In June, I was honored to take part in The Millennium Alliance’s first ever Transformational CMO Day in the Mecca of marketing, New York City. It was the first in a series of one-day events The Millennium Alliance launched to equip CMOs with the knowledge they need to get up to speed on the latest marketing technology. After all, the martech landscape is constantly evolving, leaving many marketers overwhelmed by the amount of new tools and technologies in their arsenal.

CMOs are increasingly seeking networking opportunities that enable them to absorb high-level content and debate the latest marketing trends. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that took center stage at CMO Day, as the experience was a learning opportunity for me as well. I’ve been in online advertising and marketing for almost 20 years, and it’s been fascinating to see trends as they unfold. Which will be part of the hype cycle and diminish, and which will really stick? Getting a chance to engage with some of the speakers and the thought leaders in attendance helped me gain that insight.

One trend that kept coming up at Transformational CMO Day involved the rise of artificial intelligence in the marketing industry. AI has changed the game tremendously, but we’re still in the early stages of applying it to marketing. Modern marketers can utilize AI to make sense of influential moments, but they’re still working to determine the right actions brands should take to engage their customers and provide better experiences.

There was also a lot of noise about virtual reality in the marketplace. What’s great about VR is that it enables customers to engage with a brand in a different and more curated way. For example, I recently purchased a new phone at an AT&T store and was pleasantly surprised to discover an immersive Westworld VR experience inside. The connection wasn’t clear at first, but I quickly realized that AT&T owns DIRECTV, whose number one channel is HBO, which airs Westworld. So, there was a logical extension between the AT&T store and the Westworld experience, which enabled me to enjoy the VR and cultivate a different relationship with the brand altogether.

These types of conversations are one of the benefits of attending a small, intimate C-level event such as CMO Day. You get to talk to the people that matter. Percolate is in an entirely new category, which we’re still in the process of defining. To do that, we need to collaborate with thought leaders who have these types of problems, and who are open to debating them.

You can see my full interview on The Millennium Alliance’s CMO Day in New York City here.

And if you were there, I hope you enjoyed it! I’ll definitely be back next year for a new round of discussion and insights on the latest trends facing the martech industry.