BOSTON  —  Scott Brinker today challenged marketers to act with the enterprise vision of CEOs and “hook people emotionally,” even in a data-driven world. Speaking during the opening keynote at the MarTech East conference here, Brinker made the case that customer experience (CX) is morphing to more holistic brand experience that embraces all of a company’s clients, internal and external.

“The boundaries between marketing, technology and management are blurring, and that’s a good thing,” he told a crowd of nearly 1,500 at the the Hynes Convention Center. “Strategy has become more bi-directional, a shared vision that is open to experimentation. “Marketing technology is no longer just about technology. It’s the people and processes that leverage technology in the pursuit of a brand ideal.”

Brinker knows all too well the complexity of the marketing technology landscape. He created the ubiquitous supergraphic that now lists thousands of marketing technologies — 5,381 at last count. Editor of and co-founder and former CTO of Boston-based ion interactive, he recently joined Cambridge, Mass.-based HubSpot as VP of Platform Ecosystem.

3rd MarTech East Event

It’s been three years since Brinker launched his annual marketing technology (MarTech) conference. Buoyed by its success here, he has since expanded it to San Francisco and Europe, with a San Jose event scheduled for early 2018.

In just a few short years, he said, marketing technology has become a “real profession, a global profession at companies throughout the Fortune 500.” More than half (52 percent) of organizations now have someone in charge of marketing technology, he added.

Today, he stressed it’s not enough for marketers to have a marketing focus. “Marketers need to think of themselves as leading the whole company with a marketing mindset,” he explained. “You have to ask,  How can I grow the company overall and improve customer experience across the board?”

It’s a complex role that combines strategic vision with data analytics excellence and emotional intelligence. Marketers have to use data insights to craft solutions that are empathetic and customer-focused. “Marketing’s tentacles are everywhere,” he said.

MarTech East Insights

MarTech East

Other MarTech speakers, including David Edelman of Aetna and Rishi Dave of Dun & Bradstreet — expressed similar views in back-to-back fireside chats with Brinker. Both Edelman and Dave ;lead marketing transformation at their respective companies.

Marketing Disruptions

Brinker said five things are disrupting marketing as we know it: digital transformation, microservices and APIs, vertical competition, “digital everything,” and artificial intelligence. While that may not have been a novel concept for what appeared to be a sophisticated audience, it did seem to crystallize what seemed like a universal problem: How can we make the most of new technologies to craft better solutions for customers, employees, vendors, suppliers and other stakeholders?

The MarTech conferences are notable for the array of vendors sharing their solutions in the Expo Hall, all struggling to gain attention amid the noise of thousands of technologies. In conversations with vendors and attendees alike, it became clear that successfully integrating the various solutions to craft better outcomes remains the Holy Grail.

More than a few attendees expressed both confusion over their options and resignation that they would always struggle to implement seamless, easy-to-use Martech product suites.

Arke CMTO Chris Spears understands. But he also has actionable ideas to help marketers advance their digital maturity and marketing technology excellence.

Better Brand Experiences

“Brand experience is not just how you communicate with your prospects or your employees or your partners or your distributors. It encompasses all of your key stakeholders — because they each have a piece of that chain in how you sell to your clients,” he said.

“Supported by the customer journey, physical and digital channels, and strategically important technology, it sets the priority as the quality of a user’s experience. With brand experience, you have to think holistically.”

Arke marketing technologists ask prospective clients questions such as, “What’s it like to call your call center? How does that call center experience impact what happens with your website? How does that impact what happens when someone walks in your retail store?”

All of these things fall under the brand experience umbrella.

Brand experience invites you to look at the big picture to evaluate experience in all of its contexts — as well as to assess the impact it has on every person affiliated with your brand.

Want to know more? Contact Arke CTMO Chris Spears.