The MarTech Summit London 2021 gathered over 200 attendees from almost 150 different organisations from all over the UK, Europe and some from the USA. The summit was hosted at etc.venues 133 Houndsditch and comprised two full days of content sharing and networking.
Feedback from attendees was positive, with an overall average satisfaction rating of over 95%. 90% said they plan to attend a future MarTech Summit, and 90% said they would recommend it to a friend or colleague.
This summit attracted an incredible number of attendees from cross-industry companies which meant that there were great conversations and exchange of ideas around how opportunities and challenges in MarTech are shared irrelevant to your industry.
There were clear main themes that came out across the two days of live in-person presentations that included fireside chats, lightning talks, keynotes and panel sessions.
A clear point of discussion within many presentations was Relationship Marketing – From Acquisition to Engagement to Loyalty and how this is a path well-trodden amongst marketeers. Many spoke about customer loyalty and the fact they are seeing that brands no longer just have to stay relevant but must also align their values and beliefs to their audience, such as social, environmental and political policies.
Products by themselves are no longer enough to keep the loyalty of customers; loyalty needs to be shown to customers and businesses need to be empathy driven. “We collect as little data as possible because we don’t want to prejudice the way we engage with you. Especially when you work with Gen Z, they may intentionally give you false data to send you down the rabbit hole” Mark Liversidge, Chief Digital, Technology & Experience Officer – The Student Hotel quoted. Brands need to listen and understand their customers; it is a 2-way interaction.
Which leads us onto the theme of trust and how it is paramount, especially at a time when the shift from online life is happening as people re-emerge from their home offices and back into the office working… Focus is shifting from customer experience (CX) to brand experience (BX) (linked with customer loyalty and brand belief alignments) – the employee experience is on the increase as companies now want them to be brand advocates and tell the story.
Which leads us onto the poignant start to day two’s agenda – storytelling. “Messages delivered as stories are up to 22x more memorable than facts” – Mikael Persson, Head of Marketing, UK & Ireland – Tarkett “A good story needs to include People, Place, Plot, Purpose“.
Reflecting on the balance between Email vs Social Marketing, it was not a good year for email marketing due to an overload of templated messages. But on the flip side, a fantastic year for social marketing as they gave a more authentic personal connection and gave value to customers. Other speakers found that email marketing is still effective as a lot of customers are still buying from emails and email users are still on the rise! This point materialised that how this pans out really depends on your target audience – choose one that works for you and not get distracted by user numbers.
Probably the biggest theme of the 2-day event was based on staying agile but being strategic – “Experimentation without a strategic approach is like driving without a destination” Alex Bell, Testing & Optimisation Lead – Investec. There is a current culture shift to encourage reporting and that includes reporting failures so they can be learnt from. Many presenters spoke how companies need to create a culture of continuous testing to stay ahead of the competition.
Agility is not only restricted to one department, but also important when working with multiple departments – create constant feedback loops and ensure departments adhere to promises for success. “It’s really a simple equation that drives change; Human needs + technology = business growth” Karen Boswell, Chief Transformation Officer – VMLY&R.
As we look to 2022 and what that will bring… something we are realising ourselves, is that Virtual/Hybrid events – are here to stay, with most people expecting them to be part of the “new normal” now. Not just limited to events as companies seek to close the gap between online/in-store experience (E.g., Boots, HEMA) to improve overall CX – especially due to the explosion of data due to the pandemic which caused WFH and increased online ecommerce.
All of this but also to delight your audience with hybrid event experiences. It is found we need to be offering “exclusive content for both the online audience and the in-person audience” as quoted by Lev Cribb, Managing Director for WebinarExperts & Guest Speaker on behalf of ON24.
The event represented an agenda of 40% women and 60% men which was solidly mirrored in the audience demographic.
Every session was recorded and will be available on the on-demand platform On-Screen in the coming weeks.
The exhibition area consisted of 8 booth areas, attendees were able to experience interactive demos, pick up resources and have 1:1 chats with booth reps. Networking was in high demand having been the aspect the majority of attendees have missed over the past couple of years and IRL event hiatus. For those who had forgotten how to network, we supplied starter point questions to get the conversations going, for example “what interesting apps have you found out about and loved this year?”.
Within the session agenda we included a small section of the agenda pivoting to hear from the audience. “Audience Voice” was the opportunity for the audience to share their tips, challenges, and points of view on themes of the 2 days. This gave the audience the chance to engage and help one another out.
In addition to help strengthen the attendee experience we also hosted a networking drinks session at the end of day 1 into the evening, where we encouraged attendees to have a drink (or two) and snacks and hear from their peers.
Promoting diversity and inclusion within the MarTech Summit Series is important to us. There is continually a drive to remain committed to diversity when putting together our speaker line ups and the attendee demographic alike.
There was plenty of lively debate among the speakers and delegates at The MarTech Summit London’s well-attended conference. However, for all the variety of opinions and experiences, attendees were united by a central conviction – which is propelling the marketing and technology industry towards unprecedented reach and sharing of high-quality content!
A big thank you to all of our partners and MarTech enthusiasts who participated in the networking and learning of the two-day event.
The MarTech Summit Team is delighted to have hosted an elite and engaging community once again. Stay tuned for more to come by following our social media accounts and joining The MarTech Community on Slack!
By Catherine Collinge