Marketo: One Engagement Platform

James T FletcherJames T Fletcher
CEO, Principal Consultant


There was no shortage of product announcements at Marketing Nation 2018, Marketo’s annual summit, although they were perhaps overshadowed by acquisition and partnership news: The acquisition, in particular, of marketing performance platform Bizible; the acquisition of Marketo integration specialists Tibco; the announcement of a strategic partnership with SAP, delivering native integration of Marketo into SAP CRM and Hybris Cloud for Customer; and perhaps dominating the day, the news that Marketo will run exclusively on the Google Cloud platform, with the ability to leverage the Tensor Flow AI software library.

That’s quite a lot to digest, and that’s not even all.

According to Steve Lucas, Marketo’s CEO Marketo still has a lot more to offer this year. They include;

Transition from CRM

Marketo will be transitioning from CRM to “something entirely new” – namely, a system of record for engagement. The problem with CRM is that it doesn’t record what people actually do, but what they say they do. The market aims to curate the buyer experience and journey

Moving to Google Cloud

A platform working at Marketo’s scale needs reliable, fast, secure, and available cloud service, this is one reason it’s settling on Google Cloud. The other reason is to make almost half a trillion transactions smarter. “AI is one of the biggest areas of investment for Marketo,” said Lucas.

Audience AI

In addition to Marketo Content AI, which recommends relevant content at an individual level, Marketo announced Audience AI, to automate the segmentation of audiences at scale.

“Audience AI is our first proof-of-concept”

“We are going to be running all of Marketo’s infrastructure on Google Cloud. So we are going to be using Google hardware to run our software. Most of our customers will start migrating to Google Cloud this year.” Palo Alto Networks, the cybersecurity giant, is the first Marketo customer to have made the leap.

Marketo Sales Engage

According to Marketo’s CEO, Lucas – “Marketing is driving a significant share of the sales and marketing partnership. We need to take that responsibility seriously.” With the new Marketo Sales Engage, based on ToutApp, Marketo will no longer simply provide information to sales teams. “We’re going to make sure they act on it, and we’re going to capture that behavioural data in the marketing system, so that we can see that sales and marketing are partnering, not on leads, but on behaviour.”

Rounding Up

All of this is in line with a significant trend in B2B especially — alongside considered B2C purchases, Marketo’s main focus. The velocity and scale at which customer behaviour can now be captured and analysed have shifted attention away from leads, and towards a customer’s real-time behaviour, rich in intent signals. What’s more: “If your triggers are not real-time, you’re not responding to customers at the time they’re truly interested in engaging with you.” If a customer is downloading white papers or attending a seminar, “it’s incumbent on you to respond to them as close to that event as possible.”