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Marketo Tries to Make CMOs Merry
With the launch of the Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics product portfolio, the marketing automation player helps marketers prove ROI.
Posted Jun 17, 2010
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Many organizations would never put revenue and marketing into the same buckets. Much harder to measure than sales, marketing has historically have had a harder time ridding itself of the "cost center" rep. Marketing automation vendor Marketo, however, is opening the curtains on what the company's chief executive officer Phil Fernandez calls "Marketo's next big act." With its eye on analytics and revenue generation, Marketo has launched a new family of products called Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics.

"For marketing to become a key part of every company's revenue-producing process marketers needs to think and talk in generating revenue," Fernandez says. He claims that Marketo is the first vendor in its category to offer this high-level of revenue analysis for marketers. "This is a radical enabler of marketing stepping up and becoming part of the revenue equation," he states, "That's so important, today, in a world where all marketing is driven on the Web and social media and through online channels--marketing really does have their hands on the gold.

Marketo released an Analytics Engine this month, as well as a product called Revenue Cycle Modeler. The vendor will roll out several other parts to the Revenue Cycle Analytics set later this summer, including Executive Insights, Planning & Forecasting, and Revenue Cycle Explorer.

Megan Heuer, service director at Sirius Decisions, says that the way Marketo has baked in the analytics will be a boon to marketers. "It fits in well with the idea that marketers need to go up a level to understand the response rate of a tactic to the overall impact of marketing to the revenue cycle," says Heuer says. Fernandez goes on to say that not only will the analytical insights aid marketers in proving ROI to c-level executives, but it will help them in gearing up new campaigns.

All but 25 of Marketo's 550 customers are also users of Salesforce.com, according to Fernandez. The brand new Marketo Analytics Engine therefore draws upon customer data from Salesforce and builds history reports about buyer's behavior. Fernandez says Marketo transforms that already rich data into visualizations that show how investments are performing. The reports let marketers to ask questions about performance. Layered on top of that, he says, is methodology of how marketers think about the pipeline and how they should translate that into language the CFO wants to hear.

Heuer describes the analytics program as being consumable. "Marketers tend to like to have templates to start from and to say, 'How should I be thinking about this?'" she says, "If it is largely built in and you don't need to think about creating fields and what the output should look like -- the advantage is you will have reasonable quality reporting without the effort of building [the reports.]" Fernandez says that, to his knowledge, this level of analytics is unique in the category. Competitive products have reporting, of course, but it's measurements of clicks and page views. Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics enables the chief marketing officer, for example to answer the question, "If we cut your budget 10 percent next year, what happens?'

Heuer notes that nice feature is that Marketo takes snap shots of Salesforce.com data and addresses the challenge that many marketers have in linking that with marketing automation. The other new product Revenue Cycle Modeler, Fernandez says, is a marketer's "Google Maps to how the revenue cycle works." The Modeler lets marketer build a map of the various revenue stages and how you measure it.

"We think there's tremendous hunger [marketers] to have this leadership," Fernandez says. The Marketo Analytics Engine is priced from $1,200 to $10,000 per month per annual subscription, depending on the data the customer stores in the system. The Revenue Cycle Modeler is available to customers at no additional charge.

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