#1 -> The humanization of AI. The keynote speaker was Dr. Tricia Wang, Co-Founder of Sudden Compass. With an intriguing presentation ranging from AI to business transformation, Tricia’s larger point centered around organizations putting to much emphasis on machine intelligence, and not enough pressure on human intelligence to understand their end consumer. While the need for machine and human intelligence is obvious, it can be less clear on how to combine these skills for the most educated business outcome. Tricia took the audience through some great examples of how this can work in a large company by putting the customer in the center.
#2 -> Marketing Automation. I had the opportunity to lead a roundtable discussion entitled “Marketing automation: How to scale your local marketing with a limited staff using today’s modern technology”. While our discussion was wide ranging, the topic of cross channel media optimization via machine learning seemed to be a key opportunity for brands to take advantage of in their digital marketing efforts. It’s not about Facebook or Google paid search, Instagram, or YouTube video, or ESPN, it’s about executing ALL channels at the same time and letting technology shift budgets based on actual results in real time. Brands, looks towards engineering focused technology companies to help here.
3 -> The marketing playbook. Kristen Pechacek, Director, Digital Marketing, @ Self Esteem Brands, was part of a marketing panel focused on increasing franchisee satisfaction with marketing and communications. Kristen provided a smart example of how she coaches her franchisee’s to engage in organic social media marketing. It can be hard to always have fresh content ideas daily — especially as a busy business owner. By creating a programming schedule of content ideas for her business partners, it enables them with bite sized content they can use to build their brand in their local community and use their time and energy to run their business!
4 -> Tech and Marketing Mutually Enable the Guest Experience. Renee Israel, Chief Franchise Officer of Modern Restaurant Concepts, gave an example of how online delivery has become a pain point for some and an opportunity for others in the restaurant space. Those who lean into leveraging tech to serve their guests — however, whenever, wherever they want — will be the leaders. Everything from App based ordering to the innovative trend of ghost kitchens were discussed in this spirited discussion aptly titled “Igniting Innovation: Take Your Brand to the Next Level with Marketing & Technology”.
5 -> Vendor to partner balance. It’s fair to say the relationship between technology partners and brand marketing leaders can be fluid. It was great to see brands who initially had their guard up when evaluating new technology co’s, move towards a meaningful business conversation once they learned more about a potential partners value proposition. Some of the best partnerships form in casual settings where both parties let their guard down and have a frank conversation if an opportunity exists. I mean as a brand, how do you know what’s out there to modernize your business unless you seek a viable partner out? And sellers, brands appreciated a friendly and consultative approach.
6 -> Breaking down the silos. Lots of conversation around the opportunity to transform a business with the collaboration of marketing, creative, and technology coming together. While this can be hard in some organizations based on politics & organizational structure, it’s absolutely paramount in order to stay relevant in today’s world.
#7 -> Pilots of new technology are the way to go. Brands hear a lot of pitches and promises; pilots can be an important gauge on product usability, viability, and business results. Tech companies — make this easy for the brand!
All in all, MITcon was an important conference and unique opportunity to bring technology and brands together for the benefit of the consumer. The relationships formed and the knowledge gained was enough to recharge attendees to head back to their offices to create meaningful change.
To learn more about how to bring in marketing technology into your organization with a methodical approach, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org