Marketo Summit 2017 is just around the corner. I’ve had a few different clients and friends ask me what sessions I will be attending, so I’ve put this together as a quick guide!

One big caveat: There are a lot of great sessions this year, and just because I didn’t put one on my list doesn’t mean it isn’t good. If there is a scheduling conflict, don’t forget Marketo will send you a link to the recording of a session after Summit, so you can at least virtually attend any you miss. For complete details, and the description the speakers provided, check out the guide on Marketo’s website here.

As you’ll notice, I tend to prefer the more practical sessions as well as the more advanced sessions. I’m generally not a fan of the high-level buzzword-laden sessions and I try to steer clear of those (although they have a great place, they’re just not for me). Any suggestions on great sessions I’ve missed, or any questions? Comment below, or email me!

Monday April 24

Session 1- Look Sharp! Data Visualization for Marketing Ninjas

Time: 11:30-12:15
Place: Room 2001/2003
Speaker: Martin Kihm (Research VP, Gartner)
My take: Everyone wants dashboards, and they can often suffer from requirement bloat (and also a “well, this might be interesting to someone somewhere, so I should put this in too…”). If Martin can shed some light on industry best-practices I’m all for it.

Session 2- Fake It Til You Make It: A Practical Marketer’s Guide to Taking Over the World

Time: 1:15-2:00
Place: Room 210
Speakers: Dory Viscogliosi (Senior Marketing Operations Manager, Datto, Inc.), Jenn DiMaria (Marketing Automation Consultant, RevEngine Marketing), Juli James (Assistant Professor in Digital Marketing, St. Edwards University)
My take: The abstract for this session is a bit nebulous, but my reason for recommendation is primarily the speakers. Dory is a Marketo pro I’d had the chance to hear from before, Jenn comes from a solid consulting agency, and the third speaker Juli is in academia and I always enjoy hearing from the .edu universe.

Session 3- From Marketing to Operations: How to Connect Your Nurture to Product Fulfillment with the API

Time: 2:15-3:00
Place: Room 2018/2020
Speaker: Alex Greger (Sr. Demand Generation Technologist, Hileman Group)
My take: If you can show to to connect purchase and product info via API within an hour, I’m impressed. I feel that a lot of Marketo users often freak out over (or just ignore) anything with API references. Its not as hard as at it seems, and it is the key to fully realizing the power of an automation tool like Marketo.

Session 4- Globe-Trotting with Marketo – Tips and Tricks for Building a Global Automation Center of Excellence

Time: 3:30-4:15
Place: Room 2018/2020
Speakers: Tim Lamb (Director of Marketing and Demand Generation, Rubicon Global)
My take: It seems every Marketo user deals with the challenges of international marketing slightly differently. Interested to see Tim’s take on best practices for workspaces and things that can be done to make the whole process rock.
Alternative session: Shake the Funk! The Data Behind Deliverability & How to Stay Clean (in Room 2009/2011 at the same time)

Tuesday April 25

Session 1- Embrace Customer-Centric Measurement To Optimize Business Performance

Time: 8:30-9:15
Place: Room 2005/2007
Speaker: Rusty Warner (Principal Analyst, Forrester)
My take: As you’ll seen in a few other places, I’m always a sucker for a good “here are the metrics that matter and how to pull them” type session. In addition to that, this session promises to help you look at marketing from a more customer-focused approach. Anyone who opens a description with “On their own, traditional marketing campaigns are no longer effective.” certainly has piqued my interest.

Session 2- Learn the Dark Side of the Forms: Seduce your Customers to Provide their Personal Secrets

Time: 9:30-10:15
Place: Room 2018/2020
Speaker: Robb Barrett (Marketing Automation Manager, GE Healthcare)
My take: The abstract, while a bit strange, seems to be pushing for using API form submissions instead of default Marketo forms. Anyone that pushes this, has my vote. Excited to see what Robb has and what he can share about easily switching from Form 2.0 to API based submissions to your database. If you’re still using Marketo forms, don’t skip this session.

Session 3- Fundamental Program Templates: Five Templates You Need to Scale Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Time: 2:30-3:15
Place: Room 2010
Speakers: Edward Unthank (Founder and Lead Marketing Technology Consultant, Etumos)
My take: Edward is a top-tier Marketo user, and I wouldn’t miss anything he was speaking on. This session hits on one of the things I’ve always admired about his work- good Marketo architecture. Not sure the full details, but best practices around scaleable program designs is sure to be a winner.

Session 4- What Your Mom Never Told You About MOPs

Time: 3:30-4:15
Place: Room 2018/2020
Speaker: Joe Reitz (Strategist, Nurture Marketing, Fathom)
My take: The abstract on this one was brief, so I’m not entirely sure to expect. The potpourri of topics addressed (and the fact that it’s going to be by a single speaker… won’t like I’ve got a slight preference toward single speaker sessions) looks interesting.

Session 5- Designing for Change: How to Manage Your MarTech Investments for Peak Performance

Time: 4:45-5:30
Place: Room 2001/2003
Speaker: Scott Brinker (Co-founder & CTO, IonInteractive)
My take: While I usually stay away from the macro-view type sessions, this one by Scott is sure to be a winner. There isn’t a bigger authority out there on the MarTech landscape than Scott, his take on leveraging the technology to drive marketing specifically for a Marketo audience is sure to be invaluable. Don’t let the “after-5” tiredness keep you from this one!

Wednesday April 26

Session 1- Passing the Baton: How to Track Sales Follow-Up on your Marketing Leads

Time: 9:30-10:15
Place: Room 2009/2011
Speakers: David Da Silva (Marketing Operations Manager – NewVoiceMedia), Mark Farnell (RVP Marketing Operations, NewVoiceMedia)
My take: I’m very curious to hear through this session. Being perfectly honest, I’ve always thought Marketo could be stronger in the sales interaction tracking (and in the past, I’ve often had to bring those metrics into reports and Marketo usually through 3rd party vendors or custom dev work). I’m interested in what the team and NewVoiceMedia has to say about how Marketo can be a part of this process, and whether they use some out-of-box solutions I’ve glossed over in the past, or if they push for some cool custom dev instead.

Session 2- How To Use AI To Add Relevance To Your Marketing

Time: 10:30-11:15
Place: Room 3014/3016
Speakers: J.J. Kardwell (CEO and Co-Founder, EverString), Kristen Wendel (Director of Marketing Operations, VersionOne), Peter K. Herbert (VP Marketing, VersionOne)
My take: While “AI” may be the big buzzword, in reality “AI” is a lot of what marketing ops is all about (at least if you’re doing it right). I love Everstring’s product, and so I’m interested to hear their take on AI. And I’m just flat our curious what the team and VersionOne mean when they say they are building Marketo smartlists using AI.

Session 3- Leading in the era of digital data explosion: people, process, and platforms

Time: 11:30-12:15
Place: Room 2002/2004
Speaker: Adam Singer (Analytics Advocate, Google)
My take: Google always has placed importance on interacting with customers regularly through speaking at various events. While their talks tend to be a bit formulaic, and tends to push their products a bit, they still deliver some real value for listeners. I’m looking forward to hearing Adam speak and hearing what he’s got on Google Analytics for users at Marketo Summit 2017.

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