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The Evolution of Data Marketing Toronto

Fun fact: Data Marketing Toronto is our (6-year old) baby!

It’s the very first event we launched in Toronto as a new company in the events industry, and it was my very first event as a conference manager at the start of my career. The conference and expo have certainly evolved over the years, to say the least. As a matter of fact, our event has evolved alongside the market that it serves.

In year 1, the conference was focused on defining the meaning of ‘data’. Year 2 was all about figuring out how to make sense of that data. We were still trying to figure out why data was important for marketers, and how companies could adapt their internal departments to pursue even one data-driven project. We were trying to navigate a landscape that was becoming more and more complex by the second.

From the post-event surveys, our attendees were clearly hesitant in pursuing data-driven projects. And those that weren’t hesitant, were facing opposition from their management to justify cost and prove ROI. I’m not saying these internal issues don’t exist anymore, but I can clearly see the difference in the evolution of mindset, talent, scope of the projects, and the inspiring data-driven innovation that takes place every day. The thought of gathering IT and marketing professionals under one roof was rare in the city. Currently, the two go hand-in-hand.

Year 5 of Data Marketing Toronto was a big turning point for us and for the ecosystem. A lot of marketers have gone through a complete change in their job descriptions and more pressure was added onto marketing veterans to become more data-driven and AI-driven.  Marketers have become Marketing Technologists, a staple in their organizations and are expected to answer questions that no one was able to answer before.  Discussions have become much more advanced and technical than ever before beacause of the rise of AI and machine learning applications.  After seeing a full house for a blockchain session at the end of Day 2, I knew that our audience had evolved from being data-anxious to data-hungry.

This year, it’s all about the consumer. Every skill, tool and strategy discussed will have a common ‘customer-first’ focus at its core. We acknowledge that the ecosystem is being constantly reshaped and our job is to make it easy for you to navigate. We acknowledge that you experience data-driven pains and headaches and our job is to make those go away. We’re aware of the pressure that is put on you and the feeling of falling in the post-digital wave. Instead of falling behind, we want to help you get involved in reshaping the ecosystem. The power is in your hands now.

The goal of Data Marketing Toronto will always be to help marketing technologists master intelligent marketing. We promise you that we will continue to evolve with you, and we will continue to help you thrive. I am always inspired from hearing about your projects, how driven you are, and how much you care about your customers.

I’m always eager to hear from you and learn more about what we can do to better serve you. Let’s grab a coffee and talk (data-driven) innovation!

– Dina Al-Wer, Country Manager