Gartner Digital Marketing Conference

I wrote an in-depth blog post covering many details of the sessions I attended at the 2017 Gartner Digital Marketing Conference in May. That blog is published on the Callahan Creek website, so please take a look. For my personal blog I thought I would take a slightly different approach and offer, well, some personal reflections.

Conference summary in five bullets:

  • Figure out how to leverage GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), if not it could be to your brand’s peril.
  • DATA is gold: collect it, tie it all together then use it to improve marketing engagement and customer experiences.
  • We’re living in the age of machines. For marketers to be effective, our job is to figure out how to market WITH machines, THROUGH machines and TO machines.
  • Everyone’s running to figure out how to use data, marketing technology, analytics, AI, IoT, and all the emerging trends: try new things NOW and don’t be afraid to FAIL.
  • We’re probably not moving and changing FAST enough. If you think something is five years away, it will probably be here in two.
  • Keep it HUMAN, it’s people that matter.

It’s that last point that I want to dwell on for a moment.

With all the incredible things that machines now do, especially with AI, the last human strongholds are creativity and especially innovation. I say “especially” innovation because even what we often define as “creativity” — pursuits such as writing music or producing visual art — are now starting to be done not just with machines but also BY machines. INNOVATION seems to be — for now — the excusing domain of humans. But for how long? The more time that machines free us from mundane repetitive work, the more time we will have to innovate. Perhaps we can innovate ways to ensure that machines don’t infringe into our territory any further than we want them to!

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