News & Views

Event Debrief / Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

by Kristina Dimitrova

Over the course of three days last week, some 5,000 marketers and industry leaders came together in Las Vegas for the annual Marketo Marketing Nation Summit. In over 100 sessions and networking events, attendees and speakers discussed best practice and trends in marketing and digital. Here are our key takeaways from the conference.

Getting multichannel consistency 

It typically takes four to five interactions with a brand before a potential customer meets a sales person, so marketers not only need to get multichannel right, but also ensure consistency of their message across each of those channels. As Stephen Yeo, marketing director for Panasonic System Communications Europe said in an interview with Contagious, ‘People are engaging with your brand everywhere and have a few interactions before they engage with your staff. ’

‘In this day and age you’ve got consumers that are seeing your messaging from a variety of different areas. As a marketer you want to make sure there’s a consistency in how people view your messaging and that it is relevant. Marketers have to be creative on multiple channels and make their message work in harmony so that the consumer sees a joined-up message,’ said Conor Shaw, Marketo’s md for EMEA.

The changing customer journey

Marketers are moving from being responsible for the brand to taking charge of the entire customer experience. ‘86% of CMOs believe they are going to be responsible for the customer experience. That is not only about what the product looks like, but also the experience you get across the whole customer journey,’ said Shaw, referring to a joint research conducted by The Economist and Marketo. ‘Between 60-70% of the buying process is done before the sales department engages. That means if you’re not controlling or influencing this 60-70%, your sales person will always be at a disadvantage. If the buyer has already started making a decision away from you, you have a hell of a lot to do to pull them back.’

‘People can have affinity to a brand but at the end of the day, a customer really becomes an advocate through experiences and when you deliver to your brand promise. We want to make sure that the experience throughout  from the time you consider booking with us through to the time that you arrive and after you leave – is really choreographed in the sense that it represents the brand in such a way that is very thoughtful to the customer,’ shared Tracee Nalewak, executive director of marketing for The Hakkasan Group, which runs one of the biggest and most luxurious night clubs in Vegas. ‘It’s not about transactions – checking in and checking out. It’s about building people’s excitement, educating them about what they can expect and making their visit the highlight of their stay.’

From pretty pictures to strategic creativity

What does the marketer of the future look like? As this was the theme at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit we asked some of the conference speakers to share their thoughts on the marketer’s changing role.

‘In the past, marketing and sales separated in terms of organisational dynamics where marketing was promoting the product and the brand and sales picked up what came out of that. What we’re seeing now is that sales and marketing can’t be separated and are coming together with a shared responsibility. The marketer is changing from being a creative to being an analytic. The marketer of the future will reclaim their territory but they also have to be respectful of technology, which they previously thought is only for the geeks.’ – Conor Shaw, md EMEA at Marketo.

‘The number of skills that you need has changed dramatically. We now need to be far more diverse. I’m a big believer that marketing is central to what an organisation does.’ – Stephen Yeo, marketing director at Panasonic System Communications Europe.

‘Marketers need the technological skills and understanding but it’s not fair to ask that from one side only. It’s the role and responsibility of the technologists and people who are building software to also make sure that this can enable people and help their creativity. This isn’t going to replace anybody. This is not Terminator. This is Iron Man. How do we give marketers tools need and augment their creativity through technology? Yes, you have to have the technology but creativity is absolutely essential. You win on creativity. The human mind is still the human mind. – Jim Walker, vp of marketing at Everstring.