On the tour bus this month is Carlos Doughty, founder of the Martech Alliance, who recently ran a series of virtual events called the MarTechFest Dial-up and we caught up with him to find out how that went.


Carlos Doughty, Founder and Marketing Technology Lead at MarTech Alliance, who for over a decade has been at the sharp end of marketing technology, both client-side and as a consultant. Carlos is also the force behind the successful Martech Festival.

I hop on his tour bus to find out how that’s going.

Hi Carlos, tell us a bit about your current gig

I run the MarTech Alliance, events, learning and stories for marketing tech space. I literally obsess about martech. As we move forwards we are a digital learning business first, traditionally we have been recognised for our cracking events. 

What got you into marketing technology?

I like to get shit done, and martech enables that. To borrow Scott Brinker’s description martech ‘democratises tech’. You can crack on without having to join the tech queue. I’ve worked at a large corporate for many years in the past and always struggled the pace of getting things done, marketing tech programmes became the answer to moving with greater speed. 

You run an event here in London called the Martech Festival, tells us a bit about that.

So we have a series of events as part of our #MarTechFest series; 

#MarTechFest Dial up – our virtual event (that just finished up and now on demand). We then do some smaller digital events our #MarTechFest Web Sesh series.

#MarTechFest Global – our flagship in person festival in London. This year we also bouncing over to Sydney to launch #MarTechFest APAC. Plus we also do #MarTechFest pop up parties across the year to just grab a beer and chat. 

#MarTechFest Leader dinners and #MarTechFest Turn tables are our smaller more intimate events. 

We’ve naturally been disrupted by the pandemic but our key in person events are at the year end so we expect and hope to kick on with them as planned. 

Everyone has needed to go virtual with their events, what have you learned so far?

Well we actually didn’t need to I just decided we should run at this and embrace the opportunity. I wanted to learn more about virtual and provide a completely free event to help connect the martech community in the crazy time. 

There are a bunch of things we’ve learned; lots of people prefer on demand to live, you can work with some amazing speakers that are not always available to fly for in person and you’ve got to adapt your delivery for the medium. 

A good example is from one of your writers, Robert Rose, his presentation at our event on ‘Storytelling And Data: Why Emotional Data Is The Answer To MarTech’ was exceptional. He had clearly mapped and produced his delivery in a way that understood how it would be consumed.

Another example is Edmundo Nava, Global Director of Digital Marketing at Adecco, his session on ‘Marketing Apocalypse. How to Build Future-ready Marketing Services Centres of Excellence’, had real energy and a dynamic story telling style as he flipped between video, in person, sound effects and more. 

You run a regular book club series on your blog, which looks fun, what book are you reading right now?

DataStory by Nancy Duarte is exceptional. An incredibly practical book for how best to communicate your data insights. The book is also beautifully designed. 

You can grab a copy of this and other books from our book club on Amazon here – https://amzn.eu/gDI0p8V 

Finally, from your perspective of marketing technology – what would you throw into the Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool?

Convoluted labels for different product names, excessive buzzwordery or a description of a problem being solved with no clarity how their platform is involved in doing so.

We produce the UK and APAC marketing tech landscapes (just published on our website), so I look through thousands of company about us pages and so often am left unclear what the product is – and I’m someone how knows something about the space. 

My advice is don’t be afraid to use plain English it doesn’t make your solution less sophisticated it just means it’s simple enough to understand and most importantly to explain internally to non-marketing/tech users.

Splendid, where can people follow you and get involved in the Festival?

Thank you Carlos!

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