Marketo is increasingly becoming more relevant to the marketers’ needs of the hour, and we would expect a lot more updates in 2018 and more additions to addons. Collaboration with Google Cloud could open up new possibilities. For instance, think about syncing a lead database set with a Google Spreadsheet where Data Management/Mining teams can enrich the data and it would sync back. Or an asset fetching real-time updates from Google Doc to update content, and Program tags being updated by mapping to statuses in a separate tool. G Suite is well known for its use and folks comfortable with G Suite could indirectly help scale Marketo.
Marketo just published Q4’17 release and it’s live. It’s a good time to assess how things we can accomplish via Marketo aligns with expected trends of 2018. We eagerly await all these updates enabled.
We were just starting to talk about dozens of trends when 2017 started – ABM being a major one, and here we are. Approaching 2018 – the arena of digital is exploding with expected trends for 2018. Unless you’ve been living under a rock – terms like AI, GDPR, Chatbots, Blockchain, Machine learning are on top of your mind. And it’s increasing. These are strong solutions to a lot of pain points we Marketers face. We’ll stick to items most relevant though.
Taking insights from Google Trends 2017, more users are now focused on accomplishing things rather than just being aware about them. Yes, AI is great. ABM is effective. Personalization is amazing. Granted, but how to achieve these? Marketo comes as a solution, right at the moment when these trends start to emerge. Isn’t Marketo an answer to “How”?
We’ve already started to observe more speed across our customers’ instances as well as ours. Marketo has definitely worked on resolving the performance issues which have been long due. This seems to be a robust update. With Orion being still talked about and Google Cloud Collaboration with Marketo coming up, we could be looking at faster processing and better output. This means there will be more ideas and adoption for Marketo given the ease of use and specialized solutions being added.
Sync delays and integration issues are a common challenge. If you happen to see the notification option in your instance, you’re likely to find considerable amount of Sync Fail issues – every time you visit this option. However, most of them do resolve themselves as well! The same is with third party adapters, although the error volume is minimal.
Though we’re happy with this update, we’ll still need to keep troubleshooting this part. However, we can safely expect fewer, if not zero, sync issues.
This is another one that’s been long due. We can finally settle programs and allow time zone based email send. Expected results? Your open rates are going to increase. It’ll be a great idea to keep an inventory of email performance summary and compare it with the programs where we enable time zone based blasts in 2018. However, let’s be aware of the catch – you cannot send an email to a time that has passed in a time zone that is ahead of yours. Some of us would have already started to observe this feature enabled. As an idea, how about enabling such automatic feature for staggered email sends? Take a note, Marketo!
We wish we had it a lot earlier. Having worked for projects where dozens of segmentations were used, the QA processes had been a reason and a “holding queue” for significant delays, coupled with the performance issues we had earlier. It’s a relief to know that we no longer need to open an email and edit draft, select all segments one-by-one, and send sample emails. The option to review a sample is a huge time saver for dynamic assets QA. This is pretty sensible, since this frees up marketer like us to focus on real stuff like ABM and AI.
These are all about connections being more important than transactions. In various initiatives Marketo took, this falls under expanding reach for inbound. Is it a lot better than list purchases? I think, yes. This laser focus on tapping an at-least lukewarm audience, enables us to capture more relevant and effective data. In about 25 Marketo audits that we did in 2017, junk data was a common culprit observed, which contributed to unnecessarily increased subscription costs, and in a sense, made marketers pay for junk. With LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, we can now tap in via LinkedIn campaigns, and capture way more relevant audience.
In Marketing, Connections Will Be More Important than Transactions.
Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer, Animoto
Websites will become less relevant for brands in 2018, serving as little more than a home for transactions. As social platforms allow marketers to target and connect with customers directly, marketers will be able to win consumers over long before a website visit. Marketers that wait for consumers to find them will be left behind; those who excel will already be where the conversation is, taking their message to people that want to hear it – Forbes
On top of “Named” accounts, we now have the ability to add and identify CRM Accounts, or Marketo Companies. The module also de-duplicates some of the CRM accounts which it fetches via CRM. However, ABM via Marketo is yet to be adopted by most of us, while some have already started. Like each solution, it’s taking a while to mature, however with ABM, Marketo is not restricted to lead level filters. We can now process leads by applying filters to account level – hence, processing a segment of leads, in addition to the standard functionality. This forms a new way of thinking in terms of how Marketo is structured as well. This happens with a different way segments are managed in Web Campaigns as well in RTP. Though we are focusing on importance of ABM, it still has a long way to go, at least if we’re thinking of utilizing Marketo’s ABM functionality. Let us know your thoughts!
AI is the talk of the town these days. It’s now a requirement for every program and it resolves a major administrative challenge as well – managing much in less time. We have all exhausted ourselves mapping the “relevant” assets to be placed below the Thank You pages, after someone requests a gated content piece. To scale, the current way is to use dynamic content, and make different “versions” of pages based on the lead’s persona. This is one of the coolest features of Marketo, and we love it.
However, ContentAI is a step ahead. It takes into account each lead’s interest (not just demographic) automatically, and displays relevant content to relevant leads. We could call it dynamic content on steroids. You don’t just have a set number of versions of an asset; you have as many being created, dynamically, as many leads you have. In a sense, each lead will follow a very unique flow to engage with unique set of assets with recommended content via AI.
Companies like Alexa, Amazon, Google have become very smart using their algorithms, improving over time. It’s time to be bold and trust the algorithm behind Marketo’s ContentAI as well. The earlier we start, the faster the system gets smarter. This, again, leaves a lot of room for more time to focus on creating content, rather than distribution and optimization efforts.
Enabling ContentAI would mean more engagement, more MQLs. Positive ripple effects will follow – the type of engagement we expect ContentAI to provide is also a major ranking factor for SEO. You’ll have more volume of internal links and more data around the same – a signal for Google to recognize high quality content.
In addition, the new functionality to compare content performance across accounts, and not just leads, can help focus on an ABM approach. You’d be able to see an interest sentiment and compare the most interested accounts.
Web campaigns are a great way to amplify some of the content. However, this feature lacked the ability to personalize messages, until this release. We do have options of defining the audience, but addition of token functionality is a well thought item to enable personalization. For ABM to be more effective, we need personalization, and the token functionality in web campaigns complement it. The ultimate value is again to save time and let the system increase engagement – making our lives easier. In addition, we have a built-in design studio to create and deploy assets on the go.
Personalization has become even more important, given more Marketo adopters start to progress towards maturity. Though it continues to evolve and mature, there’s still a long way to go before reaping the benefits via Marketo ABM Modules.
Marketo’s trying to
- Save you time, to focus on more important work
- Setup self sustainable systems to keep working and increase engagement
- Increase IP reputation
- Enable your developers with more powerful features
- Provide dedicated space in your instance to key trends – AI, ABM, Personalization, or we could say hyper-personalization
- Have you trust it’s algorithm for AI
In terms of concepts, Marketo is well directed to support for key areas at the moment
Looking at 2018, Marketo is expected to
- Enable faster output/accomplishments
- Come up with more cool features – but quite relevant
- Foster more collaboration with third party apps and Google cloud to support innovation