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!


Seduction, Intrigue and Truth: A Crash Course in Marketing Analytics

Numbers get a bad rap. Many of us save ‘em for the accountants or the data analysts, claiming that they’re dry and boring. But we here at know the real truth–numbers tell a story, they can captivate and seduce, and they can help you win with marketing analytics.

The marketing landscape has drastically evolved in the past decade, as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and websites have emerged, allowing companies to reach customers in entirely new ways. With all the content being pushed out through the web, it’s important to see what works and what doesn’t. “In the end, we are all responsible for selling stuff. That goes for the butcher, the baker and the content creator. For content marketing to be anything more than the niche du jour, it needs to prove it can help the company ‘sell stuff,’” says Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing at Eloqua.

But just what should you measure? There’s a whole smorgasbord of data out there, and it’s hard to determine what’s relevant. Joe offers a bit of advice, “Content marketers should measure not only popularity metrics such as ‘Likes’ and tweets, but also sales-relevant metrics like which pieces of content prospects consumed before buying a product. You don’t have to over-engineer metrics when getting started. But you should be faithful to the linkage between content consumption and closed business.”

At a recent class, Sarah Hodges, marketing expert and co-founder of put it best when she said that you can’t manage it unless you measure it. Check out a few tips below around how to measure the efficacy of your marketing campaigns from Sarah’s clas.

Campaign Parameters
Right at the heart of your measurement strategy is good old Google Analytics. It’s a great tool to use to track the traffic you receive and how users interact with your website–and best of all, it’s free! Simply append Google’s campaign parameters to the end of any inbound link that points to your site from a marketing campaign channel (see below). Then look for the values in the Campaign report in Google analytics to track traffic to your site from each channel. To learn more, watch these videos about campaign tagging.

Example Twitter Post for a Fall Sale Campaign Tweet







Campaign name





(email, social media, etc.)




Channel category

(email list, facebook, twitter)




Ad creative

(most frequently used in CPC)



Most often used in CPC campaigns to track search keyword

“Be faithful to the linkage between content consumption and closed business.” – Joe Chernov

Social Media
When mapping out your social media strategy, start by asking yourself, what is my goal? From fostering new user acquisition to building brand awareness, your goals will shape your approach and the tools you use to measure how well you’re performing.

There are a lot of great programs and websites out there to help track these metrics on Facebook and Twitter. Start be adding Google Analytics parameters to every inbound link to your site from social media. While not the best tool available, Klout, can also be a quick indicator of whether or not you are doing something right. Other tools include SocialBro, TweetReach, TwitSprout, and Crowdbooster, all of which provide free introductory services.

Facebook provides its own Insights tool, which provides TONS of data on user engagement, and even breaks down metrics by post. Check out this handy guide that they’ve created to help you understand all of the metrics, or watch this video from instructor, Christopher O’Donnell, about How to Become a Facebook Insights Ninja.

Email Marketing
Tracking fallout between each of the steps on your campaign funnel can illuminate opportunities to improve your campaigns for bigger wins. Don’t let the chance to improve fall through the cracks!

  • Delivery Rate = # delivered / # sent
  • Open Rate = # unique opens / # delivered
  • Click through rate = # unique clicks / # delivered
  • Conversion Rate = # unique Signups / # delivered
  • Activations Rate = # action taken / # signups

So there you have it, a crash course in marketing analytics!

Instructor Nomination: Who inspires YOU?

Anyone who’s ever had any kind of formal education has more than likely had an instructor or two who really stood out. A good teacher has the ability to leave students in awe, while ensuring them of their own ability to grow. They impress you with their knowledge, while encouraging you to progress as a student and as an individual.

Joe Chernov Elle WoulfeThat’s the kind of expert we’re looking for here at! It takes a special kind of person to help shape the minds of sharp, ambitious startup folks and business professionals who are motivated to learn on their own. We look for instructors who can distill complex subjects into simple and exciting lessons that go beyond the basics. Our instructors are folks like Mike Troiano, Christopher O’Donnell, Aaron White, David Cancel, Kai Gray and Joe Chernov, who have done it before with proven results.’s instructors help students to realize their potential to strive to become the best they can be in whatever they do; it’s the difference between telling someone the facts and teaching someone a lesson.

Have you ever had a professor, boss, co-worker, or mentor with mind-blowing expertise and a knack for helping people learn and grow? Give ‘em a shout out by nominating them to become an instructor!

  • Email us at with their contact info so we can reach out
  • Talk to one of our team members before or after any class

And there’s no shame in nominating yourself. If you think you have something to offer, pipe up–we’d be thrilled to work with you!

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
Sign up here!