Matt Marriott, SVP of Sales and Client Success at Acoustic, Visits Grady College’s ADPR Week

By Abby Clark

Last week, Grady College’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations hosted its fifth annual celebration of National ADPR Week. Throughout the week, a variety of professionals in the industry visited the college to share advice and discuss industry trends with students. 

On Monday, Sept. 23, Matt Marriott kicked off the celebration with a rich discussion of marketing trends, artificial intelligence and data analysis. 

From 2000 to 2018, Matt Marriott served in various marketing and sales roles at IBM. In January 2019, he helped establish a marketing cloud company called Acoustic, where he currently serves as the SVP of Sales and Client Success. 

Throughout his time at IBM and Acoustic, Marriott has interacted with a variety of CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) and CIOs (Chief Information Officers). Drawing from this experience, Marriott discussed technology and marketing trends he has observed about the industry.

Marketer 4.0: Emergence of the tech-savvy martecheter

Marriott stressed the importance of tech literacy among marketers, emphasizing that programming is becoming increasingly important in the marketing field. 

“The most agile and highest producing marketers are those that have programming literacy,” Marriott said. 

In the absence of having a marketer with at least some programming knowledge, marketing teams are at the mercy of their IT teammates. While it is necessary for IT teammates to be process-oriented and rigid, there is often a disconnect between IT employees and fast-paced marketers. With programming-attuned “martecheters,” this process is accelerated and CMOs have the opportunity to work faster. 

Director of marketing data becomes the hottest new role

“There is a data explosion that is totally unmanageable,” Marriott said.

Marriott brought up the fact that 95% of data on earth today was created in the last five years, and that three years from now, 95% of data that exists will have developed in the last three years. With the extreme amount of data available to marketers, employers are beginning to pay a fortune to hire people with data analysis skills.

AI and machine learning make hyper-personalization a reality

With this extreme amount of data, personalization becomes a huge obstacle to marketers, specifically personalization at scale. 

Marriott brought up an Indian company with as many customers as the U.S. population. It is impossible for them to achieve personalization at such scale without technology. While there are still many barriers with cognitive computing, there is so much potential in this area. 

“AI, if done in the right way, can give you superpowers,” Marriott said.

Digital marketing agencies transform into consulgencies

Marriott pointed out that conventional advertising agencies and consulting agencies are beginning to merge. Companies like PWC, Accenture, IBM and Deloitte, are beginning to create their own advertising branches. 

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) helps build more customer trust

The General Data Protection Regulation enacted in the European Union prevents customer data from being used without explicit consent. The enactment of this regulation has initiated a sort of domino effect of regulations, even in the United States. As these regulations are being enacted, an opportunity arises for marketers to create more consensual relationships with their consumers. 

In the emotion economy, purpose creates loyalty 

Marriott emphasized that staying in tune with customers’ wants is absolutely essential. Tools like AI can allow marketers to learn more about the purposes that drive customer purchases and lead to customer loyalty. Purpose is a big deal, because consumers will only purchase products they care about. 

With a population that is more demanding with their wants and more exposed to alternatives, there is both challenge and potential for marketers.

“If I had to ask 10 CMOs, I think they would say that there hasn’t been a more exciting time to be in marketing,” Marriott said. 

Marriott was just one of the professionals visiting Grady College last week that was willing to invest time in students and share his expertise. ADPR Week is always a great learning experience for Grady students, and we are so thankful to everyone who made it successful!