At its annual Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, Marketo introduced its new customer engagement platform, which boasts innovative capabilities for marketing execution and analytics. The solution enables marketers to automate and oversee their entire digital marketing and campaign strategy in real time, simplifying the customer acquisition process and building loyalty by allowing brands to deliver more personalized experiences.
The new platform was developed in response to several key trends that currently drive marketing, according to Jon Miller, vice president of product marketing at Marketo. For example, there are now more sources of customer information than ever before, and customers have the expectation that if this data is being collected, "companies better be using it to deliver better experiences," Miller says. In addition, Miller suggests that there has been a movement away from click campaigns and toward conversations between brands and customers. "Customers want relevant campaigns," he says, "but too many marketers think of campaigns as gumball machines—put in a campaign, and out comes a customer." Finally, as more channels become targetable, they require personalized touches to better serve consumers.
"Marketing has undergone many changes as a result of these three key trends. Therefore, the idea of a marketing platform that can deliver automation holistically is becoming more prominent," Miller says.
Marketo's customer engagement platform speaks to the trends Miller addresses in several ways. The platform's biggest asset, according to Miller, is its real-time Web site personalization feature. The solution has the capability to make the Web site experience—which includes mobile Web—as targeted as email, regardless of the CMS a company is using, Miller explains, making the solution the "only one that works across all content management systems," he adds.
The real-time personalization feature can also personalize the Web experience for known users as well as anonymous users, which makes the tool particularly robust, Miller says. "If an anonymous user comes to a Web site, we're still able to track their location and IP address to match them back to a company. If you look at a company like GE, for example, their IP address is the same across the domain, so we can match an unknown user's IP to addresses that we already know, and deliver a more customized experience on that basis," he explains.
The customer engagement platform will also include a marketing resource manager, a calendar tool that helps marketing departments manage internal operations, as well as a search engine optimization feature. "As we were thinking about the SEO component, we wanted to focus on small and medium-sized businesses, where doing SEO is a part-time job for someone," Miller says. "We made it very well integrated, and easy to use for the non-SEO expert," he adds. One of the SEO module's most attractive features is multitouch attribution, which allows marketers to tie keyword use into revenue attribution for different touchpoints.
In addition to launching its new platform at the Marketing Nation Summit, Marketo announced a strategic partnership with Acxiom, a marketing technology and services company that collects, analyzes, and parses customer and business information for clients. The partnership, according to Miller, will further help Marketo deliver better personalization solutions to its customers. Working with Acxiom will also make Marketo the first marketing automation vendor to personalize marketing campaigns with consumer data, Miller explains.
"Let's say that Curves, [a company that creates weight loss programs for women] wants to target 24- to 36-year-old women who just had a baby. If an unregistered user that happens to fall into that bracket visits the Curves Web site, Acxiom will deliver that data and Marketo will be able to personalize the Curves landing page, without ever knowing any specifics about who that customer is," he says. Once the user registers, he adds, Acxiom can add even more data, leading to further personalization.
With its new partnership and capabilities, Marketo promises to increase the time visitors spend on Web sites and boost conversion by up to 30 percent, all without IT involvement. "We're getting closer than ever to that nirvana of one-to-one personalization," Miller says.