Marketing and Wine – Notes from Martech Symposium 2018

Acquia attended the Martech Symposium, where marketers met and discovered how to use the latest technology to achieve customer and business goals.

Marketing and Wine – Notes from Martech Symposium 2018

It’s that time of year again – as soon as the weather warms up and the vines start producing, we know one of our favourite marketing conferences of the year, Martech Symposium, isn’t far away.

Every November, a small but select group of senior marketers are invited to the Hunter Valley wine region to discover how to use the latest marketing technology to achieve their customer and business goals. With a particularly impressive speaker lineup this year, including an international keynote from the chief customer officer of Pret a Manger, Acquia was thrilled be able to play a key role in this year’s conference as an event partner.

While our team had a wonderful few days with delegates, sharing local case studies and insights over the Acquia-sponsored lunch, it wasn’t all play. With a jam-packed agenda our team were also there to learn from the best – here are our top takeaways from Martech Symposium 2018.

Nadine Champion

As a special guest keynote, and author of “10 Seconds of Courage” (you can watch her TEDx talk on the topic here), Champion offered a wonderfully motivational start to the conference during the first dinner of the event – her key message being that fear of failure should never stop us from trying and that, given just 10 seconds of courage, we can achieve great things.

Deakin University

For Deakin University, one-to-one marketing is key. The objective is to get students to an open day; if they get to the open day then there is a very highly likelihood they will go on to apply. In order to attract students, the university conducts personalisation at a campus level; for example, when a visitor is identified as having an interest in a particular open day, information will appear about that specific campus only.

Just Eats

For Barnaby Dawe, chief customer officer at Pret a Manger (and former CMO of Just Eats), more is more when it comes to customer data. Just Eats uses huge amounts of data to help businesses deliver better, more precise results; for example, data showing how certain demographics are likely to purchase certain food items on various days of the week (e.g. Margherita pizza sells better on Tuesday nights than Wednesday night). This extremely honed approach to analyzing user behavior gave Just Eats the ability to arm restaurants with knowledge to maximise business opportunities (for example, lots of searches for a particular cuisine type in a particular suburb could flag where demand for their next restaurant location might lie). 

Both Just Eats and Deakin highlighted the importance of data management platforms (DMP) in their personalisation strategies and warned that, without them, organisations will struggle to achieve digital maturity and relevant personalisation at scale.

World Vision

For Teresa Sperti, chief of marketing, data and product at World Vision, educating the public and fostering awareness is crucial. With more than 54,000 not-for-profit organisations in Australia, competition for donors is intense. When World Vision launched, 70-plus years ago, Sperti noted that the charity was disruptive and were the first to adopt interactive campaigns such as the 40-hour famine. As the organization has grown and aged, it has become more risk averse, but this is something that they are actively reversing by hiring digital natives at the C-level, flattening their organizational structure to give staff more control over day-to-day decision making and selecting partners that have values aligned with their business.


The second international keynote of the conference was Chris Walls, head of CRM and loyalty for Sephora, who argued that customer demographics, in particular age, have no value when it comes to personalisation. “Customers are not onions with layers. The average age of a customer means nothing. We have customers aged from 20-50 years old, so there is no ‘average age’ for our customers,” Walls said. Instead, the company invested heavily in hiring technical talent and offered consistent, personalised experiences to customers via email, the website and the Sephora app, as well as creating customer profiles based on buying habits, such as “makeup junkie.”

Thank you to all of this year’s Martech Symposium delegates for a wonderful conference – and we hope to see you at the same time next year.

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