Hey, I hope you’re fine. A crazy and surreal time in which we are.
The photo above is my new “office” in the basement of my house. Yes, I have set up a green screen. I would like to argue that seamless virtual backgrounds should be supported in the continuous stream of video conferencing that is now taking my day.
But to be honest, it’s mostly just about hiding the massive mess that gravity accumulates in our basement.
My wife pushed me out of our above-ground home office, with a nicer view and fewer piles of random things to make it her new command center for working from home. My daughter, whose school is closed for at least a few weeks, has taken over the rest of the house. It’s not a big house.
So the basement has become my refuge.
I don’t complain. I am grateful that we were able to adapt relatively easily to work from home. So many people are in worse circumstances, with sick family members, parents struggling with childcare, people with jobs that cannot work remotely – or even work at all, because the companies in which they worked had to be closed.
This will be a few hard weeks, probably a few hard months, for many people.
But I take in the many examples of human friendliness and heroism, from neighbors who help each other (albeit with social distance) to companies that do as much as possible for their employees and customers – and above all, at Front. Healthcare professionals fighting this pandemic.
On the whole, we are all together. I think we appreciate that more than ever.
MarTech in San Jose next month is canceled (obviously)
You could say that I totally buried Lede with this update with the first nine paragraphs of this post. But no. A current update of a marketing technology conference should be kept in mind.
The MarTech conference planned for April 15-17 is officially canceled.
No wonder I’m sure.
I apologize that we could not have announced this earlier. Until last week, some of our service providers in San Jose still claimed that the ban on group meetings issued by the Santa Clara County Health Department – and then by the governor of California – was not still in effect. April 15, we had to continue contractual with them.
“Seriously?” might be the question that comes up in your head. It definitely popped up in mine. Personally, I have not seen how you could have had a clearer “act of God” without stone tablets.
But to be fair, the past few weeks have been crazy for everyone in the travel, tourism, and events industries. It took some time to reach the right decision makers and work out options. The producers of MarTech, Third Door Media, have put all their energy into finding sensible solutions with these stakeholders as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your patience when making the official call.
What is the next step with MarTech?
We have our goal in mind MarTech East in Boston from October 6-8.
Anyone who has bought a ticket to the San Jose event can transfer it to Boston or our San Jose event next spring. The Third Door Media team works with sponsors and exhibitors to get them moving. And I’ll be working with speakers over the next few months to set up the Boston program.
Man, we had an incredible array of speakers for San Jose on board. I want to thank everyone for being willing to share their experience with our community. I was really looking forward to their discussions next month. But I hope that many can come to us in autumn or next spring.
We are optimistic that life will normalize again by then and that people with pragmatic security measures are ready to exchange personally with their peers again.
I’m introverted – ironic, I know – and yet after just one week of social distancing, I’m longing to interact with people beyond the window of my laptop.
It is also clear that the marketing profession has to adapt quickly to a different environment than a month ago. Before this pandemic, there were many challenges and disruptive innovations. Now we also have to deal with more general questions of the economy and the impact on buyer behavior.
I have always believed that managing change and uncertainty is one of the central tasks of marketing technology and operations managers. Admittedly, the changes I expected were modest in nature – new channels, the integration of new technologies, reengineering processes and workflows, etc.
The past few weeks have been a humiliating acknowledgment of what real Disorder looks like.
However, the basic mission remains the same: building operational agility into our marketing and customer experience skills and infrastructure. In good times, this is a competitive advantage. There is a need to survive in bad.
This is still a new area that we have to learn from experience – our own experience, but also the experience of others. I am confident that the Martech community will recover, and together we will do our part to help companies on the other side get through more.
I really hope that we will have the opportunity to do this in person this fall in Boston.
Discover MarTech Virtual Event from April 21st to 23rd
In the meantime we will run a virtual event next month to keep learning going. We are running a three-hour program from April 21 to 23, three days in a row, in which you can participate free of charge online.
If you cannot specify these exact days and times, a recorded version will be available on request. However, if you can connect “live”, it can help us make a slightly larger connection over the cable. (Strange but true?)
I will start the first two days with a two-part keynote, which lasts 30 minutes a day and covers some of the big projects of the martech industry that we already had in flight, as well as a perspective on how marketing and martech will change in the coming months the current events:
- An update on the Martech landscape, the trends compared to the previous year – and what is happening now
- Insights from our Martech career study and the four types of marketing technologists
- A tour of several great marketing stacks that were submitted to The Stackies Awards
- Dealing with changes and uncertainties in marketing – in a changing and uncertain world
Each day then continues with a series of short sessions from our title, and sponsors are introduced who originally wanted to share these solutions with everyone in San Jose. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with a range of state-of-the-art marketing technologies. I guarantee that you will learn a lot about what is possible, what will surprise and delight you.
Real Story Group’s Tony Byrne begins the third day with a presentation on a disciplined approach to assessing and selecting marketing technologies. And then at the end of that third day I will end up with some final ideas about the road ahead.
Expansion of the Stackies 2020: Marketing Tech Stack Awards
Just one thing. Last Friday was the original closing date for The Stackies, our annual award program where we invite marketers to submit a 16 × 9 slide with the design of their marketing stack. (Details here.)
30 companies – and a government agency – have submitted entries, and wow, many of them are excellent.
However, others were derailed by the escalating situation with the pandemic. A number of marketers have contacted me to request an extension under these circumstances. Given what everyone is working on, the only sensible answer is: “Of course you can send them in later.”
Since we cannot host the award ceremony at MarTech in San Jose anyway, we decided to move this ceremony to the event in Boston in the fall.
That’s why we made a dramatic decision Registration deadline extended until September 18, 2020. So if you have thought about participating but have not yet entered anything, you now have a second chance.
Out of respect for the 31 participants who submitted their stacks on the original date, we will do so Double the number of awards this yearfrom five to ten. The first five are used only for entries from this original group. The next five will be awarded to contributions from the entire submission pool.
In the meantime, we will be sharing a lot of the information received with the readers, along with interviews with several of the people who created these batches.
Be healthy and keep your mood up
I will close the path I have opened: I hope that you hold out well in the next few weeks.
If I have learned a more comprehensive lesson from my career in marketing and technology, then we are an innovative and resilient group of creative professionals. If we navigate through this immediate crisis and come out on the other side, there will be ample opportunities to use our energy and talent to help our respective customers, communities, and businesses move forward.
Keep your mood up.
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