I had the opportunity to attend this week’s Adobe’s 2013 Digital Marketing Summit, in Salt Lake City (Adobe is CMO.com’s corporate parent).
Five thousand people descended—ascended, actually, since SLC is 4,300 feet above sea level—to learn about the current state of digital marketing from experts and each other. In addition to keynotes by the Adobe brass—Shantanu Narayen (CEO), Ann Lewnes (CMO), Brad Rencher (SVP/GM), and John Mellor (VP)—attendees were treated to sessions that included talks by Twitter’s Adam Bain, Federated Media’s John Battelle, Deloitte Digital’s Bill Briggs, space jumper Felix Baumgartner, and Khan Academy’s Salman Kahn. These sessions were both informative and entertaining.
Speaking of entertainment, the Black Keys performed at the annual—and infamous—“Bash” that takes place on the first night of the Summit every year. As far as I could tell, a terrific time was had by all, including yours truly. If you have ever considered attending, then make your plans for next year’s event now—it’s truly a don’t miss.
Here are some of the observations from my notebook this week, during which I attended most of the main events and was able to interview some very savvy marketers.
- Tim Kopp, CMO, ExactTarget, on B2B and B2C marketing: “B2B and B2C were traditionally totally different disciplines, but they are moving much closer together. In five years they will totally the same.”
- Kopp on brands: “Your brand today is the sum of the conversations you and your team are having with customers.”
- Kopp on the CMO: “This is the decade of the CMO. The CMO is leading the revolution, is the main change agent, is the voice of the customer and, in the end, is leading the agenda. Tomorrow’s CEOs will be the CMOs of today.”
- Kopp on the future of marketing: “In the future there will be an absolute expectation on the part of the customer for real-time interactions. True real-time marketing. But to do this you will need a crystal clear picture of mountains of data from multiple sources, and you’ll need one execution system. Most important is that you’ll need responsive teams of content marketers who can take all that information and make it actionable in real-time. You’ll need the best technology and the best content. It will then be a time for CMOs and their teams to be really creative again.”
- Andy Jacobs, EVP, CTO & director of global partnerships, MRM, on the future of marketing: “Marketing will absolutely become real-time and highly personalized sooner than later. It will be dynamic and will have to deliver what the customer wants when and where he or she wants it. In reality, marketing will become more about fulfillment, in that sense. In the end, it will be about data, and understanding the mountains of data will allow us to understand your customers, to understand people, because it’s the people that really matter.”
- Adam Bain, Twitter’s president, global revenue, on loyalty: “The idea of the sales/marketing funnel is yesterday’s news. Today it’s more about the customer journey and the loyalty loop.”
- Bain on Twitter advertising: “On Twitter, brands have to be fast or be good. Fast and good is the best. Brands are not rewarded for being loud, but for being good. They must excel, organically, to succeed.”
- Felix Baumgartner, space-diving record holder and breaker of the sound barrier, on risk management: “The key is to be one step ahead all the time. When dealing with a difficult, risky process, you are going to drop the ball, but you have to just pick it up and keep going. It’s sometimes best to ignore the big picture and just focus on the smaller sections—do each step right and the big picture will take care of itself.”
- John Mellor, VP, business development & strategy, Adobe, on collaboration and risk: “Marketing today is a melting pot of teams and technologies trying to get out ahead of consumer expectations, which are always changing. This takes some risk. This industry grew up in silos, and now these groups of specialists are being asked to work together as part of a bigger whole, which forces you to adapt a new way of thinking.”
It was a very exciting conference, and it has given CMO.com some great ideas for future content. So what were the key takeaways? Real-time marketing is going to be the norm; “digital” has become unnecessary as an adjective for marketing; and the CMO, if he or she does the job right, is poised to be the change agent in business.