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Sapphire Blog Post Image Bernard.pngMuch is expected of chief marketing officers, today. With perpetually connected and highly informed customers, old marketing approaches are no longer effective, and marketing professionals that aren’t ready for this shift are vulnerable. As Jonathan Becher, SAP’s own CMO, points out, CMOs need to listen to “market voices,” not just their own customers. And they need to take the lead in developing new business models that counter disruptive new consumer behaviors such as showrooming.

Perhaps the biggest change for CMOs is the shift in importance from just being the brand champion to growth champion.  Mass adoption of digital channels is creating zetabytes of data that can be turned into a goldmine of customer insights. A top priority for CMOs is identifying and harvesting those gold nuggets and crafting more satisfying, relevant and personalized offers and promotions that enable rich customer engagement across channels.

CMOs need to begin planning now to spend the next phase of their career in a new set of activities that includes analyzing data to more deeply understand consumers, engaging with consumers on social networks, crafting in-context offers that can be sent directly to consumers on their mobile devices and closely monitoring what the market wants through digital means.

With all these changes, CMOs need a community in which they can share ideas, situations and experiences, to learn from each other. This is what the Marketing Forum at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW is all about.  For the first time, we have created an event at SAPPHIRE NOW that is dedicated fully to marketing professionals.  We are truly excited to host a full day of presentations that are delivered to and by CMOs, marketing executives and the best marketing thought leaders.


The forum will focus on three key themes:

  • Big data Insights: Identifying and harvesting valuable information about customer needs is essential to making marketing more relevant, more real-time and more of a success.
  • Champion Customer experiences: The business world now understands that there is a real value associated with the customer experience you deliver. It’s time to start driving marketing decisions based on how they impact customer experience.
  • Streamline Marketing : Marketers need a more holistic view of their marketing plans, processes and outcomes, as well as more collaborative tools to share ideas, crowdsource innovations and ensure consistency.

Attendees will hear from a variety of speakers, all considered top thought leaders in their field:

  • David Edelman, Co-Head of Digital Strategy practice at McKinsey & Co., will share his vision on the future of on-demand marketing. 
  • Todd Merry, CMO at Delaware North, will discuss his company’s experience with leveraging social media as the key channel to interacting with customers in ways not possible through traditional channels.
  • Our CMO Panel will feature Gannett CMO Maryam Banikarim, Acxiom CMO Tim Suther and SAP CMO Jonathan Becher speaking about how technology is transforming marketing today.

Attendees will also hear from marketers from LATAM and Europe: 

  • Claudia Altamirano, CRM and Digital Manager at Grupo Ultrafemme, will discuss the company’s work to build a 360-degree customer view across multiple interaction channels to deliver personalized customer interactions.
  • Margit Lugstein, Head of Online Marketing at HSE24, will share the company’s journey to empowering marketers with not just analytics but true customer insights.
  • Pierre Bourbonniere, CMO at the Societe de transport de Montreal (STM), will report on the organization’s recent launch of location-based mobile solutions that deliver timely, personalized offers to their riders.
  • Thomas Stewart, Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer at Booz & Co., will share the company’s recent research into the DNA of the marketing organization.

In addition to these presentations, marketing professionals can engage with like-minded peers in two separate tracks of small group discussions. The sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including marketing social collaboration, big data analytics for marketers and social media marketing.  In our demo theater track, SAP experts will demonstrate innovative marketing solutions covering advanced analytics, social media, mobile marketing and social collaboration tools.

This is a crucial time for all marketing professionals. We hope the presentations, discussions and sharing at the Marketing Forum at SAPPHIRE NOW will spark a thought, reaffirm your vision and help transform your marketing organization.

In case you can’t make it to SAPPHIRE NOW, you can check out live streaming of the key presentation sessions.

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