If you work in B2B marketing (and consider yourself a data-driven marketer), you’ll probably be one of the 6,000+ attendees at Marketo’s The Marketing Nation summit, which kicks off in San Francisco today. I’ll be there because, as the CEO of a marketing technology company, it’s a fantastic networking event. But I’m also attending because, as a former data-driven VP of Marketing, I think the event is a great opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in B2B marketing, including many people with expertise in analytics.
The challenge, of course, is that there are more than 100 sessions offered at this year’s Marketo Summit — and not every one of them will be worth your time. In fact, like any college course, most conference sessions are only as good as the speakers leading them and the content being discussed.
Need some help deciding which sessions to attend this week? As the CEO of a B2B marketing analytics company, and a former VP of Marketing, here’s a sampling of sessions I’ll be attending that I think could be interesting and thought-provoking for other data-driven marketers. I don’t always expect to agree with each one of these speakers, but I fully expect them to provoke discussion:
Speakers: Janelle Donovan (@janelletnoble), former Sr Director of Marketing @ ServiceMax (and a happy BrightFunnel user!); Paul Albirght (@paulalbright), founder/CEO @ Captora; Tushar Patel (@tushar_m_patel), VP of Marketing @ Innotas
Summary: Marketing (and marketing technology) might be in its renaissance, but many B2B marketing executives are still struggling to show results and fuel faster growth. This session features a fantastic panel of B2B marketing executives who will highlight breakthrough techniques, tips, and templates for increasing marketing growth and productivity. The panel will also deliver insight into how to get the most from today’s marketing technology stack. In my opinion, this is a can’t-miss session for data-driven marketers.
Time/Place: Tuesday, April 14 @ 2 p.m. Location: 3022
Speaker: Inga Romanoff (@ingaroma), marketing executive and consultant
Summary: Data quality is an issue on the mind of every data-driven marketer. Unfortunately, it’s often perceived as an obstacle to analytics and attribution, but my view (and what I think Inga will convey) is that while data quality is critical, one must not lose sight of its purpose — marketing ROI. As such, rather than obsessing — and beating oneself up — over data, one should be focused on making sure it’s good enough, not perfect. A lot can be done at the analytics layer, algorithmically, to make up for data quality issues (e.g. solving for Lead/Contact to Account associations).
Time/Place: Tuesday, April 14 @ 3 p.m. Location: 2022/2024
Bonus tip: One thing to consider if you do attend this event is that if you’re having issues with Contact Roles being attached to Opptys (or Leads remaining unconverted, and thus losing attribution), you should consider trying BrightFunnel’s automated Account-Based Attribution and Orphan Lead Finder capabilities. Both will help you considerably when it comes to data quality. Also, don’t hesitate to come check out BrightFunnel’s booth (#318) and get our free attribution health check!
Summary: I think video marketing is an interesting opportunity for B2B marketers, and Joe and Michael are two of the more knowledgeable experts on the topic. Like Events and Webinars, video can be a fantastic middle of the funnel tactic (“MOFU” for the geeks out there). Often times, ROI for those types of tactics gets undercounted, largely because they’re not first or last touch; not to mention, the person they impact might be different than the opportunity contact role. At BrightFunnel, we recommend you try video in your B2B buyers’ journey if you have a product or service that has a longer than 30-day lead-to-deal cycle, and that requires some level of buyer education or selling to multiple stakeholders.
Time/Place: Tuesday, April 14 @ 4:30 p.m.; 2010/2012
Bonus tip: If your organization uses MOFU tactics like videos and webinars, and you want to accurately attribute marketing performance, use BrightFunnel to measure how exactly video is impacting your customers’ multi-touch journey.
Summary: This was billed as the best marketing analytics session by quite a few people last year and I expect that to be the case this year, too. While this session will specifically cover Marketo Analytics, I highly recommend it for all data-driven marketers, even if they aren’t big users of Marketo RCA/RCE. Adam and Jason are super-advanced quantitative analytics experts and I suspect they’ll give attendees a deep understanding of how to use first-touch and multi-touch attribution to better understand impact, regardless of your marketing technology stack.
Time/Place: Wednesday, April 15 @ 8:15 a.m.; 2010/2012
Bonus tip: If you find that your organization is looking to complement Marketo Analytics (Marketo RCA/RCE) with more advanced capabilities, BrightFunnel can be a good logical next step. If you want to better understand who we are and what we do, stop by our booth!
Summary: This one is a little bit more personal for me because Jessica and I are former colleagues, and in fact, she ran demand gen for me! I can objectively say it’s a worthwhile session for data-driven marketers. Jessica is a super sharp, data-driven marketer, I’ve also spoken with Jeffrey, who has a great mind for revenue marketing and marketing automation. To extend the college metaphor, these are are up-and-coming associate professors with high student ratings. Check them out!
Time/Place: Wednesday, April 15 @ 4:30 p.m.; 2010/2012
Speakers: Jamie Grenney (@JamieGrenney), VP of Marketing @ Infer; Ash Alhashim (@ashalhashim), Director of Sales and Marketing Development @ Optimizely; T. Baxter Denney (@TBDenney), Director of Marketing Operations @ New Relic
Summary: There’s no question that predictive analytics can deliver critical insight and provide competitive differentiation for B2B businesses in competitive markets, but some marketers are struggling to make the leap from being data-driven to being predictive-driven. In this session, Infer VP of Marketing Jamie Grenney, Optimizely Director of Sales and Marketing Development Ash Alhashim, and New Relic Director of Marketing Operations T. Baxter Denney will share how they combine fit and behavioral scoring to decide which prospects most deserve their time, energy, and resources. This is one of several sessions on predictive marketing, led by a predictive lead scoring speaker.
Time/Place: Tuesday, April 14 @ 3:00 p.m./3022
Bonus tip: If you’re already using, or evaluating lead scoring tools, BrightFunnel’s multi-touch attribution and forecasting capabilities can be a great complement, to optimize the buyer’s journey after the initial lead scoring.
Struggling with Marketing Attribution?
One of the biggest benefits of conferences like Marketo’s Summit is the opportunity to better gauge what your company is doing well and where it can improve. To find out if your business is getting marketing attribution right, come by BrightFunnel’s booth (#318) to get an attribution health check through our free Salesforce health check app.
Instead of presenting a session, we’ve invested all of our resources into this helpful tool and I’m incredibly pleased with the results. We will tell you, within a few minutes, how your organization scores in terms of attribution, specifically: what percentage of your opportunities are missing contacts, how much pipeline you’re losing credit for, as well as showing you specific buyers’ journeys for those opportunities that BrightFunnel uncovers, but Salesforce reporting does not. If you’re using Salesforce CRM, checking out this free tool is a no-brainer.