Marketo announced today the creation of its Marketo Program Exchange, a community-driven platform designed to support the company's marketing automation users and connect them with third-party tools and services.
Marketo Program Exchange is being positioned as the first major piece of Marketo's Marketing Nation – a unifying concept for the company's partner ecosystem, user community, application hooks and other components.
Best Practices Address Marketing Learning Curve
According to Sanjay Dholakia, Chief Marketing Officer at Marketo, Marketo Program Exchange is a response to the pressure customers face adopting to changing marketing trends.
"Marketing over the last 10 years has changed as much as it did during the entire previous history of the discipline," Dholakia said. "Our priority is to help our customers climb the learning curve more quickly than marketing automation users have in the past – and that means leveraging existing knowledge and expertise."
The key element of Marketo Program Exchange, Dholakia stated, will be a library of best practices templates matched to marketing programs and processes. The content for the templates is being supplied initially by Marketo, as well as service-provider partners and agencies participating in the program. Marketo will evaluate and validate the templates.
Marketo says it expects to launch its Marketo Program Exchange partner ecosystem officially in November.
Seeking A 'Critical Mass' Of Marketing Expertise
In a broader sense, Dholakia said, the Marketing Nation platform is intended to bring together a number of resources for Marketo's user community, providing a "critical mass of expertise" analogous to a B2B social network such as LinkedIn. It will expand to include peer-to-peer networking and community elements, the best practices expertise of the Marketo Program Exchange, an ecosystem of third-party tools and service providers, and consulting expertise.
Dholakia added that Marketo expects its Marketing Nation concept in general, and the Marketo Program Exchange in particular, to meet a need that other platform vendors in the space are not yet providing. While Salesforce.com is promoting its own Marketing Cloud concept, Dholakia pointed out that the Salesforce platform is focused almost entirely upon social marketing.
"Social marketing is important, but it's just one piece," he stated. "Our goal is to emphasize platform-based campaign execution across multiple channels. We can integrate with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud social channel, but we think off the underlying platform as something that needs to work across the spectrum."
As an analogy, Dholakia pointed out that sales and finance organizations have long enjoyed something marketers typically lack – access to a comprehensive platform for planning and executing business activities. "Marketers have been forced to make do with a collection of point solutions; they lacked a way to put the pieces together and to address the complexity inherent in multiple channels, digital media and buying behaviors.
"Simply put, CMOs need a platform, and that's what we intend to achieve here."