Measuring the ROI of Attending Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

By SummitSync


What do Queen Latifah, James Corden, and Train have in common?

They’ll all be at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit starting April 24 in San Francisco along with thousands of other top digital marketers. With over 75 sessions, certification opportunities, and plenty of networking including “Marketo’s famous 5k”, the conference is sure to excite and educate attendees.

I won’t be running a 5k any time soon, but I did sit down with three Marketo Marketing Champions who are planning to attend this year to discuss why they choose this event and how they plan on measuring the ROI of attending.

Why did your team decide to attend Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit?

Socedo attended Summit for the first time in 2016, and it was one of the most productive marketing and sales efforts of the entire year. Not only did we close a significant amount of new revenue from the contacts we met at the event, but we also learned best practices to use for our own lead nurturing and data management, returned to our office with a deeper understanding of the Marketo ecosystem, and of course, had a ton of fun!”

We have two team members attending this year. I’m attending for the fifth time to network and learn best practices. The other team member is very new to Marketo and will be learning tips and tricks as well as attending content focused sessions,” says Emily Dick, Director of Marketing and former Marketo speaker, from QuickMobile.

Danielle Balestra, an independent consultant for Marketo, explained, “This will be my fourth time attending Marketo National Summit. My first two years I attended as the head of the marketing department as a customer [of Marketo]. This year, I’m going as an independent Marketo consultant. It’s now important for me to keep meeting with people who have challenges that I can help them overcome. I also want to meet other intelligent marketers that I can learn from.”

Sydney Mulligan, from Phreesia, explained “We are Marketo users, so it’s great to get really practical, hands-on tips from Marketo itself. We all went to Summit last year and found it to be a great time of learning more about the product and awesome new ideas to implement when we got home.”

What are your goals at the event?

Take a lesson from Socedo’s Adam Hutchinson on hard versus soft goals when attending conferences!

“We group our goals into ‘hard goals’ and** ‘soft goals’.** Our hard goals include how many contacts we expect to meet and how many conversations we can have with our target accounts and customers, but it’s all about quality over quantity. At the end of the day, hard goals turn into hard revenue, and at a minimum, we want to make the expense of attending Summit ROI positive. For soft goals, we set targets to network with other leading brands and influencers in the industry and become a better customer and partner of Marketo, which includes personal development for each person we send.”

Emily has a more personal approach to measuring success, “I will be attending to validate the approach that our team takes to lead process, marketing automation, and marketing strategy. Summit is well worth attending if I take home 1–3 tips and tricks to run our Marketo system more efficiently. Additionally, I expect that we will be inspired to be even better at our jobs.”

“My goal this year is to meet at least fifty people and network that aggressively. In the past, it may have been to meet with other people who were facing the same challenges as I was. I also make sure there is some general learning, at least walk away with a little more knowledge of the product,” stated Danielle.

“We have a couple people hoping to pass the Marketo Certified Expert exam at Summit this year, which is very exciting. As a team we are hoping to learn more best practices for new tactics we’d like to roll out this year, including Account Based Marketing and Online Advertising. And of course, it’s always awesome and super helpful to see how other people are setting up and tracking their programs in Marketo. There is always another way to think about something!

Personally, I’m looking forward to networking with fellow Marketo Champs. I have close relationships with a few Champs, but I’m excited to meet more!” The Marketo community really comes alive in Sydney’s comments.

Setting up goals, whether they’re hard, soft, personal, or team-oriented, leads everyone to being able to stay accountable and focused. Marketing Nation Summit features new product demos so one great goal is to learn more and test out these new features and see

How does your team plan on measuring the success of attending Marketing Nation Summit?

Everyone wants to be ROI positive. But what does that really mean?

Adam nails it again with being able to measure hard and soft goals. “First of all, we’re still running a business here, so we need to be ROI positive, meaning we need to close revenue from new deals and customer upgrades from people we meet at the event, higher than the expense of sending our team. This also helps us justify pulling people out of the office for a week. Secondarily, we need to feel confident that the audience there is a good fit for productive networking. This is more of a qualitative feeling, but it means we were able to have conversations with the right kind of brand leaders and influencers that will shape our business development, co-marketing opportunities, and other strategies. Finally, if we walk away with new ideas to make us better users of Marketo and unlock those “hidden” features, that’s a nice bonus!”

Emily knows that ROI isn’t always associated with a dollar amount, “There needs to be an ROI payoff. This likely comes from the post-event key takeaways that are apart of attending any industry conference. While there isn’t always a dollar amount of this ROI, it can come down to time savings in efficiencies or new best practices for campaigns. At the end of the day, we look at the potential learnings that can be achieved at a conference and if those learnings align with our marketing strategy.”

Danielle is her own boss now, so she doesn’t need to justify to anyone else but herself that attending was a success. That’s why it is so important for her to set up concrete goals beforehand

Sydney’s smaller team does things a little differently. “We usually have a call all together when we get back and discuss what we learned and how we can help each other with that.”

Making Marketo More Efficient

Danielle, Emily, and Adam along with thousands of other attendees will be convening in Moscone Center for a few glorious days of learning, networking, and building relationships.

If you’re preparing for Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit, take a look at tips for booking more meetings before the big event.

Free Ebook: Drive More Revenue at Conferences and Trade Shows

Learn how to book more and better meetings with the right prospects, so you can close more sales at the show and maximize your event ROI.