Live From Marketing Nation Summit: Day 2 Keynote – Step Up, Shape Up, and Fight On

Modern Marketing


Day 2 of Marketing Nation Summit has been a whirlwind of amazing sessions and fantastic keynotes…the momentum is going strong. The highlight of the day was the inspiring keynotes from our very own CMO, Sanjay Dholakia, and an inspiring line-up of innovative marketers.

This afternoon’s keynote brought great insights, celebrations, and inspiration. Sanjay opened the session with some exciting announcements:

Best of The Marketing Nation

We’re so proud of our community that is The Marketing Nation, and this year’s Revvie Award winners represent some of our most innovative and impactful customers and partners who are killing it in the marketing world and inspiring others while they’re at it. These winners span industries and company sizes, and are driving serious results in their organization.

revvie winners

Getting Students Engaged

Tomorrow’s marketer is among uswithin you, in the conference, in your team, in your organization, and also in the younger generation. Sanjay announced our new program, Marketo Engaged, which provides under-resourced students with personalized, ongoing support to and through college and into their careers. It will empower tomorrow’s marketers with the resources and knowledge they need to realize their dreams, and it will provide our employees and The Marketing Nation with the opportunity to change lives and make a difference.

Now Is The Best Time To Be A Marketer

Then, we jumped into a series of Nation Talks with changemakers from Facebook, Wunderman and PR Newswire. The talks kicked off with Gary Briggs, CMO of Facebook. Gary asserted that now is the absolute best time to be a marketer. Why? Because digital is no longer a trend or the future, it’s now and it’s how you communicate with the 1.6 billion people on Facebook each month. We’re in the era of people-based marketing, and marketers are better equipped than ever before to understand people and communicate with them in ways they never have before.

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And that’s Facebook’s mission—helping businesses and marketers connect with people across their entire lifecycle, from engagement to retention, and provide the data for marketers to feel confident about their decisions. Gary shared an example of how Facebook has used its own products in campaigns that combine beautiful visuals and data to reach targeted audiences, compel them to engage, and measure their impact.

Step Up Your Game 

Next up, Global CMO of Wunderman Jamie Gutfreund revealed some compelling (albeit intimidating) insights on the next generation and tomorrow’s consumer, Gen Z (who she refers to as the optimization generation). Gen Z, which includes ages 18 and younger, currently represents 30% of global population and $200 billion in spending. And by 2020, they’ll make up 40% of the global population. Jamie had one question for us “Are you ready?”

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This next generation of tomorrow’s consumers grew up with technology and they’re not digital natives–they’re digital dependents. They know you have their data and they expect you to use it to personalize their brand experiences. In fact, 68% want content created just for them. They know they’re control of what they want to see, ignore, or block. They see value in elationships (new marketing term anyone?), relationships built through digital interactions. Jamie advised that to build lasting, loyal relationships with them, from digital and beyond, it’s not enough to just know what they want. You need to know who they are: their passions, issues, and values.

The Customer Experience Matters the Most

Finally, Ken Wincko, CMO of PR Newswire, took the stage to emphasize the importance of the customer experience. He started by sharing a story of a hectic Christmas, one where he had to buy 30+ christmas presents for his kids, nieces, and nephews, and he had decided to order them all from Amazon. All but one came in time, which eroded his trust in Amazon.

The lesson? You can get it right 99% of the time, but even 1% will erode trust. And trust is critical. In fact, Forrester predicts that by 2020, most boards will want to see a trust metric. He shared this awesome formula for marketers can build trust:

Trust = Credibility (expertise from everyone who interacts with the buyer) + Reliability (you have to deliver time and time again) + Intimacy (How well do you know your buyer, including the wants and desires that they might not know they have?) divided by self-interest.


One way to start building trust? Relentlessly think about improving the customer experience and building advocates. Today, most marketers think about the customer experience as personalization and building 1-to-1 experiences when in fact, it’s about advocacy.

  • 67% of people trust recommendations from their friends and families
  • 21% trust emails from companies
  • 19% trust social posts by a company
  • 14% trust ads on websites

And that’s all great, but when you overlay how most of today’s marketers allocate their budget (80% of marketing spend goes to ads), you can see that a rethink and a shift toward supporting advocacy is needed.

The final piece of this? Identify your critical moments. Over ⅔ of experiences happen in a multi-channel environment. Here are some components to think about:

  • Content: You need to develop buyer-focused content that drivers buyers to take the next action
  • People: You may need to change the type of people you work with and what you ask them to do (credible with content, data, and technology)
  • Process: Introduce an agile process
  • Technology: Integrate your technology stack, so that every single action is coordinated across channels
  • Data: Be a data-driven marketer
  • Organizational Alignment: Customer experience requires cross functional thinking.

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Who Is Tomorrow’s Marketer?

The theme of tomorrow’s marketer has been echoed throughout The Marketing Nation Summit. Sanjay closed off the keynote with the question many of us are asking: Who is tomorrow’s marketer? It’s not who you think it is.

Tomorrow’s marketers aren’t defined by a specific skillset; they’re defined by their attitudes. Sanjay shared a few stories of successful marketers today, who are known as “accidental” marketers. They started with backgrounds in different industries and fields, so what helped them transform into a marketer? Their intrinsic traits, not their skills.

Tomorrow’s marketer is:

  • Intellectually curious
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Determined
  • Analytical
  • A storyteller
  • Multi-disciplined
  • Enjoys engaging in conversations

In today’s new IoT, everywhere world, tomorrow’s marketer has to meet customers wherever they are. And it’s through these traits that they can quickly adapt to the technology and skills that are required to help them do this. If you’re a team leader, bring these people into your organization and they will thrive. If you have these traits, make sure people know it and you will soar. While it’s important to have deep specialization within your organization, the marketers and marketing teams of tomorrow need to know how to operate horizontally. No matter the channel, function, or opportunity, they’re always looking for to learn, practice, and grow their skills.

And they will take no S#!t. They’re determined and persistent, despite anything that may come their way. You are well-positioned to be tomorrow’s marketer, with marketing driving organizations through digital transformation and customer-centric journeys. So who is tomorrow’s marketer? It might just be you.

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This Is Your Fight Song

Rachel Platten took the stage to round out what was a kick-a** day 2 keynote. She shared her struggle with listening to her heart and following her passion for music. She talked about getting into the music scene late, how quickly she had to adapt, learn, and grow, and how important it was to face the discomfort of that rapid growth.

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It took her 13 years from the point when she made the decision to pursue music to get to her level of success today. The big question: Why did she keep going? Because she loves it and has fun doing it. Also, she was inspired by a charity she has worked with for 10 years, where she sings to hospital patients one on one. It gives her the opportunity to experience gratitude and be ego-less, saying, “Who am I to say this is not enough? It is enough to give that gift to someone and make a difference.”

What was your biggest takeaway from Day 2 keynote? Stay tuned for a session recap coming tomorrow.