Catching up with people you might have otherwise have seen at a trade show generally means chewing the fat with marketing guys from ad-tech and mar-tech vendors over the state of the proverbial nation. The truly interesting part of the conversations I'm picking up on is that they are now actually living what they preach more than ever.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been sat in a conference room in the past wondering where the personalisation we're being told is important is to be found in the current demonstration or the accompanying white paper. Yes, I know we're talking top-of-the-funnel stuff here, but even so, companies that are encouraging businesses to segment and get more personal often seem rather general in their messaging to me.
Of course, this could well be that I'm not their target audience, but rather a route to it -- and that the general messaging I see in public becomes more personal later on as the sales funnel focusses in on the sharp end where the conversions happen.
But as I am speaking to people this week, there seems to be a renewed realisation that there has to be more to marketing than replacing a marketing event with a marketing webinar.
That certain something -- I'm hearing at least -- is marketing technology companies practising what they preach and segmenting their audiences. From what I'm hearing, we can expect blogs, thought leadership, white papers, infographics and webinars (yes, even more webinars) in the coming months but we should start to notice a subtle difference.
Rather than being too generic, these will speak to the pain points in particular industries and, just as importantly, to the likely pain points of the recipient, based on their job title.
This is not only going to happen at the awareness stage but also through consideration as vendors seek to show how their brand not only gets what a potential customer is going through, but that it is the best placed to answer those issues.
So, if anything has come out of the past month or so of seeing the Spring and Summer schedule of events being wiped out, it is that marketers in mar tech and ad tech are doing what they advise their customers to do and craft highly targeted campaigns which speak to each industry, each type of customer, each territory and are variable according to the role of the recipient.
It's going to be interesting to see how these pan out, particularly once brand marketers are bored with endless webinar invites and are looking for something that speaks more directly to them. If it works, and it has to be more successful than being generic, the period we're currently entering will surely be seen as the time marketers learned to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.