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MarTech Conference day 2: throughout the day updates

Updates, highlights, and key quotes from the MarTech Conference in Boston today, October 3, 2018. For shorter, live coverage, find us on twitter @ClickZ.

Main stage keynote, Watson marketing, @thatslogical, “How AI will let us be marketers again”

Marketers today are being asked to land on the moon.


  • Too much data, too many silos, not enough data points talking to each other.
  • Rising customer expectations. You’re no longer being compared to competitors. You’re be compared to the best experience that the customer has ever had. 
  • Reluctance to share. Customers want personalized experience but don’t want to share data that would facilitate it.

AI powered marketing is smarter marketing.

How can we use AI to reduce marketers’ time spent in their most time consuming activities?

Introducing Watson Assistant for marketing. Understands human language, can ask what’s the tone of this email? Rolling out first for campaign management tools. “It’s like having another person on the team.”

50 years from now, we’ll look back and laugh at how primitive our use cases are.

With AI in the picture, the question now becomes, what do you do with all that free time?

Hopefully the answer is: more strategy, more creativity, more trying something new. 

What will be the new thing you try now that you have this tech at your disposal? My advice is to shoot for the moon.

Scott Brinker: “Technology is not the enemy of creativity.”

Main stage keynote, Michael Tidmarsh, Ogilvy, “Where does creativity fit in a data-driven world?”

Creative disruption. “Alibaba’s new AI can generate 20,000 lines of copy in a second.” Technology growing exponentially.

Since 2000, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared.

Experience-focus drives return.

4 big growth areas:

  • MR
  • Blockchain
  • 5G
  • Quantum computing

3 big roles for marketers:

  • Experience
  • Influence
  • Communication

Key principles:

  • Know the art of the possible
  • Capability at scale
  • Data can be rocket fuel
  • We can’t do this alone

Example: MSC smart ship, personalized experience, art of hospitality

Example: VR vaccine. VR headset to give kids while they give them a vaccine.

Example: campaign, “To the last tree standing” with Greenpeace. Made game with MineCraft of this endangered primeval forest in Poland. People loved it. Then took it away, left one tree standing. Outrage. Got 170,000 people to sign petition.

“We are not thinking machines that feel. We are feeling machines that think.” — Antonio Damasio, neuroscientist

Main stage keynote, Andrew Frank, Gartner. “How GDPR, privacy, identity, and blockchain are shaping the next wave in martech evolution

Problems for marketers: 

  • Concentration of media power in hands of few powerful companies, like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple
  • Restricted use of personal data
  • Lack of trust

It started with data. Then added rules, then interactivity, and now learning.

Data in black boxes.

Concept of “walled gardens,” GDPR reducing flow of data that marketers have access to. 


Platforms (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple) are extending their scope, moving into our homes, into the medical world, controlling more and more of our wallets. Visibility into our routines, our needs, our payments.

Big challenge for their competition, these platforms are protected by walls: advertising, search and discovery, payment, identity and consent.

GDPR has created consent as the most powerful currency in direct marketing today. 

Within these walls are audiences, media markets, permissions, wallets, feeds, records, indexes

“No market saw steeper declines than the US, with a 37-point aggregate drop in trust across all institutions.” – Edelman

We as marketers are at center of this catastrophe, because we’re funding it.

Blockchain: the distributed ledger concept. A chronological sequence of transaction records, grouped in blocks. Trust is achieved by consensus protocol and massive replication across network.

Can be used in consortia (Adledger, meta, iab tech lab), exchanges (not RTB) (AdEx, Nyiax, kind ads), and tools.

Gamechanger of blockchain: Will be able to liberate media markets. Makes no sense to have media markets operated by largest controllers of that media, as is currently the state with platforms like Google and Facebook.

Blockchain for identity and consent management

  • Restoring the utility of data with permission.
  • Consent: most important. Difficult to manage.
  • Nothing can be erased on blockchain, data is forever.
  • New trend called self sovereign identity. So you can revoke consent without storing on the blockchain itself.

Blockchain for proof of authenticity

  • Restoring trust in media and products.
  • Fake news.
  • The future looks pretty grim if we can’t tell a difference between real video and video by AI
  • Blockchain can record time stamp of a video, with place, by which camera, attached to fingerprint of video, so can’t be altered. All stored on blockchain
  • Who’s doing this: prover. Truepic. Factor and Vechain

Media markets, permissions, records, and veracity all outside walled garden

Action plan

Main stage keynote, Jeremy Epstein, Never stop marketing. “The emergence of crypto-native martech: tools of the future, already here today”

All began in “Crypto Valley,” a little Swiss mountain town that’s emerged into a hub of crypto-native. Crypto Explorers group for those who want to see what’s up.

Right now generation 1 stuff, not that pretty. But because you have lower costs, you can deliver more customized experience. Lower risk because you maintain control of brand assets.

5 years ago, these things were impossible to build.

Examples of blockchain platforms:

  • Steemit: one of first platforms. Like Reddit. Instead of value going to Facebook, goes back to original poster. They’ve paid out $40.1m in rewards. User accounts 920.8k. Monthly posts 1.5m
  • Libry: video library, no ads.
  • Crypto-native social media. Write tweets into the blockchain. No going back, no editing, no drunk tweets. “We the people will own our own decentralized social media”
  • Augur market research platform: Can set up questions and put money on them betting for events.
  • Open bazaar: like eBay or amazon. Can sell directly there. No transaction fees, no one can have access to the data
  • MyEtherWallet: to register domain or subdomain .eth
  • Name bazaar: marketplace for domains
  • Blocktix: for event ticket marketing. Customers who sell tickets on your behalf earn referral tokens.
  • Bounty0x: for promotion.
  • CryptoKitties: provably unique digital assets. Scarce goods. Collectible tokens. Tokens arrive in your wallet, which you control.

Rise of crypto goods. Can take your unique digital assets and put them on goods. Built in brand integrity. Can empower customers to make brand consistent swag for themselves.

Blockchain marketing technology landscape. Version 1 last year had about 22 companies. This year more than 200. Primarily in display and programmatic,

Caveats: very early. Seeing birth of whole new technologies.


Stay tuned for more updates from the rest of today at the MarTech Conference. For shorter, live coverage, find us on twitter @ClickZ.

Speaker presentations can be viewed here on the conference page.

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