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By Nicola Lockyer


Anticon: Marketing Operations, MarTech and AI disruption under the spotlight

This year’s AntiCon, which took place at the fabulous Magazine London, proved to be exactly the ‘anti-conference’ we in the Marketing Operations industry needed. 

The energy of the event certainly matched its venue, while the speaker line-up delivered a wealth of insight and knowledge – as well as posing many questions – across the spectrum of marketing transformation, AI and marketing automation, growth marketing and marketing tools and platforms. 

The end of marketing as we know it? 

With a packed agenda, we took in as many sessions as possible, gaining some great insights across the board. For us, the standout speaker sessions included: 

  • Mr Martech himself Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystems HubSpot and Editor of,  who suggested it’s the ‘end of marketing as we know it’. For us, this was a very timely look at the disruption that’s hitting many of the traditional areas of marketing and marketing operations – and it certainly raised some great questions for marketers at all levels. 
  • The panel session focusing on “The Power of AI and Automation in Marketing Activation,” presented by LXA’s  Richard Nolan, Alex Manly from Movable Ink, Tide’s Richard Jones and Tony Kane from Virgin Wines, who shared profound thoughts on AI’s role in marketing. Their insights underscored the importance of balancing human creativity with machine efficiency to enhance marketing outcomes. 
  • Continuing the AI discussion, Speakers Priti Mhatre from Hogarth, Phrasee’s Parry Malm and Scott Brinker closed the day off by discussing how individuals, particularly marketers, can keep up with the evolving field of AI, raising a philosophical point about our changing roles. Historically, we have always been creators, but now with AI generating content at record speed, our role has shifted to that of curators. Our new responsibility is to define, refine and curate the content generated by AI, determining what constitutes ‘good’. 
  • Critically, this session also tackled the pressing challenge of AI governance, in a world where laws and guidelines lag behind technological advancements. The speakers underscored the necessity for self-regulation and personal accountability in the use of AI, emphasising that marketers must continuously reflect on their own beliefs regarding morals, ethics and data usage. Our blog on the subject shows how AI can also be used for automation in a way that doesn’t necessarily require questions on ethics and morals, and instead speeds up and automates processes or flows that already exist. 

These are just some of the topics that we discuss and address with our own clients and are core areas of focus for us as we continue to seek new ways to deliver and drive marketing operations excellence. 

A marketing operations roadmap for change 

Our own session, which we presented alongside our client Anthony Poliseno, CMO at Magnolia, focused on A roadmap for change: How Magnolia evolved marketing mindsets and infrastructure to achieve ABM success.  

We were able to share Magnolia’s first-hand experience of driving marketing change through both culture and infrastructure – no mean feat for any organisation. Watch our session on-demand to discover more about:

  • How to align marketing goals with business strategy through a structured roadmap approach 
  • How to align teams, culture and mindset to drive marketing process and success
  • How to achieve data-driven engagement through a carefully structured ABM strategy. 
Aligning marketing operations with business goals

We welcomed a huge number of visitors to our stand throughout the course of the day, and it was interesting to chat through marketers most pressing concerns and challenges – as well as to outline the answers that a strategic Marketing Operations Roadmap can provide to many of those issues. 

One of the key hurdles marketers discussed with us was the need to align marketing focus with wider business goals, and how to ensure a culture of continuous development while maintaining best practice marketing approaches. This is certainly something a strategic roadmap can support by going beyond tasks and metrics and instead focusing on the components needed to meet customer expectations – from team skillsets to technologies to marketing processes and more. 

Competition winner congratulations!

Finally, a shout out to our competition winner Harjeet Singh from Finastra, who is the lucky recipient of a Garmin Instinct Solar 2 – we hope you enjoy the sophisticated journeying that the watch delivers! 

If you missed AntiCon, missed us at the event or would like to discuss the role that a strategic Marketing Operations Roadmap can play in driving your marketing operations forward, do get in touch!