2012 was a big year at DocuSign. The company kicked off a content marketing initiative while implementing a total of 36 automated nurture programs. You know what else happened in 2012? Their pipeline doubled, revenue jumped and they reached 127% of their targets at the first half of the year.
They may be onto something.
As DocuSign’s VP of Demand Generation, it’s part of Meagen Eisenberg’s job to understand the middle of the funnel and–given the success of last year’s program–she clearly knows what she’s doing. We recently caught up with Meagen to find out the best practices and tactics behind her strategy and how content factors into moving leads “from cold to close.”
Interview with Meagen Eisenberg: What Are Your Best Practices for Using Content Successfully at the Middle of the Funnel?
1. Align Marketing and Sales
The year of 2012 for DocuSign was around sales and marketing alignment, implementing industry best practices, and building out our content and demand generation engine. Our sales and marketing partnership was not only to provide the sales enablement content, such as messaging, whitepapers, case studies, sales decks, PR overhead, ROI calculator, marketing email content, bi-weekly sales flash of marketing demand generation, but also a nurture system leveraging this content that would:
- Align sales cycle with buy cycle
- Reduce “lead wastage” – plug the leak!
- Notify sales when prospect exhibits “ready to buy” signals
- Move from trial to buy
- Cultivate prospects with longer term buying horizons
- Align resources to lead value
2. Gather the Right Information
Your forms need to collect the information you need to be successful, such as industry, title, company size, and email address. With industry, you can deliver relevant use cases and case studies. With title, you can address departmental use cases and the role they play in the decision. With size of and type of company you can route to the correct trial.
3. Know What Content Exists
You need to have a library or location of all content. Understand what gates you have to get the buyer through and what content is most effective at doing that.
4. Track Which Content Works
Did the content move a buyer through the buyer’s journey – did that buyer convert to an open opportunity from the influence of that content and eventually close to customer? We track all engagement with our nurture programs and emails. We track all campaign influence associated to the content to see what content is most effective. And we track which content is being sent out by the sales team as well.
5. Mark Where the Buyer Is in the Journey
When automating, understand and mark where they are in the journey, so you can triage the correct path of communications to send the buyer. Implement a hierarchy of your nurture programs. Protect the buyer from over-communications or miscommunications.
6. Provide Sales with the Tools They Need
Communicate to Sales within your CRM what communications have been sent and how the buyer interacted with them (open, clicked through, registered for asset, etc.). Provide your sales team with relevant marketing email templates to communicate during middle of the funnel journey. We call out the most effective content to our sales team, so others can start to leverage and see similar success.
Meagen spoke on using content mid-funnel at Content Marketing Bootcamp in February 2013, a one-day conference designed to help B2B marketers get the most out of their content marketing programs. You can check out her incredibly informative Slideshare presentation below, and the other 9 speaker presentations are also available on our Slideshare channel.