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Marketo Summit 2016: Marketo Releases Platform Upgrade for 'Tomorrow's Marketer'
Project Orion aims to give companies the tools for interacting with customers at every step of their journey.
Posted May 11, 2016
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Introducing the theme of "tomorrow's marketer" in the morning keynote of Marketo's Summit 2016, chairman and CEO Phil Fernandez said that tomorrow's marketer "never leaves the side of the customer. They have to [see] with the customer's eyes, they have to think about the entire customer experience: an experience, a journey that lasts weeks, last months, lasts years.… Tomorrow's marketer needs to think differently.… When your agenda is the entire company's agenda, that’s a different way to think than when your agenda is just the marketing agenda."

To those ends, Fernandez announced the release of Project Orion, Marketo's next-generation platform architecture that aims to provide the scale, performance, and analytics necessary to interact with customers at every step of their journey, placing each customer interaction in the context of the previous and subsequent interactions to enhance personalization.

"Project Orion is really about Marketo reinventing the scale infrastructure for enterprises to interact with their customers. It's fundamentally about billions and billions of interactions that we all have as consumers with the companies and the brands that we engage with because of this new digital world," says Sanjay Dholakia, chief marketing officer of Marketo. "In the new [Internet of Things] world, the old paradigm of channels goes out the window. It used to be that I might interact with a brand in one, two, five channels—social, mobile, email, Web. That whole paradigm gets blown up in an IoT world because [customer interaction are] literally everywhere—everywhere meaning, my refrigerator is now connected to the Internet, my thermostat is now connected to the Internet, my car is now connected to the Internet. There are literally billions and billions of interactions that a company and a brand can have with their consumers, and they need to be able to process those interactions in real time.”

Actor Will Smith also made an appearance during the keynote and discussed parallels between marketing and the film industry—in particular, Smith noted that authenticity is crucial in the digital age, regardless of what product or service you're delivering. "There's so much technology that we're being forced into authenticity.… The idea of complete authenticity, complete and utter authenticity, what is the truth at the core of the product, what is the truth at the core of the service, you have to work from there. The smoke and mirrors are over."

The notion of being able to deliver highly personalized content to customers resonates with several Marketo partners. One such partner is video marketing platform Vidyard, which provides users with several key insights into customer behavior as they consume video content. "As marketers are using video more and more frequently, we're able to now tell them, right inside Marketo, who actually watched the video, what percentage of the video did they actually complete, how many seconds of viewing, which parts did they skip, which parts did they replay, and get all that data into Marketo at an individual lead record so you can use it to help with your customer insights, your lead scoring, your lead qualification,” says Tyler Lessard, chief marketing officer at Vidyard.

Predictive marketing solutions company EverString, another partner, aims to help marketers identify prospects with its recently announced Audience Platform. The EverString Audience Platform provides marketers with relevant prospects based on companies the marketer inputs. "It's kind of the same way that, say, Google search works, or the Facebook person graph works—what we have is a company graph," says Jim Walker, vice president of marketing at EverString. Walker adds that the platform doesn't need to integrate with the marketer's current systems—it builds a model directly from company names that the user enters.

Retargeting platform AdRoll's recently announced solution SendRoll aims to provide marketers with a means of following up with customers who abandon their cart. When a shopper enters their email on a company Web site but leaves before completing a purchase, SendRoll delivers a personalized email to them with products they viewed, encouraging them to complete their purchase. Peter Clark, director of growth at AdRoll, also emphasized the integration between Adroll's Retargeting product and Marketo, saying that it enables marketers "to seamlessly import their data cross from their email marketing campaigns in Marketo into AdRoll."

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