On Friday, January 21st, some of Atlanta’s most tech-savvy marketers came together at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business to discuss the latest trends and innovations in Marketing Technology. The conference included fresh insights from MarTech leaders at Google, Nielsen, and Turner as well as a live podcast recording. If you missed out, don’t sweat it – Hothouse was on the scene. Check out our top four takeaways below.

 

End of The Cookie Opens Doors for Innovation

An audience Q&A with Google’s Shawn McGahee centered around the end of the third-party cookie. If you haven’t yet heard, Google announced in 2019 that it would stop accepting cookies on its Chrome browser by 2021 in response to worldwide data privacy concerns. For many marketers and publishers, this could mean a large and intimidating hole in data. Much of today’s digital targeting strategies involve tracking consumers’ every online move, allowing brands to deliver uber-targeted content and advertisements. These strategies rely on attribution—a function that will soon be seriously lacking without third-party cookies from Chrome, which boasts around 70% of internet users.

So, what’s on the horizon? According to McGahee, we can expect new MarTech ventures and technologies to emerge to fill these gaps in attribution without sacrificing consumer privacy. Google itself has new additions to its platform in the works. And they’ll have a head start, considering they are the main catalyst for this market-wide paradigm shift. Still, the real winners will be those who are most adaptable—and who view change as an opportunity for evolution, rather than a barrier.

 

Artificial Intelligence Automates Insights for Consumer Products

Nielsen, one of the largest data aggregators worldwide, has continued to make strides in insights tools for consumer-packaged goods even as consumer activity fragments across markets and retailers. Most recently, they’ve added AI capabilities to their stack through a partnership with AnswerRocket. Company representatives Troy Treangen and Liz Di Maria shared Nielsen’s vision for the technology: for decision-makers to be able to ask a bot a direct question and receive insights instantly, rather than consulting a spreadsheet.

Such a solution will allow Nielsen’s clients to automate and scale their business intelligence and analytics processes, allowing for greater adaptability in marketing decisions. This development further bolsters the trajectory of AI technology in marketing and business worldwide.

 

eSports is on the Move

Moving the conversation to entertainment, Turner Sports’ Jared Dent shared a main focus of their technology investment: eSports. Dent describes it as the “wild west” of sports, with so many new players investing in the space and an unlimited number of games. The structure isn’t like traditional sports—one league, one season—so it’s hard to nail down, but also means possibilities are endless. The key, Dent explains, is to predict which games will be most profitable and bet early on by planning programming around them.

There’s been lots of talk around this emerging industry over the past few years, and Turner Sports has been an early adopter since launching its ELEAGUE in 2016. Now, competition is ramping up and the pressure’s on for innovation in the industry. Turner’s answer is ELEAGUE Super Punch, the first eSports talk show to ever hit network TV. A collaboration between TBS and Twitch, the program is bridging the gap between traditional sports media and eSports’ popular streaming format. We’re calling it now: Turner Sports will be one to watch as the eSports industry continues to evolve.

 

In a Digital World, Don’t Forget to Connect

After a day full of data-speak, the evening closed with a live recording of the podcast Brands, Bytes, and Beats hosted by seasoned marketers Darryl Cobbin and Larry Taman. In an earnest discussion with Grammy-winning guest Mali Hunter, they made a return to what is and always has been at the heart of marketing: people. When asked how she’s able to keep community alive in a digital world, Mali highlighted 3 key points:

  • Never forget: people make technology work. People created technology and operate at both ends of it. Don’t lose sight of the why.
  • Listen to the kids. Mali’s business has been saved more than once by surrounding herself with the younger generation who understand—and engineer—the future.
  • Be adaptable. Longevity is achieved by viewing change as an opportunity.

 

You can listen to the live podcast here!