Straight from the Champions’ Mouths: What to Look Forward to at Summit 2017

Modern Marketing


In just a few months, thousands of people will descend upon San Francisco for the Marketing Nation Summit.

This year, we’re bringing together the best and brightest minds in marketing, advertising, IT, services, and beyond for cutting-edge thought leadership, industry best practices, and unparalleled networking opportunities. The theme: leading in the Engagement Economy, which will inspire you to rethink the way your organization creates meaningful, lasting relationships with your customers to drive results that matter.

While we’re certainly excited for another great event, we understand that it can sound like we’re beating our own drum. So, don’t just take our word for it! Take it from Marketo Champions, our exceptional customers who are Marketo Certified experts, avid contributors in the social world, and have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Marketo Community. In this blog, our Marketo Champions will share why they’ve attended past Summits and what they’re looking forward to this year:

1. Learning and Career Growth

Summit is a great opportunity to strengthen your current expertise, grow your Marketo knowledge, and expand your overall marketing knowledge. This year, more than ever before, we are broadening our focus on marketing as a whole beyond the Marketo Engagement Platform. Dabble in something new by crossing over to new areas of marketing and take your career to the next level!

Advice from Marketo Champions

Take advanMarketo Champion Courtney Grimestage of the Champion Smart Bar, Q&A sessions, and the Nation of Nerds around you to solve some of the issues you and your department have been dealing with. Odds are someone will know the answer, and if not, they’ll know who to point you to.—Courtney GrimesSenior Marketing, Automation and CRM Consultant at DemandLab



The greatest benefit of attending Summit is the iron-sharpens-iron dynamic that happens when you’re surrounded bMarketo Champion Joe Reitzy the best minds in marketing. At Summit, everyone wants to help you, and there’s no office politics or ulterior motives involved as to why. Just come ready to learn, and you’ll be edified; it’s practically a guarantee. Also, you’ll never have a more convenient time to become an official Marketo Certified Expert (MCE). Even if you don’t feel like you’re quite ready, you can catapult your understanding of the platform just by soaking up all the good knowledge and conversation from other MCEs, Champions, and every other practitioner you come across.—Joe ReitzStrategist, Nurture Marketing at Fathom



Marketo Champion Sydney MulliganOne of the most valuable things I learned at Summit last year was how to really take charge of my career with Marketo. I learned how I could network and be more involved in the Community, and be supported by and learn from a fantastic, brilliant group of peers. Now I’m in the Marketo Champions program, leading a MUG (Marketo User Group) in my area, and much more connected with other people all across the country who are doing the same things I am and figuring it out together (looking at you, #MyKrewe). And come home ready to own! I think anyone who has been to Summit can attest to the sheer volume of exciting ideas, strategies, and best practices that you inevitably end up mapping out on the plane ride home. I can’t wait to see what I learn at Summit make a real, measurable impact on my marketing department’s success.—Sydney MulliganSenior Marketing Operations Analyst at Phreesia



Marketo Champion Emily DickTypically, the first time you attend (or when you’re simply very new to Marketo), you’re learning lots of how-tos and tips and tricks. But at some point, you begin to get the hang of Marketo and become known as the Marketo expert at your company. Continue to attend Summit each year to validate what you are doing is a best practice, learn how to enhance what you are doing, and stay ahead of the curve on upcoming trends and platform enhancements. After networking with the best-of-best at Summit, you will be able to quote users (aka Josh Hill) and well-known companies to justify your processes, budget, and even make a case for additional headcount.—Emily Dick, Director of Marketing at QuickMobile


2. Sessions

Marketing Nation Summit has traditionally been a user conference, but this year, we’re up-leveling the content and you can learn what’s important to both your peers and executives. This year’s sessions will be led by industry influencers, executives, practitioners, and Marketo Champions for a well-rounded view of the marketing landscape.

Advice from Marketo Champions

ThiMarketo Champion Danielle Balestras year’s speaker roster is going beyond the previous year’s by getting more strategic. For example, leaders from Gartner, IDC, SiriusDecisions, and Forrester are speaking this year. All Marketo daily users should encourage their executive team to participate and hear from these strategic leaders. It’s not just for marketing operations and Marketo consultants!—Danielle BalestraConsultant at Ela Bean Marketing



Marketo Champion Dory ViscoglisoiBe sure to focus on sessions that will help you to grow (Champion sessions are great for this!), but also sessions that give you insight into what CMOs, CEOs, and CROs need from Marketing. Summit is a great chance for you to grow your career! Also, plan in advance–in-between sessions is not the best time to decide where you want to go next.—Dory ViscogliosiSenior Marketing Operations Manager at Datto



Marketo Champion Courtney GrimesGet out of your comfort zone! Often, people will attend sessions that are directly relevant to what they do on a daily basis, but now is a perfect time to try something new. Ops and analytics nerd? Attend a session on content! Marketing coordinator? Attend a session about marketing from a CMO’s perspective. You’ll get a chance to learn something new while still being familiar with the overall context.—Courtney GrimesSenior Marketing, Automation and CRM Consultant at DemandLab


3. Marketing Technology

Marketo LaunchPoint gives you access to hundreds of applications that complement and integrate into Marketo’s Engagement Platform, whether you’re looking for predictive analytics and big data solutions, content marketing solutions, or lead data providers. Learn about their offerings at Summit, and compare and contrast solutions.

Advice from Marketo Champions

Marketo Champion Emily DickAs your technology stack (and hopefully budget) grows, so are the increasing offerings that marketers have. I use Summit as a place to catch up with current vendors, talk with up and coming vendors, and get demos of tools I’m actively shopping for. This saves you hours of initial research online and discovery calls. After a few high-level demos, you’ve got your shortlist to take back to your team. For bonus points, I’m not caught by surprise when my CEO mentions a new marketing technology.—Emily Dick, Director of Marketing at QuickMobile



Marketo Champion Joe ReitzStack shopping–it’s like going to the mall for MarTech. There are only a few conferences like Summit where you’ll have all the industry-leading integrators, solutions providers, and digital marketing agencies gathered in one place for your shopping pleasure. Compare, contrast, and make your favorite two agency consultants get into an arm wrestling/joust contest. It’d be a huge miss not to take advantage of the smorgasbord of professional talent that’s ready and eager to learn how they can possibly help your business drive forward.—Joe ReitzStrategist, Nurture Marketing at Fathom



Marketo Champion Danielle BalestraBringing Adweek, one of the main media outlets who is focused on advertising, to Summit is a great decision. I look forward to hearing their perspective of how AdTech, new regulations, and MarTech will continue to evolve. Coming from the publishing industry, I was very involved with AdTech, understanding how it works, and how to monetize from it. From a non-publishing/media perspective, marketers are only focused on their digital advertising objectives which can include retargeting, Google AdWords, and Facebook. But the AdTech ecosystem is deep and sometimes overwhelming. There are many regulations that are about to go into effect globally, which will continue to shift AdTech.—Danielle BalestraConsultant at Ela Bean Marketing


4. Networking

The Marketing Nation Summit is the one time of year the entire ecosystem of customers, partners, employees and prospects join together. What does this mean? Network, network, network. Take advantage of the opportunity because nothing beats meeting people face-to-face.

Advice from Marketo Champions

Marketo Champion Courtney GrimesMake a point to speak to as many people as possible. While it’s tempting to just stick within the group that you came to Summit with (or people you already know, such as your local user group), the single biggest benefit of being at Summit is that everyone’s in one location! Chat up people you meet at sessions–Marketo employees, vendors. It’s the one time you’ll see everyone.—Courtney GrimesSenior Marketing, Automation and CRM Consultant at DemandLab



Nothing beats meeting people face-to-face to talk through a cool new project. I love meeting my clients, Marketo Champion Dan Radubusiness partners, or job candidates in person. Summit is exactly that opportunity where everyone comes together.—Dan RaduFounder and Principal Consultant at Macromator



Marketo Champion Joe ReitzProfessional networking and is certainly a big component of any big conference like Summit, but even better, you can forge real lifelong relationships with people who face the same kinds of pains and challenges you do, whether you’re a brand-side marketer or a dark-hearted consultant. Leverage the mobile app to connect with other folks you think you can learn from–and also just relax and have a good time with!—Joe ReitzStrategist, Nurture Marketing at Fathom



Marketo Champion Danielle BalestraI cannot agree more with all my fellow Champions that networking is one of the greatest features of Summit. Every Summit I attend, I meet 25 to 50 new people who are doing amazing marketing from diverse industries, including some that I couldn’t really believe is using Marketo. Now add the more strategic focus of this year’s conference, hopefully, we will be meeting more SVPs and CMOs.—Danielle BalestraConsultant at Ela Bean Marketing 



Marketo Champion Jackie PottsInteract with Marketo employees that you have talked to. Put a face to the name.—Jackie PottsMarketo Administrator at LI-COR Biosciences



Marketo Champion Juli JamesSpend time geeking out with so many like-minded people that don’t look at you blankly when you say ‘MQL, SQL, OMG’ and laugh hysterically.—Juli JamesAssistant Professor of Marketing at St. Edward’s University


5. Product Updates

Summit gives you exclusive access to Marketo’s product roadmap. Be the first to hear about the latest and greatest new features and developments to the platform!

Advice from Marketo Champions

Marketo Champion Dan RaduThe latest Marketo initiatives are always announced at the Summit first. In 2016, it was the account based-marketing (ABM) solution. That is what inspires me. I always come back with exciting ideas for the upcoming year.—Dan RaduFounder and Principal Consultant at Macromator



Marketo Champion Danielle BalestraEach Summit, Marketo introduces the latest and greatest new features to their platform. I can recall being at Summit in 2014 when RTP was being demoed and we purchased it that year, and 2015 when mobile was introduced. I can’t wait to see what will be improved or introduced in 2017! I want to not only know but be on-site to test out the new product.—Danielle BalestraConsultant at Ela Bean Marketing



Marketo Champion Juli JamesGet involved in early user testing to see what Marketo is planning for the future. It’s great knowing you are helping to shape the product roadmap.—Juli JamesAssistant Professor of Marketing at St. Edward’s University


6. Swag

There’s tons of swag to gather from the Expo Hall to the parties. Bring it back to the office or for your friends and family!

Marketo Champion Dory ViscoglisoiAdvice from Marketo Champions

Pack your bags half-full. They’ll be overstuffed on the trip home if you have had a successful Summit. But, you will also have an opportunity to discuss the companies and products behind the swag which will improve your Marketing Tech stacks immeasurably (well, you should always be able to measure improvement, but you know).—Dory ViscogliosiSenior Marketing Operations Manager at Datto



Marketo Champion Jenn DiMariaThere’s loads of great swag! I gravitate toward t-shirts (my favorite was one that says, “I like it when you talk data to me”) and things that are useful, like back-up battery backs. Those suckers come in handy when you’re walking around sessions all day!—Jenn DiMariaMarketing Automation Consultant at RevEngine Marketing



Marketo Champion Joe Reitz

Let’s be honest: if you don’t get into some hijinx while at an international marketing conference, I’m going to have to confiscate your marketer ID card. There’s tons of swag to be gathered (like everyone else says, pack light, you’ll be going home with a full duffel), and all those after-hours parties and refreshments aren’t going to enjoy themselves…plus, nothing creates a bond (even solid professional ones) like blowing off a little steam at the end of a packed day.—Joe ReitzStrategist, Nurture Marketing at Fathom

Did you enjoy these tips? Do you have any of your own to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below. And don’t forget to register for Marketing Nation Summit!

Interested in meeting our Marketo Champions? Reach out and connect with them at Summit!

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