Marketo CEO: The CMO's agenda is now the company's entire agenda

Marketo founder and chief says the rise of customer experience as a competitive advantage and shares its ambitions to lie at the heart of CX delivery

Phil Fernandez
Phil Fernandez

The modern customer agenda has broken out of the bounds of marketing and is seeing marketers become pivotal business strategists within their organisation, Marketo’s founder and CEO, Phil Fernandez, claims.

Speaking on day one of the vendor’s Marketing Nation Summit in Las Vegas, Fernandez claimed the market is at a tremendous inflection point, the biggest since Marketo debuted its marketing automation products 10 years ago.

“As marketers, we’re changing our jobs, mission, metrics, and transforming our companies and how they work,” he said. “Yesterday’s marketer was a cost centre. Today, marketers are revenue drivers, and are taken deadly seriously by sales partners, the CEO and business partners in the organisation.”

This is because customer engagement has become vital to the long-term success of every organisation, Fernandez said. He claimed a broader context is emerging where marketing transcends its own functional boundaries and becomes the driver of long-term success.He noted a recent Gartner study, which showed 89 per cent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.

“Customer experience is on the minds of CEO, the CIO... whole organisations are thinking about transforming,” he said. “Tomorrow’s marketer needs to transform as part of that process and think differently. Your agenda is the entire company’s agenda.

“Yesterday’s marketer was a support function for someone else. Today’s marketer is a crucial customer executive.”

The theme of this year’s summit is ‘tomorrow’s marketer’ and for Fernandez, this is about owning the customer experience agenda.

“Tomorrow’s marketer never leaves the side of the customer,” he continued. “We have to think about entire customer experience, a journey that takes weeks, months and years.

“Tomorrow’s marketer is a strategist and leading most impactful initiatives in business today. Marketing is a critical competitive weapon at the seat of everything.”

Extending martech across the enterprise

Marketo made a number of product announcements during the summit, all aimed at furthering its ambitions to be at the heart of CX transformation across the enterprise, not just marketing.

One of these is what the vendor is calling its largest technology investment to date, code-named Project Orion. The next-generation platform, based on streaming database architecture, is designed to run across the enterprise and is aimed at putting every customer interaction in the context of what came before, and what comes next. Marketo said this will enable companies to listen, learn and respond to each customer in a personalised, relevant and contextual way.

Fernandez said 30 customers have gone live on the new architecture, and all customers should be ported across by the end of the year. He estimated the platform would be handling upwards of 1 billion customer interactions per day.

"If we’re going to lay a fabric across the entire enterprise and listen to customer every where you touch them and everywhere they touch you, and put interactions in the context of where they were before, and where they’re going to, we’re talking about building a massive enterprise platform," he said. "This is an entirely new category of enterprise software we’re talking about building."

Account-based marketing (ABM), one of the B2B marketing sector’s hottest buzzwords right now, also took centre stage with news of a new ABM solution. This combines ABM and sales capabilities into Marketo’s existing engagement platform and aims to help marketing and sales teams better collaborate around accounts, rather than specific contacts.

The collaboration tool includes a dashboard for both teams to jointly plan and execute their attacks, targeting individual accounts in specific verticals through account data management, analytics and cross-channel engagement.

Fernandez said Marketo will be working to build a new ecosystem of partners, similar to its Launchpoint marketplace, to support its ABM efforts.

Marketo has also added email to its predictive content application, allowing marketers to include content recommendations in outbound emails based on machine learning algorithms, as well as a new analytics structure and tool, called Email Insights. The latter is aimed at helping marketers better analyse email performance by unearthing trends and data points automatically in real time.

Fernandez said Marketo's ambition is to be the platform driving customer experience across the organisation.

"It's not just thinking about campaigns, creating more leads, measuring return on marketing investment, we are stepping to new age where we’re truly transforming businesses around the customer," he added.
  • Nadia Cameron travelled to Marketo Marketing Nation Summit in Las Vegas as a guest of Marketo.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook:, or check us out on Google+:

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Un-complicating multi-channel marketing: 5 actionable steps

There’s so much choice available that customers can pick and choose who they buy from and where, when, and how it happens. They want to discover, research, evaluate, and purchase on their preferred channel. Give them that option, and they’re more likely to choose you. That’s the whole point behind the multi-channel approach.

Aaron Agius

Co-founder and managing director, Louder Online

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...

CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in