3 Questions to Keep in Mind to Cross-target like a SmartBear


“If a lead has already gone through a trial or sales process and has not converted– we want to continue to nurture them for that product in most cases, but after a certain point we need to ensure our ROI from a marketing perspective. If they are not expressing purchasing behavior for one product, we need to alter their marketing experience in order to introduce the product(s) they will have a higher likelihood of converting for. Some of our most successful campaigns are across audiences.”
Gary DeAsi, SmartBear Marketing Manager

Gary DeAsi

Gary DeAsi and his team of “Lead Gen Ninjas” are responsible for marketing over 15 products for five different product markets at SmartBear, a software company that provides tools for software developers, quality assurance engineers, and IT professionals. Gary shared with us three questions to keep in mind as you prepare to cross-target. It’s part of the SmartBear playbook for cross-targeting to structure and segment the database, to study and score product groups, and to deploy compelling content.

Have You Tagged & Segmented Your Database?

When Gary first joined SmartBear, the database he inherited required work — it was not segmented. SmartBear was sending mass emails to everyone in the database, regardless of which products and content members were specifically interested in.

“The first thing we did was structure the database primarily through behavioral data. We created custom fields in Marketo and used batch campaigns to tag leads and organize them into five buckets that aligned audience personas to product categories, which in our case were testing & QA, software development, web monitoring, API testing, and performance,” recalls Gary.

This method showed an immediate surge in results. In our previous cross-marketing post, Michael Perla echoed similar sentiments when he shared three steps to database segmentation.

“We need to alter marketing experience(s) in order to introduce product(s) [with] a higher likelihood of [conversion].”
Click to tweet

“Over time, we evolved and added demographic and interest data. We also used more sophisticated marketing intelligence to show us which customer interests correlated to which product markets as part of our database organization process,” states Gary.

Are You Scoring Leads Across Multiple Product Lines?

Gary and his team uses multiple product category scores for each lead in order to determine possible affinity that a lead has toward other products. They implemented a sophisticated lead scoring model based on behavior, demographics, and interests for each product group per lead. In other words, their scoring system scores a lead for individual products, and then wraps the lead’s product scores up to an overall product group score.

There are many ways to do this using marketing technology — Gary did this by implementing custom scoring campaigns per product line in Marketo, taking into account weighted, key “sales readiness” indicators such as trial downloads and activations, content downloads, web activity, target industries and job titles, and product usage. He then utilized a formula in Salesforce to identify for each lead the highest product group score from the multiple product scores in his Marketo scoring campaigns.

Evolution of SmartBear Marketing Database

“If a prospect or customer expressed interest in product A or B in the past, we know that this also increases their likelihood of becoming potential future customers of product D. This approach allows us to cross-target and maximize ROI for every lead that is generated,” states Gary.

For most campaigns, the end goal is a trial download, which is a secondary call-to-action after downloading an asset. At the end of the trial, if the nurtured prospect does not end up purchasing the product, and if after time there are no signs to indicate that they will purchase in the future, SmartBear marketers will cross-target using the lead’s multiple product category-based scores to see if there is a better fit product within their portfolio of offerings.

Are You Properly Repurposing Content Across Segments?

Once they’ve determined the highest product group score for a lead, Gary and his team is able to offer dynamic content and offers to a lead on a single landing page. This method helps them make sure they are sending the right message at the right time. But perhaps more importantly, the multiple product-category scores also identify opportunities to leverage existing content to offer to leads with interests they may not have initially uncovered. This then allows Gary to set up different streams in nurturing programs based on subsequent behavioral indicators.

Gary further explains, “Say we have three new e-books that come out from our content team, and say one of these e-books is on agile application development. In week one, we might send the three e-books to leads with the highest product scores for each of the three products, but if leads do not express interest in the e-books for the two other products, in week two or three we then have the option to send the agile e-book to those we have identified as targets for that e-book based upon demographic and behavioral data we have collected, and vice versa.”

“Scoring leads and analyzing ongoing engagement with your content, you can discover cross-targeting opportunities.”
Click to tweet

“With so many different segments, and the ability to create new segments on the fly (i.e. leads whose historical google searches, web site visits, or content downloads contain or are related to “agile” development) we can get a much greater ROI by repurposing each asset and finding new segments in our database that it can be positioned for. With this flexibility, our leads convert at a much higher rate over time,” says Gary.

By understanding how to segment your database using lead demographics and past behavioral data, scoring these leads across each product line or group, and then analyzing ongoing engagement with your content, you can discover cross-targeting opportunities in your house list that you never knew were possible.

Tune in for our next post to learn about some best practices from Gary and his team of “Lead Gen Ninjas.” What are some of your best practices for cross-targeting?

On Demand Webinar: The Savvy Marketer's Guide To B2B Segmentation. Watch Now!
Sophia L Wong


Sophia runs content marketing at Mintigo. She is a data-driven marketer responsible for setting and creating Mintigo’s content strategy. Prior to joining Mintigo, Sophia ran marketing at Perkville (a cloud-based rewards and loyalty B2B SaaS startup). In a past life, Sophia was an engineer. She holds a BS from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a MS in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University (SCU).