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As the deadline approaches for 2016 Markie award submissions (Feb 5), I thought it would be a good time to reflect upon why winning a Markie is so important. Markie awards are presented by Oracle to celebrate and recognize excellence in marketing. The winner in each category receives a beautiful statue to announce to the world what they’ve accomplished. I was honored with the 2012 Markie for Best Customer Lifecycle Program, so I have firsthand knowledge of the quality and effort necessary to win an award, and the ensuing benefits.
The Markie-winning customer lifecycle program that I built for SurePayroll in 2012 was a three-pronged approach that focused on onboarding, retention and referrals. First, we built a welcome video and onboarding document sent out to all new customers when they were ready to enter their first payroll. These emails were responsible for driving down the number of customer service inquiry calls, resulting in a cost savings to the company. Next we focused on retention, building a 5-email nurture program sent to new customers after their first payroll was processed. This email series was both informational and promotional, offering customized upsell and cross-sell products to the customer.
Finally, bi-directional integration was built between the Salesforce customer service log and Eloqua, allowing all customer service inquiries to be shared between the two systems. Surveys were then sent out to customers — at the customer service representative’s discretion — to gather feedback on the level of service they received. Those customers who gave high ratings were asked for referrals. For referrals who became customers, both the referrer and referee would earn a reward.
Beyond a trophy to display, my Markie award has been a positive force in my career in a number of ways:
Pride: The Markies are truly a prestigious award in the marketing world. The criteria against which they measure the winner are tough, and only submissions that show measurable and strong results win. Past winners include companies such as ADP, Dell, Inc., Twitter, LinkedIn, and Thomson Reuters, just to name a few. The Markie alumni is a bright and talented crowd of marketers that anyone, including myself, would be proud to be associated with.
Career advancement: There is no denying that having a Markie win on your resume/LinkedIn profile is good for your career advancement. As anyone who is an Eloqua Master or Luminary already knows, your profile will be highly searched on job placement sites. Add to that a Markie win, and you will need a big stick to fend off the recruiters. Winning a Markie can also help give you leverage to take you to the next level at your current job. Personally, my Markie win was a launching pad for me into the agency world. I now work as a Senior Platform Specialist at Trendline Interactive, and pull from my experience on the client side often in my work.
Show off to management: Winning a Markie will get your company free PR, and who doesn’t love that?! Your name will be released in Oracle’s press release along with a synopsis of your submission. On top of that, your actual submission is a great way to showcase what you have achieved in the past year to those at the top. I used my own submission to get extra resources for the email department and as proof of my contributions to the company during my annual employee review.
Credibility: Oracle loves their advocates, especially those who use the platform to its fullest in order to achieve a Markie. Being a Markie alumnus gives you instant credibility with Oracle employees, partners and fellow Eloquans, which is especially useful if you are a consultant or work for an agency looking for new customers. The Markie credibility will help to get your foot in the door and paint you in a good light before you even pick up the phone. Being a Markie winner also gives your ideas and strategies more credibility internally. I have used my experience from winning a Markie to help shape strategies and tactics for clients.
Hardware: Did I mention that you get a trophy? It’s no little league hardware either. The trophy was designed by the same company that designed the Emmy Award and weighs in at 25 lbs. As previous winners can attest, it is the ultimate after-party accessory.
And what an after-party Oracle throws!