I’ll tell you right up front that I’m a huge foodie. It occurred to me, as I set out on my very first trip to Oracle MME in Vegas last week, that modern marketers are like master chefs, creatively combining ingredients to create effective marketing strategies and serve up full courses of campaigns and programs that their audience can’t wait to sink their teeth into.
Modern Marketing Experience, which brings together over 3,000 marketers, technology vendors, thought leaders and influencers, offers a mile-long smorgasbord of marketing insights, ideas, solutions, case studies and best practices. I will be completely truthful about this: I expected to be a little overwhelmed – and I was!
Luckily I brought my marketing eating pants and was ready to dig into the buffet of martech and marketing strategy that is Oracle MME. Underlying all of the large sweeping themes of marketing excellence on display, I was pleasantly surprised to find two secret ingredients that are all too often lost in marketing strategy. Here are two key things that marketers need to keep in mind as they look to cook up healthy and meaningful relationships with their audience.
Is Your Marketing Program Healthy?
The healthier any given marketing program is, the better it will perform. MME offers the modern marketer the opportunity to “taste test” many different flavors of program tactics and strategies. It’s a “safe place” where marketers can break bread together and share knowledge across the marketing community dinner table. Having the chance to sample others’ experiences, challenges and successes is invaluable. It allows you to take a step back from your own current programs and ask important questions about what you can gain from other marketers’ hard-learned lessons. How can you better their marketing recipes, iterate their processes with new action and gain deeper insights for your own strategy?
Ultimately it gives the modern marketer the opportunity to look in the mirror of marketing program truth and ask: “Do I look fat in these pants?” And you know what? Most marketing programs probably do – at least a little bit. And that’s ok.
What marketer has not, at least once in their career, poured their marketing cooking expertise into a program that has added more flab around the waistline (quantity over quality), putting their current engagement strategy into a heavy meat sweat, couch-riding coma? The discussions across the conference floor bring up that this is all too common across any marketing program development process. Even the best marketers and marketing teams can get caught up with too broad a scope, or too many cooks in the kitchen, when they attempt to find the right engagement recipe. A healthy marketing program is one that garners healthy results, favoring quality engagement over quantity. As Michael Brenner puts it, “Anyone can buy traffic. But engagement is the key in today’s attention-starved world filled with so many choices.”
Do the Ingredients Make the Recipe?
The second thing I learned at MME is that finding the “secret sauce” that all marketers want to pull together in their recipe isn’t easy. The ingredients that make the recipe for a healthy and successful program are not always evident or available to all marketers. How many times have you been asked to create a fillet mignon with a side of asparagus and come back with a Philly cheesesteak and fries…arguably both good, but one requires a certain amount of practice, experimentation and time with the ingredients to make the recipe just right.
I would like to think that the marketing community has a strong understanding of what it means to involve the customer by using the right ingredients in their team and marketing tech stack to create satisfying business relationships time and time again. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The ingredients don’t always make the recipe.
In fact, I would argue that one of the best outcomes of Oracle MME is that Marketing Chefs the industry over can review their ingredients with each other and ask deeper questions about engagement, optimization, transformation and personalization recipes. Is your marketing strategy healthy or does it feel a little bloated? Are you using your ingredients effectively to create an engaging experience? Do you keep your marketing strategy fresh with new ideas and iterations? Are you serving up experiences with your programs and content that satisfy and delight your prospect’s palate? Are your portions too large or too small? Do they satisfy your engaged prospect’s appetite for more as they self-educate or leave them hungry, wanting to sneak downstairs at 3 am and raid the fridge?
Oracle MME is a Michelin Starred chef course for modern marketers. What would be incredibly helpful is a post-MME Campaign/Program “Cookbook” showing the best practices and recipes that have proven to make great quality, properly prepped and beautifully plated marketing meals that audiences really tuck into with gusto.
The biggest themes coming out of the Oracle MME this year – transformation, optimization and personalization – bring some much-needed light to two resources that all marketers need: a marketing program health check and review of their marketing assets (the ingredients they have on hand).
So I will end this blog post with two questions to any of you who attended this year: Do your marketing programs look fat in those pants? What did you learn from MME to make them healthy again?