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AI  •  Artificial Intelligence  •  B2B  •  Data Management  •  Marketing Automation

Three Takeaways from Marketo 2018 Summit – By Erik Stenberg

The Marketing Nation 2018 Summit, being Marketo’s flagship event of the year is, of course, a lot about tech, the Marketo platform and its future. But with speakers such as Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, Diane Greene, CEO at Google Cloud and Jonathan Mildenhall the former CEO of Airbnb, there was much more going on than merely product updates.


(Watch this short video intro for this blog and get a feel of the atmosphere of the event.)


Here are the three key takeaways below by the Avaus 3-person Marketo team, that visited the Summit on April 29th to May 2nd.


The demise of CRM and from leads to loyalty


Steve Lucas, the energetic CEO of Marketo, argued that we will move away from traditional CRM systems. According to his definition, these are systems where we collect data that is based on what we have heard, and what has happened. They will be replaced with what he called engagement systems based on what people do.


We are looking at what is primarily a question of data rather than systems.
The shift is from the present hearsay-based data to data generated by peoples’ real actions. Decision making will shift accordingly from analysing past behaviour to Real-time behavioural facts-based actions. Whether this happens in a CRM system, a Marketing Automation system or something else is trivial. The bright behavioural fact-based future is still at some distance ahead of us.


Bill McDermott was approaching the question of marketing data from a slightly different point of view. In marketing and sales, as opposed to accounting or R&D, it’s easy to get lost and focus on bad or irrelevant data or none at all. McDermott states “Trust is the ultimate human currency”. This should guide your approach.


McDermott stated that trust is “earned in drops and lost in buckets” leading to the conclusion that you should start thinking lead to loyalty rather than lead to revenue. Such a move is a strategic one that gives much-needed direction for marketing and sales. On the other hand, it poses a formidable challenge, collecting the necessary data to not only generate leads but also to build long-term loyal customer relationships.


Marketo and Google Cloud integration enhanced with AI


Fact-based interactions are bound to overtake the classic intuition of the marketer or sales person. Customer engagement orchestrated by the right kind of fact based insight, will improve the ability of sales and marketing to generate leads in a “sustainable” way, and accumulate loyalty and trust.


The Marketo platform is evolving to support exactly that. Marketo is integrated into the Google Cloud, giving access to immense data new resources. New AI-functionality will help marketers navigate and analyse these new data assets. Marketo’s access to Google data and AI resources might be a significant game changer in the coming years.


On top of this, Marketo’s announced acquisition of Bizible, a key player in B2B marketing attribution and planning. The new tool in the Marketo ecosystem promises further help for marketing and sales in the sense-making of the data that will govern marketing resource allocations.


Leaders know how to scale up


The Summit lineup was filled with sessions from leading global brands such as Uber and Amazon. Many of the sessions tackled not only technology, but the organisational side of marketing technology too.


Joe Reitz from Amazon Web Services talked about the challenges that AWS has faced in scaling up Marketo. Currently, they have over 700 Marketo users globally, which means that they have to have a rigid governance process in place to be where they are not reaping the benefits of their scaling efforts. Uber’s Wyatt Bales runs a somewhat similar kind of organisation. He presented good learnings along the way of scaling up Marketo use and offered a pro tip: you should always start by having a technical resource partnering with the CRM team. So what is the bottom line? It’s that scaling is vital in achieving the results we want from our MarTech investments.


All in all, The Marketo Summit 2018 provided a pretty packed week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. There is a still a lot of noise in marketing conference land, but for the attentive delegate, a lot of promises for the future are embedded in this noise!


For the MarTech buffs out there I recommend checking out the Marketo product keynote that you can find here.


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