Marketo: Raising the Bar in Marketing Automation

 In Current Trends, Marketing Automation, Marketo

MarketoDemand Spring sponsored Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit user conference earlier this month in San Francisco. The event was a reflection of the hyper-growth that the company has experienced. Over 6,500 attendees gathered at the Moscone Center for three days of learning, networking, and geeking out over the latest marketing automation innovations. It’s hard to believe Marketo is only 7 years old. The company’s growth is astounding. Last year this conference was half the size. This year, Hilary Clinton was one of the keynotes. Beth Comstock, GE’s CMO, was the other. GE is a Marketo customer – an excellent proof-point of how the company and the platform has scaled to meet the demands of large enterprises. Several of our clients that we are doing Marketo work for also count their annual revenue with nine 0’s.

Top 6 Takeaways from Marketing Nation Summit

In the spirit of a good demand generation headline, here is a list of the top things that the Marketing Nation should be excited about that were on display:

1. New UI: Phil Fernandez, Marketo’s CEO, gave us a sneak peak at the new UI that Marketo will introduce in 2014. Much like some of the UI in the platform today (A/B testing), the screen is cleaner, more intuitive, and more contemporary.

2. Calendaring and Planning: Moving towards Fernandez expressed vision of Marketo (with its partner ecosystem) being a comprehensive platform for all marketing disciplines, the company demoed what it spoke about last year – new calendaring and planning functionality. This capability will allow users to change the time a program such as an email campaign is scheduled to be sent out at simply by dragging and dropping it in the calendar. No definitive word yet on when this will be available.

3. SEO: Marketo’s Cheryl Chavez demonstrated new functionality that helps users understand how well optimized each Marketo page is for search. This will be available next quarter to all Marketo customers with the lead management module.

4. Personalization: Marketo’s recent purchase, Insightera, was on full display. The real-time web personalization technology will help enable targeted customer acquisition by serving up personalized copy and content to web visitors in real-time (based on their IP address).

5. Partner Ecosystem: Marketo’s Launchpoint ecosystem continues to expand rapidly as well. The exhibit hall featured a long list of vendors with excellent integration that add tremendous value for Marketo customers.

6. Marketing focus: While the marketing automation space continues to go through tremendous M&A lead change, we love that Marketo remains an independent company, focused solely on improving marketing practices. The focus, energy, and enthusiasm from the crowd gathered at Moscone was proof that the company has a lot of momentum.

Market Leadership

In the B2B space that we mostly play in, almost all of the mid-and large-enterprise organizations we speak with either have or are considering Marketo, Eloqua, and to a lesser extent Pardot (since the Salesforce acquisition). Eloqua has lost momentum, customers, and many key executives and product leaders (Joe Payne, Steve Woods, Paul Teshima, Jill Rowley) since its acquisition by Oracle. Pardot remains behind on both functionality and Salesforce integration (ironically). Marketo clearly has momentum with it’s focus, continued platform and ecosystem buildout, and its independence. As always in this space, it should be an interesting rest of the year to see how things continue to evolve.

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