Bold and Brave: Behind the Scenes of Our Partnership Strategy

Modern Marketing


Nelson Mandela said, “None of us, acting alone, can achieve success.”

With Marketing Nation Summit this week, I have been thinking a lot about fearlessness, partnership, and success. In my role at Marketo, I head up strategy and alliances, which gives me insights to all the partnerships we have across the organization, spanning technology, analytics, and consultant partners, as well as those within our Accelerate and LaunchPoint programs.

With hundreds of partners, and sitting where we do as the world’s largest independent marketing technology company, I wanted to offer my perspective on the unique partnerships that help Marketo remain at the forefront of the Engagement Economy.

Our Newest Partnership: Workplace by Facebook

Marketo seeks partners who are fearless in the face of change, that adapt and predict despite obstacles, and keep the customer at the center of everything they do.

This week, we announced we are partnering with Facebook for its enterprise product, Workplace by Facebook, a tool used by more than 30,000 companies as a communications and collaboration solution. Workplace will allow our customers to bring marketing and sales even closer together to deliver real-time customer engagement. Workplace also integrates with the best of breed SaaS solutions such as Box, G Suite, BlueJeans, and others. It serves as a hub for all your information.

An ecosystem of opportunity for our customers.

Marketo partners are part of an ecosystem built out of some of the most customer-obsessed companies in the world. It affords our customers to fearlessly approach situations and become infinitely better.

Let me back up a step, and explain what I mean by ‘ecosystem.’

An ecosystem is a complex network or interconnected system, by definition. In the business world, this may come to life as the way that your tech stack functions or the way that your partner strategy comes together. For Marketo, it’s a little bit of both.

In the B2B world, I am continually thinking about how we can be brave, fast, and bold with our partnership strategy. It’s my job to suss out who’s doing something new and different, and to consider how it could benefit our customers.

In an ideal ecosystem, we’ll have solutions to complex problems beyond our wildest imaginations. Our customer’s needs, and our own, are met before we even have to consider looking for a solution. We can serve personalization at scale, engage in the right moment at the right place, and be able to deliver world-class solutions to problems without batting an eye.

How to Be the Right Kind of Ecosystem Partner  

What does a partnership look like in that ecosystem? It’s a little more than ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ It’s also more than asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar or to feed your cat while you’re away for a weekend.

We expect our partners to create meaningful relationships that truly help our customers be the best they can be, providing unparalleled opportunities with tangible, measurable benefits for all. We’re looking to transcend beyond everything we’ve accomplished in the past to paint a brave and bold new world where the marketer is empowered to do everything she needs to with micro-precision.

As an entrepreneur, I look for the following qualities in a partnership:

  1. Bold accountability—if there is an issue with your product, hiding will do you no good. This is the digital age and everything you do is in front of others at all times.
  2. Customer obsession—I am wholeheartedly dedicated to our customers and prospective customers. Our partnerships should be too.
  3. Radical transparency—Don’t tell me it’s ‘coming soon.’ Tell me what’s happening in your process. Tell me about your fears, your failures, and what you’re working to overcome.

It’s partnerships like our most recent announcement with Facebook that allow us to be boldly accountable, customer-obsessed, and radically transparent. We’re creating quality partnerships that will drive value—and you should expect that from your partners, too.

What type of partnerships are you driving today? How have you connected various parts of the Marketo ecosystem to create value for your organization?