Changing the Game - Thoughts from the MarTech Conference - Day 1

Changing the Game - Thoughts from the MarTech Conference - Day 1

Big Ideas

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April 5 2015
Big Ideas
Author: Michael McCaffrey

Martech Conference Day 1 Thoughts:

After 14 keynote speeches from some of the world’s marketing leaders, many vendor booth visits, and meeting tons of great people, day 1 of MarTech comes to a close. 

Top 5 insights and ideas of the day:

#5: Innovation hacking can lead to ground-breaking ideas

Saad Hameed – Head of Marketing Technology for LinkedIn suggests that by removing yourself from the distractions of the day and focusing on a problem, challenge, opportunity, or business need, you give your organization the chance at applying its intelligence to truly innovate. Taking a day; an afternoon; an evening… and focussing on a particular idea or topic, good minds will create great things.

#4: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough”

Mayur Gupta of Kimberley Clark gave an inspiring keynote on putting the human back in your marketing stack. This quote from Albert Einstein is extremely relevant to all departments of Sherpa. If an account manager can’t explain a customer business objective or a possible solution clearly and concisely, if our design team can’t reiterate the client’s brand message, if our programming team can’t iterate the user story, we are bound to fail. It is everyone at Sherpa’s responsibility to ensure they can give an “elevator pitch” version of the problem, objective, solution, and so forth.


#3: Have the courage to stop and ask “what if…”

Gerry Murray at IDC gave a compelling presentation: “Creativity in a Data & Process Driven World”. He discussed Pantene’s #WantThatHair campaign ( – changing the focus of the Oscars from the traditional “dress/clothing” to the “hairstyle”. Rather than spending $20 million sponsoring the ceremony, they went the organic route. He encouraged marketers to apply this approach to all processes and campaigns. Have the courage to ask “what if” and create something new or create a new way in which your customers can interact with something. 


#2: The best way to introduce new features

Jay Famico – SiriusDecisions used the app “MapMyRun” ( to illustrate an incredibly effective method to introduce new features. The optimal time to tell a website/app user about something new (or perhaps even something existing they may not know of) is when they have reached the point in the user story that they would encounter it. For example; when a MapMyRun user pauses their run, the app will occasionally prompt them to take a picture (assuming they have reached a stopping point or scenic vista). Using callouts or prompts key points in the customer user story is a great way to introduce new functionality.


#1: Be “Customer-Obsessed”

Mayur Gupta makes the list again. He emphasized the critical importance of the customer being the epicentre of everything you do. Start here: What problem are you trying to solve and what consumer behavior are you trying to change? Let this drive everything that you do and never lose this across all the steps from conceptualization to completion.

All in all, I learned that there are an overwhelming amount of marketing technology companies that attempt to add value, enhance reporting, facilitate marketing, improve data analysis and otherwise support companies and agencies alike. Separating the wheat from the chaff is the challenge…. But perhaps I’ll save that for day 2.

Martech continues tomorrow.

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