The FISION team joined over 6,500 marketers and industry leaders at the 2018 Marketo Marketing Nation Summit in downtown San Francisco. The 4-day conference proved to be an impressive, valuable and memorable VIP experience.

Last year, FISION solidified our LaunchPoint partnership with Marketo. Enterprise companies around the world are now using the solutions in collaboration to drive unparalleled levels of pipeline and revenue growth. As part of the continued success of our partnership, I was excited to be participating in this years Summit event.

Let’s Talk Highlights

5K Fun Run

I kicked off my Summit experience with a 5K Fun Run along Embarcadero. My colleague, Jason Mitzo, and I were joined by a number of participants including Marketo’s CMO Chandar Pattabhiram and CLO Margo Smith for an early morning bayside run. And in case you were wondering, I took home the FISION trophy leaving Jason in the dust. 

University Day

FISION has been a Marketo customer for nearly a year and, with the results we’ve experienced thus far, we assumed we understood the depth of the product’s functionality. In anticipation for my upcoming certification, I spent a full day in the Core Concepts session, led by Susan Sauter, Senior Technical Instructor at Marketo. I quickly realized that the solution is much more powerful than I had originally assumed and I am now better prepared to implement and generate marketing ROI using the Marketo product suite.

Cocktails and Conversation

On Monday evening, we were invited to a number of partner parties including Cvent’s VIP event at the W San Francisco, hosted by Cvent’s CEO Reggie Aggarwal. Then, on Tuesday evening, FISION hosted a private VIP reception at The View Lounge on the 39th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Downtown San Francisco. The event, which featured dazzling drinks and spectacular bites, attracted current and former executives from Ameriprise, Deluxe, Marketo, Oracle, Twilio, and US Bank.

VIP Access to Keynotes and Sessions

The Summit’s 3-days of programming included eye-opening and entertaining keynotes and sessions lead by influential minds that include Gartner’s Martin Kihn, Google’s Robert Gibbs, Infor’s Charles Phillips, Marketo’s Steve Lucas, Queen Latifah, and Visa’s Kim Kadlec, to name just a few.

Our VIP access enabled us to spend time with some of the brightest minds from some of the world’s most innovative companies and brands. The hospitality shown by the Marketo team left me excited and inspired about the future of marketing. There were so many valuable topics presented, but these four highlights have stayed with me:

“The engagement economy means it’s a great time to be a marketer” – Steve Lucas 

Lucas shared that we’ve been spending too much time talking at buyers and not enough time engaging buyers. His keynote explained that engagement is curating a personalized and meaningful experience for each buyer. That engagement means that marketers must deliver the right content through the right channel at the right time. It is what moves the buyer to choose you or your product.

“The more personal the connection, the more genuine the response” – James Corden

Authenticity and honesty are at the core of engagement. Corden shared that marketers can often run into an ethical challenge. They can target so specifically, so they have to be authentic. People really just want the truth. Th­­e most successful brands and content are the ones that are honest and true to themselves.

68% want vendors who “understand my business, my problems – and help me solve them”  – Lori Wizdo

Wizdo shared that it’s time for a paradigm shift. Instead of traditional marketing that builds out from product, we need to focus on customer-obsessed marketing that builds from the buyer and their needs.

“It’s important to win the battle for your customers’ minds by associating your brand with the attributes and emotions you want buyers to recognize and tie to your brand.”  – Chandar Pattabhiram

We heard three areas where we can make an impact and drive engagement from Pattabhiram:

  1. Storytelling: Storytelling will help you connect with buyers on an emotional level. To make this happen you need to be interesting, authentic and relevant.
  2. Adaptive Engagement: It has gone from brands talking and customers listening, to customers talking and brands listening.
  3. Advocacy: If you have people staying with you longer, and shouting your name from the rooftops, that keeps your brand top-of-mind.

In summary, this was my first time attending the Marketing Nation Summit and it was nothing short of amazing. I learned that the most innovative marketers do best when they become storytellers, weaving multiple and authentic storylines into one narrative. They are most successful when they engage compelling dialogue between their customers, prospects and internal team members. My Summit experience was a great reminder that on every level, no matter what I’m learning about marketing, it all comes down to creating a personalized customer experience that can last a lifetime.

I am already looking forward to next year’s event!

Anna Connealy
Sr. Director of Customer Experience