Continuously learning, networking and a willingness to simply try new things – those are three imperatives for marketers today. That’s according to Drew Hawkins a marketing manager for North Highland, a consulting firm with about 2,000 employees, according to LinkedIn.
In his role with the firm, he’s played a big part of a project to migrate from HubSpot to Pardot for marketing automation. He did not have experience with Pardot, but with a little bit of training, help from his firms Salesforce administrator, and that willingness to try something new, the firm implemented the new system on their own.
I had a chance to ask him about that experience, and Drew is my guest on this 41st edition of the Off Script Q&A series.
1) Tell us a little bit about North Highland and your role in the firm?
DH: North Highland is a global consultancy that delivers expertise in customer experience, business transformation and technology. The elevator pitch for my role at North Highland is easy: if it touches the internet on behalf of the firm, I probably have something to do with it. I work as the senior manager of Digital Marketing for the firm, so it’s really a client-side role even though I work for a consulting group. My team has purview over our website, paid advertising, marketing automation, social media, mobile and analytics. We have a team of three on the digital end, so we run a really efficient ship to run all things digital for a company our size.
2) What are some of the unique challenges in marketing services form a consulting firm?
DH: The biggest challenge for us is the prioritization of time and resources. Our firm has 17 different service lines, capabilities and industry groups serving our clients. While each area has their own nuances, audiences and unique challenge, the one consistent theme is timing. How do we best serve our internal clients (consultants and business development) in a way that is sustainable but also maximizes impact. My goal with our team is to always have a mindset of “under promise, over deliver” with our internal clients, a mindset I learned from my past company. It keeps us from being spread too thin and able to better deliver consistent quality work. That often means telling people “no” instead of yes. However, a well-delivered and thoughtful “no” is a more caring act than a half-hearted “yes.”
3) We talked briefly about a long-term marketing automation (MA) project you’ve had a chance to work on in your role in preparation for this interview. Why did your company decide to adopt Pardot?
DH: We started with HubSpot as our marketing automation tool of choice…but that was before we even had a CRM! When we adopted Salesforce as our CRM, we discovered the integration with Pardot served our particular purposes much more efficiently than HubSpot. That’s not a knock on HubSpot at all. While their Salesforce integration wasn’t all we hoped it would be, it was a great tool for where we were at during the time. In terms of being able to segment how we do scoring and actually use Salesforce as our company’s single source of truth for data, Pardot served that purpose much better.
4) How are the results coming along – how has Pardot benefited your marketing team?
DH: It’s still a journey but Pardot has been able to help us scale out our efforts in a really short time. We’ve gone from only running 3-4 campaigns a year to having created 13 different segmented campaigns in just the first half of 2019. The biggest benefit Pardot will have will be helping us more accurately associate marketing activity with sales pipeline results. We’re getting there but have some refinement in terms of operationalizing that process.
5) Lead scoring has been part of that marketing automation implementation process. With the benefit of that hindsight you’ve gained, what tips would you offer other marketers for developing lead scoring systems?
DH: Do what works for you and your company. Everyone has a different operating model and not all engagement actions are created equally.
For example, Pardot has scoring out of the box. Our group sat down with our business development and our sales operations teams and walked through which actions we valued the most and which KPIs we wanted to score higher on.
The one thing Pardot brings to the table that is amazing for a company with a huge breadth of offerings like ours is scoring categories. We set up scoring categories that align with our various service offerings. Those scoring categories trigger tasks and notifications within Salesforce that better inform our sales teams what topic areas a client or prospect is showing interest in. It helps those groups better tailor their future conversations to the prospect’s needs down the road.
6) Looking back on the project from start to finish, is there something you know today that you wish you could go back in time and share with yourself?
DH: I didn’t know that a lot of people use third-party partners for Pardot implementations. I did the full implementation myself with the help of our Salesforce admin and an Accelerator course. It was a great crash course in getting to know the system but there’s value in the counsel of an expert.
7) Lightning round: please answer the following in just a word or a phrase:
- One app on your phone you can’t live without is… (DH) Spotify.
- One publication or blog you read regularly is… (DH) Wired Magazine.
- One profound business book you’d recommend reading is… (DH) It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work.
- If you weren’t doing what you do now, you’d be… (DH) Teaching.
- If you suddenly got 10% more budget, you’d spend it on… (DH) Our ABM advertising efforts; or an analytics tool like Parse.ly.
- If you could have an all-expenses-paid free pass to a single industry marketing event it would be… (DH) Dreamforce.
* * *
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
A Brand Is a Business Risk to be Understood and Managed; Off Script No. 40: Brianna Carroll Boyle