What was it like at
Marketo Summit 2014? Large
crowds and a constant buzz across the show floor. The
entire delegation of attendees in an endless, snake-shaped line, getting ready
to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton’s keynote:
Photo: Lining up for Hillary Clinton's keynote.
In the evolution of any company, it’s a significant
moment when the
customer conference graduates to Moscone Center in San
Francisco. Marketo Summit 2013 took place at the Hilton San Francisco Union
Square. A few months later, Marketo went public. A year later, Marketo
Summit took place at Moscone Center West:
Photo: Marketing Nation takes its place on the exterior of Moscone Center West in San Francisco.
6 Takeaways from Marketo Summit 2014
1) It’s All About the Nation.
In a stroke of Marketing genius, Marketo continues to “brand”
its customer base as
The Marketing Nation. During his keynote, Marketo CEO Phil
Fernandez referenced lists of innovative companies, including one list compiled
by Harvard Business Review. “It’s you!” said Fernandez, indicating that Marketo
customers are well represented on the lists.
And that’s the genius of it: by branding and promoting
The Marketing Nation, Marketo is saying “it’s all about you, not us.” It’s a
customer-centric mindset and one that helps breed camaraderie across and among
its customers. Last year, the event’s hash tag was #mus13. This year?
#MKTGNATION14. It’s all about The Nation.
2) Marketing Has Graduated to the Adults’ Table.
keynote, Phil Fernandez recalled Marketo Summit 2012. Customers asked, “help
show me how to do this.” At Summit 2013, customers started to talk about real
results. This year, customers are sharing stories of how they
and doubled revenue.
CEO’s are congratulating Marketing leaders at
company-wide meetings. In short, Marketing now has a seat at the table. And now
that we’re there, the role of Marketing becomes ever more strategic (e.g. “How
do we expand market share globally?”).
3) Marketo is Making a Big Push into B2C.
In the early days, Marketo customers were technology
companies. Then, B2B companies came on board. Today, Marketo has a mix of B2B
and B2C customers. Judging by the Fernandez keynote, Marketo is making a
concerted push into B2C.
Photo: Marketo shows its new user interface at Marketo Summit 2014.
Just look at the new user interface for “My Marketo.” It
looks to me like they’re
targeting a B2C user. In addition, a number of the
customer success stories (shared in the keynote) came from B2C: healthcare,
auto and lifestyle brands.
I bumped into a former colleague at Summit. She’s with a
B2C brand who’s considering deploying Marketo. She wanted to speak to other B2C
Marketo users. I think she’ll find plenty of people to talk to at Summit.
4) Marketo Broadens the Scope of its Platform.
While marketing automation is Marketo’s bread and butter,
they see a broader world. With acquisitions they’ve made and new features they announced
(at Summit), Marketo now sees itself as a
This makes sense, because marketing automation is an
important part of a
Last year, the big product announcement at Summit was the
Customer Engagement Engine, a core marketing automation feature. This year, the
new features were clearly in the Customer Engagement camp: website
personalization (facilitated by
Insightera acquisition), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a mobile-friendly
Marketo seeks to further round out its customer engagement platform, they'll acquire 2-5 of the
Exhibit floor sponsors before Summit 2015.
5) Marketing Software is Most Effective When Its ROI is
During his keynote, Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez invited a
number of Marketo customers up on the stage. The customers gave brief overviews
of their projects or campaigns. Then, every single one of them provided
quantifiable results (e.g. 200% increase in qualified leads, 400% increase in
pipeline, 30% increase in regional market share, etc.).
When you can produce quantifiable results like these, you
don’t have to justify marketing technology spend to the C-suite. Instead, they’ll
come asking you to deploy it. As a marketing technology vendor, think about
customers can easily quantify the ROI
of your product(s). Before long, you’ll
be asking your customers on stage at Moscone as well.
6) Hillary Will Run in 2016.
While Hillary wouldn’t confirm that she’s running in 2016
(although she said
thinking about it), I’m fairly certain that she’ll run. During her appearance
at Summit, Ms. Clinton covered a wide range of topics, from immigration reform
to Vladimir Putin to Twitter. Hillary is a big fan of
Twitter. Follow her here:
Marketo Summit is a fun and rewarding springtime
tradition. It’s good to hear about new features in Marketo and walk the exhibit
floor to learn about all of the solutions available. But what I enjoy the
most is talking to other Marketo customers and getting new ideas from them. And
of course, attending the wide array of sessions and bringing ideas back to the
office to implement. See you again in 2015.