By Caryl Mostacho May 16, 2017
Another year, another Marketo Summit in the books. And like last year, Cheryl Chavez and her team dropped some significant product updates and new features to the delight of both new and experienced users in the annual Marketo Roadmap (a.k.a. Customer Love) session. Here’s a quick recap of the new bells and whistles Marketo announced this year.
It is no secret that Marketo wants to position themselves as the platform of choice for enterprise companies. Last year, Marketo announced Project Orion with this in mind. They focused on improving performance with Next Generation Munchkin to capture high volume web data and activities without restriction, and accelerated processing for things like Smart List membership, trigger campaign evaluation, list imports, and web activity reports.
While Project Orion is being rolled out to customers, performance is still a focus on the Big Data Architecture Roadmap. Knowing that their most sophisticated customers rely heavily on trigger campaigns to execute in-the-moment engagement, their next phase on the performance roadmap is to have faster, elastic and scalable campaigns.
In his deep dive session, Ajay Awatramani, Marketo Sr. Director of Product Management, described the improvements using an analogy of trains in Grand Central – essentially, increasing the number of train tracks to increase the volume of campaigns (trains) being handled by the system.
To give more visibility to users on their instance’s performance, Marketo also unveiled Platform Insights, giving marketers a self-serve overview of campaign health. They added features that help surface performance issues such as trigger execution bottlenecks and CRM sync throughput as well as preventative notification to provide performance impact as campaigns are being created.
Acknowledging that customers are looking for more API capabilities, there will also be updates to the API such as Simplified Bulk Data Transfer for moving person and activity data asynchronously. This update will include the capabilities to extract lead records by data range, static list, or smart list and activity records by date range and activity type. Use cases for these APIs include moving data into business intelligence systems, external data archiving and custom CRM synchronization.
This year the Marketo team wanted to make it easier for customers to show marketing influence to the C-Suite. They involved a CMO advisory board focused on identifying metrics that are important to executive teams and created CMO Insights. The new dashboard provides visibility into the strategic programs driven by the marketing team.
Marketo wanted to provide analytics for every role in marketing. To help marketers show return on investment they created Marketing Performance Insight to optimize channel mix, identify best channels for acquisition and conversion, and to surface trends.
Want to know how you are performing against others in your industry? Marketo will soon provide benchmarking where you’ll be able to see how your data compares to other companies.
With the practitioner in mind, Marketo has reimagined the web activity dashboard. This gives users the ability to understand the audience and performance of their web marketing efforts. What are your best paths to conversion? What are your best converting sources? Web Insights aims to show you this information from both a known and anonymous perspective.
Looking to expand their customer engagement platform, Marketo acquired ToutApp just before Summit. ToutApp integrates CRM, phone and email to help the Sales team prospect and manage accounts. It has capabilities to send templated emails and follow a workflow of sales engagement (they call this Tout Campaigns). It will be interesting to see how the ToutApp acquisition and its similar feature set will affect future development of Marketo’s Sales Insight Platform (none were announced at Summit). Could we see MSI replaced by ToutApp and being sunsetted in future?
Marketo continues to update its new Marketo ABM product this year. You can have account hierarchies that allow you to mirror those in your CRM, and custom fields that allow you to sync data between CRM and Marketo ABM.
To help sales reps take a more account-based approach to their prospecting, Marketo released the Account Insights browser plug-in. It highlights recent activity by account and provides engagement & pipeline metrics and interesting moments while browsing an account’s website. It can even surface the most active person on an account and their most recent activity.
Last, but not least, and certainly garnering the most oohs and ahhs during the product keynote, Cheryl Chavez unveiled the new user experience. They focused on making the design consistent across all of Marketo and took the time to make the UI more intuitive especially helpful for new users.
The update will include a new reimagined My Marketo that allows you to customize the tiles and layout that you want see when you login. It will even include the ability to engage with the support team right from the My Marketo and in the future the ability to add Partner widgets.
Marketing Activities will have an updated tree navigation that loads the most recently created or modified assets in real time and will include search options for tags (a lot of applause for this one), filtered views, and program types. They have included Mass Action Asset Expiry which means that you’ll be be able to schedule the deactivation of smart campaigns or unpublish landing pages.
The Engagement Program type has also gotten some great updates like supporting irregular cadence. You will have the ability to set the first piece of stream content to send right away or have different wait times between emails in the same stream.
Blink and you missed it: Cheryl gave us a quick peek of a new feature called Adaptive Nurture. With the click of a button, you can set the engagement stream to automatically decide the best to content to send, when to send it (cadence) and on which channels.
In summary, the new user experience will appeal to both new and old users. Newbies will have an easier time learning and navigating the platform, and veterans will be happy to see that many of their ideas and wish list features have been developed.
I’m looking forward to using these updates as they are released throughout 2017. While I am excited to see the Marketo user experience facelift, as a long time user of Marketo, I am most eager to see platform performance improvements. Did I miss any product updates that you are excited about? Let me know!
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