Remember the Mel Gibson flick "What Women Want?" The gist: Mel's character gets blessed with the ability to hear what women think.
We're kinda getting that power here in Boston today at the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel. Only we're hearing what digital marketers think.
And so far, we've discovered two things they love to hear. First, that they can adapt to new technologies. Second, they are working well with IT professionals, despite what some may think.
After all, this is really the theme of this first show and the mission of its creator, Scott Brinker: marketing and technology working together. A common question here is "which side are you on, marketing or technology?"
But the people in the digital marketing industry are moving toward an answer of, "Neither. I'm on each side."
Gartner sees it this way. Marketers can and will become champions of technology as the two get married. Chief marketing officers are already outspending chief information officers on tech, according to Laura McLellan, vice president of marketing strategies at Gartner Research and one of this morning's speakers.
McLellan spoke about the rise of the "chief marketing technologist," for which the guy running this show this week is a pioneer.
"I've heard you should start with technologists and teach them marketing," McLellan told the packed house of about 400 here. "I believe you do it the other way around. I believe marketers are very good at technology and are eager to learn."
Those comments drew the morning's largest round of applause.
The other pleasing remark? That marketers and IT are working together.
Suggestions made otherwise are "garbage," McLellan said, drawing another round of applause.
From the Trenches
But how is it going outside this gorgeous conference room off the South Boston waterfront? What are marketers doing back at the home office?
CMSWire caught up with Brandon Pindulic, a young, bright inbound marketer for ProofHQ, a platform that helps simplify workflow and speed up the delivery of marketing projects.
Marketing and IT? It's definitely happening on his team.
A couple of developers and a designer regularly attend marketing meetings and participate in strategy, Pindulic said. They're "all under one umbrella." Developers are encouraged to participate in the creative side, he added.
Surely, that response would have drawn praise from this conference crowd. But that was just Pindulic and us chatting in the exhibitor's hall.
As for his challenges in his B2B marketing world, we asked Pindulic about the difficulty of marketing to a B2B crowd vs. B2C (he has experience in both).
He, just like a representative at the Bizo booth told us this morning, said B2B is challenging because you're trying to connect with multiple folks in an organization vs. a more one-to-one connection in the consumer world.
"It's important to get everyone on board," Pindulic said. "It's not easy."