Modern Customer Experience 2018 is officially underway in the great city of Chicago, home to the Cubs, deep-dish pizza and chilling winds sweeping across the Great Lakes (even in April!). Luckily for ModernCX attendees, the conference is taking place inside the expansive McCormick Place event center, so no down-jackets necessary.
Day One of the conference was marked with sense of determination and possibility. Starting with Head of CX Evangelism, Des Cahill’s keynote speech, which brought us a refreshingly candid take on the challenges marketers face, “We’re on a quest to break through the customer experience wall,” highlighting potential obstacles as chances for innovation. The keynote host, ever-charismatic influencer, Jay Baer, sat down with Comcast’s Charlie Herrin to discuss how he reimagined the telecommunication company’s experience environment positioning the customer at the center. Finally, YouTube sensation, Casey Neistat shared his unique journey that, dappled with its various obstacles and failures, taught him how to create his own success even in the face of “can’t”. His unorthodox marketing techniques can be summed up as such, “It was about selling the idea, not the product,” Each speaker brought their own brand of excitement, invention and forward-thinking to the stage.
Following a well-attended opening reception, the Exhibit Experience space buzzed with energy as partner and sponsor booths came alive with opportunities for networking, product demos, prizes and fun. Everywhere one looked people were interacting with brands, from getting their photo taken with a Mack Truck to trying on VR goggles to connecting with representatives about their products.
While the education sessions actually began yesterday, the widely attended General Sessions began today with The Evolving Role of B2B Marketing and The Transformation of Roles for CX Sales. The B2B Marketing session featured speakers from Cisco, Certain, LookbookHQ and Lattice, along with Oracle’s David Johnson and Pierre Custeau. The session focused on what technology and tactics B2B marketers can use to boost SQL’s, improve engagement and create health sales and marketing alignment. They also touched on how the proper and respectful use of data will create a closer bond with a customer.
As the day’s hustle and bustle drew to a close, marketers from around the world and across industries dawned their red carpet attire for an evening of glitz and glam at the 12th Annual Markie Awards Ceremony. Over a decade old, the Markies were created to celebrate those whom have blazed a trail of excellence in data-driven marketing using Oracle solutions. Hosted by world-renowned magician, Nigel Mead, the evening glimmered with the astonishing and the miraculous both in marketing and slight-of-hand.
The race for the coveted, golden Markie was tougher than ever this year, out of 266 outstanding submissions, 19 spectacularly, innovative stand-outs had to be painstakingly selected for Markie Awards. With Davide Alemani of Pirelli taking the top prize of Marketing Leader of the Year, other winners included: Morningstar, Covance and Cisco. Check out all the winners here. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, your drive to push the boundaries of digital marketing is truly inspirational.
And that was just Day One! Check back tomorrow for more exciting updates on this year’s Modern Customer Experience!