New York is always a good idea.

Last week, we were honored to host customers and business leaders from around the world at our annual conference, Transition. This is our last Transition of the year, and we ended with a bang.  We gathered together customers, thought leaders, and change agents in one place to dissect the future of marketing.  

Here is what we learned:

What’s old is new again: The Experience Economy

In 1999, Thomas Pine wrote a book called The Experience Economy.  The premise was that future economic growth lies in the value of experiences and transformations–goods and services are no longer enough.  This applied mostly to retail at that time, where brick and mortar was undergoing a huge transformation to be more immersive and compelling.  Fashion brands, hotels, and restaurants jumped on the insight and places like Dylan’s Candy Bar + The Dream Hotel were born.

This trend in marketing continues today.  At Transition Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce, shared his seven key changes that will disrupt the way we market today and in the future. He set the tone by speaking to our current environment, where we live in a world of infinite media.  Today, on average, an individual sees 500 messages per day. To put that into perspective, consumers only received 50 messages per day in 1970. The shift from consumers being content generators is not only challenging, but it disrupts the way brands can truly connect. As marketers, we need to focus on creating meaningful and relevant brand experiences focused on a shared passion. Those marketers who understand the value of experience are  96.3x more likely to beat their direct competition.

Perry Hewitt, Senior Advisor of Engagement Strategy at Lincoln Center, also reinforced the importance of martech’s role in creating personalized experiences, especially as customers increasingly want and even expect companies to tailor offerings to their specific needs. One way to create a deeper engagement with consumers is to align your brand with a mission or cause. In 2016, a study found that 76% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding where to work.  As we all just witnessed, Nike took a big swing with their latest Kaepernick campaign. A risk? Yes. Did it work? Yes.

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Transforming in the Digital Age

We were also graced with the presence of our legendary customer, Pabst Brewing Company (PBC). In a keynote speaking session, Jillian Davis, Director of Marketing Technology at Pabst Brewing Company, explored how you drive change in an organization, particularly with the challenges of being a 150-year old company and undergoing a total marketing technology transformation. The goal is to strengthen their connection plan with consumers. In order to successfully do so, they need to change their internal processes first, then build out a sales cycle for the internal marketing teams. The selling process comes down to three key areas: people, process and product. And to drive change both inside using Percolate and out, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What is the core platform focus?
  • What us the end-user experience?
  • How does this drive internal efficiency?
  • How can you prevent overbuying?

By doing so, you now have a better understanding about the selling process and marketing impact across teams, projects and regions. You must evaluate software to solve for challenges with content quality, quantity and coordination (hey! this is directly related to the content bottleneck, read more how to solve it here).

Innovating through Complexity

Oxford University Press (OUP) is one of the most innovative organizations in its industry. However, with a diverse portfolio, comes a high quantity of content. Their content varies from broad to narrow and as a result, this leads to extremely complex distribution workflows. OUP’s Chief Marketing Officer Colleen Scollans shared lessons learned, the primary lesson being that the most limiting factor for any marketing team is not understanding your data. You need to think of marketing technology holistically, across the whole marketing department. Her last bit of advice? Walk before you can run.

Technology as an enabler of consistent content

Chief of Staff of Brand & Creative at Capital Group, Whitney Kisling shared her approach to staying consistent across channels, including her “eat your vegetables” mantra, that focuses on using segments to inform how to create custom content. Just like with eating veggies, as you introduce new technologies, you need to reinforce the behavior over and over until the benefits become obvious. Consequently, you create unification to a decentralized organization.  

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Get your side hustle on

Last, but certainly not least, Siegal+Gale’s Margaret Molloy gave us some sage advice on setting up a “side hustle” as well as what makes a successful CMO in todays world.  Content is the currency for marketers and understanding how to build and distribute the right stories at the right time is the challenge. Brands aren’t always clear on their purpose — you must know why you exist in the world before you start creating content. And, in her experience, marketers tend to get bored with their own content creation before the audience gets bored with it.  

As for having a hobby outside your day job, Margaret believes all CMOs must have a side hustle and/or passion project in addition to their full-time role. Why? You need somewhere to conduct fun experiments that don’t put your day job at risk. Innovation, whether it’s content, or any form, happens when worlds collide. With a side hustle, CMOs have more of a growth mindset, which is absolutely vital for content and innovation.

To learn more about how Percolate helps brands execute their marketing strategy, request to speak with a product expert today.