This past May 10th-11th, I attended 2017’s MARTECH conference in San Francisco. After perusing the exhibit floor and attending hours of marketing sessions, I identified five recurring themes that each speaker touched on. These are:
- Changing the marketer’s mindset—It’s not “or”, it’s “AND”.
- Data is at the heart of understanding your customer
- Mobile moments—Serving an individual at the right time
- Personalization at scale—Behaviors before attributes
- AI and the future of marketing
Changing the marketer’s mindset—It’s not “or”, it’s “AND”
This was a recurring theme throughout the conference beginning with the morning keynote on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. It opened with Scott Brinker, Program Chair at MARTECH, analyzing the current marketing technology landscape. Last year (2016) there were ~3,500 companies in the space with no clear solution that was fit to be the best tool for every purpose. Moreover, there were a plethora of tools that were the best-of-breed solution in their specific category. It was predicted that in the coming years, there would be a decrease in the total unique solution providers, or best of breed, in favor for a few all-inclusive, or single-vendor suite solutions. This year, with the total number of marketing technology companies increasing to 5,381 and analyzing the MarTech stacks of other leading brands, it’s clear that marketers aren’t choosing between a single-vendor suite OR best of breed, but rather, choosing both, single vendor suite AND best of breed.
The theme was later touched on when Brinker spoke with Mayur Gupta, VP of growth and marketing at Spotify, on whether marketing today is more of an art or science? After analyzing multiple surveys and perspectives of marketers and technologists today they concluded that marketing is more of a science than it used to be, but there is still very much a creative art to it. While one could argue that marketers could not be successful today without analyzing the results and data from a marketing campaign, the same argument could be made about designing and crafting that message in that campaign. Therefore, marketing is both an art AND a science.
Lastly, the AND vs. OR theme reemerged throughout the conference when multiple speakers addressed the question whether marketers should be building a mobile app or a mobile optimized web page. The answer?
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