How to Take Your Company’s Lean Marketing to the Next Level

There comes a point in the life of every startup where its ready to ditch the diapers and start walking on its own two feet. But although the revenue stream may be maturing, the company’s marketing efforts may not necessarily always be in tow. The tactics that worked at the beginning may not be the same ones that work later on, and it takes a great deal of execution and implementation to bring the organization to the next level.

This week, Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at Kinvey, and Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing at Backupify stopped by to share what’s worked to help them take their own companies from a startup using lean marketing to full fledged business. We gathered up some of the best tidbits from their class tweeted by students and have included them below, in addition to their slide deck. Enjoy!


Content Marketing: The Key to Charming Consumers

It’s hard to reach consumers these days, and with so many companies competing for their attention, it’s easy for one to get lost in the crowd. With some reports estimating that city dwellers see up to 2,000 advertisements in one day, it’s essential to have an effective content marketing strategy.

The solution? Be relevant. Be innovative. Use the tools available to you. And learn all you can about what it takes to craft a killer content marketing plan here at

Join Eloqua’s Joe Chernov (@jchernov), VP of content marketing and Elle Woulfe (@ellehwoulfe), director of marketing programs, on June 12 for a class on How to Generate Demand with Content Marketing. They connected with us to give us all the details on the topic. Read on.

I.LY: Talk a little bit about Eloqua and the software-as-a-service it provides.

EW: At the heart of it, Eloqua is a pioneer in demand generation and lead management.  Our marketing automation platform enables these processes but as a company – our goal is to help our customers generate revenue, so we provide a lot of guidance and best practices on how to evolve from basic email marketing and lead generation (i.e. blasting out email) to truly integrated lead management.

Our software provides a single application where marketers can develop and execute all aspects of their online marketing campaigns. Lots of marketers today are still using several point solutions to run campaigns and get leads to sales.  Our platform includes all the tools a marketer needs to target and communicate with their prospects based on what we call digital body language – the online behaviors that customers exhibit as they engage with different marketing touch points.

Marketing automation provides the ability to trigger specific communications (and this isn’t just limited to email – we enable a wide range of communication vehicles like direct mail and text messaging) based on the actions or behaviors of the prospect.  This ensures that marketing is  sending the right message at the right time. The collection of this behavioral data and the ability to trigger actions based on it is the core requirement for things like effective lead nurturing and scoring.

I.LY: How has Eloqua’s content marketing strategy helped thrust it towards the top of its industry and win deals with huge companies like Adobe and VMware?

JC: Our content marketing program has been effective at “getting us auditions” with fantastic companies — and not just Fortune 500 companies, but also so very hot start-ups, like Box. But let’s be really clear: customers buy our product, they buy our services, they buy our expertise. They don’t “buy” our content marketing per se. It’s just how they get to know us.

I.LY: Joe–what type of process went into creating some of Eloqua’s campaigns like  The Blog Tree infographics?

JC: There are basically two basic paths to our creative content. The first is need. That is, someone in sales or marketing identifies a “missing step” in our customers’ journey, and my team helps fill that hole with a content asset. The second is random inspiration. That’s where The Blog Tree series of infographics came from. I was exercising and thinking about a way to create a top bloggers list, yet without creating a conventional list. The idea of a tree — one holistic unit comprised of various interrelated roots, limbs and leaves — popped into my head. I dropped everything, called Leslie Bradshaw at JESS3, and we were sketching it out the next morning. That’s the great thing about Eloqua — the company leaves plenty of room for content marketing inspiration.

I.LY: Elle–you’ve worked in marketing for a number of different companies. How do strategies tend to differ from place to place?

EW: Many of the strategies are similar – it’s the process for managing leads on the back end that tends to vary greatly based on the sophistication of the marketing organization.  Most companies go about filling the funnel in roughly the same way.  However, it’s what happens next that is the difference between a highly effective lead management process and one that’s not very evolved.

Technology is a big part of it, but really it’s underlying process for how leads are ranked, routed and measured that’s the core of an evolved lead management philosophy.  Today’s marketers need to show how their programs impact revenue, not just how many “leads” they generate.  Many companies still aren’t to the point where their lead management processes can support this kind of closed loop view into marketing effectiveness and that’s the biggest difference I see from company to company.  It’s really about how much the organization has committed to and invested in their lead management process.  For some it’s still an afterthought but that’s a big mistake.  Marketers spend a lot of time and money on generating leads so if they don’t capitalize on that initial demand it can often equate to sunk cost.


Think you have a thing or two to learn about content marketing? Sign up now!

From Content to Customer: How to Generate Demand with Content Marketing
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
6:00 – 7:30 pm
500 Harrison Ave, 3R
Boston, MA 02118
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