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Technology for Marketing 2017 Recap

Author's avatar By Jessica Wade 28 Sep, 2017
Essential Essential topic

A round-up of our time at TFM 2017

This week the Smart Insights team were in London for Technology for Marketing 2017. A two-day conference dedicated to martech.  If you didn’t make it to TFM, here is a recap of Dave's talk and panel discussion, as well answers to the most common questions we were asked at our stand.

Download the 10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy booklet

All visitors to the stand were given a new 10 reasons why you need a digital strategy mini-booklet which gives recommendations on what a strategy should include - you can download it here [pdf] if you want to take a look.

How to measure and improve your return on MarTech, Dave Chaffey

Dave spoke about how your can build an effective martech stack that meets your company's needs. With Scott Brinker's martech landscape now covering over 5000 martech options, it can be hard to find the appropriate one that will provide you with an acceptable ROI. Dave started by discussing the customer lifecycle and how you can use martech to meet the customer at each stage of the cycle.

Dave started by discussing the customer lifecycle and how you can use martech to meet the customer at each stage of the cycle. By using martech to fuel your entire customer lifecycle, you need a single data management platform for each stage of the lifecycle. For many businesses, because they haven’t done the right analysis they don’t understand how to meet the needs of the audience.

He also covered many missed opportunities in martech. The key opportunities he finds companies miss are AB testing across different devices, detailed search data analysis, and welcome sequences. Dave showcased our essential digital marketing tools infographic to the audience, demonstrating how it is structured, to help you decide which tools are best for your business. The infographic divides 150 tools across 30 key categories, so you can see which tools to use to achieve a given objective.

When used correctly, martech tools can save time, boost productivity and lead to better marketing outcomes. Dave finished his presentation by pointing out that the biggest opportunity is in AI. There are already a lot of martech vendors offering AI services, but we are at the stage where marketers are trying to find out how effective it is. Finally, don't worry, he does not think AI will take over your job but has thr potential to help you.


The beginning of the age of AI marketing: Where do we stand now and what's next?, IBM Watson, Salesforce, AISB, Phrasee, SAP Hybris and Smart Insights

As Artificial Intelligence develops, businesses are questioning how profound AI will be to change the dynamics in marketing. This panel moderated by Dave Chaffey discussed how we can prepare ourselves for the foreseeable impact. The panel included:

  • Nicholas Kontopoulos - Global VP of Fast Growth Markets Marketing, SAP Hybris
  • Parry Malm - CEO, Phrasee
  • Dr Bertie Müller - Chair, AISB
  • Tom Smith - Senior Manager, Product Marketing EMEA, Salesforce
  • Jeremy Waite - Evangelist, Watson Marketing EMEA, IBM Watson

AI is still so new, while many businesses know about it, many are unsure about the best place to start. The panel firstly discussed what is AI and where do we start?

The panel started by discussing what AI is and where do we start?

Bertie: There are so many areas of AI, but also ones that will take a little longer to make their way into marketing. The key to AI is finding out how the human brain works and the essence of AI. The more human-like AI is the more we can relate to it.

Jeremy: Everyone is pretending they know what it is, but they don't. Don’t worry about AI, its something that will make our jobs easier and faster. It will help, but not replace us.

Parry: The term AI is crap. It’s a meaningless buzzword that makes you more money.

Dave also asked the panel what wins they have already seen. They discussed examples and case studies of AI in practice and what that would look like for our businesses.

Nicholas: It will replace some jobs, and will help us make better decisions. We will be able to handle bigger chunks of data and form better views of customers once AI if fully implemented.

Tom: We are currently using and partnering around AI. I believe that AI will help you increase conversions. Machines will be making decisions for you and help you make better conversion decisions.

Parry: AI scanning people for scanning, email subject lines are written by machines now, the probability is it was written by a machine.

Where should businesses start with AI?

Nicolas: Focus on people, and the problems you are wanting to solve. Don't over complicate it.

Parry: Not about AI, it's about working out your challenges and focusing on how you engage people better. If you don’t have a problem, don’t bother. The only time you should use it is if it will save you a bunch of money or make you a load of money.

'Everyone is pretending they know what AI is, but they don't. No one knows yet!' @jeremywaite #TFM17 pic.twitter.com/oJk1u8V6Ce

— Smart Insights (@SmartInsights) September 27, 2017


#TFM17 Dr Dave Chaffey as insightful as always @SmartInsights pic.twitter.com/HoKyTtUiTm

— Karen Bowen (@v28kab) September 27, 2017


Use AI in marketing to solve a problem, not just because AI is a current buzz word #TFM17 pic.twitter.com/sXbzCBobsv

— Victoria Peppiatt (@VicPeppiatt) September 27, 2017

Over at our stand

We had some great conversations and had the opportunity to meet with our members. Thank you to everyone who came by to say hi, it was great to meet you all. One very popular giveaway was our essential tools poster mentioned in Daves talk, if you didn't get your hands on one you can also find it here.

One of the most common questions asked was: how can you integrate our resources into your marketing team?

All our content can be adapted to your business needs and requirements. We have recently updated our capability grader and launched a brand new personalized learning tool, which helps you assess the areas of marketing you need further help with, giving tailored recommended resources to get you started. All our 181 resources, and counting, (guides, templates, quick-wins e-learning modules) are written by experts to give actionable advice that can be adapted to any size or industry of business. If you are interested in signing up, why not start with our basic membership and test out our content. You can become a basic member here.

Thanks yet again for a great conference TFM!


Author's avatar

By Jessica Wade

I was previously the Social Media Executive for Smart Insights and managed all of Smart Insights social media channels and social strategy. I love all things social, most of the time you will find me endlessly scrolling through Instagram. You can follow me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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