Send Me to France! – Marketo @ Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Engagement Marketing


Soon, I’ll be taking off for the South of France, but I will, regrettably—or not regrettably, depending on who you’re talking to—be leaving my speedo at home.

Why? The trip isn’t for vacation—instead, I’ll be a part of Marketo’s first ever delegation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The decades-old festival has historically celebrated creativity in the advertising world—and, it happens to take place right on the beach, with cabanas and fancy yacht parties to boot. (Side note: Whoever selected the location for this event is a genius.)

So what’s a tech company like Marketo doing at a place full of advertising agencies and brand creatives?

This year will be the first-ever Lions Innovation Festival, a festival within a festival that celebrates and recognizes the new power and influence of data and technology in marketing, highlighting all the new-age tools that are keeping creative content relevant. Marketo is a sponsor of the inaugural event—and for a good reason.

As you can see in my new article on Marketing Land, In Search of the New “Mad Men”: Will They Be at Cannes This Year?, the entire way brands and ad agencies think has been turned upside down. If agencies are going to navigate this new world successfully, they’ll need to complement their creative process, and even the ad technology they currently use, with the new generation of marketing technology.

How will they do this? By using Marketo and especially our revolutionary new Ad Bridge technology, which allows marketers to personalize ads across channels.

Several of Marketo’s Ad Bridge partners, such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, MediaMath, Turn, and Rocket Fuel, will be joining us on the Croissette (what I understand is the festival’s main drag) and touting the benefits of engagement marketing, content personalization, and especially the intersection of data, creative, insight, and action. This marriage between adtech and martech will be something that I’ll be watching closely in between my glasses of rosé, and I highly encourage all other festival attendees to do so as well.

This also closely aligns with our goal of “engage everywhere” in this new era of engagement marketing. No longer does advertising and marketing have to be an interruption-driven event. This new era is customer-led: marketers don’t decide what a customer’s journey is; the customer does. Marketers need to figure out (and pronto) how to have a conversation with customers on their terms. The technology is now available for companies to engage personally with their customers anywhere and at-scale, be they in the middle of New York City or on the French Riviera rockin’ linen pants.

Clothing options aside, I’m pretty pumped for what we’ve got going on in Cannes. A few highlights:

  • I’ll be joining a panel at the LinkedIn Clubhouse to discuss how data helps to fuel creativity. I’m looking forward to being on stage again with Russell Glass from LinkedIn, who spoke at the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit in April, as well as top executives from Havas Worldwide, DigitasLBi, and Tribal Worldwide. We’re following up the session with a cocktail party in the evening to celebrate the first day of Lions Innovation.
  • Marketo is sponsoring The CMO Club’s CMO Clubhouse @ Cannes, which will cover everything from the latest customer data sources and personalization to the next content distribution channel. Marketo will be chatting with The CMO Club’s Pete Krainik and the heads of marketing from Unilever, Mondelez, Nickelodeon and more.
  • Our delegation is hosting a cocktail hour with our partner Turn at The Carlton, following a fascinating content session on the impact of content using social media and tech.
  • What’s a trip to France without some time in a chateau? I’m hosting a cocktail hour poolside with Contagious Co-Founder Paul Kemp-Robertson at their villa.

Check out more details of all of our activities on our Cannes Lions page. And if you’ll be in the neighborhood next week, make sure you request an invite to any of the above events. If not, make sure you follow the hashtag #WhatWeDo for thought leadership and general antics from the festival. I’ll make sure to raise a glass of rosé in your honor, and you should expect a full report from me upon my return. For now, I will say to you, au revoir, mes amis!