Marketo CEO urges marketers to 'make it epic'

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 29 March 2019
Steve Lucas

Marketers must focus on creating epic experiences for customers at every touchpoint and ensure they are actually liked as a company, says Marketo CEO Steve Lucas.

During a session at the Adobe Summit in the US, Lucas and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen discussed the importance of true customer engagement and experience, particularly across B2B.

Adobe entered into a definitive agreement to acquire B2B cloud-based marketing platform Marketo for $US4.75 billion in September last year. The duo’s presentation at the summit marked a first addressing their combined swell of clients.

Narayen says the purchase of the business was simply a case of “two companies that really deserved to be together”, with Lucas adding that the move has “supercharged” Marketo.

Narayen says that following a meeting with Lucas, before the deal, it was clear both companies united on a shared vision. However, he added that it’s all for nothing if customers aren’t fully onboard.

“The first time we met we felt like that these two companies put together could do some magic,” Narayen says.

“The vision was certainly one that we both shared - the people and culture, customer centricity and intimacy and empathy for customers.

“That really resonated with everybody at Adobe, as at the end of the day, we’re not anything unless our customers really like us.”

See: Buzzword bingo: B2E takes hold as B2B and B2C terms fade

Narayen says the blurring of B2B and B2C with clients presents a “unique opportunity” to bring the businesses together.

He says he'ss “unbelievably committed” to everything Marketo has done and urges customers to “push them” to ensure all the tech in the marketing and ad clouds is being best used in sync with Marketo’s offering.

Experience must prevail

Lucas went onto say that most selling and customer relationships management (CRM) strategies today tend to be based on “what someone heard and how they interpreted it”. Describing this as playing the “gossip game” when it comes to CRM, he argues it’s “bananas”, “weird” and a “fallible system”.

“We know that what people say and what people do are two very fundamentally different things, and at Adobe, we build strategy on what people do,” Lucas says.

He says experience is the ultimate differentiator that draws the line between epic and epic failure - in sales as well as marketing.

Lucas says there is no further proof than successful music festival Coachella, which continues to raise the bar, compared to the “pile of hot garbage” that was Fyre Festival, which was nothing more than someone believing that a few tweets, some images and a good idea constitutes a good experience.

“We know that experience takes blood, sweat and tears, dedication and work and that is the difference. In today’s world the fine line between epic and epic failure is, unequivocally, experience," Lucas says.

“If you can truly create epic experiences over and over again you can create something that’s more than a product or service – you transcend it.

“That is the call to action today for each and every one of us in B2B. Make every experience epic. Now is the time we have to lean in an ask yourself, ‘is every interaction with your customer epic? Does it make them come back from more time and time again?’”

AdNews is attending the summit as a guest of Adobe.

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