Top 5 Takeaways from the 2016 Marketo Summit (#MktgNation)


Business leaders who criticize and tip-toe around digital trends, treating them as if they are useless fads, will be crushed in today’s market. According to Sanjay Dholakia (CMO of Marketo) the digital side of any marketing plan should be first priority.

“If you’re a CMO and you don’t know what MQL is, well then, you are screwed.” – Sanjay Dholakia

Today, Marketing Professionals are measured by their impact on revenue more than ever. Tomorrow’s Marketer has to take the driver’s seat and maneuver the company towards growth in a very tangible way.

“Tomorrow’s Marketers are leaders, they take no shit.” – Sanjay Dholakia

From product sales to corporate services to entertainment, this movement has touched every industry. Every business is tasked with mastering the balancing act of becoming a digital yet human brand.

Will Smith and Sanjay Dholakia at Marketo, #MKTGnation

“I’m more of a marketer than an entertainer. It is about connecting and understanding where people are not feeling good and seeing what you can offer to help them feel good. Create a ‘universal relatable emotion.'”

– Will Smith

Here were my top takeaways from Marketo Summit 2016:

  1. Marketing Turns Thread to Gold

Marketing Nation at Marketo, Conversation on Twitter #MKTGnationAs I strolled through the expo hall, I started to make strategic notes for each of the booths I passed.

I approached the booths with on-the-spot strategies they could use to improve their customer experience.

The responses I got were 100% positive; people were eminently appreciative and started implementing my feedback.

Next, I approached booths candidly without a strategy.This time around, 2/3 of the people were unresponsive and/or asked if I was a Salesperson. They were reluctant to share any information. This scenario validated the theory that Marketing Professionals do not want to be approached by Sales. They do, however, want to be approached by “like-minded” professionals from their industry.

This information opens a door of opportunity for Sales and Marketing to collaborate and create a strategy that will accelerate the pipeline and sales process at the same time.


  1. It’s All about the Customer Experience

Will Smith mentioned that if you can give more value than what your customer gives you, he/she will not leave your side.

If you understand your customers better than they understand themselves, they will always be your fans.

Winning your target audience depends on your ability to act out of authenticity. Are you offering something that truly enhances or enriches your customer’s life? How are you sharing that with them in an honest way?

Marketing ploys filled with “smoke in mirrors” are ineffective because today’s audiences are so overexposed to these techniques that they immediately become blind and deaf when they sniff any hint of advertisement.

For this reason, Marketers need to understand their target audience and what they value. They have to go out of their way to meet people on their own level.

Namely, this means producing and/or creating content that can effectively teach. This type of content might be funny videos, photographic slideshows or ebooks. The audience should like and connect with you and your service or product in the same way they would with a friend.

Note: If you are not hitting the correct triggers or value points, prospect may move on to another competitor. This can happen even when you sell the same product or service.

Hashtag printer at Marketo Summit 2016 #MKTGnation

It is not about what you are selling. It is about the experience the customers receive when they approach your company. They want to feel good and they don’t want to feel like they are being sold to.

Again, this is why it is imperative that Marketing and Sales work side by side.


  1. Snapchat Isn’t a Fad for B2B Marketers

Sweta's snapcode

Too many B2B Marketers assume Snapchat is just a “fad” or it is only useful for teenagers who want to over-share their lives with one another.

The Marketo Summit confirmed my theory around Snapchat being a phenomenal resource for B2B Marketers.

Snapchat brings authenticity back into marketing. The network allows you to develop a personal bond with your prospects and customers.

Snapchat filter for Marketo Summit 2016 #MKTGnation

On Snapchat, you can communicate directly with your audience. What better way to humanize your brand?

You can use Snapchat to promote updates, events and webinars without sending email blasts (that don’t receive opens because most Marketers receive too many emails.)

Check out Marketo’s fun Snapchat filter to the left!


  1. Serving > Selling

Face it. No one wants to be sold to. Your target audience wants to be SERVED! They want to be enlightened with information that will change their perception or teach them something new.

Quote by Will Smith at Marketo Summit 2016 #mktgnation

The most valuable strategy you can create is one that reverses the process so your audience feels as if they were the lucky ones to have found you. They should feel fortunate to receive the massive value that they get from you, because now their life is in some way enhanced.


  1. Hire for Attitude Over Experience

According to Sanjay Dholakia, hiring should no longer be highly influenced by the amount of experience you have. In an industry that is constantly changing, it is so much more important to find someone who can roll with the punches!

Quote by Sanjay Dholakia at Marketo Summit 2016 #mktgnation

Being Tomorrow’s Marketer requires you to possess a warrior-like spirit. Finding someone who has intellectual curiosity about the future is by far greater than settling for someone with intellectual knowledge based on the past.

People hire for attitude and analytical literacy. Nowadays, Marketers do best when they become storytellers, weaving multiple characters into one book. They are most successful when they spark dialogue between customers, prospects and other team members.

Marketers have to be able to rise to any occasion, taking their place as leaders. When they use the newest tactics to drive the company to each end goal, they are doing their job well and writing their own history.

The characteristics you look for when hiring should represent the specific talents that will allow your new hire to leave your customer better off than they were before. These are the skills we are looking for in Tomorrow’s Marketer.

Forget about experience. Hire well, and manage little.

Marketo Summit was a great reminder that on every level, no matter what you’re learning about marketing, it all comes down to creating the customer experience that lasts a lifetime.

Winning loyal fans is about more than just selling a good product or offering a great service. It’s about becoming a part of their lives and making them feel good in a similar way as an Actor like Will Smith does.

Tomorrow’s Marketer is ready to spring forward by sparking authentic emotions, relationshipping in meaningful ways, and always providing the best service possible. They are always pushing the envelope to build a more authentic, more useful brand that serves those it seeks to help.

How do YOU define “Tomorrow’s Marketer?”

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