At Marketo Nation Summit, its annual customer conference this week, the company is introducing a new platform with several added capabilities and a big new partnership with third-party data giant Acxiom.
The platform updates signal a market repositioning for Marketo as the provider of a powerful, yet simplified marketing platform – or more formally, a customer engagement platform — that facilitates marketing automation, email and campaign management, real-time personalization and budgeting and planning.
Jon Miller, VP, product marketing at Marketo discussed the market and Marketo’s positioning in a call last week, explaining that there is a set of companies looking to play in this space: Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, IBM all offering a “marketing cloud” versus a “marketing platform”. The difference being, while the others are aiming to provide a complete marketing stack, Marketo wants to be the foundation of a business’ marketing efforts and offer easy integrations with tool it doesn’t provide.
“We think this is a more realistic view of what’s going on in the space,” explained Miller of having a platform that provides a system of record, can orchestrate interactions with customers and personalize their experience and help marketers manage and measure their efforts. The new tools that are constantly coming along from third parties can then be integrated into the platform.
There are three new capabilities being introduced to the platform to provide that foundation, the flashiest of which is real-time personalization that enables marketers to give site visitors a customized view of their websites and mobile channels that are as personalized as their emails. The personalization functionality includes predictive analytics to learn from what works best and adjust the presentation in real-time and ties in with the marketing automation for lead scoring. Once a user provides basic information such as an email, the system can pull in other information it knows about the visitor’s company.
A new marketing calendar is aimed at moving beyond planning by Excel spreadsheet, and couples with the budgeting capabilities Marketo introduced last year. Miller says the calendar is key to being able to market at scale across various products and brands. The calendar is available across devices, is embeddable — for example, the sales view can be plugged into the CRM — ties in with other SaaS calendars and can be published in a feed.
A simple search engine optimization (SEO) tool is designed for the non-specialized marketer to understand how visitors are discovering content and to bake basic optimization into new content. The SEO tool integrates with Marketo’s analytics for attribution and provides insights into inferred keyword themes based on landing page content.
The Acxiom deal is an example of how Marketo aims to partner with other providers and offer key integrations to its customers. Marketers can personalize their display advertising and web site experiences for anonymous visitors by relying on Acxiom’s vast data set on categories of website visitors. The marketer sets up the ads, and Acxiom manages the ad targeting. Marketo’s real-time personalization software then powers site customizations to carry the offers shown in display ads through to the website. If a user registers on the site, marketers then have access to more specific data and predictive analysis for future outbound marketing automation efforts.
“By augmenting our industry-leading customer engagement platform with the rich, comprehensive, accurate data from Acxiom’s Audience Operating System, we are delivering on our vision to unify disparate channels and create timely, individual relationships,” said Phil Fernandez, president and chief executive officer at Marketo in the announcement.
Curves used the Acxiom partnership to target 30 to 40 year-old women who recently gave birth and had a propensity to join a gym. The Curves ads promoted free daycare. With the Acxiom Abilitag implemented, Curves could serve the same offer on the site to visitors from that campaign without needing custom landing pages. When those visitors provide registration information, they are brought into the marketing automation for outbound outreach with tailored messaging.
“Our joint solution will help marketers establish deeper interactions with their target audiences allowing them to harness the power of data throughout the customer lifecycle, across display, mobile, social and email channels,” said Scott Howe, president and chief executive officer at Acxiom in a statement.
As Miller put it, the Acxciom partnership gives Marketo’s B2C customers the same type of data access that B2B customers have been accustomed to for years.