LAS VEGAS — Some 6,000 marketers are attending Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit at the MGM Grand Hotel here to debate the future of digital marketing — and actualize the warning to "never leave the side of the customer."

Marketo CEO and Chairman Phil Fernandez noted that the industry has evolved significantly in the 10 years since the company's founding. “Yesterday’s marketer was a cost center," he said. Today's marketer is "already data-driven” — and "tomorrow’s marketer never leaves the side of the customer,” he continued.

Digital transformation has broadened marketing from a siloed department to an integral spoke of a cross-functional wheel that also touches sales, customer service and IT. All of these departments have to work together to design the customer experience.

Marketing is more than just building campaigns. Today, marketers share the strategic planning with CEOs and CIOs, he said. "Today’s marketer is a crucial customer executive," he said.

Marketo News

Fernandez revealed details of a major upgrade to its platform called Project Orion, and also outlined significant investments in account-based marketing (ABM), predictive content and analytics.

Marketo ABM

Marketo is combining ABM and sales capabilities in a single platform to bridge the gap between strategy and execution. The new offering, Marketo ABM, will be available this summer. Marketo defines ABM as an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account.

Project Orion

Calling it Marketo's largest technology investment to date, Fernandez said Project Orion is a next generation platform that enables enterprises to scale and use analytics to interact with customers throughout the journey. To help clients "lay a digital fabric across the whole enterprise" while also delivering an enhanced analytics architecture, Marketo is building higher capacity, higher volumes and a whole new architecture. Already, 30 customers are participating in Orion and all Marketo customers will be on the platform by the end of the year.

Predictive Content

Marketo added an email channel to its Predictive Content application. Now marketers can leverage existing content for web visitors and include predictive content recommendations in outbound emails on top of the existing functionality, which was designed to amplify existing web content. Predictive Content discovers site content and uses machine learning algorithms to tell marketers about patterns and relevant content to show to shoppers on the web and email.

Analytics

Marketo revealed its newly designed Email Insights, an interactive and visual tool for marketers to analyze email performance. Fernandez called it the fastest analytics tool it offers, delivering instantaneous response times as marketers explore email performance across many dimensions, including trends and data points.