Steve and I spent time together recently at both a Red Sox game but more importantly, at MarTech East in Boston. The shift in conversation was wildly fascinating: the focus seemed to be personalization, privacy, and security.
In high stakes competitive chess, there’s a gaming style called “Freestyle” which is just as “ditch-the-rulebook” as it sounds. The best players are called “centaurs” and although these particular centaurs aren’t half-human/half-horse, their makeup runs along the same logic.
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.
I was at the Marketing Analytics Summit a while back, and I remember talking to a lot of people who felt that:
- Measurement was really important
- Measurement was really, really hard
The eternal struggle for B2B marketers seems to be connecting marketing actions to business results. But this can’t be a reason to give up on marketing analytics.
Last week I was asked what the biggest opportunities and gaps are in the MarTech stack. It’s an interesting question when one considers all the technology that’s available in the market. While I could opine on features and functions that I’d like to see, what really bugs me is the fact that so much of the overarching promise of marketing technology remains unfulfilled.
What do customers want, and are you delivering?
Ask a business executive and they’ll tell you that everything they do is for their customers. Which is all well and good, but how many B2B companies are really paying attention to the changes in what customers want?
Let’s view personalization through your visitor’s eyes
Anyone who has kept up with me on just about any social media platforms knows I’m all about music, and my guilty pleasure – always – would be investing in a new guitar. Or, y’know, guitars. More is better. And if I were to visit a music store that collected data on visitors, they’d know I like a certain make of guitar (I do) and that, for example, I bought two last year and have only bought one so far this year. Maybe, the bright salesperson thinks, “this guy needs need another axe.”
There’s a serious need for changing the way we deal with customer data. How you can use data and still maintain a good relationship with your customers, even among the distrust? We also take a look at who has failed at that, so you can learn what not to do. Take a listen.
As summer hits its hot, vacation-filled days the work world slows down for a minute. In these slower moments, there’s a chance to reflect on the speed of business.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve had 147 conversations with B2B marketing leaders. These aren’t sales calls. I’m not pitching anything. They’re conversations about the issues that are top of mind for these professionals. I guide these discussions with questions around areas we’re interested in, but the main goal is to get a sense of the market. It turns out that personalization is a top of mind issue.