Together, Adobe and Marketo are Accelerating Account-Based Experiences

Creating epic B2B experiences that drive engagement and business impact.

by Amanda Sanchez

posted on 06-12-2019

It’s simple: If you don’t have insight into what works, it’s virtually impossible to replicate your success or to dodge missteps in your marketing campaigns.

It sounds fairly straightforward. But the notion of delivering truly customer-driven experiences presents an inevitable challenge for even the most sophisticated marketing organizations, one that was front and center during the B2B Marketing with Marketo track track at Adobe Summit.

“At Adobe we build strategy on what people do,” said Steve Lucas, senior vice president of business development at Adobe. Because, he added, “if you can truly create epic experiences over and over again, you create something that’s more than a product or service — you transcend it.”

Start here: A/B testing and optimizing — with a purpose

Given the latest Marketo/Adobe technology, this is easier than ever. Marketo Engage — part of Adobe Experience Cloud — with the integration of user-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) tools into its account-based marketing (ABM) solutions.

This, then, enables brands to create bigger, better experiences. That said, creating these “epic” experiences, Steve said, takes a real-time understanding of your customers and their journeys, as well as the data and technology to interpret engagements across touchpoints. Armed with that intelligence, you can do more of what works, and drive greater value for your audience. The process starts with A/B testing.

“There’s a lot of data out there that you can be using to optimize,” said Jessica Kao, Ph.D., director of client services for Digital Pi. In her Summit session, “Make the Most Out of Your A/B Testing with Marketo,” Jessica talked about the importance of immediate, informative testing. But, she warned, before getting started, it is wise to map out a testing journey, goals, and potential next steps.

“Ask yourself, ‘What am I testing for? Why am I testing? What am I going to be doing with the results?’” she said. And don’t forget to ask yourself what, if anything, you’ll do differently as a result of the data you’re collecting. Too often, she said, marketers test to test, without changing course based on the results — and that means you likely aren’t delivering an optimal customer experience.

Understanding how to attribute and align success

Once you’ve tested and determined the right next steps for your campaign, content, creative, or experience, it’s essential to understand attribution and how to sync success with specific touchpoints.

“How can we prove the impact of our marketing so that we can ask for and receive the resources and the funding we need to deliver more funding and more impact next quarter or next year?” asked Gurdeep Dhillon, head of global demand generation at Adobe, in his session, “Ten Things to Know About Marketo and B2B Marketing.”

The only way to accurately measure the impact of marketing, he noted, is by overcoming the sales and marketing divide, and aligning revenue to marketing or sales. “We’re actually trying to change that conversation. It’s not a binary conversation. It’s naive to assume any opportunity is 100% marketing sourced or 100% sales sourced.” By effectively tracking attribution, though, marketers can measure against risks they take and innovations they put forward, learning and evolving as they grow.

“If you can’t do that,” Gurdeep said, “there’s no learning to be had.”

Tying marketing to revenue

Yet, marketers continue to struggle with attribution. In “Tie Marketing to Revenue with Marketo,” Brewster Stanislaw, head of product and strategy at Adobe, and Jordan Con, Adobe product marketing manager, talked about measurement hurdles, citing that nearly 50% of marketing decision-makers lack the proper capabilities to gauge success. Additionally, about 47% of marketers lack the defined metrics to measure success.

To better demonstrate the difficulty of connecting marketing to revenue, Jordan said that getting a customer to convert can take as many as 167 touches. In a traditional campaign model, however, just 22 touches would be tracked. In a last-touch model, just one touch would be credited with the conversion.

“There’s a really rich story that gets told with all 167 touches that isn’t told with the 22 or one,” Jordan said at Summit. “To put this in movie terms, 167 touchpoints is like watching the full film on the IMAX screen, whereas 22 touchpoints is like just seeing the trailer, and one is just the movie poster.”

To overcome this, proper attribution models are necessary.

“Look at a high-level overview of all the critical metrics we need to understand the efficacy of our marketing efforts,” Brewster said. Using the Bizible Discover App, teams can easily track ROI and other revenue-centric metrics — everything from how much spending it takes to drive revenue to what it truly costs to convert a customer to what the pipeline looks like.

This system uses an attribution model that, as Brewster explained, “takes machine learning-based recommendations, then takes a look at all of our closed one-offs in the past, understanding which of the engagements actually helped them to close, and customizing it based on the needs of my organizations — exactly what my stages are.”

It’s an approach, Brewster noted, that gives a clear view of what revenue comes from which sources — Adobe Analytics and Meeting Maker create a measurement loop that feeds all measurement and planning. From here, share your findings with the entire organization, and act programmatically.

“Insights are only valuable to the extent that they’re actionable,” he said. “Knowing what’s working and what’s not is all well and good — but if you’re not able to act on it, so what?”

This, Steve notes, is central to B2B marketing success.

“The digital exhaust, the actions, the clicks, the profiles — comprehending that and creating a strategy whereby you can deliver experience and engage with your customers is transformative,” Steve said in his Summit remarks. “And that is exactly what our entire Experience Cloud is built on. It is predicated on the notion that the very opportunities by which we engage our customers should be built on what they do, not what they say.”

Discover more B2B innovations from the B2B Marketing with Marketo track at Adobe Summit Online and on the Adobe Blog.

Topics: News, Adobe Summit

Products: Marketo Engage