Getting More Out Of Acquia Engage New Orleans

Tags: Drupal 9, Acquia Engage, Mautic



Are you registered to attend Acquia Engage New Orleans 2019? If so, chances are you're a Marketing Leader, Sales Leader, CTO or Digital Director, or an agency CEO. And if it's your first time attending an Acquia Engage event, you might want some insights beforehand so that you can get more value from your time there. If some context or tips would be helpful, then this is for you:

Marketing-FunnelMarketing Leader
Sales_TargetSales Leader
Enterprise-CTO-Digital-DirectorCTO / Technologist
Founder-or-CEOFounder / CEO

 

It’s been a big year for Acquia and partners.

First, the Mautic acquisition shook the industry, allowing Acquia to strategically expand its portfolio and create the world’s first Open Source marketing cloud. 

This was shortly followed by the acquisition of Cohesion—which lets customers build scalable, on-brand Drupal websites up to four times faster. 

 

And now, there’s the news about Vista Equity Partners purchasing a majority stake in Acquia—a one billion dollar move. 

These are monumental shifts in the Open Source landscape. This is an exciting and important time for Acquia and for everyone engaged in their community. And there’s a lot to process. Some of the questions recently on people’s minds:

  • What do these changes mean for Drupal?
  • How can we position ourselves most effectively, with these changes in view?

If you’d like to learn more about some of these topics, we recommend watching Acquia’s Ask Me Anything video featuring Dries:

Some of the issues Dries touches on in this video include the biggest challenges facing open source, particularly the scalability of open source projects like Drupal, which he has also written about on his personal blog

He mentions the need for and ongoing efforts towards improving the usability and learnability of Drupal (expect more no-code/low-code features) in order to give more people access to Drupal’s differentiated capabilities. 

He addresses concerns about the upgrade process to Drupal 9, clarifying that all upgrades from Drupal 8 onwards will be easy (so long as you aren’t using deprecated APIs). And he also talks about what the news about Cohesion means for the Layout Builder, which is being driven by Acquia, and what the Vista funding means for Drupal in general as well as Acquia’s commitment to Drupal and Mautic (we’ll likely be seeing an increase in investment in Drupal and Mautic). 

And all of this excitement underpins Engage. 

All this makes this year’s Acquia Engage all the more significant. Marketers, technologists, sales leaders and CXOs of agencies and enterprises will be there, hearing industry leaders speak on topics that matter, making new connections, familiarizing themselves with products that have the potential to solve their problems, and creating new possibilities together. This year’s event provides an excellent platform for you to meet those who can offer answers to your questions. 

But with limited time available, unless you take an approach that’s conducive to your role, you won’t get the most out of the conference and the post-event workshops. We’ve broken our advice to you down to four particular audience groups: Marketers, Agency Sales Leaders, CTOs or Technologists, and Agency CEOs.

If you’re heading to Acquia Engage in New Orleans between November 11-13, here's our take on what you’ll find most valuable. And we hope this helps you get the most out of the conference.

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If you’re a marketing professional...


You’re responsible for buyer and customer experiences on your platform. As a
CMO or marketing director accountable for the entire digital or non-digital experience, your focus is on the way your brand interfaces with audiences and communities. Whether you’re considering or already on Acquia products, you need to know their potential, see how they can be used, and learn about the exciting new developments that are coming up. 

You may have concerns about the cost of ownership of your marketing automation platform, or concerns around adapting to recent shifts in the market—and if you do, you don't want to leave this conference without connecting with others who share these responsibilities at different places, to see how they're managing their role. 

Acquia Engage offers you the opportunity to network with others, share problems and solutions, and understand how this technology ties into those big questions as a solution—particularly the whole customer journey. 

If you’re a marketing practitioner whose role involves using Acquia products, you may have concerns around managing certain aspects of your role, such as customer experience (CX) and personalization. 

At Acquia Engage, you can connect with the Acquians and other partners who work with the same products. You can schedule training with them, connect on LinkedIn, and identify how to get the most out of Acquia solutions. 

If you're a marketing practitioner at an enterprise, you’ll want to go to this conference having identified the top three big challenges or opportunities that your enterprise is currently facing, and an idea of your budget. Then you can use the event as an opportunity to understand what Acquia has to offer that can help you scale those challenges. 

You’ll also want to isolate the right people at the conference to take those questions directly and ask for demos. Don't leave the conference without scheduling a follow-up.

You may also want to seek out marketing practitioners at agencies who would be able to offer your company supportive services on this journey. Connect with an agency sales leader who can help you create additional bandwidth for using these products.

If you're a marketer at an agency that's partnered with Acquia, the best thing you can do at this event is to connect with the marketers at Acquia that are in charge of the partner program. You can then plan a co-marketing strategy and establish a content calendar of webinars or blog series—so that you can start churning out materials together that will bring your agency more business.

Finally, any marketer would be remiss to leave the conference without a better understanding of the power that Mautic is going to bring to the stack. 

Session tracks to follow: 

  • CREATE: Marketers can’t learn enough about scaleable content management, “streamlining content creation and editorial processes, and maximizing existing content…” especially via the only Open Source DXP/Open Marketing Cloud.

  • PERSONALIZE: If not every engagement with your audience is personalized, you’re losing ground to your competition. But “maximizing impact on specific segments, and streamlining marketing operations and processes to boost results” doesn’t have to be a grind. 


Sessions you must attend:

  • Powering Cross-Channel Campaigns at Scale: Tibrio’s Story of Success with Mautic by Katie Stavely, Vice President of Marketing, Acquia and Emilee Mason, Product Manager, Tibrio
  • Extending Your Website with Mautic: Open marketing automation for a seamless customer experience by Dave Bor, Director of Marketing, Acquia


Post-conference workshops you must attend:

People you’ll really want to connect with:


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If you are a sales leader…


This event is particularly important when it comes to selling products, and by extension, product implementation services (which is where you come in).

Some of the questions you might be seeking answers to: 

  • How can Acquia set you up to sell better, faster, stronger?
  • What co-selling opportunities could there be? Acquia’s sales team is robust and very well informed. Who regionally should you be syncing up with?
  • Are there would-be collaborators among your competitors that you should be reaching out to for coffee? Have you booked time with peers at competing companies to learn about how they approach things?

Acquia Engage draws the topmost profile of attendees from agencies and enterprises. Usually, these individuals have been invited to share their experiences with Acquia, or they are there to learn about developments in the ecosystem so that they can progress to the next stage. This event is a great place to start a conversation with them. While they’ve their own partners, there’s a spirit of collaboration.

You can also attend demos of Acquia products, interact with product owners of various products, as well as seek out marketing practitioners who are looking for help to deliver on their objectives and identify how you can help implement these solutions for them. 

Session tracks to follow:

  • FOCUS ON: Learn about topics across industry areas, engage with Acquia experts on product topics, best practices and lessons learned from customers. From a competition analysis perspective, you'll learn how other partners have accomplished their goals.

  • PERSONALIZE:  If you are in the business of selling digital experiences and consultative selling to your clients, you need to have a handle on the power and means of personalization. And if you’re looking for more powerful support from marketing, you should know what’s possible. 


Sessions you must attend:

  • Breaking the Growth Barrier: Building a data-driven marketing function to align sales and marketing by Karen Loiterstein, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Enterprise Bank & Trust


Industry roundtables you should be part of

  • These are focused on industry-specific conversations. This year’s Engage is featuring Healthcare, Financial Services, and Higher Education industries.


Post-conference workshops you must attend: 

People you’ll really want to connect with:

  • Joe Wykes, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Partnerships and Sales, Acquia. He’ll be able to connect you with your regional partner manager or to find one based on your target industry. 


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If you’re a technologist...


Whether you’re exploring Acquia products or already on them, you need to understand the potential of the platform. Acquia is shaping the future of Drupal, and you need to know where the ecosystem is headed, so you can keep pace. 

Some of the questions you might be seeking answers to: 

  • What does the Mautic acquisition mean from the technology standpoint?
  • How does the Cohesion addition to the Acquia stack affect website developers?
  • What’s coming with Drupal 9, and what does that mean?

You need to understand how these new changes will affect the technology and the landscape, and how to be prepared—how to use these tools to their full advantage.

For developers, this edition of Acquia Engage has more developer experiences on offer than previous ones. Check out this Developer's Guide to Acquia Engage for a taste of what's on offer. The article delves into the sessions, tracks and workshops that are most relevant for technologists. 

But Acquia Engage is also valuable for a different reason - it offers a valuable opportunity for individuals from different but overlapping spheres to mingle and learn from each other. As a technologist, at this event, you have the opportunity to take a look at how things are on the business side by speaking with marketers and business leaders. 

The world of Acquia is small but mighty. And this technology is headed towards a point of cohesion, with closer and tighter integration across departments, teams, roles, and objectives. And as that happens, you would be wise not to leave the conference without connecting with a few individuals outside of your typical sphere of interaction.

Session tracks to follow:

  • FOCUS ON: “You’ll hear first-hand from Acquia experts on product topics, best practices and lessons learned from customers. And, you’ll learn how our [Acquia] partners have accomplished their goals.” It’s sure to be a nice overview, especially if this is your first Engage. 
  • BUILD: The emphasis on Drupal here is strong, and if you’re a techie in this Acquia ecosystem, you’ll be used to it. If you’re new to Acquia, you won’t want to miss this chance to delve into the details with other technologists. This will cover: “seamless integrations, building, and iterating applications quickly, and lowering development and maintenance costs.”


Sessions you must attend:

  • A Non-Profit on the Rise: How UNICEF transformed its business on a global scale by Dennis Yuen, Global Head of Digital Governance and Platforms, UNICEF
  • A Fireside Chat: How Napoleon Grills Cooked Up a Global Digital Transformation with Digital Echidna by Pat Gilbert, Channel Partner Manager, Digital Echidna and Justin Spray, Digital Marketing Manager, Napoleon


Post-conference workshops you should attend:

People you’ll really want to connect with:

  • Dries Buytaert, Founder and Project Lead of Drupal + CTO, Founder and Chairman, Acquia


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If you’re a founder or a CEO...


You’ll want to learn more about what changes are taking place in the ecosystem so that you can work out the next steps for your agency. And you’ll want to leave with other C-Level peers. It can feel lonely at the top—the responsibility and more accurately the diversity of responsibility is immense. Many attending this conference do
get it, and would be more than happy to share their insights.

If you’re a founder or CEO of an enterprise (Acquia or considering Acquia) you’ll want to network with other CEOs and understand the impact that Acquia products (as well as recent changes to the stack) have on the ecosystem. 

Some of the questions you might be seeking answers to: 

  • Is this network worth keeping in touch with—who specifically?
  • Who can I connect with more frequently than once a year within my region who’s willing to give me their take on how to scale my organization more effectively? 
  • What top priorities as a C-Level leader should I be focusing on within this ecosystem of Open Source DXP?

Acquia Engage offers you an opportunity to understand who are the players in this field, get a feel for the community, and evaluate the energy—so that you can make informed decisions for the future. 

Connect with Michael Sullivan, CEO of Acquia or other CEOs who are speaking at the event so that you’re able to better understand where we’re at as an ecosystem.

Session tracks to follow:

  • FOCUS ON: “The Create track goes deep into how the most innovative companies are using Drupal to create exceptional experiences.” Main point: this is a category your company should be in next year. It’s a realistic goal, and one worth striving for by all accounts.

  • CREATE: It’s been said by Tom Wentworth that Acquia has made two bets: “...bet 1: We were selling OpenSource in the Cloud 10 years ago. Bet 2? We believe Digital Experience wins. Getting personalization right, getting MarTech to actually enhance CX via one view, one orchestration layer.” You should understand the latter as a C-Level leader and this track will help.


Sessions you must attend:

  • Meet Your New Superpowers: Acquia Site Factory and new Cohesion are the future of site building by Craig Hanna, Director of Customer Enablement, Acquia and Jakub Suchy, Senior Director of Solutions, Acquia


Post-conference workshops you must attend:

Some people you’ll really want to connect with:


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What’s our key piece of advice?

Break the ice sooner... don’t go to Engage without meaning to engage peers at different organizations. In the small (read: growing) and mighty world of Acquia, you’ll have an opportunity to meet some of the heroes are behind the technology and the champions of the DXP ecosystem.

And if recent news is indicative of future success (Mautic, Cohesion, a billion-dollar investment), you’ll want to make these meaningful acquaintances now. 

Our caveat: while we’d encourage you to go in with questions about these recent changes, we’d also offer that it’s too early for any of us to expect perfect coherence as to how everything will fit together in the future. We’re keeping an open mind. Who knows what’s around the corner. It’s sure to be exciting.

Read more about the customer sessions and workshops at Acquia Engage as well as the keynote lineup


Contributors
: Nathan Roach, Piyush Poddar, Madhura Birdi, Priyasha Agnihotri

Nathan Roach, Director of Marketing
Posted by

Nathan Roach, Director of Marketing

Germany-based consumer of old world wine and the written word. Offline you can find him spending time with his wife and daughter at festivities in the Rhineland.