As was the case last year, the 2021 Adobe Summit was held virtually between April 27th and April 29th, 2021. The event displayed over 400 insightful speaking sessions which included celebrity guest speakers such as Dan Levy and Serena Williams. Listeners even heard from prominent global executives from companies such as Pfizer, General Motors, Fedex, Henkel, and Peloton. The general leading discussion of the event was to promote how organizations should be developing true customer connections in the digital economy and ways that can be achieved using the Adobe product ecosystem.
Of the handful of sessions I attended, one session that piqued my interest was the discussion on 2021 New Marketo Engage Innovations that was hosted by two Marketo Engage product managers, Badsah Mukherji and Niranjan Kumbi. This discussion took a deeper dive that I will share with you today on latest innovations, both planned and delivered, ideated by everyday practitioners and product experts alike. My goal here is that I will leave you with at least one or two informative and exciting new features that you can take to your instance that will improve data hygiene, customer engagement, and efficient productivity.
2021 Roadmap Themes
Shortly into the session, Badsah goes into the discussion of explaining how the new features and capabilities for 2021 are placed into three overarching roadmap themes:
- Better Together with Adobe
- Innovation for Experience
- Future-proof Investments
To begin, I’ll explain what new features and capabilities are planned for each roadmap theme and then provide my take on why these innovations are important to your marketing automation strategy moving forward.
1. Better Together with Adobe
“Unlocking new potential of customer experience through the combined power of Marketo engage and other adobe experience cloud apps.”
- Bi-directional, continuous audience sync across multiple Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC) applications.
If you are just catching up to speed on the history of the Marketo platform, Adobe acquired Marketo in late 2018 due to their need to fill a B2B marketing automation solution within their already large product offering. With this acquisition, Adobe needed to figure out a way to integrate this newly acquired technology with the rest of their highly adopted products. Since the acquisition, engineers have been tasked to come up with ways to properly sync the data within Marketo to the Adobe Experience Cloud. With a total of 15 products under the Adobe Experience Cloud umbrella, engineers have now been able to create true Bi-directional, continuous audience sync across many products within the experience cloud. This largely affects and improves Data Collection, Real-Time Profiles, and Data Governance. With real time integration of multiple products, marketers will now have a singular and accurate view of their customers that allow them to make confident decisions moving forward. This means no more manual and time-consuming processes to get the data you need.
2. Innovation for Experience
“Providing game-changing capabilities that help brands push the limits of their unique customer experience.”
- Account-based automation filters & triggers for end-to-end ABM workflows and engagement
- Enhanced usability and look-and-feel across Marketo Engage
- Dynamic Chat
Customers with a strong Account Based Marketing strategy will soon get to use advanced ABM filters within smart lists and workflows to improve customer engagement and analytics. Using highly refined account-based audience segments will empower you to deliver more precise content at the right time that ultimately affects your bottom line. Along with this new filter addition, Marketo Engage has already improved the look and feel of the entire platform to mirror closely with other Adobe products. This much needed UI overhaul provides a cleaner more updated look to the classic Marketo look that many of us were used too. These enhancements provide over 100 productivity-boosting capabilities designed to help you work faster and smarter and if there is ever a need to switch back to the classic look then Adobe has provided users an easy-to-use toggle to switch interfaces instantly. Lastly, Adobe has released Dynamic Chat. A new natively integrated feature that allows for 1:1 personalized experiences by empowering marketers to engage known or unknown website visitors with qualifying conversations at scale. You can automatically collect and store submitted lead information, suggest content, and even setup a sales call with the right rep all within this new chat feature.
3. Future-proof Investments
“Strengthening the core DNA of Marketo Engage to help brands stabilize the foundation of their winning experiences.”
- Bizible: LinkedIn and Privacy Enhancements
- Marketo Sales Insight Enhancements
- Execute Campaign Flow action
- Filter-out Email Bot Clicks
- Forms Service
Acquired by Marketo in May 2018, Bizible became a natural fit for Marketo and made an immediate impact on attribution reporting within the platform. Today, Bizible provides clear visibility into the B2B buyer’s journey by using a touchpoint-based data model that captures all interactions from first anonymous touch through every stage of the sales funnel. This allows marketers to gain a full understanding of their marketing spend and campaign ROI. With the recent announcement of new innovations for 2021, Bizible will now be able to have improved tracking on LinkedIn ads while continuing to focus on customer privacy through the use of unifying data requests across multiple applications.
Adobe is also making improvements to Marketo Sales Insight by adding a feature around token resolution prior to sending bulk emails from the CRM side. No more hoping and praying from active sales users when sending Marketo emails to a large list. Additional improvements that are also being added are giving the ability for sales users to see the email delivery status when the need to identify contacts who have unsubscribed or bounced.
Marketo power users will soon see improvements to campaign orchestration when executing flow actions that need to be run in series or in parallel. This ultimately ensures actions and flow steps are completed in a timely manner so that additional flow steps can be actioned on. This hopefully will eliminate race condition issues for those complex advanced smart campaigns.
Brand new to the Marketo instance is the ability to filter out email bot clicks with a simple toggle switch in the admin controls. This feature identifies click activity that is associated with email filters inspecting links that often lead to triggering unintended sales alerts and affecting email metric reporting. This is a much needed filter that gives marketo users a confident accurate picture of email activity.
On the same note of unwanted bot activity, Marketo is enhancing forms and landing pages by adding additional server-side validation rules to increase security and block unauthorized form POST submissions into the Marketo database. This keeps your database clean from useless lead form submissions and your sales reps happy by not wasting time chasing down leads that simply don’t exist.
As we continue to evolve the digital marketing landscape, key future enhancements will be necessary as other supporting technologies become more and more adopted. With the release of these new improvements, Adobe and the Marketo team have shown their commitment in improving the platform for years to come. Take these enhancements and adopt them in your instance to improve your data cleanliness, your key performance indicators, and your overall campaign management process.