This post is about B2B marketing and lead generation. The story of Josh James, Omniture, and my failure help me drive my point home.
Remember Omniture? That little company that sold for roughly $1.8 Billion to Adobe. I always wonder what founders that successfully exit their start up at that level of success do with their lives. The average Joe assumes that they must go buy a small island and disappear into retirement. Well not Josh James!
Josh founded Omniture in 1996, took it public in 2006, and sold to Adobe in 2009. He did all that while raising six daughters. One year later, he founded Domo.com, a big data analysis and software company that is turning heads in the SaaS space. From the outside looking in, Josh seems to be relentless in his effort to make sure that not only does Domo pay back the roughly $100 Million it has raised in funding. Unlike most CEO’s, he is growing his Twitter following to a legitimate 32,000+ followers. He guest posts for Forbes and believes in the power of inbound marketing. I know because I have a friend that helps him with his SEO.
Needless to say I look up to Josh and admire his tenacity. I follow him on Twitter and we are connected on Linkedin. I may or may not have bragged to a few buddies when he tweeted back at me for the first time. I didn’t think he was paying any attention to me or who I was. At the same time we started connecting on social media, we quietly launched the new Get Found First site. Everything seemed to be going well with our new site, and I was ready to tell the world about a week after we had quietly launched.
I went to one of the guys helping with the programming of the site and said, “hey, can you add me to the email list when we get form fills on our site.” There was silence, then a reassurance that I would be added to the list. No big deal, right? WRONG. Turns out no one was receiving the form fills being added to our site. They were sitting in the database, but no one was being alerted when they came in. Back then our site traffic was small enough that we would go 2 or 3 days without generating a lead, so it took about a week for me to get suspicious that something was up. I bet you can guess who had filled out a form on our website like 6 days before we found it. Yep. Josh James.
Everyone that does B2B lead generation knows that you need to follow up almost immediately in order to capitalize on the leads you generate. I think Salesforce.com has done some studies on this, but suffice it to say, every minute that goes by after a form is filled out and you don’t respond, your risk of the potential customer losing interest goes up exponentially. An email autoresponse should also be set up to confirm to the potential customer that you have received their request and will be getting in touch with them. I shot an email to Josh, explaining our mistake, and letting him know that we would love to provide him with the audit he had requested days prior. No response. To this day, I regret not making sure that form fill was being forwarded as it should have been prior to launch. To this day, I wonder if Josh James will ever give us a chance to earn his business helping out with their online advertising efforts.