Easy campaign success with Marketo’s Predictive Audiences

Marketo Engage Predictive Audiences
James T Fletcher
CEO, Principal Consultant


As part of Adobe Marketo Engage’s 5th June 2020 Release we’ve seen the launch of one of the most exciting advancements to Marketo Engage in quite some time. The release of Predictive Audiences into Marketo Engage is Adobe’s first step at unleashing the power of Adobe Sensei into the leading B2B marketing automation platform.

Predictive audiences is not just another buzzword

I’m prone to have a heavy eye roll at the thought of marketers talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and more importantly how they apply it within their marketing campaigns, after all I’ve spent many years teaching the ins and out of best practice when it comes to Marketing Automation and Marketo Engage.

But, I think that with Adobe’s introduction of the Adobe Sensei technology into Marketo Engage it gives us a glimpse of the future, but let’s not get too excited just yet.

The 3 core challenges of modern marketing 

Databases keep on growing, but will they engage?

With SiriusDecisions research on the impact of bad data on demand creation stating that “the amount of prospect and customer data in the average B2B organisation typically doubles every 12 to 18 months,” it’s no surprise that marketers are struggling to narrow down the selection of audiences for events.

Focused inboxes are cutting the noise and driving unsubscribes

With Outlook365, Google Priority and other focused inboxes, our audiences are trying to cut out the noise of endless email marketing campaigns. High unsubscribes not only reduce marketing’s overall cost per success, but will reduce the size of the data universe ultimately meaning less people to target! 

The campaigns don’t optimise themselves you know!

Whilst many of us dream of a truly automated world, strong AI isn’t quite there yet. But whilst AI technology catches up, there are Marketo Partners and Consultants (like us!) to help marketing teams optimise their campaigns. 

Just how predictive is Predictive Audiences

There is a gotcha in all of this excitement around Adobe Sensei’s debut to Marketo Engage, that is that this new feature relies on Marketo users utilising the Marketo Sky user interface (UI) which has limited appeal within the hardcore Marketo user base due to a lack in functionality and the irritation of flicking between UIs to get something done. With that said predictive audiences promises a few things:

Decreased Opt-Outs

By avoiding the Likely to Unsubscribe predictive audience filters in Marketo Sky, Adobe Sensei will filter out the people who push up your unsubscribe rate.

Increased Conversions

For boosting your event registrations (which seems to be the main use case) you can use Likely to Register or Likely to Attend to drive your event registrations.

Increased Registration & Attendance Rates

Using Adobe Sensei Marketo Engage will use Lookalike audiences to review your database and see if your event target audience has evolved from C-Suite to Executive Management. Using this feature will allow you to expand your audience and boost your registration numbers and, hopefully, attendance.

What is still unclear to Marketo Partners and customers is what exactly is Adobe Sensei using to power these decisions – is it broader engagement from the Adobe analytics tracking scripts across various products or is it just specific to your business?

Enabling predictive audiences

Earlier this year Adobe announced some new pricing packages which are taking effect only on renewal of existing subscriptions. Predictive Audiences are only available in Prime or Ultimate subscriptions to Adobe’s Marketo Engage and you must enable it from within the Admin panel.