For b-to-b organizations, thought leadership is a critical component for driving awareness, sparking excitement, and creating engagement within a very skeptical market. While thought leadership has always been part of Ingenuity Systems’ marketing mix, in the past it had never been a formal program. This last year, I decided to take a programmatic approach to thought leadership versus executing a series of webinars, events, etc. – only to end up at the end of the year without a measurable sense of impact.

I decided to see if we could use marketing automation to measure our Thought Leadership program. It was critical for me to be able to answer questions like: Are these investments paying off? Are we generating engaged prospects that convert to qualified leads? Is our mix of thought leadership activities the right one?

By identifying key activities we wanted to measure, assigning lead scores in conjunction with the Sales team**, creating a thought leadership index score, and implementing Marketo smart lists we have a found a good method for measuring engagement for our thought leadership program. We measured all the components that comprised our program: visiting our key webpage that housed our content of interest, email click through rates, video views, attending our webinars, filling out a form for white papers, etc. Prospects that participated in many of the activities received a higher lead score and ranked higher on our index. Prospects that only participated in a few activities, ranked lower on the index.

We measured the total number of prospects per month and looked at their engagement. We examined prospects and looked at where the majority fall on our index. The review occurred with our sales team and we discussed the results. It became clear that we had one segment responding better than another to our targeted content. We were also able to identify a seasonal impact and which combination of activities performed better than others. This monthly exercise really helped us articulate value, but it also gave us insight into how to improve. Another nice benefit – no marketing folks were harmed in the process. The typical late night ‘Excel-scapades’ to crunch data were not needed. Marketing automation enabled us to pull data reliably and easily.

An effort like this may seem overwhelming to many marketers, who like us, are inundated with the Über List of things to do, have small teams, and who are racing from meeting to meeting. With marketing automation, my team was able to put this system in place for measuring an effort that traditionally has been hard to measure. We were able to illustrate the value to our sales team and develop a holistic understanding around these efforts.

What may appear like a big undertaking can be manageable with the right set of tools and creative implementation. I believe this year I can measure my programs and make the right changes to optimize the impact.

**critical step

To learn more about how Ingenuity Systems implemented a thought leadership metrics program, see the step-by-step instructions in Heidi’s presentation below.

Measuring thought-leadership-with-marketing-automation

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