Last week, I attended Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit 2014 annual conference along with 6,000 other marketers from around the world. The two-day event was superbly orchestrated to manage the massive crowds and I felt there was a good flow between events each day. There were several breakout sessions and panels that adequately addressed the numerous shifts in today’s marketing environment. From what I know to be true from a personal experience, and from what I learned at the conference, I walked away with three big trends impacting marketing:
1) We have access to better intelligence around target audiences and prospects and the ability to serve up customized content to improve the customer experience.
2) There’s more alignment and tighter interactions between functional groups including sales, marketing, web, HR and digital teams resulting in better outcomes.
3) Content marketing and customer engagement are now high priorities within marketing and support almost every activity (this is where social media plays a large role).
To help accelerate these marketing trends, there were some new Marketo features announced at the conference:
- Real-time Personalization – A result of the Insightera acquisition last year, this bolt-on offering provides marketers the ability to serve dynamically-generated, multi-channel, personalized communications. The big value prop is that all of it can be done in real-time without IT or a dedicated CMS platform.
- Marketo SEO Module – Integrated into the Marketo platform, this very intuitive product will help marketers understand how their webpages are faring based on strategic keywords and offers recommendations for better search engine placement. I’m excited because it will be complimentary for enterprise level users.
- Marketo Marketing Calendar – This new offering got a lot of oohs and aahs at the unveiling proving what a nightmare it is for marketing teams to stay up-to-date on events and activities. The demo showed how changes could be made in the calendar that impact campaign settings within the Marketo platform.
Being a social media strategist, I chose breakout sessions that covered how social can be woven into an automated marketing program. I’m fairly new to the Marketo platform but from what I heard from presenters, it seems like an area still in its infancy even though some brands had good success. I’m quite certain that by next year’s conference, there will be much more to talk about and showcase.
The keynote speeches were by far my favorite part of the conference. Seeing Hillary Clinton share her candid thoughts on Internet freedom, the democratization of social media and the emerging age of enterprise innovation was worth the price of admission. Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, was also quite motivating as she spoke about how her company has managed to stay relevant after 122 years of business – mostly by being innovative. Both sessions definitely made me feel energized and eager to get back to work knowing that a “marketing nation” can, in fact, help change the world for the better.