How Does A Business Stop Being Relevant?
Gradually then suddenly, as Ernest Hemingway said. To twist one of his quotes to meet the needs of this post seems fairly appropriate and also highlights one of the key themes from this conference. Last week’s European Martech conference (hybrid of marketing & technology) focused on the need for marketing and business to be adaptable, in order to enrich the customer experience. Being “fungible” in Martech was the word of the day. Being cautious of this highlighted the risks of “Mediumism” as Brian Solis defines it in X: The Experience When Business Meets Design. Mediumism, he explains, is “placing inordinate weight on the technology of any medium rather than amplifying platform strengths to deliver desired, integrated experiences.” This could see your business produce foggy and sub-optimal experiences that gradually eat away your brand’s identity until it’s too late to recover.
The goal of the @Martechconf was, in part, to inform and discuss with its hybrid audience of IT and Marketing Technologists how to approach and manage increasingly fragmented Martech stacks – the connected marketing technology environments and services used to communicate with customers. If you are in the headspace of feeling that your marketing platforms are playing a game of Jenga as you implement, interoperate and integrate across your organization, you really should attend the US or European conference. To bottom line it, understanding the use and value of Martech will be critical moving into 2016 and beyond.
The “how to” approach to solving these stack puzzles was discussed in detail with many examples focusing on the importance of speed and agility in delivering “adaptation for the sake of relevance.” This then moved on to mapping of the customer experience, business capabilities and supporting architectures. Themes were borrowed from the software development world, particularly around agile methodologies and expanded to the “new” field of “agile marketing.” This approach focuses on iterating minimal viable products (MVP) that slot into live environments tested with consumers. This was highlighted as being among the key factors business should adapt to and encourage.
Scott Brinker pulled together a brief (gulp) 3500 word summary of the event detailing the speakers key takeaways here. The driver, for some of us, was focused on, ”what makes you different?” The answer is the experience you can offer.
Within the blossoming field of Martech, the conference also explored approaches aimed at enhancing customer experiences together with those environments that enable your colleagues to design, build and manage those experiences. This means that when it comes to being responsive toward customers, your employees’ experience is integral to producing the experience layer customers demand.
The company Evrything also presented “The Third age of Marketing – the voice of the product,“ which explored the topic of “how my (connected) products can enhance my life.”
Have you thought about your product and the experience it can deliver once connected?
No conference would be complete without a cookie cutter “Big Data” mention. However, Martech is different and explored analytics as a human endeavor. All Martech is about people trying to understand how we work with a mind boggling number of applications to build the best experiences for our customers.
The Martech conference is new, but the approach is not. The fundamentals are well known: find out what your customers want through listening to their voice, their actions and how they interact directly and indirectly when exploring products, services and devices. Take that knowledge and test out how you can connect to drive the most value for everyone involved. The Martech conference shares the approaches and environments you need to adapt towards being relevant.
You can find some of the presentations alluded to in this post. My recommendation is to take a look at:
- Cleve Gibbons: Rolling your own customer experience platform
- Matt Lerners: Taster into 10 pieces of Martech genius to disrupt your competitors:
- Everything: The Third age of Marketing Technology – How IoT give product a voice from Evrything.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like a chat about the approach we take with Martech stacks, and how this can enhance your customer and employee experiences to drive relevancy and immediacy.