15 Insights and Observations From Marketing Leaders

It’s not digital marketing; it’s marketing in a digital world.”

Of the many insightful sound bites from our 2015 Marketing&Tech Innovation Summit, that quote from Mayur Gupta stood out as one of the most memorable. Gupta, global head, marketing technology and innovation, at Kimberly-Clark, wowed audience members with other observations, as well.

“CMOs can’t go it alone,” he said, referring to the partnership CMOs should have with CIOs and other key constituents to deliver outstanding customer experiences. And considering his role, Gupta should know. Collaboration, he added, is just the beginning. Marketers need to become technologists to an extent, and vice versa, to successfully meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations. 

Gupta wasn’t the only presenter causing a stir among attendees. With advice, declarations, and revelations flowing from a cast of marketing leaders, the Summit was buzzing. Here are just a few of the many thoughts that caught my attention: 

On email:

“People respond really well to personalization; not just text, also images.” –Ryun Lambson, marketing manager, Best Western International

“Email is the ideal channel for a test-and-learn approach, which eliminates a lot of the subjectivity that ends up in marketing.” –Kevin Hickey, director, global direct marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group 

“New accounts is our measure of email success, but it has to be the right mix of accounts to be profitable.” –Geoff Sanders, SVP, digital marketing, U.S. credit cards, Citi

“Our goals for email: revenue and incremental stays.” –IHG’s Hickey

On context:

“Context helps marketers tell better stories. It creates an opportunity to provide convenience and utility that then builds loyalty.” –Katrina Conn, VP of marketing, StrongView

“I try to answer your questions [with content] before you can even articulate them.” –Stephanie Losee, managing editor, Dell

“How can we add intent data to CRM data? It’s a work in progress.” –Citi’s Sanders

On customer data:

“Sixty-seven percent of consumers are willing to share more information if it will give them a more relevant experience.” –StrongView’s Conn

“Why are you hunting squirrels while there’s prime rib rotting on your doorstep?” –Martyn Etherington, former CMO, Mitel

“The biggest problem is connecting silos, not choosing the right technology.” –Bhavesh Vaghela, CMO, ResponseTap

“We measure shares, but dark shares frustrate me.” –Dell’s Losee

On moving forward in marketing:

“We’re moving from the business of communications to the business of customer experiences.” –Scott Brinker, CTO, ion interactive

“The fact that content marketing metrics aren’t locked down yet means there’s opportunity for experimentation…. Brand storytelling can be rich and rewarding when done right.” –Dell’s Losee

“Be prepared for a mobile world [in terms of] video content. Twenty percent of video views are now on mobile; that will increase to 40% by 2018, according to research by Adobe.” –Paul Casinelli, director, product marketing, Brightcove

“Strategy, structure, people, process, and rewards; you need all five to create a highly effective marketing operation.” –Mitel’s Etherington

And that’s just the start. We present more thoughts on succeeding in marketing today in “Stoking the Fire of Marketing Innovation” (page 14), where winners of the 2015 Marketing&Tech Innovation Awards reveal the strategies and technologies behind their innovative approaches to marketing.

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