MME 2016- A Modern Marketer’s Favorite Takeaways

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As a modern marketer, I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to represent SFCG at Oracle's Modern Marketing Experience in Las Vegas this year. In preparation for the conference, I had three main objectives that were essential to a successful experience: absorb industry knowledge, understand the current state of marketing automation, enhance my digital marketing knowledge at both a high level and with technical expertise (I even spoke with our Director of Marketing Services about my excitement! ). With #MME2016 in the books, I can confidently say that I was blown away. From the keynote speakers and case studies to the learning sessions and industry discussions, there was an overwhelming amount of content that made it a huge success!

Delivery of Industry Knowledge

Right off the bat, the first keynote of the conference dove into client-specific case studies. Kevin Akeroyd, Oracle's Senior GM & SVP, facilitated three different Q&A's with marketing executives of Western Union, Sears, and Clorox. The most profound part of each of their conversations was their underlying goal of shaping the marketing strategies for companies that are over 100 years old and creating a relevant, personalized, digital experience for their customers. Ryan Deutsch, the DVP of Digital Marketing of Sears, stressed that "understanding people in a personal way at scale is the biggest challenge". Throughout the conference the speakers confirmed that their continuous goal is to hone in on a 1:1 customer experience. Specifically in one of my favorite sessions of the conference, I learned how American Apparel is bridging the gap between in-store and online to create a unique experience for their customers, one that could ultimately change the way people shop.

Understanding the Current State of Marketing Automation

Throughout the conference, there was one buzz word in particular I couldn't avoid: omni-channel. Whether I was attending a keynote speech or was diving deep into an Eloqua session, everyone kept talking about "omni-channel marketing"…and I learned that there was a reason I kept hearing it. As this term kept coming up, I found myself simplifying it as a synonym to "multi-channel", but that's not quite right. Omni-channel marketing is about continuity. It's not about delivering cross-channel messages to a customer. Sure, that's part of it. But it's scratching the surface of something much more profound. Omni-channel marketing is about creating a universal experience across all involved forms of technology with a goal of building a continuously growing customer life cycle. In order to get there, it's important to understand a customer's wants, needs, and interactions. One of the most profound statements I heard at the conference was from Convince & Convert's founder, Jay Baer, who said, "Focus less on what product you should be selling, and focus more on what customer need you are fulfilling". I think this is a key driver when it comes to the state of marketing automation because it's not enough to deliver cross-channel messages. Ultimately, we as marketers need to create relevant, targeted, and universal experiences for our customers.

Enhancing Technical Expertise

One of my favorite parts of the conference was the learning about the nitty-gritty: the technical elements of  Eloqua. I personally loved the "Top 10 Eloqua Hacks" session. After it was finished, I turned to the person next to me and told them I thought I was in a real-life Topliners forum. At the end of the session, they left time for attendees to walk up to the microphone and present their own Eloqua hacks! I felt a sense of fulfillment sitting in a room with other Eloqua professionals as we walked through troubleshooting issues we've longed to get through on a daily basis. 

Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the demos of some of the newer Oracle platforms, like Maxymiser and DMP. Steve Krause, Group VP of Oracle Marketing Cloud walked us through how a fictional company called "Durham Denim" could use these Oracle systems to create a seamless experience for their customers. From customizing online content to delivering "Rich Push" notifications to a very specific *fictional* customer in Austin, Texas, Steve showed us how these platforms integrate at the technical level to create an uniform experience at the highest level.

In summary, my experience at MME 2016 was nothing short of spectacular. Though at times I felt like I was drinking water from a fire hose, it comes to show how much incredible content and information is available during this conference. I highly recommend that all marketers in the digital space attend next year's MME, and when you're there, come find me because I know it's an experience I won't miss.

 

About the author:

Jake Dworkis is an Oracle-certified Eloqua implementation specialist. His focus within Eloqua includes empowering customers and creating lasting lead nurturing campaigns, strategic segmentation, automated form processing, IP warming campaigns, and database integration.