Marketo Ramps Up Marketing Nation With Program Exchange, Partner Ecosystem

Published: November 20, 2012

On November 14, Marketo announced the launch of LaunchPoint, the company’s new partner ecosystem. The announcement was the third in a series related to the company’s Marketing Nation initiative, which was launched in late October.

The current announcements related to the Marketing Nation initiative include:

Marketo Program Exchange. Marketo is developing a shared library of pre-built, verified marketing programs for the company’s user community. Program Exchange templates cover categories such as lead scoring, email campaigns, lead nurturing, webinar creation and SEM.

Marketo users can import these templates for production use in their own organizations, or they can run them in “sandbox mode” to serve as proof-of-concept for their own campaigns and workflows.

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According to Sanjay Dholakia, Chief Marketing Officer at Marketo, the company’s Program Exchange is based on a growing realization that too many B2B marketing organizations are attempting – needlessly – to reinvent the wheel when they develop campaigns.

“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.”

More broadly, Dholakia stated that Marketo was concerned about a growing proliferation of fragmentary solutions in the marketing automation space. Marketing Nation, he said, was designed to offer an alternative approach.

“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.”

Marketo Webhooks. The second element of the Marketing Nation initiative is a new framework for integrating third-party applications to its core marketing software platform.

The framework, called Webhooks, is described by the company as a “push technology” that links Marketo to customer-facing and sales applications. Buyer behavior tracked using the Marketo platform, for example, could be leveraged via Webhooks to trigger a new product-activation code for a customer, send an SMS notification to a sales rep, serve a personalized banner ad, or perform other real-time tasks.

“With Webhooks marketers can now use Marketo as the central nervous system for all their customer facing applications,” said Robin Bordoli, VP Partner Ecosystem at Marketo. “When buyers interact with the Marketo campaigns, all other transaction or engagement systems will be able to know about this interaction and react accordingly with the right message or offer at the right time to the right buyer.”

Marketo LaunchPoint. Both of these previous announcements set the stage for Marketo’s latest Marketing Nation-related announcement: its LaunchPoint partner marketplace. Currently, more than 70 vendors offer technology solutions or services on LaunchPoint. Some solutions are fully integrated with Marketo’s marketing automation platform, while others are currently being offered on a stand-alone basis.

Some key partners with integrated technology offerings on LaunchPoint include:

ReadyTalk has introduced a version of its webinar solution that allows Marketo users to promote upcoming webinars, capture attendance data directly in the marketing automation platform, and speed post-webinar follow-up campaigns. ReadyTalk also says that the integrated solution will improve the accuracy of data captured through webinar registrations.

Demandbase has integrated its real-time targeting and personalization solution for B2B forms with the Marketo platform. When Marketo users deploy web forms, Demandbase will automatically append registrants’ corporate identity, allowing marketers to capture additional data without requiring additional form fields.

Ion Interactive now offers an integrated version of its landing page customization and testing solution for Marketo. The company’s LiveBall solution supports faster development of branded landing pages, microsites and conversion paths, in addition to content targeting, tracking and A/B testing tools.

Kapost has introduced an integrated version of the company’s content marketing platform. This includes Kapost’s marketing calendar, landing page and email management tools, content approval and workflow capabilities. In addition to integrating with Marketo, Kapost also integrates automatically with CMS platforms and major social networks.

KnowledgeVision provides a set of online presentation tools that records detailed information on prospect engagement, including detailed clickstream data. Marketo users will be able to capture this data and then trigger various actions from within the marketing automation platform, including sending follow-up materials, notifying a sales representative or changing a prospect’s lead score.

LaunchPoint also features around 15 agency managed service providers and services partners. Firms such as BlueBird Strategies, Content4Demand (a sibling brand to Demand Gen Report), Pedowitz Group, LeadMD and DemandGen have been selected to offer Marketo implementation and integration support, CRM integration, lead management, custom content development and related services.

In addition, last week Marketo sponsored a live event featuring more than 40 of its Marketing Nation partners, including sessions on advertising, top-of-funnel activities, sales/marketing alignment and social media integration. According to Robin Bordoli, VP Partner Ecosystems for Marketo, the one-day virtual event drew more than 10,000 registrants and 3,000 attendees – a new record for event host ON24 — and validated the company’s community-driven strategy.

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