The quarterly update from Marketo showcases some potentially big announcements if you’ve ever struggled with its Dynamics integration or Bizible reporting. Add in an interesting beta program, and hopefully, there is something there for everyone! If you are a Marketo customer, you will see part of this already in your instance.
Marketo Sky versus the Classic interface
As we know, a lot of Marketo’s attention at the moment is bringing together the new Marketo Sky interface and Marketo Classic interface. This is long overdue and will provide the biggest benefit to users.
Sky has some fantastic features, but there are gaps – so you currently can’t spend your whole day in Sky, but end up switching back and forth. Once the feature set is fully in Sky, Marketo will be in a position to really compete with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Eloqua on looks and design for the SME / Enterprise customer. Something to keep in mind while reviewing smaller updates as the larger plan comes together.
The beta with Predictive Audiences is worth looking at for the majority of customers.
Ok, onto the new stuff!
Interesting betas on the move AI/Machine Learning
Marketo periodically launches beta functionality which customers can opt into. If you have specific use cases, these can be very useful – and you can also provide some guidance to the roadmap at the same time. Betas currently available include:
AI/Machine Learning features in Marketo experience:
This is the interesting stuff. If you opt into this beta, you will see some new options in smart lists / filters under the larger heading “Predictive Filters”.
- Likely to Attend
- Likely to Register
- Likely to Unsubscribe
- Lookalike of Program Members
- Lookalike of Smart List
If you are running an event, you want to maximize attendance but minimize unsubscribes. Previously you would have to guess at the right segments to hit, or blast it out to the whole database and cop the inevitable unsubscribes. Using these new filters, you can have the best of both worlds….use the “Likely to Attend” filter and Marketo (should) does the rest.
“Lookalike of Smart List” is very interesting too. You can do this to build lookalikes of your best customers, your worst customers, whatever you like.
The caveat here is that this will only be as good as the information it uses to predict. And that is limited to Marketo email engagement and program membership data at this stage – from what we can tell at least.
So this isn’t going to be Facebook or Google level lookalikes, which take into account millions of data points. But, if you set your expectations at that level, this feature won’t disappoint you, and it, like most ML algorithms, will get better the more you use it.
We would recommend opting into this beta. More information, and how to opt in, can be found here.
Microsoft Dynamics “Change Owner in Microsoft” Flow Action:
Marketo: Maintain control of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM data with the ability to change a lead/contact owner directly from Marketo Engage. This is an enhancement to our Native CRM Integration capability.
Our take: If you’re on Dynamics, this is a big feature. MS Dynamics has been underserved for many years as the little brother to the Salesforce integration, so this is a welcome addition to bring something close to parity. The ability to change lead owners via Marketo will allow you to route leads dynamically based on marketing automatic logic.
User Management APIs
Marketo: Automate User and Role management through external identity and org management systems. This is an enhancement to our API Calls capability.
Our take: For a certain group of enterprise clients, this will help automate the onboarding and offboarding process for employees.
An employee is hired with a particular job role? Give the correct access in Marketo automatically. Employee leaves the company? Automatically restrict access.
Likely not a big deal to most, but for an enterprise client with a disgruntled employee, this could be a lifesaver. However, if you use single sign-on at your company, then this is already taken care of.
Custom Object Schema APIs:
Marketo: Automatically manage and provision custom object schemas across instances in Marketo Engage to keep data models consistent across your sales and marketing tools.
With this API, you can define and test custom objects in a sandbox or center-of excellence and provision to as many instances as needed. This is an enhancement to Marketo APIs Calls capability.
Our take: I personally appreciate the efforts going into the Marketo API. For this particular piece, although it’s not applicable to many, it will be of great benefit to those it affects. If you manage multiple brands that need a common custom object structure, this could save you a lot of time. But if you have one Marketo instance, you can safely ignore this – you will be creating any custom objects manually.
Landing Page Redirect Rules APIs:
Marketo: Automate management of landing page redirect rules. This is an enhancement to our API Calls capability.
Our take:: This will be useful if you manage a LOT of landing pages, and are constantly changing over the post-submission pages. It will save a lot of manual work.
Form Descriptor Caching:
Marketo: We are reducing the load time of embedded forms and enhancing overall application stability by caching forms as resources. Approvals made to embedded forms may take up to four minutes to reflect on the web. This is an enhancement to our Landing Pages & Forms capability.
Our take: Reduced load time? That’s definitely a win. It seems that the downside is a slightly longer lag to see any changes you make, but that’s definitely a worthwhile tradeoff to give an improved user experience. Given that 40% of people abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load, every improvement here means dollars.
Full february release notes here.
Available Throughout The Quarter
There are several updates on a different release schedule (everything from Bizible falls into this category). They are as follows:
Bizible is revenue attribution and analytics tool. As a Marketo subsidiary they help B2B clients to know where their revenue is coming from, and when it’s coming. It’s an add-on to the standard Marketo package.
Bizible Account Based Marketing Segmentation:
Marketo: Analyze attribution at the Account level with the ability to create segments and filters for Discover boards based on Account attributes. Use these segments to drill down into your account-based marketing performance.
Our take:As a somewhat obvious aside, this and the below only apply to Bizible customers. If that’s you, then this feature is a big win. Everything in Marketo is pushing towards account-based marketing, so having some cohesion across that is great. And if you are analysing in Marketo at the account level, but in Bizible at the person level, there’s a disconnect. This feature addresses that disconnect.
Saving Filters and Export to PDFs
From Marketo: Save dashboard-specific filters unique to each user to analyze your dashboards quickly and consistently .Share valuable insights across your organization by exporting Bizible Dashboards as PDFs.
Our take: The saving filters, doesn’t seem a big change, but useful. Pretty self-explanatory.
Export Bizible dashboards to PDF feels like it should have been available already – a lot of the point of Bizible is to attribute revenue and share that information. So this will be a welcome update to be able to quickly and easily share information with the C-suite.
SalesForce Sales Connect updates
Sales Connect is how Marketo integrates with Salesforce to allow Marketo templating and tracking functionality all in the same Salesforce workflow for your reps.
Compose Window Updates:
Marketo: We’ve streamlined the process for selecting templates and sending emails through Sales Connect. Use the Compose window in our web client and Salesforce as a one-stop shop for sellers, with the ability to save template categories, schedule emails, send emails in bulk, and send emails with view and click tracking.
Our take: This is more of a usability update, but it’s a welcome one. By having a simpler interface to send Marketo templates, sales reps will use them more, and you will get better marketing information back in Marketo.
Anything that bridges that gap between Sales and Marketing is welcome. Still no ability to do this for Mac users though, unfortunately….this will be Windows only.
Command Center Updates:
Marketo: We’re rebuilding the Sales Connect Command Center to give sellers insight into all of their Emails, Calls, and Tasks that have been initiated from Sales Connect. They can also view information like email engagement and deliverability all from the Command Center.
Our take: I’d be interested to hear how many reps are interested in information such as email deliverability…while it’s a cool concept, this is probably in the bucket of….something that won’t be used a great deal by a busy rep. A lot of this can be replicated in the Salesforce account view anyway by sending in Activities from Marketo. But it was built out, so I guess customers were asking for it?
About the Author:
Phil Wild is a marketing technology and marketing operations expert with seven years in the field. When he’s not keeping up to date with all things marketing automation, you’ll find him trying beers or hiking mountains in his native Australia.