Interview with Chandar Pattabhiram, Group VP Product and Corporate Marketing at Marketo-thumbnail

Meet Josh Perry. In addition to being the Marketing Automation Manager for Yokogawa Corporation of America, he is also a Marketo Certified Expert and a Marketo Champion.

Recently, he added “Most Engaged Marketer” to the list based on his outstanding participation in the Customer Engagement Zone at the 2014 Marketo Marketing Nation Summit.

The Customer Engagement Zone is a collaboration between Influitive and five other Marketo partners – namely Gainsight, Demandbase, Vidyard, Certain and ReadyTalk. Together, we deliver a collection of digital technologies that allow B2B marketers to create multi-channel marketing strategies with measurable results.

During the Marketing Nation Summit, the Zone was also a community where attendees could network with one another, promote customer engagement best practices, and win great prizes.

We created the Zone using our advocate marketing software, AdvocateHub. Calling upon the core strengths of the software, we invited Summit attendees to complete “challenges” like checking in at vendor booths and sharing photos from the conference.

Marketo Champion Josh earned some extra points for checking in at the Influitive booth

Josh (far right) earned some extra points for checking in at the Influitive booth wearing Marketo purple from head to toe

As participants completed challenges, they earned points toward cool prizes. Josh racked up the most points (18,955) and walked away with a tech bundle worth about $1,000: an iPad Mini with retina display, Beats by Dr. Dre studio headphones, and a Nike+ Fuelband.

Topping the Customer Engagement Zone leaderboard wasn’t easy, though.

Josh was neck-in-neck for the top spot and, on the final day of the conference, I noticed him running around the Moscone Center in an effort to complete as many challenges as possible (all while wearing Marketo purple from head to toe). In the end, Josh beat the second-place finisher by only a few hundred points.

I caught up with Josh to find out more about his role as a Marketo Champion and his experience in the Customer Engagement Zone.

The role of a Marketo Champion

Josh has used Marketo software for nearly five years while at three different companies.

Marketo Champion Josh also checked in at Demandbase's booth rocking his "Marketo Certified Expert" hat

Josh also checked in at Demandbase’s booth rocking his “Marketo Certified Expert” hat

He was selected as a Marketo Champion based on his involvement in the Marketo community, and his enthusiasm for discussing what’s possible with marketing automation software.

As a Champion, he continues with those activities. However, Josh says, “I’m also rewarded by being invited to quarterly conference calls with Marketo and the other Champions to discuss what we’re doing with marketing automation, share our experiences working with Marketo partners, and see previews of and beta test upcoming Marketo features.”

At the annual Marketo conference, Champions also share their successes with other marketers, and answer questions that attendees may have about Marketo or marketing automation in general.

Why be an advocate for Marketo?

Like many in his position, Josh wants to expand his knowledge and skill set and become an expert in the field of marketing automation. He also wants to network and interact with other thought leaders doing interesting things with marketing automation. And he’d like to have more influence on new marketing automation features.

According to Josh, being an advocate for Marketo helps him achieve all those goals while also giving him a venue for sharing his experiences and opinions about how the software can help other B2B marketers.

Jumping into the Customer Engagement Zone

Josh said he heard about the Zone through an email Influitive sent about the party we were hosting at the Summit. He decided to check it out because he likes to be actively involved at events with his peers and vendors, just like he is as a Marketo Champion. He was intrigued by a new way of being engaged by a vendor. And, he says, “I wanted to win one of those prizes!”


They say business and politics don’t mix, but this Customer Engagement Zone challenge allowed marketers to share their true feelings.

According to Josh, “I was interested in participating in the Customer Engagement Zone because the activities associated with it were the types of activities that get people to engage – both educational and entertaining.”

For example, one challenge presented to Josh included downloading and reading thought leadership white papers about the marketing automation space.

On the other hand, a number of fun challenges were related to Hillary Clinton’s appearance at the event, or required posting snapshots of other presenters or people Josh met at the conference.

Experiencing a better marketing conference

In Josh’s experience, the Marketo Summit offers plenty of opportunities for marketers like him, and the Customer Engagement Zone just added another interesting dimension.

“I think this is a great idea for conferences in general. As marketers, we’re all looking for exciting new ways to engage people because we’re all tired of hearing vendors talk about their products. The Customer Engagement Zone offered something fun, which was just the incentive I needed to participate. Plus, I got to meet several vendors that I may not have reached out to otherwise. I also made new contacts that I plan to work with to implement new ideas.”