PagerDuty Blog

Marketing in Real Time

PagerDuty isn’t just for software developers. Individuals across the business are going on call because they too want to work in real time. And they’re not just using PagerDuty to notify themselves when issues arise—they’re also using the platform to signal opportunities.

I’m probably not blowing your mind here. Most people have realized that real-time notifications are valuable. Maybe a sales lead didn’t get routed properly or maybe a contract has been sitting in the approval stage for too long. Maybe ZeroCater just delivered more chimichangas to the office. Regardless of what it is, knowing about something when it’s actually occurring is valuable. Early bird gets the worm, right?

In the office, opportunities abound. Dollars are flowing, deals are being inked, and operating in real time puts you at a distinct advantage. You might already be thinking about ways in which real-time notifications could help you at work. But there are also probably technical and organizational challenges that are blocking you. PagerDuty can help.

Here at PagerDuty, we stopped daydreaming about what could be possible and decided to just go for it. Teams across the organization are now going on call for a wide variety of reasons. Our marketing team, in particular, has really championed this initiative, as working in real time has allowed them to accelerate customer acquisition and delight existing users.

Re-allocate Ad Spend Quickly and Effectively

I was personally surprised to learn that many marketing teams review their ad spend at the end of every month, which is also when they identify content that was particularly popular. Using this rearview mirror method can provide useful insights, but it can also be frustrating. You can see what content was popular, but you can also see that you failed to take advantage of its popularity. The opportunity that was there is now gone—it’s too little, too late.

Why Monday Morning Quarterback your marketing strategy when you can take action while you’re on the field? One of the first initiatives PagerDuty’s marketing team undertook was to be able to capitalize on these opportunities. To strike while the iron is hot!

By monitoring content engagement using the new Marketo + PagerDuty integration, the marketing team is able to see when a specific piece of content is popular. The integration is able to monitor Marketo form-fill activity and will send a notification when form-fills cross a specific threshold. The team can then increase ad spend for that content to ensure more users see it. This process allows the marketing team to more effectively distribute ad dollars and ensure we are surfacing advertisements and other content that resonates with our audience.

But there is one potential issue: Many marketers don’t want to be paged in the middle of the night. Kelly Cheng, our Senior Marketing Specialist, was not thrilled by the idea of being paged at 2 a.m. when a piece of content is popular in the U.K. To avoid this, she leveraged PagerDuty’s Dynamic Notification functionality, which allows her to set up specific time windows in which she will receive low-urgency notifications. This ensures that Kelly is only notified via email for any opportunities that occur outside of work hours.

Our marketing team also uses PagerDuty in the traditional sense: When a piece of our marketing stack is having issues, our marketing team gets notified accordingly. This is useful, as some of our marketing and sales motions come to a halt when these vital tools experience problems. Leads aren’t routed and users can’t access or submit forms. To make matters worse, many other teams in our organization have no idea that these issues are happening.

Setting up monitoring for tools in our marketing stack was easy. For example, you can use services like Pingdom or Wormly to continually monitor your marketing toolchain. If any issues arise, PagerDuty will send you a high-urgency notification. Your marketing team can then quickly disable any active advertisements that are running, effectively preventing your team from spending money on ads that are not displaying properly or where user information can’t be collected.

Our marketing team also leverages our Response Plays functionality as an easy way to notify other teams throughout the organization when these issues arise. With the click of a button, marketing can disseminate a message to all stakeholders who will be affected by an outage within the marketing stack. Stakeholders receive a PagerDuty notification that links to a web portal where the marketing team can share status updates. With this process in place, sales reps don’t have to continually ping marketing for status updates.

“With PagerDuty monitoring our Marketo API, we are able to quickly react to downtime and automate multifunctional runbooks to notify departmental stakeholders and take quick action to limit impact.”
– Kelly Cheng, Marketing at PagerDuty

One of the coolest things about working at PagerDuty is that all of our teams use the product. It’s not just marketing—Contract Management, Sales Operations, and Customer Support are just a handful of teams that use PagerDuty every day.

You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s great, but it’s going to be too difficult for me to integrate the tools I use into PagerDuty.” And you’re right, a lot of tools make it very difficult to send data out. Marketo is great to work with since it has a workflow engine that makes it relatively easy to send data from Marketo to other applications. But, unfortunately, a lot of tools out there are not as user friendly.

Luckily, PagerDuty’s extensible and easy-to-plug-into platform makes it simple to build pretty much any integration you need. If the software you use today—whether it’s a home-grown or legacy application—can send an email or an HTTP request, then you can integrate it with PagerDuty. Specifically, our Events API v2, Rules Engine, and Operations Command Console allow you to easily send, enrich, and visualize your monitoring data.

Check out our other post on this topic if you’re interested in finding out more about how you can use PagerDuty for marketing.