One of the flagship sessions of the recent Analytics Rising virtual conference, brought together some of the best and brightest leaders in the marketing technology (Martech) space. Adobe, Google, Salesforce, Lytics and Cardinal Path talked about what it takes to compete in the digital economy.

To wrap up the session, Cardinal Path’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Booth, asked each panelist to answer this question: If you could give marketers one piece of advice for 2019 and beyond, in just a couple of sentences, what would that be?

George Sadler, Senior Director, Enterprise Marketing & Analytics, Adobe

I’m a customer intelligence professional, and to me it’s all about unlocking that data, and providing better experiences for the entire customer journey. So, I would tell folks to focus on becoming a customer intelligent organization;  build out that 360-degree view, that unified customer profile, and empower everyone in your organization that interacts with customers with this information so that they can make better decisions, create better experiences, and ultimately drive value for the business as well.

Jon Suarez-Davis, SVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Salesforce

It would have nothing to do with technology, and it would absolutely have to do with this: if you’re going to be a truly customer-centric organization, how do you design a marketing organization and structure its capabilities to leverage the technology that’s in the marketplace to drive growth?

James McDermott, CEO & Co-Founder, Lytics

I think most of the marketers that we talked to today are starting to think about machine learning and artificial intelligence, and there’s lots of different ways to approach this. In 2019, I think marketers are going to try to figure out how to fit machine learning and artificial intelligence into their data strategy. Companies need to start thinking about how to enable that. A Google Cloud, for example, that has a number of different machine learning and data science capabilities – how do you start to transform your marketing stack and your data strategy around a much deeper kind of data science-oriented platform? It’s going to be this really interesting opportunity for companies to finally bring their corporate data and all of their customer data, transform it through machine learning and AI, and then sync that into their marketing tools.

Vikas Jain, Head of Strategic Alliances, Google

This is going to be a little counterintuitive since I’m a technology seller, but I think it’s very important for marketers to remember that technology is a means to an end, and they need to figure out what the end is. Like George says about customer experiences, once you define what it is that you want your customers to get out of your products, then you work backwards to figure out how technology can help you get there.

Watch the complete Martech leaders panel discussion.

Check out the Marketing Analytics 2019 Buyer’s Guide for a digest of the most highly impactful marketing analytics solutions you can activate this year.