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It seems like forever ago since the first Marketo Summit when we were all crammed into the Hilton in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years and over 6,000 of us are expected to attend the Marketo Summit in Las Vegas.


No event excites me more because I get to learn from what I feel are the best marketers in the world. If something creative is being done, this is where you are going to learn about it. Whether it's at lunch, in an elevator or in a cab, don't miss an opportunity to learn. Sometimes, it's a 1-minute conversation that can bring clarity to something you have been trying to figure out for months.


Session-wise, there are over 100 sessions covering all kinds of topics--it's hard to decide which ones to attend. Even if you are superman (or woman) and attend every session possible, you can only attend a maximum of eleven sessions—less than 10% of sessions offered. The key to success--you must plan in advance. Here are a few tips (and tools) to help make your Summit more productive.


Which Sessions to Attend? Three-Step Approach


The Marketo Summit is a fantastic opportunity to meet many like-minded marketing professionals and learn new things. If you come out of the event with three actionable items that you can implement within the next three months, you are a winner.


There are so many great sessions at the Marketo Summit, it can be very overwhelming. Honestly, it's like going to a great restaurant, you really can't pick a bad session. Don’t worry, Marketo is recording them all so you can catch up on the ones you missed.


For my planning, I take a three step approach. Maybe yours is different but planning in advance is key.

  1. I may be a little biased but I start with the twelve Marketo Champion sessions where Marketo’s top users show off top tips and tricks. I’ll probably get to 3 or 4 sessions. See the Twelve Marketo Champion Sessions.
  2. I then fill in most of the remaining slots with a few priority topics. For example, I am really interested in learning about new complementary technologies, ABM, scalable instances and analytics. I'll find a mix of sessions that match to those topics.
  3. We are in Vegas so I will work in a wild card and attend some random session to learn something new that I didn't expect.


Three Tools to Make You Successful


Get the Mobile App

To make the most of your experience, download the official Marketo Summit 2016 mobile app. Just go to the AppStore or Google Play to download. Want to learn about the App's tips and tricks, Marketo Champion Joe Reitz does an awesome job walking through the app developed by DoubleDutch. Read Joe's full article here.



Download DoubleDutch


Download Summit Cheat Sheet

We all love our phones but they have a tendency to go dead after a morning's worth of heavy web use. This printable resource will help you pick the sessions that make the most sense for you. Great for printing out as a backup as a quick reference or if your phone goes dead.


Download (XLS)


Check out the Ultimate Unofficial Guide

For tips on everything from which parties to attend to how to save a few $$, check out the more detailed Unofficial Guide to Marketo Summit 2016.


Have a safe flight and see you in Las Vegas.

Chicken or fish?

It’s as if every program or event has some random, custom field requirement. Dietary restrictions at an event, questions for a webinar, or a time slot for an in-person consultation. Fields aren’t exactly hard to create in Marketo, but they live on forever once they’re created, and can lead to a ton of confusion later. Avoid the temptation to add new fields in every scenario. There’s a much better way to deal with this, and I’ll show you how.

Instead of creating a new field for every random request, create a small handful of temporary “burner fields” that you can use over and over again. Just remember these aren’t to be used for data you want to hold on to. Nothing critical like contact info, lead profile info, etc. Just single or temporary-use data.

In fact, for truly temporary data, it’s a bad idea to keep this sort of data around permanently – if you ever run a similar program again in the future, you run the risk of referencing old data in the new program. Not to mention it creates a complete mess when trying to find the proper fields to use.

To start, you’ll want to create at least one string field, but you may want a few of these. Give it distinct names like Temporary Text Field 1, Temporary Text Field 2, etc.

Burner fields on a Marketo form

Add your temporary field to a form – here’s an example of a multi-location event registration form.

Once you add one of these fields to a form, you’ll need a way to record the temporary value, and then clear the field so it can be used again later.

Set up a smart campaign that triggers when your form is submitted (this may already exist for something like an event registration action), with specific actions for dealing with the value just stored in your burner field. And your method here may vary a bit depending on the data you’re capturing.

For example, if you’re running a multi-location roadshow, and you want to use one registration form for the entire series, you might want to use your temporary field to display a selection of all the events in the series.

In the smart campaign that triggers on the form submission, use the value in that field to add the lead to the appropriate sub-program, or static list.

Then, follow up with a data value change of the temporary field, and set a new value of “NULL”. This will clear the field of it’s value for that particular lead.

Temporary fields in a Marketo smart campaign

Here’s the same roadshow example on the smart campaign. Marketo sorts through the temporary field values, assigns to the proper program, and then clears the value out.

Alternatively, if the data is something more open-ended like dietary restrictions or webinar questions, consider setting up an email alert that fires when the form is submitted, which will essentially stamp that value in an email for future reference, even if it no longer exists on the lead. If email alerts won’t work, you could also opt to add all the leads to a static list, and subscribe to it. Then set a timed smart campaign to clear out the field of any values after your event or whenever the data will be used.

Now you have a field for every occasion, and you’ll probably discover new use cases for them all the time. If you ever have concerns about the use of a field overlapping across programs, you just add another temporary field, or better yet, assign your burner fields by use case or region to avoid any accidental crossover.

This post originally appeared on

It’s almost ‘Summit time’!

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas will welcome up to 10,000 marketing nation rockstars for the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2016 on May 9-12. I’m really looking forward to Will Smith’s keynote and some of the other great sessions I’ve put on my personal calendar. Next to that, I’m honored to present a session too. I’ll be taking you on The Road To Successful Marketing Operations, which includes topics like sales alignment. The session is on May 12 at 9.30am in room 319. Make sure to get your XXL coffee that morning, the night after the big gala at the Hakkasan!


About my presentation “The Road To Successful Marketing Operations”

At Quintiq, an international B2B Enterprise software company in supply chain planning & optimization, I started as the first marketing automation expert in December 2012. Within 2,5 years this turned into a marketing operations team of 5. How did that happen? What was the business case? In other words what were the lessons learned? And the pitfalls? Join the session and go home with strategic insights and actionable takeaways to help your colleagues excel in their commercial efforts.


The story about my first sales alignment success at Quintiq

One ‘stop’ during the journey is “my first sales alignment success”. That success opened the doors for me at Quintiq.


About Quintiq
Quintiq was founded in The Netherlands, but opened an office in the United States a few years ago. I’m working from the Netherlands office, which traditionally has a lot of global resources. But in the past years a lot of new global roles were hired in the US office. This included the CMO I worked for, who joined one month after I started at Quintiq.


The challenge
He called me on a Tuesday. He brought me up-to-speed on a 99% deal the US team was working on. At the last second the CEO of the prospect expressed her wish for one or more reference visits. This posed several issues. It was a relative new vertical for us, so there were very few references we had available. Another issue was that it can take up to a few weeks to arrange the visits. During that time competitors could potentially offer crazy discounts. But a few weeks delay also poses other common sales challenges.


The solution
I was already working on an idea that I called Prospect Portals. A Prospect Portal is a landing page specifically designed for one prospect. It has their logo on it. And it has thumbs of the sales team on it. It also has a fancy touch responsive slider on it, which is used to showcase all kinds of content. The pieces of content can be videos, presentations, and/or PDFs. We listed all relevant whitepapers, case studies, and video testimonials. We also added some of the presentations we did at their office. That way the prospect would have a great resource of all relevant materials.


The result

The next day I get a call from the CMO again. “You’re the talk of the day!”. The prospect browsed the Prospect Portal and came to the conclusion a reference visit was no longer needed, as the Prospect Portal covered enough. They immediately signed the deal. That’s a sales alignment success right?


Next steps

Hoorah! Sales knows I’m here! A few more Prospect Portals were built in the weeks after. And they were resulting in more successes. Some prospects even reached out to sales representatives to express their enthusiasm about the portals. It didn’t took long before the portals became mandatory for opportunities at a certain sales stage.

I noticed I was interacting more and more with sales directly, next to marketing and management. It also enabled me to learn more about the sales process. It also connected me with sales. This turned to trust. Which in turn enabled me to launch new initiatives easier (e.g. lead nurturing during later sales stages).


Productize it
It didn’t took long before the rest of the regions at Quintiq learned about the portals. In order to be scalable we involved the regional marketers. Obviously they were interested in sales alignment as well. We then introduced Account Portals, which were less fancy (e.g. no sliders). This way marketers could easily build portals themselves in Marketo with snippets. Account Portals were mostly focused on target accounts, whilst Prospect Portals were focused more on x% opportunities.


Spaghetti statistics
At a company quorum about a year later the names of some of the new clients for that quarter were announced. The team (yes, the team was more than one person by then ;-), recognized nearly all names. So we dived into reporting after that quorum. It turned out that all Prospect Portals that were visited by the prospect turned into deals, and all portals that were not visited didn’t turn into deals. Well… That’s some spaghetti statistics right?


In the months after we kept adding more functionality. This included password protection, personal introduction videos for each sales representatives, direct contact options, and progressive forms for anonymous visitors (who do have the password). The forms enabled the sales representatives to discover new decision makers and influencers in the prospect’s decision making unit (DMU).


Final thoughts
I think it’s almost 2 years ago, since I built one of those portals myself. Knowing what I know now, those portals could be taken to the next level. I’ve also discovered some tools, outside of Marketo, that offer similar portal functionality. Combine this with some of the account based marketing (data) vendors and you could be on to something.


Hope to see you at the summit!

This is 1 of about 10-15 'stops' in "The Journey to Successful Marketing Operations", which I'll share during my summit presentation. If you made it to this part of the text, I assume the content got your interest. In that case, I hope you’ll be able to join the session on May 12 at 9.30am in room 319. Until then, feel free to ask questions and/or leave comments below or on my blog, where this article is also posted.


Best regards,

Diederik Martens

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