Building a digital revenue engine.

F5 uses Adobe Marketo Engage and Adobe Marketo Measure to accelerate leads to revenue.

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Established

1996

Employees: 6,461
www.f5.com

39%

Shorter time to sale

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Objectives

Synergize collaboration between sales and marketing to align with growing software and SaaS business

Allocate marketing spend effectively

Gain better visibility into marketing lifecycle 

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Results

39% shorter time to sale for MQLs generated through digital revenue engine

Share priority leads with sales in 24 hours

16:1 bookings returns on marketing programs

A well-oiled closed-won machine 

The parts of any engine must come together in a seamless series of motions to start a car. A well-oiled revenue engine for a business is no different. Synchronizing strategy, process, content, and analytics to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time requires aligning talent and technologies to move everything forward.

 

When F5, a technology company specializing in application security and delivery, started its transformation from selling hardware to selling software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, it was challenged to build a digital revenue engine that was up to the task. In the days of hardware-based business, deals were often closed based on a sales representative’s relationship with a customer and rapport built in face-to-face meetings. Marketing and sales teams traditionally focused their messaging on the value of individual products that had long and predictable lifecycles. As F5 shifted to software and SaaS, sales and marketing teams needed to adjust strategies to better align with more complex deal engagements with widening touchpoints of influence.

 

To anticipate a customer’s needs and target them with the right message at the right time, F5 turned to Adobe Marketo Engage and Adobe Marketo Measure (formerly Bizible). The F5 marketing and demand operations team wanted to reimagine how both products could be used to maximize marketing ROI and improve coordination between marketing and sales to ensure that no lead was left behind. 

 

“We wanted a best-in-class martech stack to drive our transformation, and looked to build on Adobe applications, specifically around Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure,” says Jessica Kao, Senior Director of Demand Operations at F5 and seven-time Marketo Engage Champion. “Creating a digital revenue engine that can maneuver through complex customer journeys required the sophisticated analytics and targeting that only Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure can provide.”

Accelerating leads through the funnel with personalization

Centering the F5 tech stack on Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure allows marketers, data scientists, and sales teams to come together in meeting increasingly complex customer expectations, especially demands for greater personalization. Through powerful integrations between Marketo Engage, Marketo Measure, and other applications in the F5 martech stack — notably Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, and Adobe Experience Manager — the F5 team can develop audience segments based on anything from a customer’s industry or job title to the size of the company they work for. They can then target those segments with relevant messages or actions, depending on where they are in the marketing pipeline.  

 

For many F5 customers, the journey begins on the company’s website. Through the combined capabilities of its Adobe applications, F5 is able to harvest rich analyses of customers’ digital behavior and preferences. Using this knowledge, the team is working to develop a more streamlined, easier-to-navigate web interface that targets customers with content most relevant to their personas and interests across products and services — saving them the effort of searching through isolated landing pages. 


“Creating a digital revenue engine that can maneuver through complex customer journeys required the sophisticated analytics and targeting that only Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure can provide.”

 
Jessica Kao

Senior Director of Demand Operations, F5


At the same time, using Adobe Target for A/B testing and personalization enables F5 to deliver dynamic, responsive customer journeys. In addition, Adobe Audience Manager delivers increased capabilities for targeted, specific, and highly performative GTM campaigns. For F5, this all flows into its commitment to being a truly transformative digital organization built on democratizing access to current, accurate data and powerful tools.

 

“Refining our web presence with our Adobe applications is integral to creating fully resonant, personalized experiences that show our customers that we understand their business challenges,” says Jaclyn Driver, Senior Manager, Global Marketing Operations, F5. “Using our website to demonstrate to customers how we can resolve their unique business needs inspires them to move faster through the discovery stage of engagement toward wanting to purchase our solutions.”

With Adobe Experience Cloud applications, F5 provides customers with a personalized, streamlined, and easy-to-navigate online experience.

Revving the revenue engine with more qualified leads 

With the robust tracking and automated lead scoring in Marketo Engage, F5 marketers chart customer engagement across ads, websites, campaigns, or activities and assign a marketing qualified lead (MQL) score based on criteria that F5 can customize based on its objectives. For example, by taking advantage of the powerful customization of Marketo Engage, the marketing team is able to deliver MQLs based on the specific needs and goals of individual product groups and regions rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. As a result, actionable MQLs are quickly passed to sales with the relevant context so that sales can personalize the followup.

 

The solution arms sales with valuable intelligence about a customer’s behavior across every marketing touchpoint. This includes specifics such as what a prospect at a large bank who has a role in IT security management was engaging with on the website, which could include a microsite or video about safeguarding data for banking customers.

 

As a result, sales teams can tailor their conversations appropriately while focusing their efforts on prospects with higher MQL scores, who are more likely to accept meeting invitations. Since fine-tuning its process, the F5 team has noted that leads which run through the digital revenue engine are converted to opportunities 39% faster.

 

Using Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure, F5 has unified its sales and marketing teams around effective approaches to pursuing leads. “We can monitor and adjust lead flow. When sales needs more leads, we can send the next-highest priority batch over within 24 hours, whereas before we had a very manual process of combing through leads that would take three weeks, by which time the leads were stale,” says Kao.

 

Thanks to the new convergence around data gleaned from Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure, F5 marketing and sales teams have emerged from their silos into regular strategy sessions. As F5 marketers and data scientists flow larger numbers of actionable leads into the pipeline, leadership has taken notice. Trends and analytics pulled from Marketo Measure have become cornerstones of the company’s quarterly business reviews and planning — and since everyone is looking at the same, objective data, it’s easier to align around data-informed strategies.

 

“Our martech gives every team member, regardless of their role, a shared language to describe the channels and activities that we should be actively nurturing for a higher return on investment,” says Kimberly Galitz, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations, F5. “Marketo Measure has been essential in helping to shift our culture toward more data-based customer outreach while deepening the quality of our internal collaborations.”

Granular data fuels powerful results

Driven to leave no lead on the table, the F5 team explored the unique capability to sync historical data through Marketo Measure, and measure data “apples-to-apples” to discover usable patterns in historical data and attribute potential leads to prior campaigns. By having the flexibility to measure data in different ways, Marketo Measure provides the F5 team with a holistic view of customer trends and behaviors with detailed data across omnichannel touchpoints over time.

 

As a result, F5 has begun to gain a more precise understanding of the effectiveness of specific content, including pinpointing which kinds of messages propel customers further down the pipeline and how fast they move to make a purchase. As the team continues to gain additional attribution insights, F5 will be able to develop more effective content which will save the time, effort, and money of cycling through redundant or less effective approaches. Marketers will also be empowered to experiment with the ability to instantly start, stop, and modify campaigns based on engagement.


“With the incredible versatility of Marketo Engage and the dynamic analytical capabilities of Marketo Measure, we’ve been able to align our data and strategy to improve the customer experience, enrich the partnership between marketing and sales, and ultimately drive more revenue.”

 
Jessica Kao

Senior Director of Demand Operations, F5


For instance, through Marketo Measure, the team could see that it overinvested in YouTube compared to the number of MQLs it received and directed resources to more successful channels. The team has also readjusted its approach to content syndication after learning that it wasn’t leading to the number of in-person meetings for which they had hoped. This has enabled the team to deliver 16:1 bookings returns on marketing program investments.

 

“The immersive, granular data we’ve obtained through Marketo Measure and Marketo Engage enables our marketing team to make sound recommendations about reallocating resources to higher-performing channels,” says Kao. “With the unique capabilities to track a customer’s offline engagement in Marketo Measure, we’ve transformed our approach to paid media, using it to push customers to registration pages for events or webinars.” 

Firing on all cylinders with better customer experiences 

High-quality data and effective collaboration are key parts of a digital revenue engine, and the piece that fully revs that engine into motion remains great customer experiences. As F5 works to deepen its relationships with customers across the digital landscape, it has evolved to omnichannel, personalized customer engagement delivered in concert with sales.   

 

Through the integrations between Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure and the other Adobe applications in the F5 martech stack, F5 has gained the organizational agility to effectively respond to customer needs at scale, and in highly granular, personal ways like sending the right followups triggered by specific behaviors.

 

“Making Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure the crown jewels of our martech stack empowered our teams to make the best decisions to evolve our business and connect with customers,” says Kao. “With the incredible versatility of Marketo Engage and the dynamic analytical capabilities of Marketo Measure, we’ve been able to align our data and strategy to improve the customer experience, enrich the partnership between marketing and sales, and ultimately drive more revenue.”

Expanding your knowledge

5 Marketo Engage Reports to Get You a Seat at the C-suite
The importance of storytelling cannot be overrated. Proving marketing’s impact successfully relies not only on the data itself but the ability to tell the right story. Join Marketo Champions Jessica Kao and Max Maurier in this Adobe Summit session as they walk through five of the out-of-the-box Marketo Engage reports that everyone should be using to not just pull the right metrics but to tell the right story to the right people.

 

B2B Marketing Attribution: Harnessing the Power of Marketo Measure
Proving and improving marketing impact has never been more important, and the tools and best practices now exist to do attribution the right way. Whether you’re a current Marketo Measure customer or just interested in state-of-the-art marketing performance measurement, this Adobe Summit session is for you. Join Marketo Measure Experts and thought leaders to learn attribution best practices, common mistakes to avoid, and Marketo Measure tips and tricks.

 

From MOPS Practitioner to Manager: It's All About Mindset for F5's Jessica Kao
As the MOPS career path has matured over the past decade, former practitioners like F5's Jessica Kao are now in management positions. In this blog, learn how she's translated her knowledge to broader business impact.

 

 

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