Some thoughts on today's Marketo Revenue Rockstar event in the not-so-rockstar surroundings of a serviced office in Reading. Well, I guess all acts have to start touring somewhere :-)
1. Its still early days for MA. Watching the (two) bright young things of marketo play out their vision to a room of fortysomething CRM consultants brought it home to me that this Marketing Automation (MA) stuff is still new to most. Having been a beta customer of marketo and an MA implementor since 2007, I forget that this is most people's first BBQ.
2. Hype cycle tiring? With very few end clients and less buzz than what i understand from last year's event, vendors like Marketo have to be careful about stretching out the hype. Especially in markets like the UK. There were less than 25 at today's event - perhaps failing to attract the late adopters/early majority? We need more case studies, (sadly just one today, even if it was an able presentation by NewVoiceMedia), proof points & anecdotes and reassure people you've done this before. Many times.
3. MA is the flipside of content. Great to see Kieran from marketo spending some time on content marketing. Often neglected by many in the MA journey, its the elephant in the room. Great that you can converse, drip & nurture prospects without human intervention. But what are you going to say?? So time and effort in thinking about personas, content topics & and an editorial calendar is critical. (Also great to see content supremo Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners namechecked. Hire him. I did!)
4. Complete the equation: Success = Technology + Blank + Blankety Blank. Missing from today was any mention of process & people. 99% of the challenge in MA is cultural. And of that the real challenge is sales & marketing alignment. My worry is MA is being bought as a toy for the marketing team to automate their activities, when the real value is using it to integrate sales & marketing.
5. Insight trumps execution. Since business process automation software was invented in the 70s, the real value in any automated process (be that finance, logistics and now demand generation) is the insight you gain from the data collected. Its not about scheduling that follow-up email or distributing that social media whitepaper. Its about what you learn from the customer interactions with it. This is where you get the real advantage. marketo are making some early inroads with their (costed) additional analytics modules, but there's a long way to go here.
So, all in all a good day. Thanks to marketo for laying it on, and for saving me a few $$$ with a free copy of Revenue Disruption !