OMS show kicks off with big brand panel

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San Diego—The Online Marketing Summit kicked off here with a panel of big brand marketers discussing their digital marketing plans. OMS, recently acquired by UBM Techweb, drew almost 2,000 attendees, up sharply from the approximately 160 marketers who attended the first OMS show six years ago. The opening keynote panel featured digital marketers from General Motors Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., SAP and discussing some of their top digital marketing priorities and tactics. Crispin Sheridan, senior director-search marketing at SAP, said last year the company opened a digital test lab to implement a more rigorous testing process of digital content. “Instead of letting the content owners and Web developers do the testing, we put a team together to make testing a competency in the company. We test all those things that make the most difference,” Sheridan said. He said SAP uses software from DataXu, as well as its own software, to tag digital activity and perform deep analysis of all the different digital channels used in marketing campaigns as users interact with them. Paul Vallez, director of worldwide search at HP, echoed the importance of testing digital marketing programs. “We always have about 10 tests running at any time. Last year, we built a methodology that puts multiple versions of content on a page so we can test new features and functionality.” Lauren Vaccarello, director of search, display and social advertising at, said one priority for the software company is to automate the routing of social media messages to the right people in the company. “We want to find the best person to respond—whether that's in customer service, product development, etc.—and make sure the right people respond to social media messages. We are trying to automate that as much as possible.” Also during the panel, Charlotte Blank, social media manager at GM, said the car maker is using social media to connect with its customers and turn them into brand ambassadors. “We want to keep the customer at the center of everything. One big goal is to use social media with car owners and turn them into advocates.” Other sessions during the conference focused on specific strategies for social media, search, email marketing and website development.
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