David York, Founder and CEO of Sureshot: Thank you, Jason, for that kind introduction. I am excited and happy to share with everyone about Sureshot solutions for sports marketing. As Jason mentioned in the introduction, I’ve been in the Eloqua ecosystem for over 17 years, so I understand all the different challenges from a customer standpoint. I also worked very closely with the Eloqua sports entertainment team, selling Eloqua to many of the different sports franchises. For the last 10 years, I’ve been an Eloqua partner so I have a unique perspective in that sphere, too.
97% of Marketers Are Not Getting the Full Value From Their Stack
At Sureshot, we were driven by the idea that customers are adopting so much marketing technology, as you all know. Just a short period of time ago, we used much, much less technology than we do today. What we saw from the customer standpoint was underscored by recent research that found 97 percent of marketers feel that they are not getting the full value out of their martech stack.
Missing Functionality and Capabilities
There are a lot of reasons marketers are dissatisfied with their martech experience, but one of the primary ones is the different elements of functionality and capabilities that are missing. Martech stacks need something to tie everything together. For example, if you buy a number of different products; holistically those products may solve a majority of the problems you’re trying to address. But if there are breakdowns in the way those products connect and integrate — say they’re missing some features and functionality that would help you get campaigns out the door faster — then you are going to feel like you’re not getting the full value from your tech.
Making Everything Work Together
Sureshot Connect is our tool that integrates and connects all the different technologies in a stack. While we definitely work very heavily on the Eloqua side, we also have integrations to Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce and more. Connect focuses on the tools and solutions that help customers get more out of their stack. When it comes to integration, the area where we really concentrate our efforts is in the automation of data-driven campaigns. That’s what customers are really trying to do. The number one goal and task every marketer is faced with is to get the next campaign out the door, because those campaigns are what drives leads, revenue and conversions.
The Importance of Using Prepared Data
If everything’s, data-driven, you’ve got to make sure your data is prepared. To leverage data for campaigns properly, you need to be able to take that data and activate it as part of your content. In other words, you need to be able to use your data to automate the process of personalizing campaigns. When you can create very targeted messaging and send it dynamically to the right person at the right time, you create a better customer experience. The act of running campaigns can become complex as a marketing tech stack expands. That’s why it’s so important to have the ability to take different elements of data from different tools in your stack and compile those into personalized campaigns that are sent out in an entirely automated fashion. Sureshot designs specific solutions that line up well with the sports marketing world and the unique challenges they face.
You Need to Know the Quality of Your Data on a Segment Level
If you have bad data coming into your campaign at its starting point, the results of that campaign are going to be impacted negatively. We created Sureshot Command to address the ongoing issue of data preparation. Most marketing systems that are out there, like Eloqua, HubSpot and Marketo, are not super-focused on giving customers insight into the quality of their data. Even more important is the bigger challenge of knowing the quality of data within your individual marketing segments. For most marketers, once they’ve identified a segment and put together a list of folks they want to market to, they have no way of knowing the level of quality of that individual segment.
Data Insights Empower You to Enhance Campaign Performance
When this happens, you don’t have the ability to predict if the campaign you are about to run, and the data you’ve plugged into that campaign, are going to produce a good result (or not) because you don’t have insights into the quality of your data, it’s completion and accuracy, etc. Command gives you a quick snapshot of each and every segment you’re marketing to equipping you with a firsthand understanding of your data quality. Command also connects you to real-time data validation tools so you can be sure that the email addresses are validated and of a high quality, meaning they won’t land you in spam traps or impact your reputation as a sender negatively.
Better Data Leads to Better Relationships Between Sales and Marketing
When a prospect responds to your campaign and you pass that lead off to sales, Command enables you to know that you have not sent sales bad data because it validates all types of phone numbers. We have a stable of top vendors that we utilize for validations because we want to make sure our customers have valid, complete and accurate data before they send campaigns. When you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Using bad data at the beginning of a campaign, leads to poor results at the end of the campaign.
Instantly Add the Missing Information You Need Across Your Stack
Command has some additional data appending capabilities scheduled for release later this year that are very helpful. Say you go into your database and find you are missing key elements of data that you need to help you do personalization to an important segment; Command’s business and consumer data append will give you the ability to do that. Because everything is accessed from a central (and integrated) dashboard, you can integrate phone, email and other data validations into multiple databases throughout your stack.
Fully Supported Integrations
Automate the Process of Pulling and Sending Personalized Content
Once your data is prepared, the next step in producing data-driven marketing campaigns is automating the process of pulling, sending and managing content. We have a product called Activate that can take content from external sources, like your CMS and other places, and create highly personalized campaign content. Many of our customers were really wanting to scale the process of personalizing email content, which Activate does well, but it also empowers users to automate the process of pulling and sending personalized content for SMS and MMS messaging campaigns, too. Activate is one of our oldest and most proven martech solutions. It has been integrated into Eloqua for a long time, as well as numerous other platforms.
Track SMS and MMS Engagement on a Segment Level
Activate is integrated into numerous platforms and multiple best-in-class gateways. If you have Eloqua, you can send SMS and/or MMS directly off of an Eloqua campaign program canvas. If you don’t, then you can use a gateway like Twilio, Nexmo or Burst depending on your audience. Nexmo is heavily concentrated in Asia, Burst covers the Australian market, and Twilio is great for North America and Europe. The great thing about Activate is that it gives you the ability to do really heavily personalized SMS or MMS messages as simply as you send an email. It has field merges for contacts and custom objects, and integrations to create automated URL shortening. With Activate, you can track engagement down to the individual recipient level.
Fully Supported SMS and MMS
Activate has a lot of flexibility around keywords and auto responses, and it saves every inbound and outbound message into a custom object, which enables users to report and segment further on that data. Although there are other solutions on the marketplace, the reasons customers name our solution for text messaging as number one is twofold: first, we have great support for MMS; and secondly, the level of flexibility Activate gives to customers is unparalleled. It supports dynamic content in the actual message body. If you know a person is a full season ticket holder versus a partial season ticket holder, you can actually change the message dynamically based on that information. Instead of creating multiple different types of messages for all your segments, you can do a single message and use dynamic content rules inside of the message builder to personalize the content based on the type of content and message.
Unparalleled Flexibility in Inbound Auto Response
Activate has a lot of flexibility when it comes to supporting all the inbound types of SMS campaigns. Users can choose from options such as default auto responses, keyword global responses, keyword auto responses, individual campaign-level auto responses, and more. Activate also has field merges and prioritization of auto responses, so you can do a lot of different things as it relates to inbound messages and auto responses.
The Pursuit of Person-to-Person Engagement
Activate has auto response mapping for opt-outs. It captures that data and brings it back into Eloqua. Then, it will read that data and perform automatic phone number formatting for international contacts. One thing in messaging that’s really interesting to us, and an area where we’re doing some expansion in 2020, is in adding more messaging services, like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, WeChat, etc. We’re going beyond SMS messages and into ABM-style person-to-person engagement.
SMS Use Case
Let’s say your marketing team is sending out a mass message to a segment of recipients. When the recipients engage with that message by replying, you want to seamlessly transfer that individual to an agent internally, be it a sales person or customer success rep, who can pick up that conversation and run with it. Our SMS/MMS tools are embedded into your CRM — right where those salespeople and customer service folks are actually working, so joining the conversation is easier, and more opportunities are realized than lost. At Sureshot, we’re very keen on keeping up with the whole world of messaging and how it’s evolving and expanding. More and more customers are wanting to interact, not just at a mass marketing level, but at an individual agent and customer service level, so supporting that in the flow of marketing is important.
Enhance Your Sender Score
Every marketer wants to increase their campaign deliverability and keep their sender scores up. But if you’re sending messages out that are bouncing, or you’re sending to spam traps, or bad emails — all of that stuff is going to have an impact. Command has helped our customers improve campaign deliverability without getting bogged down in doing all the work of getting IP addresses, etc.
Scale Personalization While Simultaneously Reducing Manual Steps
Being able to personalize email newsletters and content down to an individual recipient across hundreds and thousands of recipients is the subject that consumes our thoughts, time and energy at Sureshot. Our solutions are designed to simplify a marketer’s life by addressing the issues that plague most marketing campaigns. It’s our mission to figure out ways to creatively solve these challenges.