Adobe hints at coming changes to Marketo Engage as survey highlights human connections

Human connections at scale is the holy grail driving Marketo's product roadmap.

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It looks like Marketo Engage is getting a bit of a facelift soon.

The Marketo Engage roadmap. “Since Adobe acquired us, we’ve been working on ushering in the next generation of marketing automation,” said Marketo Engage’s Director of Product Marketing Brian Glover. Adobe acquired the B2B marketing automation platform in 2018. “We’ve now created integrations across virtually all of Adobe Experience Cloud. That includes Experience Manager, for bringing content directly into Marketo for building your campaigns, and speeding that time from to design to delivery. We’ve connected into Adobe Target, Ad Cloud and Audience Manager, to be able to create those experiences across channels. And we’ve connected into Adobe Analytics.”

Marketo Engage already had multi-touchpoint attribution analytics through its acquisition of Bizible. Connecting that into Adobe Analytics is aimed at helping an understanding of what content on your website is engaging customers, and for how long. “You can now get these insights in an account context,” said Glover. These integrations are now available, he said.

Related: See our buyer’s guide for marketing automation platforms

“One of the next things we’re doing is to roll out an entirely new user experience. That will become generally available in the fourth quarter. It’s going to be a new look for Marketo, because we’re integrating the design principles from Adobe Experience Cloud. Customers will have a more consistent feel and experience across all their products from Adobe, including Marketo, which will have a new, modern look and feel.” Also in the fourth quarter, Marketo customers will see an ability to send higher volumes of email at greater speed.

“What’s on the horizon,” he continued, “is connecting into Experience Platform, and getting the benefits of its real-time streaming profiles. That’s a little further out.”

Human relationships. The Adobe Productivity Survey for June 2020, released today, echoes themes reflected in the product roadmap for Marketo Engage. Employees are forming new relationships, and engaging in multi-channel connectivity, although email remains “king,” said Glover. “It’s not just email now or phone,” he continued. “more people are using text messages—that comes up as number three in the work communications methods. Video conferencing has clearly taken over in replacing in-person meetings. In the work environment, we’re living in multichannel world.”

The other thing which struck him about the results from the survey was a change in relationships between employees. “Co-worker relationships are getting stronger. The water-cooler has been replaced with a window into your co-worker’s home.” The results is that 42% of respondents now feel closer to their co-workers, a number which is higher (57% ) for parents.

“You get to learn about them when they’re kids come into the office and start making funny faces when you’re on a call, or their cat walks across the keyboard. In the office, we get to control how we appear, but in our home environment we have less control. What that does is to create a more human interaction with our co-workers.”

This is reflected, Glover believes, in an evolving relationship between consumers and brands. “What I’ve seen emerge during COVID 19,” he said, “is a doubling down on authenticity—letting your customers know that you’re there for them, and being forthcoming about services which aren’t available, or delays. I think that brands are starting to get right this concept of connecting with customers in a human way, staying connected with them across channels, and presenting a more unified and consistent message. It can be tone-deaf not to acknowledge the context people are in.”

How to form those relationships at scale, throughout the customer journey, whether in a B2B context, or even with considered consumer purchases—”That’s the real challenge and holy grail,” he said.

Why we care. Marketo was one of the leading B2B marketing automation platforms prior to its surprise acquisition by Adobe. Full integration into the broad Adobe marketing ecosystem has clearly been an extended process, but it may be bearing fruit in accelerated development of Marketo Engage capabilities.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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