Sitecore Symposium 2017 Las Vegas, Day 1

And we’re off!  Today was the first day of the Sitecore Symposium 2017: ‘Drive your digital destiny’.

Before we travelled, our team discussed what ‘digital destiny’ could mean for OnModus. “For me, my digital destiny is to enable technology and marketing to create a valuable context for our clients,” says Max.

Jeroen adds: “True, but I would also like to mention that for a lot of retailers, eCommerce is becoming their digital destiny. This digital disruption changed the playing field of how customers search for and buy products and brands. Of course, this has also to do with the technology and marketing, but it's a different game to play.”

Renate added her thoughts. “For me, it is about marketers and brand teams embracing technology. So they can become more personal and relevant for their customers and start building a loyal relationship. For a lot of marketers and brands, this becomes their digital destiny,” she says. So overall, it's a broad topic with a lot of touch points with different stakeholders.

During the next three days, we will keep you posted on what the team experienced, what new tools are available, which learnings and insights we gained and will take home to drive our customers’ digital destinies.


Opening The first day started with an opening keynote from Mark Frost, the new CEO of Sitecore. Mark offered his vision on what Digital Transformation means in an inspirational speech.

Next up was Kenneth Cukier from The Economist, where he is Senior Editor Data & Digital. In addition, he is also a co-author of several bestsellers about Data. He talked us through the way how AI is going to change marketing. Back in the days, the computer knew what to do when a person told what to do. Now it's the other way around. The person gives in several options and the computer recommends which option is the best, according to an algorithm. 

“For me, the key takeaways from Mark Frost’s keynote was the focus on Innovation, Quality and Customer Delight,” says Renate. It means to deepen and intensify the direct relationship with your customer. This is the only way to drive loyalty.

Knowledge building

After these two keynotes, it was time for the ‘Track sessions’ keynotes, which kicked off the breakout sessions in which customers, partners, and Sitecore exchange knowledge. The sessions are divided into three tracks: Developer, Marketing and Strategy, so based on your interest, you can pick and choose where to get your insights.

“My breakout sessions started today at 13:45 at the Strategy track,” Renate says. “Since ‘Chick-fil-a’ is one of the newest users of Context Marketing and they have the ambition to integrate Sitecore Commerce, I was very curious how they did it. How to bring local and global together based on customer stories. And to end my day, I followed the session ‘How to influence and automate Google AdWords buys & bidding’, which is a nice next step in developing my skills in Contextual Media. This was one of the topics I presented during the Strategy track. Because before I could start learning from what my peers have done, I presented what we have done. That is, the steps we took in 2017 after the implementation and optimisation in 2016, towards digital maturity in 2017 with Sitecore. It was cool to see that so many participants took the time to listen to the co-presentation I gave with Microsoft and Herschend Family Entertainment. I found it very interesting to see how we all approached the next steps to digital maturity differently. My story mainly was about how we could make Contextual Marketing performance-driven, so the topics I presented were:

  • How to set up Contextual Media
  • The role of product brands in an unbranded customer journey
  • Flagstore commerce

Microsoft’s focus in 2017 was mostly on optimising data structures and organisation and for Herschend Family Entertainment, the focus was mostly on scaling, and how to start doing data-driven campaigns and personalisation.”  

Looking back

The day ended with a keynote from Mark Zablan, Chief Revenue Officer at Sitecore. Mark also hosted a panel of trend marketers from global digital agencies. They had all made the move towards digital disruption to help their customers build customer experiences that deliver their growth ambition.

So looking back on day 1, we followed some interesting sessions, had great talks with peers and received a lot of new insights and ideas that enable us to create an even more valuable context for our customers by combining marketing and technology. We are looking forward to day 2!

Do you want to know more? Read our blogs. Do you want to get to know us even better? Have a look here.  Jeroen, Max & Renate