MarTech Conference 2017: Takeaways


Meagan Lawhon

The Adaptive Tech team was in attendance at MarTech Conference once more this year. Meagan Lawhon, based out of our San Diego office, summarized her experiences as a first time MarTech Conference attendant  and outlined a few of her takeways.

This wasn’t Adaptive Tech's first outing to the MarTech Conference in San Francisco.

My colleagues from Adaptive’s recruitment team have been regular attendees in past years, and have always returned with a wealth of new industry insight and a lot of satisfaction from putting faces to names across our national customer base. This year it was my turn to attend with the Adaptive team.

There is always a degree of apprehension when professional recruiters attend industry conference and networking events. Surely they’re there to steal away employees and stuff their pockets with business cards?

In reality, Adaptive’s team attends multiple industry events for the same purpose as everyone else – to learn about the latest trends, news and innovations in the market and return to our work better informed and better equipped to deliver for our clients.

As in prior years, MarTech 2017 was a great event packed with challenging and informative presentations.

Here are our key takeaways from the event:

Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence Everywhere.

Although the presence of AI and Machine learning was pervading throughout the conference, there was a definite sense that many marketers are still learning the best ways to articulate and convey the precise application and potential of this emerging technology.

With that said, while HAL from Kubrick’s Space Odyssey might not be around the corner just yet, the solutions available right now showed that AI is already beginning to accelerate marketing cycles and personalized customer interaction across many platforms.

Bubble Trouble?

With the 2017 edition of the MarTech landscape infographic presenting 5,381 marketing technology companies (up from 3,500 last year) the thought of a MarTech ‘bubble’ was on everyone’s minds.  

Doug Pepper of Shasta Ventures added his insight, explaining that investment in the MarTech space has been much steadier than in AdTech. He also highlighted that whatever consolidation there is happens only as the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, and Google) need to fill a specific need or gap in their customer journey, acting as the major unifying force across the fragmented global market.


Conversations had also notably shifted from revolving around Account Based Marketing to Person Based Marketing using a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

Perhaps the technology isn’t yet where it needs to be for account-based marketing to deliver the benefits and revenue which were promised, but the discussion was growing and this will be an interesting space to watch in the months ahead.

In Conclusion

  • Is the bubble going to pop? Experts don’t seem to think so… yet.
  • While there is certainly a lot of overlap in emerging technologies, investment in the landscape continues to produce real, steady growth.
  • Artificial intelligence is still a few years away from being a staple in MarTech stacks.
  • Person-based-marketing is only the beginning of a rising tide of personalization solutions enabled via machine learning

In 2017 as in prior years, the conference didn’t disappoint and managed to build an insightful and forward-facing agenda with broad-ranging speaker contributions which resulted in a stimulating and satisfying conference overall. Great energy, great networking, and an event not to be missed.

See you there next year!