…In the beginning…
When I first started my marketing career, my first job was at Cognos – a big BI company that was eventually acquired by IBM. I was fresh out of university and eager to learn and get things done! Cognos was an early adopter of marketing automation, and we had all the best tools, people and budget to make great marketing happen.
However, most of my time waiting for things from other people. Although I eventually became really good at Eloqua (yes Eloqua…), I didn’t know any HTML or graphic design. This meant a lot of “hurry up and wait”. HURRY we need to get this campaign out, but WAIT for the HTML from the web team and graphics from the agency.
This really frustrated me because I was organized, and I had my stuff done and ready, but I was completely helpless to get my emails out on time because I needed to wait for other people.
The same thing happened with landing pages. We weren’t even lucky enough to have a tool like Marketo’s WYSIWYG landing page editor, so I had to work with my web team to get things posted. Although they were great people, they had a 2 week turn-around time! Meaning any little copy change took way too long to get changed.
…Fast forward 3 years…
I made a big change from my days at big blue. I am at a start-up called TITUS and they had no marketing automation, but they were very open to implementing Marketo. I lead the Marketo implementation there, and we were off to the races.
I found out that Marketo really empowers Marketers to be WAY more self-sufficient and FAST. No more waiting on other people to get your campaigns out… except for one thing… the creation of those pesky templates!I still needed to go through the whole process of designing and getting a third party to develop my templates. This process ended up taking months and was a major headache…I couldn’t believe things weren’t more advanced in this area!
…OK, now we’re at the present day…
After years of being on the client side, I started a Marketo services consultancy, and I wanted to solve all the challenges that I used to have as a marketer for our clients. We help Marketo clients like Trend Micro, Amdocs, Klipfolio and more get the most out of their Marketo investment. It’s a lot of fun and we’re always excited to see our clients be successful and push the limits of Marketo and teach us new things along the way.
Over the years, we see that our clients have very similar challenges with Marketo. Whether it’s setting up a best-in-class lead lifecycle, or a lead scoring model that actually works, or lead source tracking or reporting, there are a lot of challenges with Marketo that are pretty universal. However, there are none as prominent or pervasive as responsive email and landing page templates.
Back when Marketo released their template library, I was SO excited. Finally, the solution I was looking for! (or so I thought…) You need to know HTML to customize the templates for your brand. And I could still not write a line of code to save my life! – just like most marketers I know.
Now, after making literally hundreds of custom responsive templates for our Revenue Pulse clients, I thought there had to be a better way. Even though we can build a fully responsive template in a matter of a days, it’s still too long of a process.
That’s where the idea for Knak was born. Marketo has done a great job of putting the power back in the Marketers hands; making things simple. But for something as critical as templates for emails and landing pages (the only thing your customers will actually SEE of your entire Marketing Automation deployment), marketers are still helpless. Marketers need to work with agencies, graphic designers, developers. It’s a broken process.
The purpose of Knak is to make this process simple. To allow Marketers to quickly and easily setup an email or landing page template, pick their layout, customize it to their brand, and get back to marketing. We never want them to have to look at HTML code again. Although Marketo marketers are quite technical, we’re not developers…I don’t think it is productive for us to be wasting time coding (or trying to code in my case).
It’s been almost a month since we launched Knak at the Marketo Summit. We have over 150 Marketo users making Knak templates. In less than a month, over 260 amount of templates have already been built using our tool. That is an enormous amount of time and money that has been saved, and we’re just getting started.
The feedback we’re receiving is making all the hard work we’ve put into this tool worth it. Marketers are telling us that we’re making them look like rockstars to their peers, and that they’ve been waiting for a tool like this to come out for a long time. To me, that is success. But, like I said, we’re just getting started. The best is yet to come…like our upcoming release of Marketo landing page templates, also made simple.