(Note: this post was co-authored by Laura Patterson, President of VisionEdge Marketing, and Jerry Rackley, Demand Metric Chief Analyst)

Long-term readers and followers of VisionEdge Marketing know that Laura’s husband is in construction. He completed an extensive apprenticeship early in his career, and as a contractor he is required to have a license. To keep his license, he must complete a minimum number of continuing education (CE) credits. This scenario is common in other professions as well. For example, US medical doctors and CPAs are typically required to complete some number of practical hours, pass an exam to secure their license to practice, and then stay abreast of their field with CEs each year.   Marketing, however, is different. Coming from various backgrounds and levels of education, our apprenticeships are typically “learn by the seat of our pants.” Some marketing professionals work hard at staying current on best practices, new technologies and techniques, and expanding their skills through various forms of education, such as articles, books, online programs and in-person educational venues. Other marketers can’t seem to squeeze out the time given their work load.

Even so, for the sake of our discipline, our professional careers, and the firms who employ us, we all want to identify areas where we can improve. Benchmarking serves as a valuable way to discover best practices and compare your performance to them. Benchmark information helps you identify process gaps that when addressed can lead to a competitive advantage.

15th annual marketing performance management survey

There are only a few opportunities to do structured benchmarking of your marketing capabilities. VisionEdge Marketing and partners, has been conducting the annual marketing performance management (MPM) study since 2001. The Content Marketing Institute has conducted a B2B benchmarking study for the past six years. Silverpop, now part of IBM, has conducted an annual email benchmarking study. Christine Moorman, Director of The CMO Survey, and a senior member of the Marketing Area at The Fuqua School of Business and the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor of Business Administration, has conducted an annual benchmarking study since 2008.

Your participation in studies such as these helps identify and analyze world-class performance. If you are committed to the marketing discipline please participate in these studies to identify and incorporate best practices.

The 15th annual MPM study being conducted by Demand Metric and VisionEdge Marketing is now in the field. Participating in the study will take time – approximately 20 minutes. But as marketers grapple with accountability, data, analytics, and process, this study provides insights into what best-in-class marketers do better and differently. In exchange for your participation, you will receive a copy of the results enabling you to identify areas for improvement and the size of any gaps, so you can prioritize your investments for enhancing your skills, processes and capabilities. For those of you who didn’t participate in last year’s study, you may find 2015 Marketing Performance Measurement Study Abbreviated Summary: A Diagnosis and Prescription for Marketing Performance Measurement useful. Thank you in advance for helping the marketing discipline!


Customer lifecycle marketing has evolved as a holistic approach to marketing across each phase or stage of the lifecycle. Demand Metric and Salesforce Pardot recently conducted research to understand how widely the lifecycle marketing strategy is in use, examining the investment and results in each stage.

Jerry Rackley, Chief Analyst at Demand Metric, and Laura Horton, Senior Manager of Marketing at Salesforce Pardot, will share the results of the Customer Lifecycle Marketing Benchmark Study and provide recommendations for better effectiveness.

Join this session on November 18th at 9:00 AM EST during our Marketing Automation Virtual Summit! We hope to see you there!



2015 MA Summit - Marketo

Are you wondering what you can be doing to make your small team more effective and efficient at every stage of the funnel?

Don’t miss this on-demand session with Marketo’s Heidi Bullock, VP of Demand Generation, to discover key strategies and techniques for B2B demand generation marketers.

During this session, you will learn how to:

  • Attract and acquire the right leads
  • Replicate successful campaigns in minutes
  • Nurture and deliver purchase-ready leads to sales
  • Prove which marketing channels and programs are working for your business

This session will take place on November 18th at 9:30 am EST during our Marketing Automation Virtual Summit! We hope to see you there!


Marketing and sales are creative fields. They require you to think outside the box and come up with fresh new ways to capture the attention of your prospects. No two days are the same. No two sales are the same. You need to get creative if you want to reach the people who will buy.

Still, with as much forward, out-of-the-box thinking as you do, it’s nice to have cold, hard data to back up your ideas. Numbers can often be a catalyst to help you discover the type of fresh campaigns your customers want from you.

It’s not often that numbers and creativity align, but when it comes to metrics, they do.

Analyzing Your Website

Chances are, you’re already tracking your website analytics. You monitor data, such as:

  • How much traffic you receive
  • How people found you
  • Where people enter and exit your site
  • How long people spend looking at your pages

This data paints a picture of what people are interested in on your website and where you’re losing your customers. That’s where the info gathered stops. You still need to draw out hypothesis about what your customers want based on this telling, but limited, data.

Dig Into The CRM

Another source of data you probably use to design and reshape your marketing and sales campaigns is your CRM. Data you gather here includes:

  • New leads
  • Pipelines
  • Won/Lost sales

A CRM with customer service metrics allows you to take what you learned from each customer and compile it into one report. Although helpful, it still might not tell enough of the story needed to shape new campaigns.

Combining Data To Enhance Customer Experience

Aligning these two data sets is essential for giving your customers the experience they want from your business. Here are 5 metrics that tell you exactly what your customers want:

  1. The quality of prospects referred by various websites. You might get a lot of traffic from one website, but is the traffic converting into actual business? By monitoring your website referral sources with the actions from those visitors, you can see how much you’re earning from these lead sources. Then, you can reallocate marketing resources to attract more high quality leads.
  2. The way your customers research before buying. Most of the sales process is finished before a customer ever talks to a sales representative. By understanding how your customers research your product before engaging your sales team, you get a better understanding of the type of information you need to provide.
  3. The number of times a lead visited the website before making contact. How often are your high quality leads lurking around your website before they make a move? Knowing this will help you identify new ways to capture the prospect’s information faster.
  4. The specific area that prompted the lead to give his information. What was the tipping point for your lead to make contact with your business? Knowing the page where your leads most often hand over information will tell you.
  5. The type of web page that converts the best. Do you see the bulk of your quality leads from landing pages driven by specific campaigns? Blog Posts? Knowing this will help you understand the best use of your marketing resources.

By gathering information about your website and about the quality of leads you’re bringing in, you’re better equipped to refine your customer’s experience and pull out inspiration for your next campaign.


Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.



The Sales Enablement Virtual Summit is officially underway and we’re off to a great start!

Why you can’t miss this virtual event:

  • Live event, right from your office
  • Keynote presentations on 2015 Sales Enablement Practices and The Impact of Content Effectiveness
  • Get 20+ Demand Metric Reports, Tools & Templates - for FREE!
  • Receive a $5 Gourmet Coffee Card just for attending
  • Participate in our new, gamified  environment to win an iPhone 6S

Click Here to login and enter your email address.

We are thrilled to introduce our gamified environment at this summit! You can accumulate points by downloading documents in the Resources Center, viewing a presentation in the Auditorium and checking out sponsor booths at our Tech Expo. The person who tops the leaderboard by accumulating the most points will win an iPhone 6S. See the full contest rules within our environment.

Not registered? Click Here and complete the form. 

We hope to see you online later today!


2015 SESummit - CallidusCloud

Sales and marketing are often debating on the quality and usability of content. Sales either can’t find content or aren’t satisfied with the content they do find. Marketing thinks the content they create hits the nail on the head. There is an obvious disconnect. To make matters worse, marketing doesn’t know if the content they’re creating is missing the mark or it simply isn’t in the hands of sales reps.

So how do companies fix the big content problem? How do companies know if it is a content visibility or quality problem? Most will implement technology that makes promises of consolidating and fixing the problem once and for all. But these knee-jerk reactions often don’t fix the problem, they simply move the problem.

Jennifer King, Product Marketing Manager at CallidusCloud, will walk you through how to identify and fix your sales content problem through a step-by-step process. This webinar takes place at 3:00 PM EDT on September 29th and will help you identify the problem, define its scope, and develop a strategy to solve the problem.

We hope to see you at our Sales Enablement Virtual Summit!



2015 SESummit - Skura/PointClickCare

Get the story about one company’s journey to Sales Enablement:

PointClickCare had an inconsistent sales process, each rep managed their own set of materials, and there were no analytics. Angelo Papatheodorou implemented SKURA SFX to address his sales team’s needs.

In this session, Angelo is joined by Jeff Wessinger, President of SKURA Corporation, to discuss the PointClickCare Sales Enablement implementation, the benefits that come from it, and how the Sales Enablement space is evolving.

This presentation will be happening at 2:30 PM EDT on September 29th at our Sales Enablement Virtual Summit. We hope to see you there!



2015 SESummit - Qvidian

There’s a lot of talk about personalizing the buying experience and the reality is, it isn’t easy and engaging buyers is difficult. Today’s buyer does expect a better experience but sales organizations struggle to adapt.

On September 29th @ 2:00pm EDT, join Geoffrey James of Inc.com, as he shares a radically new approach to personalize and improve the buying experience through sales emails that actually work.

Joining James will be Dr. Tom Sant, who will show you how to apply this method to all sales content. Together they will show you how to write a sales message that gets people to open and read it, and fires them up to respond.

This webinar takes place during the 2015 Sales Enablement Virtual Summit. You’ll learn how to:

  • Better understand your buyer
  • Cut through the clutter
  • Craft compelling messages that people will actually read



2015 SESummit - Marketo

In this Digital Marketing Bootcamp session, you’ll learn tips and techniques for improving conversion rates and driving more business through sales and marketing alignment.

Key topics include:

  • Why sales and marketing alignment is important
  • How the two teams can define common terms, set common goals, and utilize lead scoring
  • How to structure your organization to promote alignment
  • How to create service-level agreements

This presentation will be happening at 1:30 PM EDT on September 29th at our Sales Enablement Virtual Summit. We hope to see you there!



2015 SESummit - Act-On Software

Did you know that 45% of your website visitors will purchase from either you or your competition in the next 12 months? And of those buyers 75% will purchase form the first salesperson who contacts them? Marketing automation can help you be on the right side of these numbers because it gives sales team’s new and expansive visibility into the buyer’s journey.

Join industry expert Janelle Johnson, Senior Director of Demand Generation of Act-On Software, as she shows the benefits of using marketing automation to help sales improve efficiency, and achieve higher close rates. In this webinar you will learn:

  • Tips for determining your hottest prospects
  • How to effectively engage your prospects and eliminate cold calling
  • The steps to achieve alignment with Marketing and Sales
  • How to shorten your sales cycle and close more deals

This presentation will be happening at 1:00 PM EDT on September 29th at our Sales Enablement Virtual Summit. We hope to see you there!