XCMO 2014… That’s a Wrap

Last week here in beautiful Austin, Texas was Adometry‘s home grown cross-channel marketing confab, XCMO. Now in its 2nd year, the crowd this year was bigger, the insights were deeper and the networking was more kinetic.

I was happy to spend a good bit of time at the conference, where in addition to taking the stage in a giant, orange foam cowboy hat, I also led a round table on applying the science of data and analytics to the art of content marketing. Here are a few takeaways and brand/agency points of view that came out of that session:

  • There’s still not a clear consensus on whether content marketing programs such as blogs, videos and infographics should be run and measured on Brand objectives or Direct Response objectives.
  • The customer journey, and therefore, number of marketing touches, is only expanding. Marketers are going beyond first/last touch attribution and now starting to analyze more deeply the dollar-level contribution of content and other programs.
  • One major airline brand talked about measuring incremental revenue of various content components via A/B testing.
  • An agency lead for a major auto brand’s account team indicated that blog content was aimed at brand perception/opinion and driving consideration. They’re measuring these brand level impacts with a combination of Forsee Results (onsite survey) and Millward Brown (custom brand studies).
  • One major U.S. insurance company is heavily focused on targeting efficiency of late.
  • A major global media agency is getting much more involved with content marketing and expressed understanding content’s contribution to campaigns-at an atomic level-as a hot topic across clients currently.

I also ran a “lighting round” at the end, in which I asked each of our participants the toughest problem they were facing relative to content marketing. The answers I got:

  • Understanding whether content marketing is really working
  • Attributing results to content
  • Reaching our community
  • Getting the right content to the right person at the right time
  • Knowing how close we are to reaching the point of diminishing returns
  • Getting content fully distributed
  • Knowing the right timing for publishing content
  • Knowing the right topics to focus on
  • Placing content in the right context

While many of the participants were from big brands and agencies, we were also fortunate to have a marketer from our hometown favorite Amy’s Ice Cream in the room. I put him on the spot and did ask him what was the top selling flavor at the Austin institution. The answer? Mexican Vanilla of course!

Thanks Adometry for hosting a fantastic Austin ad tech event – we’re looking forward to the next one!

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