The Time for the Customer Is Now

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Jon Miller, cofounder and VP of product marketing at Marketo
Jon Miller, cofounder and VP of product marketing at Marketo

Marketo's Jon Miller is excited about the future. The One-to-One Future, that is—as predicted by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., in their seminal 1993 bestseller. Miller, Marketo's cofounder and VP of product marketing, says that the time for one-to-one marketing has come, and business success is riding alongside it.

“The one-to-one phrase suffered a backlash for some time, with many marketers considering it almost an archaic term because it's been around so long without being real,” Miller says. “But we in marketing are a helluva lot closer than ever to delivering on that. I'm excited about it.”

The ability for marketers to get truly one-to-one with customers, Miller says, is aligned with three trends:

  • The emergence of customer context as a way for marketers to understand and be more relevant to their audience. From demographic data to behavioral data to now contextual data and the Internet of things, marketers have access to more in-depth customer data than ever before.
  • The growing number of channels that are directly addressable and can be personalized. When marketers send emails, customers don't sent replies, Miller explains; they go to the company's website. Many websites are static today; but, increasingly, sites are delivering a more personalized experience.
  • The move away from campaigns to ongoing experiences that occur along the whole customer journey. Customers don't necessarily recognize discrete interactions with different company touchpoints; they see a holistic customer experience with one company.

Together these trends imply the need for a marketing platform that is for marketing versus an add-on to another system, like CRM, Miller says. He asserts that marketers need a platform that performs a set of core marketing functions that integrates well with other point products, because marketing is too broad for one system to do it all. This is in large part the impetus behind the launch of Marketo's Customer Engagement Platform, he says. “And we expect others to follow, including Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce.com,” he adds. “We think that everyone else is calling their [offerings] a marketing cloud, but it's symptomatic of the wrong way to look at this: ‘Get our marketing cloud and get it all.' But there are more than 1,000 companies in the space; no one can do it all.” A platform, Miller points out, can provide the core offerings and marketers can use point solutions for the other solutions they need.

At the core of Marketo's Customer Engagement Platform is a system of record designed to bring together customer data like who I am, what I'm doing, and what I'm interested in. Next is what Marketo calls the brain, which aims to help marketers orchestrate activities across channels and determine the right customer experience, including personalized interactions at each touchpoint. Additionally, there's also analytics designed to help with such activities as attribution, optimization, and segmentation. The new platform also includes a calendaring application, SEO capabilities, and enhanced personalization tools.

“Like fitness, everyone needs a good core. Then, if your foundation's good, you can do whatever sport or exercise you like,” Miller says. “We're in a good position to help marketers master this complex world by providing the technology foundation that acts as that core. We're the company that has the marketers' backs as they deal with all this complexity.”

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