As I sit in the airport awaiting my lovely red eye flight out of San Francisco, I am thinking of the 6 big takeaways from the Marketo Summit 2014. Without further ado…
1) Today’s Marketers Keep Getting Smarter
Every year, marketers are doing more to step up their marketing automation game. Today’s marketer is so much smarter than five years ago. Between data, process and technology, Marketo customers are doing some pretty cool stuff to bring leads through the funnel.
For example, scoring conversations a few years ago revolved around simple lead scoring models. Today, Marketo professionals are building more advanced models. In one session, I saw about 80% of hands go up when the audience was asked who was scoring based on behavioral and demographic data.
2) The Sales and Marketing Gap Keeps Getting Smaller
MQLs, SQLs, SLAs and other terms are now becoming more popular terms that are actually being used between sales and marketing. Why? Because marketers are able to provide more value to the sales team. Whether it’s exposing lead scoring, highlighting campaign wins or reporting on program successes, sales is recognizing that marketing is responsible for creating more than pretty logos. This value builds trust with sales which in turn helps the follow-up process.
3) Wow, this Market is Hot. How Much can Marketo Grow?
Last year, there were roughly 2-3K Marketo Summit attendees. This year’s Summit doubled in size hitting the 6K+ mark as it moved from the Hilton hotel to the Moscone Center. I’ll set the over/under at 10K for 2015.
From a capabilities perspective, Marketo announced a new centralized dashboard and personalization engine. Yes, that’s pretty cool stuff but the big gamechanger is the app strategy. Marketo is building a single place for marketers to access every day marketing apps via its marketing dashboard. This increases Marketo’s stickiness, boosts its cross sell opportunities and offers a ton of value to marketers by streamlining marketing management.
4. Hello Hillary
Marketo also stepped up its game by bringing Hillary Clinton in as a keynote speaker. Mixing politics with marketing automation was a little different but it worked—her appearance was the buzz of both the conference and the nation. Her “I am thinking about it” quote reference about running for president got coverage from San Francisco to Boston. Nice kudos to the events and PR team.
5) Partners Take a Seat in Marketo’s Strategy
The Marketo Launchpoint partner list has grown dramatically over the last year. Compared with a few dozen exhibiters in 2013, there were nearly 100 partners exhibiting at this year’s Marketo Summit. If you can’t accomplish some marketing task with Marketo, Marketo’s strategy is to have you use a partner. Some examples:
- Deduping on email address isn’t enough? Go use RingLead.
- Want to automate your blog posts to automatically send a Marketo email when a new post appears? Try Perkuto’s new Digesto RSS product.
- Need to take lead scoring to the next level? Go check out Lattice Engines’ or Infer’s predictive scoring solutions.
With Marketo’s app strategy, I expect this number to continue to grow in 2015.
6) It’s About the Stats.
Hank Aaron hit 755 homeruns. The Boston Celtics have won 17 championships.
Stats matter and marketers are using numbers more than ever. This year’s Summit had over 10 analytics related sessions. Ranging from funnel conversions to closed loop analysis, marketers are using these figures to take a seat at the revenue table.
- It’s all social. Everywhere, attendees were tweeting about the latest happenings as Marketo heavily promoted its #MKTGNATION14 hashtag. Over 3,500 tweets hit the web according to Topsy.
- More hotels. The Hilton was booked up weeks in advanced. My guess is Marketo will add more hotels to the mix in 2015. Tip for 2015 attendees….book early if you want to stay in the host hotel.
- Party time. Nice work by Maria Pergolino who put together the party map. The big party of course was the Marketo Marketing Nation Gala held on Tuesday night. Marketo moved the party to a much bigger and cooler venue at the Exploratorium. Performing science experiments and drinking cocktails was definitely a different experience.
- Fun run. Marketo hosted its first ever fun run 5K along the waterfront. I officially came in 2nd to last but had an awesome time.
- “Who’s in the Nation?” is getting to be Marketo CMO Sanjay Dholakia’s catchphase. Wonder if he’ll copyright it like Michael Buffer did with “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
- Hats off to the organizers. The team pulled off a seamlessly executed event. Special kudos to Liz Courter and Genevieve Guerette with whom I worked with from a speaking perspective.
- What’s driving your leads? Thanks all who attended my speaking session on Lead Source Management. We are putting the final touches on a followup guide so drop me a note if you want it.
See you in 2015.