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Our MarTech Conference Recap

Marketing technology and its applications are constantly evolving, and it’s our business to understand those changes and how they impact our clients and our work. Luckily, we have a team that’s always hungry to learn more and expand our skills.

Last week, our team attended the 2021 MarTech Conference to stay on top of the latest industry trends, identify how we can be growing, and understand what needs to be on our radar for the future as the lines between traditional marketing and MarTech continue to fade. Here are some of the things we heard and a few key takeaways:

Consumer-First Approach

  • Trust is the new brand currency. Consumers are understanding the value of their data and are more likely to buy from companies they believe protect their personal information.
  • Don’t be a consumer of your consumer. Think about your customer first, and only collect data that you will use to serve them better.
  • Larger companies need to think through all places they’re having conversations with customers and determine whether they’re overwhelming them. The key is to be intentional about how and where you are communicating with customers.
  • Omnichannel Marketing: Think customer-first when building a marketing plan, rather than channel-first. Starting from the channel focuses on engagement rates but not the experience of the user. 32% of consumers walk away from brands they love after one poor experience.

Tech Stack & Tactics

  • Marketers use an average of 21 different platforms. Every one creates different data sets. Marketers bring them all together to drive the customer journey. Collect, connect and analyze data.
  • What can we do to prepare for the end of cookies? Give the people what they want—email. Brands are not placing enough emphasis on email strategy. Many brands focus efforts on social media because a page like or follow can be a quick win, but email subscribers are typically far more likely to engage.
  • Modern MarTech generates a tremendous amount of data. Great visualization of that data is crucial—you can’t just dump data into a dashboard and call it good. Great data viz explains your findings and drives stakeholders to an action.
  • The MarTech space is growing and changing rapidly. We must be adaptable to ensure excellent customer experiences. Whether it’s a focus on first-party data after the end of third party cookies, new social platforms, or using a headless Content Management System to share data across multiple platforms. It is imperative that we keep our eyes and our minds open to new technologies and methods as we move into the future of MarTech.

Creating Connections

  • Beginning to incorporate personalization into your touch points with consumers can seem overwhelming but progress > perfection. Even starting with personalizing one touchpoint with the consumer with something as simple as their first name is better than nothing.
  • The ultimate goal of personalization in marketing should be a mutual value exchange in every interaction with a user/consumer.
  • Listen to what the customer wants. Oftentimes, we as marketers get stuck in solution mode—recommending a software, program or service before we’ve truly taken the intention and time to listen to our customer and understand their pain points. The takeaway? Listen first. Then, create for the customer.
  • Empathy-focused marketing: understanding a customer in their moment of need and delivering value. It’s about developing a great relationship, rather than imposing one.

Special thanks to our data, technology, paid media and digital team members for contributing to this post: Jeff Risley, Zach Gilliam, Jessica Robbins, Anna Taylor, John Gramlich, Von Ralls, Alyx Butt, Avery Hightower, Abbey Stanley, Austin Aga and Harley Hendrick.