The dog days of a Denver summer - a blissful time to be in the cool of the Denver Performing Arts complex, attending the Digital Summit Denver. With Keynote Speakers like Chelsea Handler and Scott Dikkers (co-founder of the Onion), attendees enjoyed a pleasant, comedic break from conference norms as they dove into two days of deep thought on the state of social, Marketing Technology (MarTech) and AI.
I attended on behalf of my MBA-candidate owned and operated consulting firm, Entrepreneurial Solutions. As a Digital Marketer and the consulting lead on CRM / MarTech strategy, I was curious to see how AI is being integrated into the MarTech stack, and which Denver companies were making marketers’ lives easier with the inclusion of AI.
The Digital Summit Denver did not disappoint! My favorite speakers and top takeaways included…
1) MarTech & AI
MarTech spend is expected to be $32 billion by 2020. IBM Watson’s Michael Trapani gave an engaging presentation chronicling Margaret Hamilton’s development of in-flight software for NASA’s Apollo mission. Trapani posited that AI is currently where Ms. Hamilton’s software code was in 1969 - poised to change the world as we know it, in ways we may not be able to understand. As marketers, Trapani noted, extra hands on deck are always needed. IBM’s Watson can assist with daily tasks - whether focusing on data analytics, or speeding up existing processes, allowing marketers to focus on the work that we really love.
My top takeaway: Marketers need to begin researching and ranking automation providers by their use of AI!
2) The Marketing Analytics Stack
“I’m not a marketer; instead, I’m a marketer’s best friend,” said Sam Fonoimoana from Stoke Analytics. With his presentation on the analytics tools that marketers needed, he outlined the three main tools he recommended: 1) Excel, 2) Tableau, and 3) CRMs. These tools made up the bulk of analyses across different marketing use cases - including toggling between web data & CRM data, or reviewing automation platform and transactional data - and allowed marketers to use the resources they used on a daily basis to benchmark and build foundational reporting.
My top takeaway: Many different use cases for your analytics can be covered by three tools you likely already have and use in your MarTech stack - utilize the resources that come with those tools to improve your reporting.
3) Email A/B Testing Best Practices
Michael Madden outlined the development of marketing automation platform Marketo’s testing methodology, and included mini-cases of results throughout the presentation. The firm’s testing methodology focused on observation and benchmarking against statistical significance using tools like Kissmetrics. Madden then outlined how the firm used results to drive their content strategy, and focus more on the early stages of their funnel.
My top takeaway: The link between email strategy & content strategy is stronger than ever! Ensure you’re investing in a marketing automation platform that allows you to give your clients or prospects what they want, when they want it - and test, test, test to figure out what that is!
By Shivani Bhatt
Entrepreneurial Solutions is a boutique consulting firm owned and operated by MBA students at CU Boulder. They are the only consulting company in Colorado with the resources and institutional knowledge of Leeds School of Business.