Marketo Summit 2016 ROCKED

By May 13, 2016
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That’s a wrap! Marketo Summit 2016 has come to a close. I learned a ton, and Will Smith made a surprise appearance with DJ Jazzy Jeff at the EverString Summer Anthem party!! Next year is going to be tough to beat.

There was a lot of talk about dealing with this new generation of buyers. They are self-educating, self-selecting and expect personalized communication. And that almost universally, the C-suite is turning to marketing to navigate the organization through this new age of the buyer.

Most presenters had a similar take on how we should respond to this shift—marketers need to commit to being more creative, and they need to figure out a way to personalize their messaging at scale.

Let’s Get Creative

Jay Acunzo, VP NextView VC and Host of Unthinkable podcast, talked about how marketers are stuck in the habit of following another company’s “best practices”. They don’t take the leap to create their own. He stressed that this mentality is not what gets your brand the kind of attention it needs in this new age of the buyer. Marketers need to strive to be more creative, and be less afraid to try new campaigns, or take on new technologies. He stressed that in order to have incredible marketing campaigns that will to move the needle, you need to follow your intuition.

When Jay was talking about this, I immediately thought of our Between 2 Dragons campaign. Let me tell you how this came about. We were sitting there in the office talking about how excited we were for the Season 6 premier of Game of Thrones. All of a sudden, members of our sales team and success team started joining the conversation—talking about predictions (Jon Snow can’t be dead right?!), who had read the books, etc. Then our Social Media and Influencer Marketing Manager, Amelia said something along the lines of there’s gotta be a marketing lesson there. And Dayna Rothman, our Sr. Director of Content, Brand, and Inbound was like, “I can make a marketing lesson out of anything! We are doing this”.

We started collaborating, thinking about a name. Should it be a podcast or video series? We need to buy Game of Thrones Dragons—get on amazon. When can we shoot? Can we do this weekly? Should we send an email? Blog about it? Should we do the intro on Kazoos?! Yes, we did do the intro on Kazoos. We were off to the races. Check out last week’s episode of Between 2 Dragons. It is so fire (pun intended), and the campaign is doing extremely well. We already have over 200 subscribers to the email campaign, and we’ve gotten shout outs from prospects on twitter and email about how awesome the campaign it is, and how much people enjoy it.

Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Institute, talked about how content isn’t always about educating people about your product and how it effects your business. It is about building likability and trust so people want to buy from you. He gave the example of John Deer who puts out a magazine to educate the small scale farmer. They have been putting out this magazine for over 100 years. He asked the company how many times they mentioned their product or their offering in the magazine content in all that time. They responded, maybe 15-20 times. 15-20 times in 100 years?! That’s crazy.

The point is, and I heard this a number of times in the sessions, is that you will bring in more revenue with your marketing efforts if you build content for the entire funnel. That means building  top-of-funnel (TOFU) content that does not talk about your product, as well as middle and later stage content. It’s important to build TOFU content that purely delights the customer, or helps her be better at her job. This how you begin to build a relationship with the next generation buyer. You need to be creative, and genuinely desire to help him, or give him something he will intrinsically enjoy.

Let’s Get Personalized

Another absolutely essential piece to having influence on the self-educating buyer is you must figure out how to be personalized. CEO and Co-founder of Engagio, Jon Miller, talked about how inbound just isn’t enough anymore. Marketers have to go out there, hand in hand with their sales team and start fishing—strategically. Jon Miller is all about Account Based Everything, that means an account focused sales team and marketing team. Sales and marketing teams alike need to focus on the accounts they want to close, not the leads they want to sell to.

He suggests that you tier your target accounts based on how personalized you want to be. You can’t create unique ebooks for every single account you want to close this quarter, but you can do a few. Each tier can receive a different level of personalization for all of your marketing efforts—email, content, events, you name it. To learn more about Jon Miller’s ABM tactics check out his new book, The Clear And Complete Guide to ABM. I’ve read it cover to cover, and its worth the read.

Travis Bickham, Demand Generation and Content Manager at Tradeshift, spoke about how he uses Vidyard to get personal with prospects using video. We just started using Vidyard and its pretty incredible. People love video, and its easier to film that you think. You just have to get your video program up and running, and it becomes natural from there. Companies like Vidyard help sales and marketing teams insert personalization into their videos, and track video ROI. It plugs right into Marketo so everyone can work with the data at different stages of the sales cycle.

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Will Smith did a surprise performance at our Summer Anthem Party with DJ Jazzy Jeff. Despite popular rumor, we had no idea Will Smith was speaking at Marketo until weeks after we booked DJ Jazzy Jeff. We thought it was possible that there would be a reunion, but we didn’t know until the morning of the party that Will Smith was into it. The party was crazy fun and it set the bar very high for events in my career as a marketer. Big shoutout to the EverString marketing team for making this a legendary event. I’m honored to be a part of this team.

I can’t wait for Marketo Summit next year!!!

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