Beckon co-founder Jennifer Zeszut’s review of the 2015 MarTech Conference in San Francisco.
Beckon attended the second MarTech Conference held in San Francisco last week. Hats off to Scott Brinker, the Chief MarTech, who did a great job on the programming! Over the two days, actual practitioners went into a huge amount of detail about not only the technologies they implemented, but the people, processes and politics surrounding successful management of change.
A few highlights: Our client Thomas Stubbs from Coca-Cola keynoted day 2 and did a great job talking about the all-critical collaboration required to pull off omnichannel at the scale of Coke. Saad Hameed, LinkedIn’s head of Marketing Technology, shared the arduous process they went through to get teams working across silos and he was bold enough to show his nascent red/yellow/green omnichannel scorecard. After hearing Patrick Spenner, managing director of CEB, speak about the need for loosely coupled systems in marketing (more like jazz than a classical orchestra) I am pretty certain that he and I are twins separated at birth. All in all—a great two days.
The combination of marketing and technology has particular import to Beckon. First, we were founded by a marketer (me) and a technologist (Jochen Frey). We also have two very distinct, but inextricably linked parts of our product. Our marketing performance management solution delivers beautiful Marketing [Scorecards] and [Dashboards]—pretty pictures (if I do say so myself) that appeal to the pure marketers out there who crave elegant visibility and accountability. They look beautiful and insightful, clean and organized. CMOs love them. But the CMO knows little of how difficult it is to deliver that level of KPI consistency in an automated way. It’s truly hard technology, focused “below the water line” on things like data ingestion, extraction, transformation, loading, taxonomy, metadata, etc. At a conference full of marketing technologists, though, who know how the hard work involved with rendering a real-time, omnichannel scorecard like Beckon’s, we were able to truly talk shop. It was such a pleasure to be able to both speak marketing and talk tech.
On Tuesday evening, between Day 1 and Day 2, Beckon hosted the MarTech VIP dinner and an elite group of marketing technologists from the conference joined us at the Clift Hotel for dinner. Sony, Kraft, Coca-Cola, USAA, Playstation, Bare Escentuals, Viking River Cruises, Charles Schwab, Cisco, Fidelity, Intel and many more joined the Beckon team to continue the conversation about omnichannel marketing performance data management and measurement. To greet the room, I recounted a story where a CMO, impressed by Beckon’s omnichannel marketing reports, Marketing [Scorecards] & [Dashboards], asked me how we do what we do and I mistakenly launched into the inner-workings of Beckon and used the word “taxonomy”. She stopped me short and said, “ Um….no way….you STUFF DEAD ANIMALS???!” I replied, “no….that’s taxidermy….”
So we all toasted to knowing the difference between taxonomy and taxidermy.
Scott Brinker, thank you for making these conversations possible and keep up the good work.