marketing nation

Preshow Q+A: Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2016

Marketo Marketing Nation Summit is taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this year, starting with its evening reception on May 9 and ending on May 12. We sat down with Shepherd Smith, VP of Marketing for True Influence, to get his take on what he expects while he’s there.

Where do you think Marketo will put the spotlight this year?
“Unlock the power of the Marketing Nation®” complete with registered trademark, seem to be the guiding principle behind the Summit. Marketo is keenly interested in giving marketers a full arsenal of tools for their success, something made clear by over one hundred sessions hosted by users, influencers, and Marketo staffers.

Thematically, it’s a bit like a marketing buffet – here, there, everywhere are many wonderful selections a marketer can choose, based on their needs and interests.

What will the attendees be looking for most at MMNS?
Most of us look for two things at events like this: the first is emerging best practices, things that will help us grow as practitioners and help us meet our specific annual goals. It’s a benefit of this kind of conference to see what others are doing that we might learn from. The second is specific technology solutions – things we can plug into our existing Marketo technology that will help us make better use of these products and meet our overall objectives.

What presentations or seminars are you most interested in attending?
Account-Based Marketing: Marketo’s Collaborative Approach will certainly be a must-attend. Account-based marketing has been enjoying a renaissance in our industry and Marketo’s theory of collaborative approaches is a newer twist in a field of new theories. Since this session will be based on Marketo’s own history with ABM, the sorts of lessons learned here will be of great interest to ABMers and those who provide the infrastructure for their success.

One that’s rather cheeky is Marketo’s XXX Approach to Engagement. It will be interesting to see how the session manages multi-channel engagement and nurture strategy to deliver a unified whole. Lessons learned from that session will likely be essential for account-based and other marketing disciplines.

What are the trends you think should be highlighted at the show?
More than anything, I think most attendees appreciate having their attention drawn to new developments or capabilities that they otherwise aren’t aware of. Marketo is a sophisticated technology platform, so no small part of the hundred+ sessions will be about how marketers can expand their capabilities. I believe attendees will be excited to look for breakthroughs and new possibilities in approach and technology.

Do you think there will be any surprises for the industry?
There are going to be small surprises, certainly. Marketing technology is both an emerging and mature area. It’s difficult to introduce major surprises, as we’ve been evolving as a field for quite some time. Advances tend to be incremental, and genuinely new capabilities tend to be relatively rare. That’s part of the reason that I’m having so much fun introducing marketers to something they haven’t ever been able to do before

Where do you think the most interesting spot for attendees?
The Champion Smart Bar should be quite good. Many attendees will gather around, since that will be the place to be to learn more about Marketo and digital marketing. “Champion Smart” is probably going to be akin to the Genius Bar, so there will be onlookers gathering to observe those engaged with the Smart Champions. It may end up being the best place to network at the whole conference.

What would be your game plan recommendation for a first-time attendee?
Explore the exhibits! Every vendor there has made a substantial investment to show attendees something that they feel is beneficial to Marketo users, so (in addition to hearing reactions to our fact-based account marketing capability), I’m personally very much looking forward to seeing what the other clever new innovations are in our space.

What’s the most underrated thing to do in Vegas?
I might vote for an observation tower at one end of the strip called the Stratosphere. There’s a restaurant and bar at the top with an absolutely incredible view, especially at sunset.

If other attendees want to meet up with you, where will be the best place to find you?
I’ll be on the go throughout the event, but I’d love to invite attendees to visit us at booth K25 to see InsightBASE™. Have a great conference, everyone!

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