Blog Insight

If you’re not doing this, data and tech don’t matter.

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at the Washington Marketing Summit in downtown Seattle, hosted by IC Summits. For those who aren’t aware, IC Summits hosts a series of educational conferences for marketing professionals in cities around the country. The events are top-notch, attracting highly talented professionals and creating an intimate setting where people can share and learn.

Topics discussed over the course of the day ranged from the “Washington brand” to content marketing to agency-client relationships. The panelists were all experts in their respective fields, and the insights ran deep. I had the privilege of moderating a panel titled “Meaningful Digital and Mobile Engagement.” The panelists included:

  • James Moore, Chief Revenue Officer at
  • Sujatha Parthasarathy, Media Director at Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Ariel Kelman, VP Worldwide Marketing at Amazon Web Services
  • Jeremiah Andrick, Executive Director Ecommerce Virtual Reality at HTC Vive
  • Gene De Libero, Director, Industry Strategy & Digital Transformation at Sitecore

Each of them is a “heavyweight” in his or her field.

Over the course of our hour together, we talked about how classical approaches to marketing (such as the four Ps) are challenged by the modern marketing landscape, and how concepts like segmentation can evolve from minute to minute as companies track, capture, and act upon real-time data. We also discussed the importance of the customer journey map as a critical tool in understanding where and how to connect with customers. The ubiquity and evolution of “martech” was also a key theme: the panelists all reflected on how their companies could be using their martech stacks even more effectively.

After 50 minutes of lively dialogue and Q&A, Jeremiah from HTC Vive brought the session to a close with a simple but profound insight: none of this technology and data matters if you aren’t connecting with your customers on a personal level. You can have the most sophisticated data analysts and the most robust tech platform, but if you aren’t reaching your customers with a simple message that resonates with them, none of it matters. A great reminder for all of us in the field of marketing in 2019.