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I thought I’d just capture a few thoughts on MarTech East 2019. This summary isn’t representative of the conference, it’s representative of my experience at the conference.

This was my first MarTech East. It was an excellent conference for practitioners of marketing technology arts. Kudos to Scott Brinker and the Third Door Media team. The following are my key takeaways from the conversations that I had with presenters, attendees, and vendors.

The value of moving from an absorbed model of martech adoption to an embedded model.
  • MarTech has become “absorbed” by most organizations. Marketing Ops coordinates and/or manages tech across the enterprise because it has been recognized as critical. Of course, that leads to the default enterprise response: centralize and optimize. That’s probably not the optimal response (see what I did there). The next turn of the crank will be figuring out how to balance the value of centralization and the flexibility of organizations to utilize the “right” tech for their pain point. This is the phase the Scott refers to as Absorbed (see images from Scott’s presentation attached). There are a lot of benefits to the absorbed model (see image).
  • Privacy continues to be top of mind. GDPR. CCPA. ITP. Argentina’s policy. Utah’s policy. Pick one. They’re top of mind because not only is there a duty to comply with regulation but companies want to protect their customer’s data.
  • At the same time, companies LOVE to use personal data to achieve their business objectives. Quotable quote: “Of course we use personal data, we’re an American company after all!”
  • There will someday be a post-personal information world (especially as the data backlash approaches). It is obvious that marketers and vendors aren’t envisioning this time. Part of the is denial. Part of that is the joy that comes from being able to segment and target in a highly granular manner. I’m not sure that’s a sustainable vision for the future.
  • B2B personalization is something everybody talks about, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it. (thanks to Dan Ariely for the inspiration) Beyond campaign segmentation and personalization, B2B companies struggle with personalized experiences especially for visitors coming in through organic search. Those visitors land on random pages, you know little about them, and THIS IS THE BIG ONE, you don’t have content to progress the journey.
  • Agile is a thing. Everyone wants it. Nobody is really doing it. The key challenges to being a more agile organization are not effectively adopting agile practices. The biggest impediment is aligning organizational incentives to make agile something that can further careers. If the best way to the top of the career pyramid is to build large organizations with centralized control then agile will never work in your function.

If anyone would like to grab 15 minutes to follow-up on any of these ideas feel free to connect with me.

SoloSegment will be at MarTech West 2020 on April 15-17 in San Jose. I look forward to seeing all of you there!

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