Blockchain Immersion Day for Marketers at OMD

tl;dr: Spending a day doing a deep-dive on the intersection of blockchain with marketing & advertising tells us a lot about the maturation of the enterprise market.

The NSM team conducted its most recent Blockchain Immersion Day for Marketers at OMD, one of the world’s most respected advertising agencies.

The attendees ranged from the C-suite to Account Managers.

For me, it was particularly interesting to see the measurable growth in awareness of blockchain technology and how it might impact the advertising and marketing function.

One of the best indicators of that was raw attendance.

There were at least 50 people in the room and most of them stayed the entire day. For those of you who don’t know the advertising business, that is noteworthy. It is one of the most client-centric and client-driven businesses out there. Taking time away from client work, which is billable to invest in education is a big commitment.

Secondly, when the participants were asked if they had discussed blockchain with their clients, about 6–8 hands went up.

Not a huge amount, but that’s 12–16%. All I can tell you is that 2 years ago when I published CMO Primer for the Age of Blockchains, it was 0%.

Thirdly, the engagement between the OMD team and the representatives from the presenting blockchain martech & adtech solution providers was high. Every session had multiple questions and the participating vendors were all satisfied with the results of the day as well.

This type of engagement and relevance is not guaranteed.

There are now 415 companies/projects on the Blockchain MarTech Landscape. Further, OMD had very specific needs and learning objectives for the day. Fortunately, the team had a great partner in Luke Lambert, the blockchain adtech visionary at OMD. His clear articulation of needs enabled the NSM team to curate the most relevant vendors in the expanding space.

For me, it was particularly nice and somewhat validating to see this for many reasons.

Naturally, I was very proud of the team for doing such a great job (you can read some of the fantastic comments from OMD folks about the day below).

I am extremely grateful to Luke for being such a great partner as well.

Plus, just because the NSM team chose the vendors to participate doesn’t mean they would do a first-class job presenting. However, they did. For almost all of them, their preparation was evident from the fact that they understood that they were representing the NSM brand as well as their own. We really appreciated that. There’s one that probably won’t be invited back, but it’s difficult to get 100%.

Even more than all that, however, was to see the growth of a market (both supply and demand) in front of my own eyes.

When I got into blockchain/crypto about almost 4 years ago, it seemed likely that the tech and the marketing function were going to collide. It was a bet, calculated, but a bet nonetheless that I made. There was no real evidence at the time.

Now, a few years later, it feels validating to know I wasn’t totally crazy

When the Immersion Day was over and the feedback was coming in, I knew that value had been exchanged among multiple partners and I was glad to see that the whole NSM extended team including Donny, Virginie, Coby, Carlos, Lina, and Brian had made meaningful contributions to the success of the day.

I know the team is already handling requests for more Immersion Days at OMD and other agencies and brands as well, plus preparing online courses about Blockchain for Advertisers among other things.

More and more people are seeing the potential cost-savings and top-line revenue growth that can come from leveraging this new tech and new business models made possible by blockchain/crypto.

I’m looking forward to seeing where I was right and where I was wrong in how marketing and advertising will change over the next few years because of the arrival of blockchain tech.

Here’s some of the feedback and comments from the Blockchain Immersion Day for Marketers at OMD:

“Yesterday was by far and away the best day of learning I’ve had in the last 10 years. I’m excited to get some tests rolling on State Farm. Thanks for organizing. What a day!”

Chris O’Brien, Managing Director, Performance Clients, OMD Chicago

“Team is still buzzing… Thank you! Loved this day.”

Luke Lambert, Managing Director, Head of Programmatic at OMD USA

“The day was inspiring and educational. Really liked the actual vendors coming in to show how they use the blockchain technology to help solve media issues.”

Ellen Griffin, Global Account Director, OMD

“A highly engaging one day window into the applications of Blockchain in the world digital marketing”

Lijo Joseph, Group Account Director, OMD

Blockchain Immersion Day for Marketers at OMD was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.