Marketers’ Community Debut Event: Where the Twin Cities Marketing and Tech Communities Intersect

Photo Credit: Nancy Kuehn

A new marketing group in town launched on Tuesday night at Indeed Brewing to a sold-out crowd of marketers who dip their toes in the technology space on a daily basis, too. The group, referred to as “Marketers’ Community of MN,” gathered to talk about “MarTech,” or marketing technology, and what we’ve learned from the trenches so far.

Hosted by Laura King, the panel of five experienced marketing technologists included:

· Melissa Kane, Director Digital Marketing, Thomson Reuters

· Mike Bernard, VP Marketing, Reeher

· Jennifer Zick, Founder, Authentic Brand

· Tracey Ellis, CEO, Leadous

· Kevin Quinlan, Marketing Automation Manager, Land O’Lakes

In this crazy converging world of technology taking over seemingly every aspect of business, it was great to hear so many lessons and stories from the local people who have been at this for a while. Much of the event was focused on the technology stacks that companies are using for marketing, from CRMs to marketing automation platforms, social platforms and marketing strategy tools. And while the panelists got specific and shared tangible lessons, they raised just as many good questions about where this is all headed.

So many business leaders expect when they implement a new software or platform that it will just run and do its job. But, thankfully, we’re not quite at the point where robots are going to do our jobs for us, so we have to help our companies or clients understand that someone, or some internal group, will need to run and continuously manage the platforms.

One of the panelists said that the modern marketer needs to think like an engineer and constantly evolve and allow for our technology to evolve. Another panelist concluded that there is no silver bullet software solution that will solve all your challenges, and nothing will be turnkey — so be prepared!

As a marketing communicator, I was happy to hear all the panelists acknowledge that no matter what martech software or stack you implement, content is the number one food that these technology beasts feed on. And the better tech solution you implement, the more content it needs to be fed. Unfortunately, this predicament has led to a lot of companies creating a lot of “crappy content” that has the sole purpose of feeding the beast and keeping the machine running. Please stop! Don’t create “crappy content” just because your automation platform tells you it needs more.

One panelist put it this way — a little indelicately, but true: The only thing a strong martech stack will do for you if you have crappy content is make your content suck more and faster to a broader audience.

So, as you look at implementing new marketing technology, think hard about how much content you have already, in different formats, written to different audiences, that will help get your message out. Then start with a solid foundation, create a messaging playbook or foundation that all your content will stem from, and always keep your brand, messaging and voice as the heart and soul of all the content you create.

I’m looking forward to the next event for this community, and more events like this that will help bridge the gap between the local marketing and tech communities! If you hear of others like this, add a comment below to let me know about them.