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.

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