With Oracle Modern Marketing Experience 2015 at a close, here is a quick recap of some random observations and a few key insights acquired at the event. This list is compiled by me, a first-time attendee to #MME. So have fun with them. They were the most awe-striking—and memorable—observances from this newbie’s perspective.
1. Average Heel Height: 2″
I was actually pretty surprised at how many women wore heels for a majority of the three-day conference. Coming from the tech industry, which tends to heavily male and the women who do attend wear flats and jeans, this “dressed-up” style came as quite a shock.
The lesson learned? Toss those sneakers and start-up t-shirts in the trash. At marketing conferences, heel height is an average 2″ with 3″ and 4″ pumps not out of the question.
2. #FrancoFail Bad Publicity = Good Publicity
Hollywood keynote speaker James Franco certainly entertained, but I’d be shocked if it was in the way the event organizers had hoped. With eyes almost completely closed, Franco took the stage and led the audience through a meandering account of his success as an actor, while attendees shifted in their seats uncomfortably, cringed as certain moments of key awkwardness, and tweeted things like this:
But here’s the coolest part. The fail ended up being one of the biggest talking points, conversation starters, commonalities between marketers, and biggest social hits of the event. As we all know, but never put into practice, even bad publicity can be good publicity. Good reminder.
3. Most Common Color: Gray
Want to fit in? Blend in. Gray was the favorite color.
4. A Call to Stop Being Amazing
One of the key takeaways I loved was in Jay Baer’s presentation, where he said “STOP trying to be amazing, and start being useful.” Why is this so good? It give marketers a little ego room to feel validated in not producing the most glittery marketing deliverable you’ve ever seen. Because—as data is starting to prove—glittery, coy, cute, and “amazing” marketing assets aren’t always the bread winners for revenue. Marketers must focus on ROI, or they’re toast. Baer’s line might help them make that move.
5. Big Plastic Glasses
Whether it’s a trickle down effect of Ann Handley and Seth Godin, or just a fad, big glasses for marketers are a big deal. As one of the most noticeable accessories of the events, both men and women sported thick, colorful glasses to spice up their gray and muted outfits.
The lesson here? Do something memorable to your appearance. You’re going to meet hundreds of people in just a few hours, if you’re dressed with a little flair, you have a much better chance at being remembered. How ’bout that?
6. The More Buttons the Better
Who needs Twitter followers when you can have 1″ buttons with funny marketing sayings instead? At Oracle Modern Marketing Experience, the more buttons you can clasp onto your lanyard, the more proven and credible you seem—like a decorated soldier. I thought it was a joke, originally. But no. Lo and behold I’m leaving the event with my own three buttons of flair, too.
If you’re headed to #MME16, be quick on the button uptake. Or, as a general “event etiquette” statement, just go with the flow. Every trade show has its idiosyncrasies. If you’ve travelled across the country to be a part of it, do yourself a favor and be a part of it.
7. Wall Street vs. Main Street
In opening remarks for the Modern Marketing Experience Kevin Akeroyd, Senior Vice President, Oracle Marketing Cloud described the modern CMO’s challenge as both supporting Main Street (the buyers) and Wall Street (the investors / C-suite / board). In this illustrative and new approach to describe a key complexity that faces executive-level marketers, Akeroyd detailed the importance of never losing sight of the customer (and emphasized that that function of marketing has never really changed) and to fight for more authority on Wall Street as the responsibility and authority of marketers increases.
In my opinion, this simple metaphor succinctly captured a primary sentiment felt by all the vendors, marketers, and executives in the room. Probably the single biggest takeaway, in the classic sense, for me.
So, not the most actionable blog post here. But I just couldn’t help publishing some of the more “fringe” takeaways that—as a newbie to the scene—struck me as the most impactful.
I’d love to hear any other marketer’s thoughts on wacky, weird, or random takeaways or observations they’ve had at other marketing events in the comments below!