From 2013 to 2014, the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit stage got a whole lot grander.

The exhibit floor went from the Golden Gate Room at the Hilton in 2013 to Moscone in 2014. The gala venue went from an art gallery to the Exploratorium. And the keynote went from Patty Azzarello to Hillary Clinton (no disrespect to Patty – she was awesome, as was Hillary).

The period between the 2013-2014 summits also demonstrated plenty of grandeur, with Marketo going public, and Salesforce buying ExactTarget/Pardot for over $2 billion.

Marketing Automation Is Still Fairly New

Yet what’s fascinating is how this big growth is happening so quickly even though the marketing automation space is still so new.

In the sessions I attended, several speakers began by asking how many people had been using Marketo for less than 6 months. A staggering amount of hands went up. In a conversation with a Marketo VP, he mentioned that one of their biggest growth challenges is finding enough qualified people who know marketing automation to run their systems. This photo taken at the Pedowitz booth states that only 1% of businesses in the US are using marketing automation.

Marketo Marketing Automation

If we were to put it in buying cycle terms, marketing automation as an industry would be very early stage.

But even in its infancy, it’s already delivering incredible value, and advancing rapidly — more personalized, more mobile optimized with companies like Modo Labs, more video enhanced with companies like Vidyard, and of course, we at Invoca are bringing the inbound call channel piece into marketing automation.

As for what the Marketo Summit 2015 will bring — who knows? But if Hillary has any say in it, don’t expect to see Vladimir Putin there.

Ari Echt

Posted by Ari Echt

Ari has a hybrid background spanning both digital marketing and traditional advertising. He is a Certified Marketo Expert, and long-ago Google Adwords Certified Professional. He spent the last 8 years doing digital marketing for SaaS companies. Prior to that, Ari spent 10 years as a copywriter for many of the Mad Men agencies (BBDO, McCann Erickson, Young & Rubicam), as well as some really cool boutique ad agencies including DGWB and Crispin Porter & Bogusky.