Virtual events, agile teams: Thursday’s daily brief

Plus, Salesforce’s ABM tools and Amobee’s new identity partner

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Good morning, Marketers, remember when virtual events weren’t really a thing?

As with much over the past year, that sure has changed. We’re not just saying that because we know first hand what it takes to pivot from an in-person conference organizer to putting on a series of virtual shows. Just look at what SXSW is doing this week, or even how The New Yorker has jumped into the fray, and it’s clear that what it means to be an event is likely forever changed.

But I’m also struck by what Gartner’s Craig Rosenberg told us (March 19, 2021) during a MarTech session on digital transformation no less: “The first time you do a face-to-face event, everyone will come. We just want to see each other.”

We saw that level of hope when we last fielded our Events Participation Index survey at the start of 2021. At the time, only 20% of the marketers we surveyed said they felt it was unlikely that they would attend an in-person event in the second half of 2021. Now, with vaccinations accelerating, we want to know if confidence has grown even larger.

Please let us know by taking our latest survey here. It is only a few short questions, and your answers can help organizers understand when the right time will be to bring back an in-person conference.

Just like Craig said, we just want to see each other too.

Henry Powderly

VP, Content

Salesforce introduces new ABM capabilities  

Salesforce has announced new ABM capabilities which both promote personalized engagement with account members, and support campaigns targeted at accounts where account members are currently unknown. The announced enhancements are Accounts as Campaign Members and Einstein Key Account Identification.

Accounts as Campaign Members. Previously, marketers had only been able to use Salesforce to target accounts if records of individual leads or contacts at that account. This new capability will allow accounts themselves to be added as campaign members, i.e. targets, even if no records of individuals are associated with those accounts.

Einstein Key Account Identification. Einstein AI will identify accounts with high purchase intent through scoring and surface recommendations and insights to help sales teams optimize engagement. The AI will draw on data from Salesforce CRM and online marketing.

Why we care. Digital-first B2B marketing and selling will require more and better capabilities, and this looks like a way for marketing and sales teams to start nurturing accounts with a degree of personalization before much is known about the buying team. Also, as with the 360 Audiences CDP, we see Salesforce promoting capabilities within its own product suite as an alternative to integrations with independent best-of-breed solutions.

Amobee-InfoSum partnership creates identity alternatives for cross-screen campaigns  

Ad tech platform Amobee has announced a partnership with identity infrastructure provider InfoSum. 

In recent years, Amobee has incorporated channels like digital out-of-home into an array of programmatic options, enabling advertisers to orchestrate campaigns over TV, digital and social. This partnership gives each company’s respective clients combined access to more targeted cross-screen media buying. 

Amobee, it should be noted, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singtel, a leading communications technology company with more than 675 million mobile subscribers in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Amobee’s contribution is in pulling together the data management and media planning capabilities for executing a customer journey through digital, TV and social, while InfoSum’s decentralized data eco-system connects customer records across companies without sharing data between companies.

Why we care. The data sets that InfoSum uses are decentralized. In a more regulated, post-cookie world, alternative identity solutions are increasingly being forged through partnerships between actors in different parts of the ad supply chain. Brands and publishers can enter into these programmatic exchanges with their first-party data without violating any privacy agreements with their audiences. Amobee offers planning and measurement solutions for opt-in and opt-out environments.

A guide to agile teams  

Agile teams don’t require company reorganization. That’s the message in our latest piece on agile for marketers by agile coach Stacey Ackerman. “There’s a big misconception that agile marketing teams are going to require people to report differently and to have to restructure where they sit on the company organizational chart,” Ackerman writes. The teams or pods for agile marketing are simply how work gets delivered.

She outlines a typography of agile teams which could serve different purposes within a marketing department: funnel teams, persona teams, product teams and service teams, as well as cross-functional teams. But it’s important to understand that Ackerman is not advising re-structuring the marketing department — the teams can be thought of as “how work gets delivered.” All with the aim of providing more value to the customer.

“Agile marketing is all about putting customers at the center of everything we do. Yet, so many marketing organizations struggle to form teams this way.”

Quote of the day

“Marketing operations teams desperately need more people who can do, not people who can talk about doing or identify what needs to be done (aside from a manager/technical manager).” Sara McNamara, Martech Architect, Slack.


About The Author

Henry Powderly is vice president of content for Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than a decade in editorial leadership positions, he is responsible for content strategy and event programming for the organization.

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