B2B Marketing Zone

How the Right Marketing Automation Platform Saves You Time and Money

How the Right Marketing Automation Platform Saves You Time and Money

How the Right Marketing Automation Platform Saves You Time and Money

Successful marketers need marketing automation software that’s both powerful and easy to use, especially when they’re working in fast-growing businesses and have a broad range of responsibilities. An integrated workspace can help marketers cut back on time and costs, and address the entire buyer’s journey – from branding, to demand generation, to retention and loyalty. When Keri Keeling, Vice President of Customer Success and Operations at Bluenose, began leading the company’s marketing efforts, she started out with Marketo, but soon found it fell short.

Tony Coray, Act-On’s Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, spoke with Keri about the challenges she faced and why she switched to Act-On.  This conversation has been edited for brevity.

TONY:

What does Bluenose do?

KERI:      

Bluenose develops technology that helps businesses engage, retain, and grow their customer base. We offer a suite of products, but our primary product is an in-app Net Promoter Score application.

Bluenose Net Promoter Score. Image by Bluenose.com.
Bluenose Net Promoter Score. Image by Bluenose.com.

TONY:

You’re the VP of Customer Success and Operations. What does that entail?

KERI:      

My career has been in customer success, and that’s my primary focus at Bluenose. My goal is to grow and retain loyal customers and ensure that our software delights them and exceeds their needs.

In 2015, I also took on the responsibility of leading our marketing efforts. Bluenose produces a lot of rich content that supports our users – customer success stories, weekly blog posts about best practices, and more. I wanted to leverage these assets to nurture and engage our prospects and customers. I inherited Marketo as our marketing automation platform, so that was the tool that was available to help me.

TONY:

What were you hoping Marketo would provide?

KERI:      

I knew I needed software that would streamline the process of building campaigns and reporting on their success. And I’m not a technical person, so it also had to be easy to learn and use. The faster I could implement my marketing strategy, the more time I would have to enable the success of our customers and prospects.

TONY:

How was your experience with Marketo?

KERI:      

I found Marketo’s interface difficult to use. I felt like I had to spend an entire day doing something I should be able to accomplish with three clicks. And sometimes there were several different ways to accomplish a task, so it was hard to remember what approach was best. It was all very challenging. I might have fared better if I were an expert in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but I’m not.

TONY:

What did you do?

KERI:      

I began looking for a new platform. My brief experience with Marketo brought my needs into sharp focus, and clarified what I expected from marketing automation software. It had to be easier to use, and I wanted to know that the support I would need was available.

TONY:

How did you choose Act-On?

KERI:      

We created a comprehensive list of requirements that covered everything from customer experience to campaign performance reports, but the most important was usability and how independently I could work in the software.

Bluenose is a fast-growing company and I needed to be nimble, so my litmus test was to see how quickly I could build a landing page and deploy an email in Act-On without any prior experience or help. And it worked. In less than an hour I had a branded email template and a fully functioning landing page in place. The fact that Act-On passed my test with flying colors is what sold me on the product.

Act-On dashboard

TONY:

What was the implementation process like?

KERI:      

The process went very smoothly, and Act-On’s time-to-value was very fast. We had everything up and running in less than three weeks, and I sent out my first email within a month. It was like Christmas morning!

TONY:

How quickly were you able to learn Act-On?

KERI:      

Everything about the software is intuitive. Plus, they have a comprehensive onboarding process, and their training and knowledgebase are incredible. They also have a world-class support team, and their phone-based support is fantastic. If I have any questions, I know they will answer them.

TONY:

What do you like best about the platform?

KERI:      

My favorite feature is the WYSIWYG editor. It’s very intuitive and flexible, and changing a layout is as simple as clicking and dragging its elements. I love the immediate gratification I get from seeing my content come to life right as I’m building it. Given my limited technical experience, having a “plug and play” approach to creating Bluenose’s content is critical to my success.

I’ve also been very impressed with Act-On’s analytical power, and how easy it is to access and digest. When I log into the software, I get a high level view of all the important metrics. And if I want to drill down, I just click on that element and the information is there right there.

Act-On's WYSIWYG editor makes it easy to create content

TONY:

What have been the greatest benefits of switching to Act-On?

KERI:      

Act-On has freed up a substantial number of my hours each week. Building campaigns in Act-On takes half the time it did in Marketo, and that’s a conservative estimate. And I was also able to avoid paying for a consultant to help me. That’s money I can spend on marketing programs that will generate revenue.

But the greatest benefit of switching has been how independently I can work in the platform. We’re using almost all of Act-On’s functionality, and I can easily perform all the tasks I need to engage prospects and develop longer-lasting customer relationships. Now I get to do more of what I love while helping Bluenose grow its business and realize our shared vision.

Marketing Automation can be an incredible asset for your marketing team, but only if you’re using the platform that best suits your needs. Not sure where to start? Check out these key things to consider when you’re looking to purchase marketing automation.

Marketing Automation Buyer's Checklist

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  • Rene

    Thanks for the interesting interview. I think that it’s a good thing to try different platforms. I’m currently testing marketing automation from GetResponse.