Global Marketing Highlights from the Marketing Nation Summit

marketo summit 2015Welocalize Global Marketer Lauren Southers recently attended the Marketo 2015 Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco. The Summit is an annual event for marketing professionals, who drive global marketing campaigns and strategies. In this blog, Lauren shares the three main themes from the summit.

As a marketing and localization professional, attending the Marketo 2015 Marketing Nation Summit helped me further understand challenges faced by global marketers today and new techniques that global brands are using to increase sales and grow revenue through marketing strategies.

The Summit included high profile speakers, including Phil Fernandez, Marketo President & CEO, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and John Legend, nine-time Grammy and 2015 Oscar winner. All shared their experiences and inspirational stories.

The following summarizes three key global marketing themes highlighted throughout the Marketing Nation Summit:

1. Engagement Marketing

Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez opened the summit with a motivating keynote speech highlighting the topic of engagement.  He noted, We need to focus on marketing that is built on a real relationship with customers. We need to stop spending so much time as marketers talking and listen more.”

Phil spoke about how the fast pace digital changes will only continue. The way people are interacting has changed. We view and share more data than ever. Marketers need to move away from mass advertising, which is simply irritating our customers. We need to start having conversations with them on a personal level, reaching them everywhere they are located.

With the growth in digital marketing, this means our customers can be anywhere; therefore, localization must be part of the overall global marketing strategy. He also explained that email campaigns are becoming a thing of the past: engagement marketing is the future. We need to start listening to what our customers want and provide a personalized journey from start to finish. And personal means speaking to customers at a local level, in their language.

The shift to engagement marketing and technological advances completely changes marketing as we know it. According to Phil, marketers will not be able to recognize their jobs in years to come.

2. Inform, Inspire, Entertain and Empower

Best known as founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, gave an inspiring opening keynote at the Summit, filled with anecdotes, lessons and nuggets of wisdom for marketers.

“We create content to inform and inspire; to entertain and empower,” declared Huffington. The Huffington Post created a site entirely focused on their audience and this is where marketing is now. We need to move increasingly into engaged marketing. “We recognize that it’s not enough to do just top-down presentations, we need to engage customers,” said Ariana.

One lesson was adding value to people’s lives: “by adding value to people’s lives, you can move from being useful to indispensable.” Arianna also spoke about how The Huffington Post continues to disrupt itself to deliver news to an audience that no longer wanted to just read news, but who wanted to consume news and share their own news.  By creating trust (“trust is the new black”), recognizing the world was changing and being able to deliver news that people are preoccupied with for personal consumption. The Huffington Post has managed to create a community of loyal readers all over the world. The Huffington Post wants to accommodate for all their readers, for example they created new sections such as the “divorce section” and to show they are not cynical, a wedding section followed. The online news site certainly embraces global audiences. There are 13 editions of the Huffington Post in 12 languages.

3. Collaboration! Teamwork! Inspiration!

John Legend wrapped up the mornings keynotes with a fabulous performance and sharing his journey to success. He spoke of his experiences and lessons he has learned: “To be great you have to study the greats. I studied Al Green, Stevie Wonder and Billie Holiday to name a few and they taught me what I needed to know to be great at song writing.”  

Legend stressed the importance of time, collaboration and inspiration. “Always be open to inspiration and schedule time for creativity.” He schedules song writing sessions and explained his reasons is to hold himself accountable for his time, forcing himself not to procrastinate.

As marketers, what we can take away from the closing keynote is to look at the people who inspire us, their successes and failures and apply those lessons to our own jobs. Finally, always be looking for inspiration, take time to brainstorm and collaborate with others, “It’s not always about structure, it’s about inspiration,” said John Legend.

It was inspiring listening to marketers and industry leaders talking about customer engagement at the Marketo summit. In my role as a global marketer in the localization industry, this summit continued to stress the importance of building relationships and engaging with all your audiences in all key languages and cultures.

We, as marketers, should always remember to inspire, empower and most importantly listen!