programs which use progressive profiling to be of real value.
How many people do you have on your team?
We are still a relatively small company with a regular team of around 10 people working on projects. Our team consists of demand generation specialists, graphic and web designers, developers, and content authors. This mix provides us with the ability to work with clients not only at a strategic level, but to also to be able to provide a full set of inbound and content marketing services.
Why should people choose you?
Our team excel when it comes to thinking of different ways to generate leads with more unusual types of content. Every man and his dog are building lead nurturing programs around whitepapers and webinars. We like to think different and have built up programs around online games, product simulators, ROI and assessment tools, and other more unusual lead generation mechanisms. Being based in Europe we are also used to doing all this in truly multi-lingual environments that cross over country borders. To this end we have received a 2011 Eloqua Markie and a Killer Content award from the Content Marketing Institute for Best International Campaign and Best Customer Relationship Enhancement respectively. Both awards were for our work with OpenText.
Which areas do you specialize in?
We specialize in the following areas:
- Sales and marketing process
- Marketing automation platform evaluation and recommendation
- Lead nurturing / lead scoring
- Content marketing strategy and planning
- Content asset design and creation
- Sales enablement
Do you have a Package or Pricing Summary?
Yes, I’ve attached a summary of our common demand gen service packages. Typically this is usually just a starting point and we find most customers prefer to tailor the offering to their particular requirements.
[Here’s a quick summary: – Josh]
Demodia provides three major packages of hours covering the entire range of demand generation including content creation.
- Bronze – 15 hours for CHF3,500 ($3,767 or $251/hr.) Includes 1,000 words and most demand gen.
- Silver – 25 hours for CHF6,000 ($6,458 or $258/hr.) Includes 2,000 words, 2 blog posts, and SEO help.
- Gold – 40 hours for CHF10,000 ($10,764 or $269/hr.) Includes 4,000 words and 4 blog posts.
Demodia has an interesting package model that includes more services with a higher level of commitment: more up front hours = more services.
What kinds of firms would find you the most helpful?
We tend to work best with larger organizations that have already some level of understanding when it comes to demand generation. Our challenge is coming up with different ways to generate leads and nurture them throughout the pipeline, and we find more experienced organizations are often more receptive to moving beyond the confines of simple content based approaches.
What do you do for fun?
Demodia is a great place to work, and a pretty youthful organization. A few of us are into home brewing, so we have created our own “Monkey Brew” brand of beer. Ok, it’s not available commercially, but who knows what our next venture will bring. We brew everything to our own recipes using whole grains and fresh hops as the starting point. It’s a lot more fun, if a little less predictable, than just brewing from a can of starter syrup. We’ve had the odd failure, but we’ve also come up with some stunning beers. Best of all is that you get to drink the results!
What’s the best way for marketers to get in touch?
Thanks Simon! Remember to sign up for future blog updates to learn about more demand generation and marketing automation consultants. (And to get a special gift that will help you convert!).