In the years that I’ve worked on the marketing technology landscape, I have often been surprised at the end of each iteration by the sheer scale of the thing. I’ll sit back, typically with a glass of wine at that point, and reflect in awe at just how big this space has become — and in such a short time.
I’m experiencing that same sensation of awe now that we’ve launched the agenda for the next MarTech conference in San Francisco, May 9-11. I can hardly believe the scale of this event — doubling in size from just 1 year ago. Really over 70 sessions?! Really over 100 speakers?!
Yes, and yes. (Eyes bulging out of my head.)
Logically, it shouldn’t be surprising. The field of marketing technology has grown tremendously over the past several years. And while the vendor landscape is one concrete artifact of that growth, the range of expert insights and case studies to be shared on the implementation and application of this technology is another quantifiable testament to the sheer scale of the remaking of marketing underway.
But the gut-level impact, at least for me, transcends cerebral analysis. “Wow!” I want to exclaim — the amount of marketing and management innovation happening today is stunning in scale and scope. It’s happening across companies large and small, B2B to B2C, in every corner of the globe.
We’ve done our best to capture the diversity and magnitude of this phenomenon in this agenda. The editorial part of the MarTech program — not including an incredible collection of sponsored solution sessions, breakfasts, and lunches that will also be available at the event — includes fantastic speakers from AARP, Adobe, The Agile Markter, Akamai Technologies, Allocadia, Amplero, Analytics Demystified, ArcTouch, Battery Ventures, Beckon, Bedrock Data, Belkin, CabinetM, CaliberMind, Campbell Soup Companym Capital One, CMG Partners, The Connective Good, Datorama, Digital Clarity Group, Electronic Arts, Equinix, Facebook, Forrester, Foundation Capital, GE Digital, Groupon, HashiCorp, Heifer International, Hilton Worldwide, Hootsuite, IBM, IDC, John Wiley & Sons, Legendary Entertainment, Lenati, Level 3 Communications, Lithium, Localytics, LogMeIn, Marketing Advisory Network, Marketoonist, McKesson, McKinsey & Company, Medtronic, Metamarkets, Microsoft, Mintigo, MRP, Near, Never Stop Marketing, Oracle, Out of My Gord Consulting, Pandora, Pinterest, Raab & Associates, Rosetta Stone, Salesforce, San Francisco 49ers, SAP, SapientRazorfish, Sears, Shasta Ventures, SHIFT Communications, Spotify, Sprint, Staples, Telstra, Terminus, Unum, Urban Airship, Usermind, Visa, WhiteHat Security, WiderFunnel, Wire Stone, and Wrike.
As with the burgeoning marketing tech landscape, a natural question you might ask is: how does one navigate this and get the most value out of it?
To address that, we’ve restructured the entire program to optimize the trade-offs between scale and intimacy, breadth and depth of content, a common shared experience yet the flexibility to tailor a highly personalized agenda to best serve your specific needs and interests.
We’ll kick off Tuesday evening, May 9, with an opening reception and a celebration of The Stackies & Hackies Awards together. (Have you started working on your entry yet?)
On Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11, we’ll start each day with a 90-minute shared keynote experience for the full all-access audience. I say “experience” because it won’t be a single speaker, but rather a blended sequence of presentations and fireside chats that weave together the most important narratives shaping our profession.
Some of the special guests joining me for those keynotes will be chief marketing technologist Mayur Gupta who is now VP marketing & growth at Spotify, the comedic marketing wisdom of Marketoonist Tom Fishburne, global CTO Sheldon Monteiro of SapientRazorfish (and a team of graduates from their CMTO University), and customer advocate Doc Searls, who’s authored or coauthored books from The Cluetrain Manifesto to The Intention Economy. It will be an energetic start to each day.
We’ll then spread out into 4 parallel tracks, a different set each day, to delve deeper into eight major themes:
Executive-level discussions on marketing technology management, strategy, and investment. Candid discussions with leading CMOs and VCs.
Harnessing marketing technology to create remarkable customer experiences. Leading analysts, consultants, and brand practitioners address personalization, frameworks for technology-powered customer experiences, the interplay of psychology and technology, and more.
ADTECH & SOCIAL
Connecting with prospects and customers from the top of the funnel to “flipping the funnel” with adtech, account-based marketing, and social media marketing — and how they work together into a broader marketing technology ecosystem.
Case studies from leading brands and the martech providers who support them on transforming marketing departments — and the rest of the organization — in a digital world. A balanced mix of B2B and B2C examples, cross-pollinating ideas between them.
DATA & ANALYTICS
Data is the fuel of the martech engine, and analytics offer insights to steer the ship. Learn about the latest technology, management approaches, and marketing practices to make the best of both.
OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
The golden triangle of people, processes, and technology — how to successfully budget, implement, and operate martech capabilities in organizations of all sizes (but with particular appreciation for the dynamics of mid-size and large companies).
EMERGING & MOBILE
Artificial intelligence, geolocation-based experiences, virtual reality, augmented reality, chatbots, blockchains — the leading edge of marketing technology and how it’s changing the state of marketing.
AGILE & HUMAN
A conference-within-a-conference focused on the human dynamics necessary for martech to succeed. A full track of agile marketing education with panels and presentations by leaders of the agile marketing movement and case studies from top brands.
Most of the sessions in these tracks will consist of two back-to-back, closely-related TED-style presentations, 20 minutes each. These TED-like talks will be delievered by either independent solo speakers or a co-presenting duo of a leading brand practitioner and an expert from one of the brand’s trusted martech vendors. A few of the sessions will be 45-minute panels and presentations by a group of 3-5 leaders. (I’m not a huge fan of panels, but these ones have been carefully chosen to be extremely high-value discussions.)
You can stick with a single track for an entire day and really soak up expertise in a particular dimension of marketing technology management, or mix-and-match sessions across tracks to craft your own personalized agenda. (Our only recommendation is to not plan on jumping between tracks in the middle of two back-to-back TED-style talks in a session.)
I’ve included a snapshot of the complete agenda below, which you can click on to access a full-screen, interactive version with details on every session and speaker.
If you’re excited by this program (and I hope you are!), I’d encourage you to register before the “alpha” rate expires on February 25. You’ll save $400 and guarantee yourself a spot.
Finally, let me say that I am immensely grateful to all of the speakers who agreed to share their experiences and insights in this upcoming program. But I also deeply appreciate everyone who took the time and effort to send in a proposal in response to our call-for-speakers, even if we weren’t able to fit you into the program.
There’s only one aspect of putting on the MarTech conference that causes me heartache, and it’s having to select only a tiny fraction of the many inspired session ideas that people nominate. If your idea wasn’t chosen this time, I hope you’ll still consider proposing to speak at a future MarTech. So many of the stories you shared in your proposals deserve to be on stage.