Why brands are using Marketo to leverage digital transformation

The automated platform’s product vice president Cheryl Chavez discusses the latest in what’s driving marketing efficiencies for brands

Understanding the principles of engagement marketing to build sustainable relationships with customers requires a truly robust personalised and automated strategy.

Speaking at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Roadshow 2015 in Sydney, Marketo’s vice president of product, Cheryl Chavez, said the days of mass marketing is long gone, where there is one message for everybody.

“We’ve moved into a time where it’s all about relevant and personalised messages for individuals,” she said. “We call this shift engagement marketing, which is all about building those life-long relationships with your customers.”

Using Amazon as an example, Chavez said the key is to engage the customer at every touch point.

“This means listening to your customer across every channel,” she said. “That’s the web channel, mobile, email, social, it’s about being able to respond dynamically, wherever your customers are.

This is not about us and the journeys we want to define, it’s about your customer and where they are. And it’s about being able to be there dynamically with a message that’s personalised and relevant.”

According to Chavez, marketers can do this is through Marketo’s Mobile engagement platform, which allows marketers to listen to customer behaviour on mobile devices like opening up an app, or going to a certain page within the app. Marketers will then be able to respond with the right messages.

Marketo’s Ad Bridge also allows rich behavioral data with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and other advertising platforms, so marketers can target the right potential customers with meaningful, relevant ads, she claimed.

“As we target out key audiences with relevant ads and personalise them, we want to make sure the right people are seeing the right message at the right time,” she said. “So we don’t just want to stop there, we want to optimise that conversion as well.”

When it comes to personalisation, understanding your audience and really be able to drill in and segment, Chavez said you first need to understand who your buyer is and who your customer is.

“Then it’s really about that conversation,” she said. “Your messaging has to be to the point and not over-complicated. You need to deliver a very targeted, personalised message that resonates with your customers - and that really goes back to that precise segmentation, or ‘miscro-segmentation.’

“I see a lot of folk try to make a message that is very elegant and maybe a little too wordy and too much. Not getting to the point. And I think that’s what people want today. I think when we look at the types of buyers who are looking at Marketo and who are users, it’s really important that we can get to the point quickly.”

One of the brands that has implemented Marketo as part of its digital transformation strategy has been Optus.

Optus associate director of digital strategy, Taminda Polle, who has been running the telecom ginat's marketing transformation program for the past 24 months, explained why a core part of Optus’ strategy is Marketo.

“Repositioning Optus from a telco provider into the ICT space, meant we needed to work hard to re-educate our market and use digital transformation and marketing automation as a key component of that strategy,” she said. “We’re always trying to bridge the gap between the customer website, ecommerce platforms and mobile engagement.”

Optus embarked on their Marketo journey a few months ago when the new privacy reforms came in and needed to overcome the security and regulatory hurdles alongside its marketing strategy, she said.

“It was a very extensive change of management exercise,” Polle said. “But also, we actually had to take a step back, go smaller and prove that we were responsible and we were considerate of the environment we were in.”

“Simultaneously, it is about understanding the pain points of your IT director or your marketing team and whether they have a solid idea of the world we are operating in. It’s about understanding our customer and learning how to speak in their world.”

Polle said Optus changed its team structure about nine months into the implementation of Marketo and now has a central marketing operations team of four dedicated Marketo program specialists, plus two digital execution and two graphic designers. Polle said Marketo has the capacity to be up and running very quickly, but in the long-term, she suggests thinking about it as a part of a hollistic IT transformation.

“It is not something that can be run on marketing alone,” she added. “You need to bring in that discipline into marketing and give parts of your team permission to tackle some of those processes. Use something that your team is very comfortable in to test out new technologies and processes. Then simultaneously, let your other part of the team keep the lights on while you’re getting your new strategy in place. Then just tell everybody about it.”

Flight Centre’s head of digital – corporate, Kevin Wordon, who is responsible for seven brands globally, said the international travel business has been with Marketo for four years and has its platform integrated across seven countries, with another three on the horizon within the next three to four months.

“We are quite multi-disciplinary,” he said. “I have web developers, integration specialists with the likes of Salesforce and Marketo and digital marketing specialists – so we’ve taken the strategy of combining all these people into the same team.”

In the first year of implementing Marketo’s platform, Kevin said nobody at Flight Centre really took ownership of it.

“So I was really put on board to do that,” he said. “So if you are taking your marketing journey on a new direction, find a champion. If you’re trying to get that sales alignment, find champions within your sales team and use Marketo’s sales insights as well. Try and find the champions in sales to drive it out.”

What was helpful to Flight Centre was that Marketo’s tools have a lot of functionality and the capacity to be broken down into different modules that can be implemented globally, he claimed.

“We developed a modulised roll-out plan across the world,” he explained. “So initially we said we wanted an email marketing tool as module one, then a subscription-based CRM integration, and so forth. We’re now about to implement module three across the world. So we’re really breaking down the big wins and not bombarding our teams with too much technology too soon.”

According to Wordon, when it comes to digital marketing and automation, we all suffer the same hurdles.

“For us it is about getting stuff out there, do things really quickly and be willing to show the results,” he said. “It’s also about keeping our IT friends on board as well as the marketing team. Build your team around the needs and around the wins as well.”

Moving forward, Chavez said there are so many things marketers can do with Marketo, and that a lot of times, it is about figuring out how to best roll things out within their own organisation.

“I think a lot of brands now are looking to Marketo to provide best practices, and to how they should be doing things within their organisation,” she said. “From a product perspective, what I see is this really great desire to use as much as they possibly can.

“But sometimes change within an organisation that takes time, and so we want to be supportive, and help them provide software that actually allows them to bring that change and be disruptive over time, in order to be successful. It’s a journey, just like anything. And we like to stay conscious of that.”

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