We Made Ourselves our Own Client – Here’s What We’ve Learned so Far
On our second day of the Demand Spring semi-annual business review in early 2019, the MarTech team breakout session was a whiteboarding masterpiece. We were challenged to find the ONE thing that we could work on for the next six months that would have the most impact on the business, something that would create a cohesive voice, educate everyone on the team – from the newer members to the veterans, and create a continuous improvement philosophy in all that we do. With tons of great experience and expertise on the team and a thirst for doing something great, we unanimously arrived at the perfect solution.
Cue the music: The 2019 Demand Spring Marketo Optimization
That’s right, we decided to become our next client. We are now in the client’s seat and experiencing the challenges of optimizing Marketo from a client’s perspective. We are putting ourselves through our own project management process, setting priorities and timelines, and applying our collective expertise to truly make our own Marketo instance ‘best-in-class’.
The back story: As with many of you, our Marketo instance has passed through a few hands. When you inherit an instance, it can be a daunting task to understand what your predecessor was trying to achieve and who may have (unintentionally) broken it along the way. Also, we’ve found that our business needs have evolved, so what was good for us a few years ago might need a few tweaks today. We’re not building from scratch, but before we optimize, we’re going to set a stake in the ground on everything from our scoring methodology to our revenue model, and use the same expertise we bring to clients to establish a rock solid, scalable, and efficient Marketo instance.
Key learnings so far:
No shortcuts: some things still remain true for ourselves as for our clients – there’s a process and it’s best to follow it. We have assigned key resources, built a RACI chart, planned out phases, filled out our own pre-kickoff project questionnaire, and set milestones and expectations. We’re experiencing the pain that some clients feel about not knowing if we’re all on the same page, but with the tools we have in place, we’re building our collective direction.
Be respectful of everyone’s time: we’re all strapped for time, but when it’s time to get input on the project, set clear expectations, and a clear timeline – how is it best to receive the feedback? Is it something that we can gather via a questionnaire? Would it be best to all get in the same room and hash out agreements on strategy? Is it best to have smaller breakout groups of key people? We’re putting ourselves in our clients shoes and we understand the challenges of all getting on the same page. We’ve found that asking these questions when seeking to gather information from team members helps streamline the process and optimizes the time spent on meetings and information gathering.
Begin with the end in mind: Documentation is crucial to success, so we’re building a documentation framework from the very beginning, a single source of truth that we can all refer back to for understanding why we built things a certain way. Stay tuned for more on this topic in a future post.
Point of view: We have a strong point of view on every aspect of Marketo and we share this with our clients on a regular basis. We’re gathering all of this goodness as we go along and adding it to our central documentation. The more we centralize this, the stronger and more unified our voice becomes.
Be kind: Have you ever felt that you’re harder on yourself than you ever would be on someone else? Well, we’re being as kind to ourselves as we are to our clients. It’s part of our Demand Spring DNA, and we’re extending the love to ourselves in this process.
We’ve only just begun, but we’re really excited about where this is going and look forward to sharing more insights along the way. Perhaps we’ll have a hefty debate over a topic or two, or maybe something will go better than expected. Whatever it happens to be, we’ll be sharing it with you and learning what it means to be in your shoes. Keep an eye out for more and please let me know if you have any questions or comments! I’d love to hear from you.