Alrighty! Well, I’ve finished up another year’s visit to the Marketo Summit – this time in Las Vegas – and wanted to jot down some thoughts on the experience.
First, on the event itself: it’s getting noticeably bigger every year. Thinking back 5 years or so, I remember when the whole event basically fit into the lobby of a Marriott in San Francisco. This time around, with attendance topping 5,500, the crowd simply overwhelmed even the enormous venue at the MGM Grand. It was astonishing to see at times. The keynote lineups have also been filled with very A-list speakers the last couple of years, from Hillary Clinton to Will Smith, to executives from Microsoft, Facebook and more.
With this in mind, I had high expectations of the speakers’ content this year. Some of it delivered, and some of it missed the mark. Admittedly, at a show this size, it must be getting difficult to appease both the longtime users and also provide enough entry-level topics for the droves of newer users.
What I typically look forward to most are the new product announcements and early looks at upcoming new features. It gives me a sense of direction not just for Marketo, but for the digital marketing field overall. This year the major themes were around predictive analytics (as I ‘predicted’…see what I did there…in an earlier post) mobile, and probably most notably, account-based marketing.
There seems to be a major shift of the pendulum at the moment. In the late aughts and early 2010s that pendulum swung away from outbound marketing in favor of inbound. It seems obvious in hindsight, that, with the rise of marketing automation, those companies would exhort the superiority of the tactics they sought to augment. So, the return to forefront of the outbound marketing discussion hardly surprises me today, as new ABM tools are starting to sprout left and right. But it’s still an intriguing and stimulating topic, and the argument to incorporate this into your mix has never been better. With the deluge of generic, automated content floating around these days, what better way to get personal again cut through the noise? Modern ABM means you’ll be empowered to run targeted campaigns beyond just the vertical, or even the account level. Soon, we’ll be able to launch coordinated, multi-channel (and more personal) efforts targeting down to specific departments and teams at strategic targets. It’s an exciting step forward while getting back to the basics.