On June 8, about 200 marketers gathered in San Francisco to discuss digital transformation and where our industry is headed. Our first of three Transition conferences this year saw marketing leaders from Cisco, Electronic Arts, Albertsons, and Land O’ Lakes shared how they are driving big changes in their organizations. One common theme that emerged is that many of these changes started from the inside, whether that was changing internal brand perception or encouraging culture changes.

If you were at Transition and want to relive some of the highlights, or if you weren’t able to make it and need to get caught up, here’s what you missed.

1. The biggest changes start small

“We started small, and then we scaled.”  — Erika Johnson, Land O’ Lakes

What do you do when you’re tasked with rolling out a software to over 5000 people? Erika Johnson had a few tips from her own implementation of Percolate at Land O’Lakes. She took an incremental approach, starting small in terms of resource investment and then scaling to eventually ‘go big’. She also advised constant communication “up, down, and across” the organization. For more on how she approaches big technological deployments and brings IT and Marketing closer, read our full interview with her.


2. To overhaul customer experience, start from the inside

“The relationship we have digitally with consumers is more important than where the purchase actually occurs.” — Joseph Puthussery, Cisco

In his talk, Joseph Puthussery shared how a massive organization like his has made a conscious, cross-functional effort to reinvent their customer experience. The key: most big changes started with internal shifts in how Cisco perceives itself as a brand. Whether it’s marketing taking accountability for revenue, or changing their brand perception from a hardware company to a software company, or changing their trade shows and events into VR experiences, there’s a lot of exciting change afoot.


3. Driving new processes is more about cultural change than you think

“This is about more than adopting a tool, it’s about creating change.”  — Tamara Bohlig, CMO, AssetMark

Tamara Bohlig, CMO at financial services provider AssetMark, is on a mission. She’s changing the culture of her marketing department, so they can scale in line with the company’s aggressive growth targets. One of the biggest areas she’s driving change is giving Marketing more visibility across the company: when people can see what marketing is doing, “it’s infectious”. Bohlig shared how her team has moved away from “little automation, disparate systems, homegrown systems that were not going to be enhanced”, toward true organizational change driven by technology.

4. Creating great content doesn’t involve reinventing the wheel every time

“There’s only one national donut day, and we only need to make one post about it throughout our brand.” — Karl Meinhardt, VP Social/Digital Marketing, Albertsons

When you operate 18 different supermarket brands across 35 states, it can’t be easy to create content for each brand. Or so you’d think. The country’s second-largest supermarket chain has a lofty content strategy to deliver on, so they key to reaching its audience across demographics and geographies is repurposing content. Karl Meinhardt shared how a unified system for campaign briefing helps them ensure their campaigns fire “on time, and on market”, and revealed that one of the secrets to brand consistency at a massive organization is getting the most mileage possible out of every piece of content.

5. Context will be king to content marketing success

“The battleground for views won’t just be on our channels.”  — Vikram Singh, Director of PMO (Marketing), Electronic Arts

Fun fact: In 2020, it would take an individual five million years to watch all the video posted in one month. And when your industry is video, like EA’s, it’s crucial to get it right. Vikram shared that EA’s game developers typically spend 30 hours of development on three seconds of video capture. But often what’s more important than the content itself, according to Singh, is the context it’s consumed in: the platform, device, and location of your audience matters.

Missed Transition SF? Register for Transition New York on September 28, or Transition London in October.