#MKTGNATION14 Good Times for Marketing

April 15, 2014 Debbie Margulies

MNS14-e1397673562292

MNS14-e1397673562292It’s an amazing time to be a marketer.  Marketo (NASD: MKTO) held its annual conference, the Marketing Nation Summit, last week at Moscone West in San Francisco. It certainly had the feeling of a nation. With a crowd of over 5,000 attendees (more than double the prior year), Moscone was filled with global marketers from Marketo’s growing customer base and prospects, along with industry analysts, consultants, and a host of specialists to help with Marketo and CRM implementations.

The Tuesday keynote exemplified the momentum around a “marketing-first world”, where the buyer’s journey generally begins well before a salesperson gets involved. With the increased pressure on marketing departments, Marketo wants to be known as an innovator (event theme – Innovation Nation) to help marketers change the way they address their jobs. It was noted that global digital marketing spend now exceeds $150B, and winning companies will be those that successfully apply technology to moving their companies forward. Yet, was anyone else slightly puzzled to see Hillary Clinton on the keynote docket? While she’s certainly a high-interest speaker, it wasn’t immediately apparent how she’d relate to a group of tech marketers. It turns out…quite well. A good recap of her keynote can be found in Quentin Hardy’s New York Times Blog – Hillary Clinton’s High Tech Marketing Message.

While there was definitely a lot of topics gaining steam, here’s my top 3:

  1. Real- time personalization across email & web. You’re no longer anonymous when you receive an email (your name is often listed in the subject line and random places in the body of the message) and websites are changing on the fly based on your IP address, cookies, and geography. The most ironic part about this is why companies still send emails with the immediate disclaimer — “Do not reply to this email”? That doesn’t sound very personal nor customer-service oriented.
  2. Revenue attribution of marketing spend. Account based marketing is more than just a trend; it’s the basis for how marketing needs to account for their programs. The more they can show how marketing dollars are driving revenue, the greater the justification for marketing’s contribution to top-line revenue.
  3. Sales and marketing alignment. It’s *so* trite, yet the topic never seems to fade. There was at least 4 breakout sessions that I attended where they specifically wanted to share how they are addressing the challenge. These marketers were ready to show you a path to make sales & marketing strong go-to-market partners and had brought along the results to share. One of the best solutions was to have a documented blueprint for lead processing and management. It’s recommended that the sales and marketing ops teams meet regularly to ensure the process mapped to emerging needs as well as properly supported by their CRM and marketing automation technology.

LeanData-Booth_Marketo-Summit_Apr-2014-e1397678209280There was also a major product announcement by Marketo — the new Customer Engagement Platform, which includes 3 primary components: Real-time personalization, marketing calendar, and search engine optimization (SEO). The new platform was demonstrated during the keynotes and throughout the breakout sessions. It’s somewhat interesting that Marketo doesn’t seem to be included in the “Marketing Cloud” vendor set. They sure do seem on a path to pulling together a complete set of on-demand applications to fulfill a marketer’s day.

The event represented a huge milestone for the LeanData team too. This was LeanData’s first conference sponsorship and we had just announced our Series A funding and our newest product – Lead2Account. Most importantly, we truly appreciated the LeanData customers who stopped by our booth (well, pod would be more accurate) to chat, meet the team, and get a demo of our newest products. We loved receiving their feedback and questions along with the dozens of other prospects we met along the way.

With a host of evening entertainment, customer awards, a Gala, and numerous networking events, I know this summit will grow in popularity too. I’m sure 2015 will be coming round the corner before we know it.

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