Day 1 of Marketo Marketing Nation 2015 is in the books. Running the gamut from life lessons to industry insights, here are a few of the Summit's larger themes:
1. We all need to nap more
…Or at least this is what Arianna Huffington wants us to do; and I’m 100% fine with that. Her presentation was witty, charming, funny and, not to mention, quite convincing. Balancing wellness and focus to creatively and continually disrupt ourselves seemed to be the thesis of her keynote discussion. And it all made sense. She provided many salient points, such as the fact that multi-tasking doesn’t exist, but it's rather just task switching and that humans aren’t meant to be “on” 90% of the time. Continuously switching between focuses and overworking oneself – something our industry is known for – is counterproductive; it causes stress and “stress kills creativity.”
2. Creativity can be scheduled
I think the fact that John Legend used to work at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – a global management consulting firm – surprised a few attendees while also building added credibility for his remarks about the industry. But his most profound thought (judged by the hundreds of times it was tweeted) was that we’re not the passive participants of creative inspiration – we can dictate when we’re most creatively productive. Of course, it’s easy to cast this aside and think, “That’s easy for a Grammy award winner to say,” but then again, he may have won all those Grammies because he had the discipline to schedule his creativity.
3. Marketing tech is great, but it’s how you use it that matters
Scott Brinker’s statements about how rapidly the marketing tech industry is growing wasn’t exactly news to anyone who attended the MarTech Conference a couple weeks ago. There were, however, many gasps and much social fanfare when he announced that the industry is ahead of breaking Gartner’s prediction about CMOs spending more on tech than CIOs by 2017.
Aside from such revelations in martech market growth was his more important point about how this proliferation of tech solutions means far less to marketers than the ways in which they use it. As such, technology-driven customer experiences are becoming a highly sought core competency among marketers. And we’re not a long way off from it being expected.
4. Marketing automation is just the starting point
We’ve discussed this issue in several blog posts, so it was good to see it become a theme at Summit. Marketing automation is and should be the hub of any marketing tech stack, but all marketers need to build a marketing ecosystem, define scalable and measurable processes, and analyze and optimize accordingly. And while most marketers are still wrapping their arms around their Marketo capabilities, the vanguard of users are beginning to focus on predictive analytics as the next big opportunity.
5. Marketo is expanding the definition of customer engagement platform
With announcements on a LinkedIn project, new mobile capabilities and further advances into advertising, Marketo is clearly wandering a bit outside the marketing automation comfort zone. Marketo Chairman and CEO, Phil Fernandez, was adamant about replacing mass advertising and campaign marketing with “engagement marketing,” which can be roughly defined as listening to customer needs to build relationships rather than interrupting their lives. And the way to do this is by enabling data to drive individualized messages, like self-driving cars. A great idea – we’ll just have to see how Marketo’s new initiatives advance this underlying goal.