At a time when operating environments are undergoing many changes, the “efficiency” discussion is nothing new. In fact, fueled by the vision of improving the efficiency of marketing operations is how Perkuto began. Seasoned marketing and technology veteran, Alexandre Pelletier, teamed up with his lifelong friend and Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, Youcef Bouayad, to form Perkuto in 2013 with a specific objective in mind: how can they improve efficiency through process and documentation, to impact marketing outcomes. And their thoughtful approach to marketing operations and profound Marketo expertise has catapulted Perkuto to become a leader in their space.
Adding Scalability and Capacity
“We believe sales and marketing are usually the most unstructured departments in any organization,” said Pelletier. “Balancing the need to innovate yet providing the structure to operate efficiently is what enables an organization to grow and scale.” With Bouayad’s expertise in process improvement, the two immediately knew how to provide the greatest value to organizations.
One of the many challenges facing companies is qualified marketing operations personnel are hard to come by, reportedly the fourth most sought-after marketing function today, with nearly half of hiring managers unable to find qualified candidates. (McKinley Marketing Partners’ Marketing Hiring Trends Report, 2019) And when qualified candidates are found, the price tag is high. Salaries are on the rise, especially for candidates who are well-versed in marketing automation, user experience, and data analytics. Unfortunately, for most organizations, marketing operations talent pools are not keeping pace with company growth.
“This is where specialized agencies can provide value and increase volume for an organization,” commented Pelletier. “Instead of a single staff member’s expertise, you now have an entire team’s brainpower, and this can help an organization execute faster, at a higher capacity, and with greater precision.”
It’s common for organizations to outsource specific technology functions. Similarly, according to Gartner research, 70 percent of organizations rely heavily on agencies to develop strategies and execute marketing programs, a consistent and growing trend. “We’re now seeing a lot of clients outsourcing marketing operations particularly as they grow and their needs become more advanced. Marketing operations is at the junction of marketing and technology, so outsourcing to specialists is the next logical choice as it helps a company unlock new capabilities and scale more quickly,” remarked Pelletier.
Scalability isn’t an exact science; it’s understanding current capabilities, desired or projected levels, and determining how to get there in the most cost-efficient manner.
Balancing the need to innovate yet providing the structure to operate efficiently is what enables an organization to grow and scale
An organization’s commitment to actively capturing and documenting processes and procedures is essential in predicting its scalability success. Organizations with solid documentation not only benefit from the consistency of having written procedures and policies but also from the ability to review their own processes. They can also analyze areas where delivery could be streamlined, coordinate improvements between departments, and isolate steps that were once useful but are no longer necessary.
“Documenting processes can also save a marketing operations team. Seasonal or unexpected shifts in the volume of campaigns, staff turnover, or when circumstances outside your control happen, such as the recent pandemic crisis, documentation can be a lifesaver. Marketing operations needs to be functioning as efficiently as possible, even when the operating environment is challenging,” added Bouayad.
Operations: At the Nucleus of Data
Of course, for marketing operations, process and marketing technology are a means to an end. Operationalizing the data behind the technology is where marketing operations teams can make an impact. And let’s be honest, none of us have a shortage of data. Operations— especially marketing operations— is at ground control, with literally thousands of customer touchpoints at their fingertips.
"Outsourcing marketing operations is the next logical choice as it helps a company unlock new capabilities and scale more quickly."
Pelletier describes the relationship marketing has with data as threefold: how it’s collected, used, and operationalized.
“With new privacy legislation and consumer protection laws, how data is collected (and stored) is important. But marketers also need support leveraging and operationalizing the data,” noted Pelletier. “Understanding customer interests and patterns to improve the experience with your brand while also recognizing specific behaviors indicating a customer may be ready to make a purchase—this is how marketers impact revenue.” To enable more complex insights, it may involve integrating multiple technologies, often technologies already in your stack.
To illustrate, Pelletier shared an example of a leading luxury appliance manufacturer who wanted to enable a more sophisticated lead scoring model by integrating Marketo Engage with Adobe Analytics. “Using the Marketo API, we wrote custom scripting to look for a broader array of behavioral activity, such as favoriting and comparing products. The result is a more refined approach to lead scoring vs. the traditional Marketo options such as visiting a web page or filled out a form.” Pelletier explained that by integrating the two technologies, leads could be referred to sales based on specific behaviors indicating the customer has a strong propensity to buy.
The Classic Conundrum: Accessibility vs. Control
In our interview, Pelletier and Bouayad both talked freely about an organization’s ability to scale, leverage technology, and operationalize data. But the last topic they discussed was unique. Perkuto proactively challenges the classic notion of centralizing (limiting who can access technology) vs. decentralizing (everyone can access) marketing operations. Perkuto believes with technology becoming more and more consumable, the temptation to decentralize is understandable as it streamlines workflows and empowers more users. But with empowerment comes risk, including errors and technology snafus. On the other end of the spectrum, centralization mitigates the potential for mistakes but can create bottlenecks and workflow inefficiencies. So how does Perkuto address the issue?
“It’s not a question of do you centralize or do you decentralize. We’re asking the wrong question. The answer is we need elements of both,” commented Pelletier. One of Perkuto’s many services is to help guide enterprise organizations through the process of determining what should stay centralized and which tasks can be decentralized, but it doesn’t end there. From their hands-on experience, Perkuto has also developed a tool of their own, Jeto.io, to add more guardrails to the process. “Essentially, Jeto protects the integrity of your Marketo instance but decentralizes campaign execution— it’s the best of both worlds,” explained Pelletier, with many large scale use-cases to support his comment. “When a financial institution, a major university, or a software company in a highly-competitive industry can reduce their staffing costs, improve efficiencies, and prevent brand-damaging errors, it’s a game-changer.”
Documentation. Effective processes. Challenging the status quo. This is what sets Perkuto apart. The vision that started it all seven years ago has since guided thousands of organizations, providing solid foundations, improving efficiency, and positively impacting revenue. All in all, Perkuto is reshaping the rhythm of marketing operations.
Marching to a Different Beat
Perkuto co-founders Alexandre Pelletier and Youcef Bouayad are huge music fans, so it’s no surprise that music plays a large part in their business. The name Perkuto comes from the Esperanto word for “percussion,” as marketing operations is much like the percussion section of an orchestra, driving the rhythm for an entire organization.
Every data point gathered is another beat in an organization’s concert. Every campaign launched is a chance to change the tempo. And Perkuto is like the orchestra conductor, working with clients to ensure marketing efforts translate into beautiful music that leaves a lasting impression on customers. In short, percussion is about impact—and so is Perkuto.
Perkuto is an Adobe platinum partner specialized in Marketo Engage, plus a certified service partner for Bizible and Microsoft. Perkuto is based in Montreal with field offices throughout North America and Europe.
For more information on Perkuto, visit Perkuto.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.