Marketo pays a price for not understanding the definition of Marketing

I just went to any amazing road show for Marketo.

God knows how much they spent to entertain over 1000 marketing professionals with breakfast lunch morning teas, drinks, in the centre of Sydney, at The Westin Sydney, a five-star hotel sporting one of the CBD’s biggest convention rooms, with an array of quality speakers, full light & sound, screen and seating, promotional gifts, decor and print matter… and all the promotional activity to fill the room…

They flew Phil Fernandez, their Chairman and CEO, over from the states… and their VP of Product Management as another USA presenter from their team…

Their key staff were there, up to and including their Marketing Director, all kitted out in promotional attire.

It was smick. Chic. Classy. Impressive… and Marketo deserve to get some sales from it.

But you don’t NEED deep pockets when you get Positioning right

The problem is they missed the mark, simply because they don’t appear to understand the Definition of Marketing. They use Marketing as a synonym for PROMOTION.

As a colleague of mine put it, “They perceive only 1P in anyone’s marketing mix”.

Marketo appears to be a powerful digital, marketing communications tool. Optus and Flight Centre promotions department use it successfully.

But, because Marketing isn’t just about generating leads, and professionals know its as much the management of pricing, of distribution, new product development, market research and analysis, product management and brand management, management of processes and people and positioning… packaging, planning, forecasting, industry analysis, competition analysis, environmental analysis, economic analysis, compliance with legal and social cultural norms and expectations, keeping up with technology, managing change, strategic planning and coordination with corporate mission vision and purpose, juggling budgets and answering to multiple stakeholders (internal & external) AND promotions management (analogue AND online) … Marketo has created for itself ambiguous positioning and vague market reputation.

Within the Promotional Mix (the 1 P that Marketo performs in) marketers are balancing inputs such as advertising, public relations, sales promotions and personal selling, to not only generate leads, but satisfy and respond to all of the Marketing Mix, above… and if Marketo could just grasp its own true value, deliver positioning that says “Online, digital promotions management software”, then Marketo would be targeting PRIME target audience prospects, better communicating its own USP (unique selling proposition) and revealing a valuable PBM (prime buying motive) that would generate better sales for itself and better information dispersion to the marketing industry.

Anyone wanting a quick treatment of Definition of Marketing should visit

For a deeper and strategically applicable treatment download my [free] e-book, The Four Faces of Marketing from

Marketing effort vs Market Positioning
The brawn is big budget. The brains is positioning.

Published by Leigh Cowan

If you have a passion and enthusiasm for the art and science of strategic marketing and management, spawned from academic findings that work in commercial situations, we should get on fine! ;-) Check out

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