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Marketo’s March ‘22 release: Let’s chat

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Marketo’s March ‘22 release: Let’s chat


One of the biggest stories from Marketo’s latest release is their planned entry into the world of chat software. This wouldn’t be the first company in the last year to enter into the chat software space. ZoomInfo acquired chat software, Insent.ai, in June 2021.

As chat software users ourselves, we’re advocates of using conversational marketing to engage with website visitors and are looking forward to this feature. It’s one more way we can engage with prospects; and personalize messaging. For example, you might upload your target account list and create a unique conversation with them versus all other visitors. Or, you can tailor messaging to return website visitors versus first-time visitors.

It’s not often companies provide added value like this Marketo chat functionality without charging for the feature as an add-on or upsell. This seems to be the exception versus the norm so I’m feeling obligated to give Marketo a pat on the back.

Chat in the Hat

As mentioned, Marketo has announced its intention to get into the chat game, joining others including Drift, ZoomInfo, Intercom, and LiveChat to name a few. According to Marketo, the 1:1 personalized conversations will include the ability to book meetings directly in the chat, lead routing, starter templates, and drag-and-drop conversation creation. 

In our recent 2022 study of Marketo users, 49.2% of respondents said chat integration is important or extremely important for their business. Clearly, there is room for growth when it comes to proving the importance of chat to current Marketo users. By comparison, 74.4% of respondents said attribution is important or extremely important for their business. Source: 2022 Marketo User Study

Read next: Drift extends offerings across customer lifecycle

Why we care. Looking to peer-to-peer review site G2 for a lay of the land, we found 422 companies listed under the category “live chat software.” Marketo does seem to be entering a competitive space. Regardless, their intention to include this feature within all packages will certainly turn heads amongst the competition.

The business side of me is having fun running through all of the future scenarios. Could there be a consolidation of MarTech with this feature addition? In other words, those who previously used a third party chat platform can potentially achieve the same goal using Marketo. Or, will dedicated chat software tools like Drift continue to win as a result of their extreme focus on delivering the best chat experience to the market? 

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According to Marketo, “Dynamic Chat is included in all Marketo Engage packages and will be rolled out to all Marketo Engage users this year”. At Adobe Summit, we learned a phased rollout to all customers will occur in the next 6 months. It’s also unclear if the platform was “build or buy”. Either way, as users of chat functionality, we look forward to testing Marketo’s version of dynamic chat. 

Bot Activity 2.0

When Marketo released their bot activity filter on emails, we didn’t hesitate to enable this feature. As a refresher, go to Admin > Email and select the bot activity tab to active/deactivate the filtering of bot activity. After making the change, we found the impact to be fairly low and we’ve heard similar from our clients.

And now, the feature has been expanded to log activities identified as bots and both filter and trigger based on these activities. In the same location, there is a new toggle to turn on called “Log Bot Activity.”  

Why we care. This new feature will allow you the ability to filter and trigger actions based on activities that are identified as being performed by bots. You will find “Is Bot Activity” and “Bot Activity Pattern” as new constraints as seen in the example below. 

According to VP of Consulting at Perkuto + MERGE, Judi Cousineau, a use case for this functionality includes removing scoring and lifecycle changes if the activity was performed by a bot. Amanda Giacobassi, Director of Solutions Architecture at Perkuto + MERGE adds, “You might negatively score people with bot behavior, or use the filter constraints to exclude contacts with bot activity from your email audience lists.”

 

Next-Gen Experience Automation

By the way, Next-Gen Experience Automation is “Before & After” for my fellow Wheel of Fortune fans. 

The Next Generation Experience will receive a design and usability update for the import program workflow. The release didn’t indicate too many details as to what we might expect, so we look forward to learning more in the next release webinar.

For Experience Automation updates, users will have the ability to expand connectivity between Marketo and their MarTech stack. This is done by authoring customized flow steps for use in Smart Campaigns which comes with what Marketo calls, Self-Service Flow Steps (Beta). 

And, the Smart Campaign Priority Override provides users with the ability to prioritize campaigns; overriding the standard campaign priority ranking. This update will free up processing resources for other high-priority tasks, according to Marketo.

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  • Import Program Workflow: She shares our curiosity about the usability enhancements; wondering if they will be UI enhancements only? What a real cliff-hanger.
  • Self-Service Flow Steps: From what we know so far, she believes this will not open up the API to the smart campaign UI (e.g. something that would allow creating and editing custom object records in the UI), but rather making webhook type functionality available in batch and executable campaigns.
  • Smart Campaign Priority Override:. According to Amanda, “This will be immediately useful for enterprise level organizations who have issues with operational campaigns taking too long to run. This might be a nice approach to order management concerns as well.”

API Enhancements

The next batch of API enhancements includes:

  • Return Disable Open Tracking Status of Emails
  • Retrieve Dynamic Content Subject Lines from Email
  • Program Member Custom Fields CRUD
  • Bulk Custom Object Export updatedAt Filter
  • Expose Head Start Setting for Email Programs
  • Selective Program Tag Update

Why we care. Our subject matter expert, Amanda, believes open tracking and dynamic content subject lines will have a positive impact on external reporting. She also cites the custom object export and head start setting as interesting related to work in enterprise automation platforms like Workato. Having less impact overall, she notes program member custom fields and tag updates given they are rarely used in UI as is.

View the complete set of March 2022 Marketo Release Notes.

This article is presented through a partnership between MarTech and Perkuto + MERGE , a marketing operations consultancy.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

With 20+ years of experience in marketing, John is demand generation director at Perkuto, a MERGE company. His ultimate flow-state is positioning products and services, developing buying personas, and executing plans to attract best-fit customers. Determining the right content, campaigns, channels, and budget to hit revenue KPIs is where John thrives. Outside of the office, John is a father, husband and outdoors enthusiast.



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MARKETING

the second key persona for modern marketing operations leaders

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Marketing operations talent is suffering burnout and turnover

This 4-part series presents a framework that helps rationalize the roles and responsibilities modern marketing operations leaders are taking on. This installment summarizes the framework briefly, and dives into how MOps leaders are now “orchestrators.” 

In case you missed it, part 1 is here.

Inspiration for this framework

Two years ago, marketing technology pioneer and chiefmartec.com editor Scott Brinker outlined the four key responsibilities of marketing technologists, summarized here.  

That work espoused the view that you could be both a marketer AND a technology leader. They are not mutually exclusive! It was my inspiration for this framework, explaining how today’s MOps leaders are instrumental for marketing and business success.

X-Axis:  A range of skills from a focus on technology to creativity and arts

Y-Axis: A range of decision-making skills, ranging from emotional to rational approaches

The resulting grid captures four MOps archetypes or “personas.” MOps leaders exhibit characteristics across all parts of this framework and will operate in multiple quadrants, similar to Brinker’s frameworks.

Modernizers – Are most likely to be the “original” technologists, constantly modernizing their martech stack.

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Orchestrators – Are the closest to Brinker’s Maestros and the focus of this article. He described this archetype in 2020 as the “Operations Orchestrator — MAESTROS who design and manage the workflows, rules, reports, and tech stacks that run the marketing department.

Psychologists – Are now increasingly responsible for “reading customers’ minds,” i.e. interpreting customers’ interest through intent data and digital engagement.

Scientists – Are constantly testing and evaluating. Experimentation is their specialty.

Orchestrators: Leaders of the band

Now that you’re familiar with the framework, let’s dig deeper into the Orchestrators!

I’ll start with a personal story. My exposure to orchestration started with 8-straight years of practice in violin and trumpet during my formative years. Each week was literally a blur of private lessons, group lessons, orchestra and/or band practice. I probably spent as much time with music directors as I did with my family.  

It was painfully obvious to those conductors when we hadn’t prepared or practiced. Moreso, we would get – literally – an “earful” from the conductor when we were not listening to the other instrument sections. If we were not coordinating our efforts and timing, the outcome was awful for anyone listening.

Source: Unsplash

This orchestration metaphor is powerful because there are multiple levels for MOps leaders:

  • As a project management team within marketing, and often as a conductor across external agency partners.
  • As a cross-function business partner and primary contact for IT, compliance, and legal, in addition to the traditional MOps role of achieving marketing/sales alignment

Notably, all marketers have to be project managers for their own tasks/deadlines. They must be aligned with overall campaign and program timelines. 

However, as organizations scale they are more likely to have dedicated project management teams to handle coordination across the specialist teams within marketing. The orchestration responsibility may include timeline, scope, and capacity trade-offs even after campaign briefs have received approval. 


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The orchestration responsibility multiplies when agency execution teams are delivering on individual tactics and media buys. Last year, Optimizely described these evolving orchestration duties as a “transformative shift and approach towards how marketing synchronizes their teams, content, channels, workflows, and data!”

I believe the shift is even more impactful, with orchestration benefits being felt beyond marketing. The highest value “program orchestration” responsibilities occur when MOps leaders are representing marketing’s interests in enterprise-wide programs with other functions within the organization, including product, compliance, and IT. Examples of orchestration duties with these other key functions can include:

  • Product teams – Coordinating campaigns with major product feature/functionality launches, and managing brand standards.
  • Legal/Compliance – Overseeing compliance with Can-Spam, GDPR, and CCPA, and customer preference and data privacy initiatives that may be initiated by a marketing touch-point. 
  • IT/Procurement – Technology stack management, vendor evaluations and negotiations, platform integrations and data management.

All of this departmental and cross-departmental coordination requires skill sets that can be analogized as the difference between a chamber orchestra (marketing) and a full symphony. It’s the highest level of conducting across the enterprise. 

MOps leaders are holding individuals and teams to target timelines while managing the scope of a particular campaign and business initiative. They do this while also overseeing targeting of customer and prospect segments.

In order to accomplish this complex segmentation and coordination, MOps leaders are now responsible for cross-functional data – embodied by the modern martech stack imperative: integration. Integration across systems has been the #1 issue for marketers since the modern marketing tech stack started exploding in the early 2010’s, but software and solutions providers finally listened. A tipping point was reached in 2020. Marketers reported that we were finally working within an integrated, multi-system environment, according to a CDP Institute member survey analyzed here.  

Continuing with the orchestration analogy, the conductor is the integration “synchronizer,” deciding if/when the data flows across the stack. The sheet music is the data model standard showing how to map common attributes. 

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However, just because we now have this more integrated environment does not mean our work is done. The instruments do not play themselves (yet!) and they require configuration and deliberate training to play effectively — both individually and in groups. 

Training was one of the top responsibilities for marketing ops leadership, ranking it in the top 5 of MOPS tasks by percentage of work, according to the 2022 MarTech Salary and Career Survey, published jointly by MarTech and chiefmartec.com (free, ungated download here). conducted by chiefmartec.

In the 2020 version of that same study, training was highlighted as one of the top two responsibilities for many of the primary marketing technologists personas, and 91% of operations orchestrators reported that training and supporting technologies were among their top priorities.

MOps leaders are never done

Finally, under the category of “MOps leaders are never done”, the last several years have also forced a whole new category of orchestration duties – a combination of conducting, training, and martech growth: marketing work management.

The largest growth (67%) over the last several years was in the category of “work management”, according to the 2022 edition of the Martech Landscape. Established entrants such as Adobe expanded with the acquisition of Workfront, while newer players like Trello and Monday gained traction.  

Although this was already a prevailing trend BEFORE the pandemic, the hybrid/remote work environment brought on by the last 2+ years forced these project management and agile-planning tools to the forefront.  The marketing work management category grew to over 1000+ tools, according to the State of Martech 2022

Source: State of MarTech 2022 – chiefmartec.com and Martech Tribe

MOps leaders are Maestros

In summary, modern MOps leaders are indeed Maestros. They are skilled orchestrators, conducting a symphony across multiple levels. They lead:

  • Omni-channel campaigns within marketing and across business functions
  • Integration across an ever-growing, integrated martech stack
  • Training and deployment as one of their primary responsibilities 

Editor’s note: In Part 3 of this 4-part series, Milt will expand on MOps leaders’ growing role as Psychologists. For background on this framework, see Part 1 of this series here


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Milt is currently Director of Customer Experience at MSI Data, an industry-leading cloud software company that focuses on the value and productivity that customers can drive from adopting MSI’s service management solutions.

With nearly 30 years of leadership experience, Milt has focused on aligning service, marketing, sales, and IT processes around the customer journey. Milt started his career with GE, and led cross-functional initiatives in field service, software deployment, marketing, and digital transformation.
Following his time at GE, Milt led marketing operations at Connecture and HSA Bank, and he has always enjoyed being labeled one of the early digital marketing technologists. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from UW Madison, and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

In addition to his corporate leadership roles, Milt has been focused on contributing back to the marketing and regional community where he lives. He serves on multiple boards and is also an adjunct instructor for UW-Madison’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp. He also supports strategic clients through his advisory group, Mission MarTech LLC.

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