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Marketing + Technology: Themes from the Inaugural MarTech14 Conference
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By: Jessica Miller

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August 29th, 2014

Marketing + Technology: Themes from the Inaugural MarTech14 Conference

Marketing Technology | Industry Reports

Last week’s inaugural MarTech conference brought nearly 400 attendees to a sold-out venue in Boston. The conference showed the progress and potential of a new breed of marketer: the chief marketing technologist. 

Our team’s expectations were certainly met. The program included a mix of marketing and tech strategy, how different organizations implement technologies, lessons learned along the way, and growth hacks for making it all work. 

Below we offer a few key trends, and curated articles from attendees and speakers. My (@jessica_joellen) overall themes and takeaways:

  • It’s time to get “customer obsessed.”
  • Tech enables a personalized, customer-experience driven approach to marketing (and to business).
  • It takes a new, hybrid breed of strategist / marketer / technologist to make things happen, and to truly realize the mar-tech potential.

Customer Obsession and Experience Is the Goal

Across the board, speakers agree that the customer is in charge, and the customer is a catalyst for change. “The world is changing, and it’s time to get customer obsessed,” said Sheryl Pattek (@sherylpattek), VP & Principal Analyst, CMO and Marketing Leadership Practice at Forrester Research. 

Check out Sheryl’s presentation for details:



Digital Transformation for a Digital World

The following quote from Mayur Gupta (@inspiremartech), Global Head of Marketing Technology & Operations, Kimberly-Clark, resonated: “We don’t believe in digital marking, we believe in marketing in a digital world.”

It’s no longer “digital vs. traditional,” or “online vs. offline” marketing. It’s all about a connected experience—one that truly transcends channels. Yes, we’re living in a digital world. When I’m out on a run that’s tracked with my fitness app, when I’m checking in and taking photos of a meal at my favorite restaurant, or even when I’m looking into the background of a new contact—I’m digitizing in-person experiences. For businesses, it’s time to tap into the tech that enables customer experiences, and delivers on brand promise across the customer experience.

Laura McLellan (@lauramclellan), VP Marketing Strategies, Gartner Research, summarized the digital transformation well in her presentation too:

  • We’ve entered the realm of the holistic customer experience (across marketing, customer service, sales, if not more broadly). 
  • It’s time to replace ecommerce with customer-centric, digital commerce ecosystems. 
  • Developing new IoT-influenced digital products and services is a gateway for digital disruption.

See more of McLellan’s presentation and take on marketing’s changing role in the presentation below:


And I can’t discuss the tech needed to implement the latest in digital without mention of Travis Wright (@teedubya), CEO of MediaThinkLabs. His discussion about the decision to buy or build your marketing cloud was packed with resources, industry insight, and entertainment. (If you have the chance to see him present, take it.) 


From  To Build Or Buy A Marketing Cloud By Travis Wright from MarTech Conference


MarTech (Unicorn) Talent

So how do you trigger a customer-obsessed business and the technology required to activate it? You need a special breed of talent, talent that Brinker has dubbed the marketing technologist. For more on this new breed, check out the following presentations: 


Additional Resources and #MarTech Recaps

Curious to hear more about the conference? Check out the following recaps (and feel free to add any #MarTech recaps I’ve missed in the comments below).


There’s also a great conversation still happening on Twitter—follow our list of MarTech Speakers or the #martech stream.

About Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller is VP and managing director of PR 20/20, where she guides strategy and performance, and champions the ongoing pursuit of building a great marketing firm. For more than a decade, Jessica has built lasting partnerships that connect marketing strategy to bottom-line business outcomes. Jessica joined PR 20/20 in 2011 with global agency experience. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Full bio.

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