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At two feet in length and weighing in at a whopping two pounds (60 cm/1 kilo), the sheer size of this comestible item defies both metrics and Imperial weights & measures alike. But before we dig into this meaty snack at the heart of one of our customer’s presentations at SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando 2013, let’s step back and get some context. It’ll give you to time to make space to digest what comes next…

Marketing Forum at SAPPHIRE NOW

Throughout the day on May 14, the Marketing Forum provided attendees with a day focused on thought leadership from top marketing leaders and analysts, as well as an impressive roster of customers sharing their own marketing experiences. The forum was centered on several key drivers at play in the field of marketing today: capitalizing on Big Data insights; championing the customer experience; and streamlining marketing operations. The day was packed with sessions; here are just a few highlights.

Keynote by McKinsey

Starting things off for the packed crowd was David Edelman, Co-Head of Digital Strategy practice at McKinsey & Co., who delivered the Marketing Forum keynote. David shared his vision on the future of on-demand marketing and spoke of the trend towards “blending the physical and digital worlds”. During his keynote, David weaved in the underlying message that no marketing professional could possibly balk at, and it was all about the customer journey and what steps our peers such as Google and others are taking along this path. As David so aptly stated, “The customer decision journey defines your brand.”

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Hot Dog! It’s Delaware North

Todd Merry, CMO of Delaware North Companies, Inc., was on hand to share how this hospitality and food services company met the challenge of delivering the best possible customer experience by learning to understand their customers through social media. Using the visually compelling and hunger-inducing example of a 2-pound/2-foot long hot dog, Todd explained how Delaware North guided their marketing transformation: what started as a “big, manly product” priced at US $24.00 marketed to sporting event attendees with man-sized hunger was turned into a low-cost meal that can feed a family of four.

Quite frankly (if you can forgive the pun), I don’t think it’s just a family of four who could manage this granddaddy of all hot dogs – – this hungry young sports fan in the photo on the right looks up to the challenge ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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STM Blazes a Trail

La Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is one of the 10 largest public transport authorities in North America, so it’s not hard to imagine the effort it takes to safely and efficiently move approximately 1.2 million passengers daily through 250 bus lines and 68 subway stations in the greater Montreal area alone. Pierre Bourbonniere, Head of Marketing with STM, had clear marketing objectives: to develop a program that provides a better user experience as well as to directly influence people’s travel schedules to alleviate crowing at peak hours.

Pierre explained how STM’s approach of targeting customers based  on their purchasing behavior and rewarding travel habits with their passenger loyalty card helped to generate additional fare-related revenue through ridership, as well as non-fare revenues via subway concessions and advertising partners.

CMO Panel

Saving the appetizer for last, the Marketing Forum kicked off with an early-morning CMO Panel headed by SAP’s own CMO Jonathan Becher. Lively discussions ensued among the audience and fellow-panelists Maryam Banikarim, CMO of Gannett, and Acxiom’s CMO Tim Suther, as they dived deep into the topic of how technology is transforming marketing today.

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See also: CMOs: Sharing, Innovating at SAPPHIRE NOW by Bernard Chung

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