The Cordial team just returned from spending three days in Boston—eating lobster rolls, enjoying the crisp New England weather and meeting some of the country’s best marketers—people like you! One of the first questions we asked people when they stopped by our booth to meet us was, “What are you hoping to get out of MarTech?” Many attendees came to learn about new technologies, and some shared their current professional challenges, but nearly everyone came with an open mind ready to unlock new answers. We sat in on almost all of the sessions to see what insights the MarTech East speakers came to deliver—here are our top three takeaways from the event.
Unified View of the Customer
In several sessions and even in the pre-event workshops, one of the key takeaways was the goal of creating connected experiences for customers. Jeff Cram and Dave Wieneke from Connective DX led a workshop on this topic while nearly half of the solutions providers touched on the importance of this during their presentations. We get it! If you can’t connect the dots on your customer, how do you truly know who they are?
Your customers are often moving faster than data can flow between your technology. They’re in your store scanning items to find more information, then searching Google or social media hashtags (B2C) or Linkedin (B2B). After interacting with your brand multiple times between their mobile device and in-store, they may finally sit down and visit your site on their computer. Your analytics will tell you this is a direct load, but the data isn’t showing the whole customer journey.
Bridging this story together to understand today’s convoluted customer journey is imperative to delivering the right experience. Does your customer need advice? A different color or size? A bit of history on your brand ethos? A look at what others have said about your products? An authentic look from an influencer? Knowing where your customers are in their journey is crucial to delivering the right next experience and a platform that can deliver a unified view of the customer.
Marketing departments and team structures are changing to keep up with customers’ demands. The word “agile” was featured in nearly half the sessions we attended. It sounds scary, but in reality agile, as defined, is to move quickly and easily. Applying agile principles to your marketing departments can allow your teams to do just that.
Imagine teams that were created to solve customer problems or meet specific KPIs, regardless of specific titles. Imagine product people, email people, mobile people and data people all meeting regularly and enjoying it. That’s what it means to be agile: allowing teams to have the structure and flexibility to move at the pace of the digital ecosystem.
Data indicates that companies that can reduce organizational silos can reap rewards—from customer satisfaction to employee satisfaction—and ultimately increased revenue. Both digital-first companies such as Spotify and traditional companies like Pepsi have adopted agile frameworks to create environments with testing and learning leads to better align with business goals and marketing outcomes, and to better understand their customers.
Constant iteration goes hand-in-hand with seeking a unified view of the customer and creating agile frameworks. For brands who may not have access to all the data about their customers in their platforms, even using one or two data points to test and learn more about these customers can be easier than trying to unify that data. Circumstances are changing much faster than they did in the past, so test to quickly learn what is working in your marketing. The winner from your test today may fail tomorrow. A lot of brands have stumbled upon key business learnings from major tests, often launching new and profitable areas of their business. Airbnb Experiences started as a test in 2014 and today their site drives more traffic than Marriott and Hilton combined. Even when tests fail, the learnings empower teams to drive toward success.
Overall, we learned a lot at MarTech East last week and hope to apply these takeaways to our own day-to-day activities on the marketing team and beyond. It was great to see crowds of marketers sharing new ideas in the halls of the Hynes Convention Center. If your platform is not offering you a unified view of the customer and the ability to consistently test campaigns, give us a call so we can show you the Cordial difference.