Courage & Consistency: 5 Takeaways from Marketo's #MKTGnation

Part 1

April 26, 2017

Marketo's Marketing Nation Summit

This week, 6,000 marketers from around the globe are gathered together at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit in downtown San Francisco to hear from the brightest minds in the digital transformation of marketing, advertising, IT and beyond. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is proud to be a titanium sponsor this year and with the recent launch of LinkedIn Matched Audiences, our booth has been abuzz with excitement. The content team has also been on the ground, chatting with prospects, customers and slipping into some pretty inspiring sessions. Below are our takeaways from the first half of the conference.

Innovate while remaining true to yourself.

“It’s never been more important to be true to yourself.” - James Corden

English actor, writer, producer, comedian, television host and singer (is there anything he can’t do?) James Corden graced the conference with his presence at the Monday morning keynote. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, he’s most widely known for his Carpool Karaoke videos featuring celebrities including Adele, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. This first of its kind talk show format has gone viral several times and although it looks like a great deal of fun, Corden shared that it can actually be quite trying at times. “It would be a lot easier to do a traditional talk show. Our lives would be a lot easier. But we don’t do that. Because you’ve got to think, what sets you apart from the rest?”, Corden said.

As you’re innovating, however, it’s important to remain true to yourself. “I feel like my best content happens when I’m presenting the audience with the truest version of myself possible,” Corden said. Corden stressed the importance of going all in on authenticity. Some people will like who you are and what you stand for as a brand and others won’t - and that’s okay. That’s how you find your loyal tribe.

Want to win in the engagement economy? Provide personalized value.

“Focus on value, not volume.” - Steve Lucas

Steve Lucas, CEO of Marketo, also took the stage during the Day 1 keynote to discuss how brands can, and should do better. Our audiences are focused more than ever before on being treated as unique individuals. The abundance of marketing technology and first party data has created the need for brands to simply do better: to provide more personalized communications and elevated brand experiences to woo increasingly fickle customers. “How are we marrying the human and digital to improve people's lives?”, Lucas asked.

Attention is a currency. We earn it, we spend it and sometimes we lose it. In the arms race for finite attention, we need to focus on what value we’re adding and what problems we’re solving. He concluded, “Welcome to the engagement economy - we’re all in this together.”

Consistent content is key.

“Content’s not the asset. The audience is.” - Joe Pulizzi

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you certainly won’t build a loyal community of followers in a day. It takes time. It takes dedication, a deep knowledge of your core target audience and it takes consistency.

Do you recall who Krazy George Henderson is? He’s the guy who started the wave. He actually invented it. (Wave gif inserted below for those who don’t watch ‘the sports’.) Krazy George had been doing the wave at football games for 2 years (!) until he finally was able to convince a small sample size of the audience to participate. Two weeks later, it happened in another stadium. Two weeks after that - another copycat. Now it’s a worldwide sporting event staple.

If only all marketers could have such patience and consistent conviction. Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi said in his session that marketers are often bad at being consistent. “Consistency isn’t something we’re good at because we live from campaign to campaign.” But, he asserted, if we commit to delivering consistent content over a long period of time (12+ months was the range provided), we can begin to see real return.

Great marketers are prepared to risk everything.

“Courage isn’t enough. To do something great, you need to persuade artfully both inside and outside of your company.” - Drew Neisser

Drew Neisser, Founder & CEO  of Renegade, outlined the four traits of great marketers with a simple acronym: CATS.

The ‘C’ stands for courageous. Great marketers need to have a willingness and boldness to be unique. As Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco put it, “You’ve got to be prepared to risk everything”. Just watching your competition isn’t enough. If you’re just constantly one-upping them you’re not doing anything innovative.

The ‘A’ is for artful. Think about presenting your idea in such a way that others are excited to get involved. “Without artfulness, there will be no communication,” Neisser said. Your idea might be great, but that’s only a piece of the puzzle. As Dara Royer, CMO of MercyCorps put it, “Being right isn’t always enough to get you to the finish line.”

The ‘T’ stands for thoughtful. Marketers need to think to themselves, ‘it’s not about me, it’s about you’. The modern consumer (and marketer) appreciates a thoughtful brand that encourages kindness at a global level. As Daniel Lubetzsky, CEO of KIND put it, "There’s a trend for society to appreciate the power of business incorporating social purpose into their mission...when it’s sincere.”

Finally, the ‘S’ is for scientific. It’s remarkable how many of us don’t have metrics for our goals. As C-Suite Network’s Jeffrey Hayzlett put it, "A lot of CMOs fail because they forget the conditions of satisfaction".

At the end of the day, you are what you share.

“Brands don’t have emotions, people do.” - Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer, CEO of PureMatter and author of USA Today Best-selling book ‘Shareology: How Sharing Powers the Human Economy’ says there’s no more B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: human to human. We need to circle marketing and engagement back to human emotion and understand why people and brands share.

Below are the emotional reasons why people and brands share, Kramer says:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Joy
  • Sadness
  • Surprise

Essentially, people share in hopes of getting the same emotion reciprocated back to them.

Kramer also outlined the 7 personas of online sharers:

  • Altruist: Those who share from the heart.
  • Careerist: Those who share to become thought leaders and to be helpful.
  • Hipster: The early adopters. They share to teach others.
  • Boomerangs: Those who ask questions to get responses so they can in turn respond.
  • Connector: Those who share to find new, like minded connections.
  • Selectives: Those who like to remain anonymous. (There’s a little bit of this in all of us, no?)

At the end of the day, why do humans share? The answer, Kramer says, is connection. People want to connect with others and build relationships.

BONUS: To find out what kind of sharer you are, visit

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