[Live Blog] The Age of the Engagement Economy: Day 1 of Marketo Summit 2017

April 25, 2017 Heather Lohmann

Day one of Marketo’s Marketing Summit 2017 definitely lived up to our expectations! We laughed with James Corden during the opening Keynote, enjoyed a few lattes from the coffee cart at Jillian’s, and had some fun coloring in our Funnel Forest in the Expo Hall. We also sat in on several interesting sessions led by the industry’s top thought leaders, and learned a ton about what some of marketing’s biggest influencers are thinking about and focusing on these days.

james-corden-market-summit

This year’s theme—Leading in the Engagement Economy—was definitely a key topic throughout all the sessions that we attended. There’s no doubt about what the world of marketing is prioritizing these days: putting the customer at the center of everything.

Below, we walk through a few of our highlights from yesterday’s sessions:

#KnowThyBuyer

From the opening Keynote to industry influencer Jill Rowley’s presentation on social selling, the concept that marketers need to get to know their customers—their needs, challenges, interests, and more—was heard loud and clear throughout Summit’s first day. By building strong, lasting relationships with your prospects and customers, you encourage the kind of loyalty that will help you drive continuous revenue.

In his session “The 3 Key Pillars for Potent Content Marketing,” Jeff Bullas talked about how content marketers can succeed if they’re able to attract, seduce, and then finally gain commitment from their audiences. And how do you accomplish all three of these goals? By studying your buyers to find out where they are (Twitter or Google, for instance), what they’re interested in or challenged by, and how they consume their content (Bullas suggests using easy-to-understand language to seduce online audiences, for example, but this might change depending on your buyer).

know-thy-buyer

Good Data Drives Good Decisions

We as marketers need to be smart about where we’re investing our dollars. During one of the Keynote panels, Box CMO Carrie Palin spoke about how her marketing team has committed to a certain level of revenue contribution, and they’re able to show and grow that contribution by collecting and analyzing the right data. The only way for marketers to gather better insights and make better decisions is to be data-driven, and to continuously test and improve upon their strategies based on results.

Bullas added to this during his session by stating that one of the biggest challenges content marketers face is showing results, because engagement has to show up in the bottom line or marketing won’t be able to prove its value. By collecting the right data and measuring the impact of our work, we can a) continue to optimize our efforts and b) show how those efforts are helping to grow the business.

Marketing and Sales Can (and Should) Get Along

During his session about Account-Based Marketing, Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at InsightSquared, spoke about how “credit” can be a dirty word because marketing and sales teams often fight over who should get it. But the two teams have to learn how to play nice if they want to succeed with an account-based strategy, which has marketers getting more personal with account influencers in order to really connect. If marketing and sales are not properly aligned, it disturbs the personalized and engaging buying experience that our customers crave.

Jill Rowley also touched on the relationship between marketing and sales in her session, telling the audience  that social selling is an initiative that must have buy-in from both teams in order to be successful. Sales has to do away with the concept that they shouldn’t step in until a lead has been perfectly scored and nurtured, and marketing needs to learn more about the sales process as well. Both teams have to come together and learn how to see things through the eyes of their customers in order to engage effectively.

All in all, day one was exciting, fun, and full of interesting tidbits around how we as marketers can better connect with our audiences. We’re definitely looking forward to what the rest of the conference has in store!

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