28th Feb 2013
Sylvia Jensen reports on trends from the ground at the UK’s largest marketing event.
Brands, technology and some of the UK’s savviest marketers, all in one place – what’s not to love about the annual TFM&A conference in London? TFM&A is one of the UK’s most important marketing events and delivers the latest industry insights, trends and developments. We look forward to it each year, not only because we get to meet new people, but because we get to attend exciting speaking panels and get the heads-up on current marketing developments, directly from the marketers that look after some of today’s biggest brands; this year, these included Google, Nokia, and Microsoft, amongst many others.
Bringing together over 11,000 UK marketers, the conference provides an excellent way for people to stay on top of the latest in the marketing space.
Below is a round-up of some of the hottest topics discussed at TFM&A this year.
- Working anywhere. The keynote speech from Google director Richard Robinson that kicked off TFM&A 2013 underscored that the traditional “9-to-5” workday is no longer the norm. With mobile devices that enable us to work more flexibly, we are now increasingly working remotely, across multiple devices and locations. This growing trend towards remote working is important for B2B marketers to understand when deciding how to best reach prospects and bring them offerings tailored to where they are.
- Data. As always, consumer data is a hot topic, perhaps gaining a greater share of the conversation than ever before, following legislative developments such as last year’s EU Cookie Directive. Today’s sophisticated data collection tools are balanced against privacy directives put in place by legislative bodies, and marketers are looking to know how to make the most of the data available to them and of the technology that enables its collection. Today, marketers know more about prospects and consumers than ever before, thanks to their social footprint, and this allows for a highly targeted, multi-channel approach. At the Eloqua booth, we’re increasingly having conversations with marketers who want to know how to manage various data sources. Furthermore, the debate around the smart use of customer and business data in direct marketing applications touches the changing face of modern marketing, as discussed by Google, DQM Group and Microsoft in their panel on Day 1 of the conference.
- Social. Being a social business is becoming more important to staying competitive. In his panel at the show, Luca Benini, managing director, EMEA, marketing cloud, Salesforce, explores the notion that businesses must ‘embrace the social fast lane.’ The impact of social on marketing is more apparent at this year’s show than in previous years. At Eloqua’s booth at TFM&A, our people have been receiving more queries than ever before on how best to integrate social media with marketing automation.
- Omnichannel. First there was cross-channel, then multichannel, now the word on everyone’s lips is omnichannel. Bringing location and context into play, marketers now have the opportunity to reach consumers where they are – whether it’s in the store, on a mobile device, via email, or all of the above. Successful omnichannel campaigns are seamless, engaging and highly personalised – and very much the talk of this year’s TFM&A.
- From management to experience. Companies are starting to look past internally focused customer relationship management (CRM) systems and towards customer experience management. As evidenced at TFM&A, companies such as Sitecore, Experian and Oracle are putting significant attention toward customer experience and rightly so; it takes into account the individual. As technology affords digital marketers the ability to target customers and prospects on a more tailored, individual level, the overall customer experience becomes increasingly important, a valuable part of the purchase journey and beyond. Today’s leading customer experience solutions allow marketers to make actionable the data that is gathered on individual customers and prospects, improving the communications between brand and consumer.
As more and more marketers realise what’s possible, the more our industry is able to creatively evolve, with the implementation of exciting campaigns and approaches that are truly both smart and seamless. Every year, we look forward to TFM&A as some of the best minds in the business come together to examine our ever-evolving discipline. The possibilities are vast, and, at Eloqua, we are pleased to be able to consider them all at TFM&A and beyond.
Sylvia Jensen, director of EMEA marketing at Eloqua.