From: Here, To: There Intuit Mailchimp 2024 Conference and the Future of Marketing

Community is a massively important part of life. But, it’s especially important to build community in the field of marketing. Marketing can be a turbulent career filled with people working outside of marketing who think they know what marketing is (has Larry from the Engineering team ever told you his thoughts on your role?), to marketing budgets that are among the first to be slashed by financial teams and the classic tension between sales and marketing teams. That’s why I jumped at the chance to attend Intuit Mailchimp’s From: Here To: There 2024 conference.

It was an opportunity to hear from some of the smartest marketers and entrepreneurs on stage, see new technology being developed by the Mailchimp team, and of course, network with other marketers and innovative founders who are looking for fresh perspectives and inspiration. If you didn’t get a chance to experience it this year, read this article instead…

Mailchimp Positioned Themselves as Market Leaders 

Mailchimp really positioned themselves as the leaders in their field with the From: Here, To: There conference.. They did this in a few different ways; one of the biggest being making their event an experience that was branded from head to toe. 

I admire Mailchimp for having a friendly, slightly cheeky tone of voice across platforms. Their user interface, website (even the way their buttons interact with the mouse feels friendly!), logo, and even rounded typography makes them feel incredibly approachable, like a friend waiting to be made. Well, this event was as if Mailchimp was personified. The staff was incredibly welcoming, most of them were in SUCH a good mood and so helpful, that it put me in a good mood as well. The venue was also absolutely beautiful overlooking the Thames, and the free food trucks during lunch were amazing (to look at – haha a marketing friend and I accidentally got into the wrong queue before realising).

I was quite impressed by how they gamified the experience as well, and by doing that encouraged people to participate in the different parts of their conference. Their app was really smooth and easy to use, and had a section where you could earn rewards. If you get all the rewards, you get an IRL prize which was one of the coolest parts of the conference. 

It was a free bookstore with some of the books that the conference speakers recommended, along with a handwritten note about why those speakers think you should read it. It was a mix of business strategy like Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt, inspiring business books like Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, leadership books like Start with Why by Simon Sinek and general creative books like Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

To top it off they had the best host, Katherine Ryan, who was always there with cheeky jokes. A good host is key to keeping the audience’s attention during a day full of listening and talking.

Inspiration From the Top Voices in Marketing

The event hall was filled with marketers furiously scribbling down notes during the two talks that I attended. The marketing conferences I’ve been to have you staring at an agenda and trying to circle which talks are most interesting to you. Instead, this conference had much fewer, yet higher quality talks scheduled with no need to choose between one or another happening at the same time.

I’ve never seen entrepreneur and author Steven Bartlett on stage, but seeing him at F:HT:T made me realise why he is so damn popular. He’s very smart when it comes to marketing and business, and had quite a lot of nuggets come from his talk with Vice Chairman of Oglivy UK, Rory Sutherland.

It was also a pleasure to finally be able to see Founder of the Mini MBA in Marketing Mark Ritson, speak on stage with his great analogies on marketing and swearing in between important lessons.

Here’s a few of my favourite lessons from the day’s talks:

  • Experimentation was a big takeaway that lots of marketers I spoke to afterwards said stuck in their minds. Make sure you are running experiments through the scientific method. You need to analyse, test, and learn from all of your marketing campaigns. For a refresher from middle school, the scientific method involves: Question, hypotheses, experiment, data, and conclusion. Flight Studio, a podcast media and tech company actually has someone whose whole role is just that– Head of Failure and Experimentation.
  • The biggest risk in business and marketing is taking no risks. People are usually scared of risks though, which affects the speed in which they make decisions. There’s a lot of time wasted before making a decision. They recommended a book titled, Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke, an author who wants decision making to be taught in schools. It’s a book for those of us who agonise about decisions that may or may not turn out badly.
  • The 1% gain was also a big lesson. Basically, opportunity costs are very often overlooked. People don’t pay attention to the 1%, because it’s just so easy to skip. It’s hard to find game changing innovations, but if you train your team to care about the 1% it will make all the difference. An example is if a service station forgets to turn the lights off, but is actually open. How many people are going to keep driving because they assume they’re closed? Another is brushing your teeth. If you skip one day, it won’t have much of an effect. But over time, if that one day becomes one week and even one year…of course you’ll be disappointed next time you visit the dentist. The 1% adds up!
  • There was a marketing psychology lesson that is valuable whether you are targeting your ICP or you’re a SDR reaching out to MQLs to convert them to SQLs, or a freelancer looking for new clients. The RICE persuasion framework stands for Reward, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego. It will help you form brand partnerships, because after all people don’t care about you until you care about them.
  •  Diagnosis, strategy and tactics are all steps in the marketing process. All three hold more or less the same amount of weight, so if you fail at one of them, you fail at all of them. 10 x 10 x 0 = 0.
  • Some pasta brands (who are to remain unnamed haha) have lost the perspective of the market. They are so wrapped up in creating quality pasta that they don’t realise that one of the most important things a customer needs to know – how long should they cook the pasta for – is not on the front of the package.
  • As marketers, we forget how unimportant our brand is and how much our consumers actually don’t care. Do “the 180” and look at your business from the point of view of the consumer to properly be able to understand who your competition is, what touchpoints are most important, your product’s key features that keeps them coming back, and how strong your brand image and presence is.
  • Customers pay you twice. First, they pay you with a transaction. Then, they pay you with insight from that transaction. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that data, growing, and learning from it.

AI, AI, AI

You can’t go to a marketing/tech conference in the last couple of years and NOT hear the word AI on everyone’s lips. One of the headliners for this conference was actually Ameca, the world’s most advanced robot created by Engineered Arts. Ameca was a part of a panel talk with CCO at System 1 Jon Evans, generative AI expert and author Nina Schick and bestselling author Mo Gawdat. They discussed how we are at a point in time where AI is seeing an incredible rate of change. Every 6 months the law of accelerating returns doubles in AI.

They went on to say that intelligence is the ultimate superpower. However it’s not superman’s powers, it’s his parents instructions. Nina said, “The argument of existentialism (within AI) takes away the human element. Humans are steering the wheel. There’s a shift change. The pace of change is accelerating. We now have intelligence on tap that we can instruct. Humans are going to leverage it in incredible ways. It’s an exciting and disruptive time but it’s not coming to kill you or take your job.” 

Mailchimp started the day with a demo of the new AI technology they offer called revenue intelligence which I thought sounded really interesting. Their predictive and gen AI can help recommend which segment of customers to target, which sounds similar to our new Monitor and Rocket feature built for B2B tech brands.

It also uses AI trained on financial data from Intuit Quickbooks and marketing data from Intuit Mailchimp to benchmark your brand and help you prioritise new opportunities according to your goals. Hubspot has my heart, but if I ever needed to switch my email platform for any reason…Mailchimp I’ll be there. 😉 

Networking, But Make it Less Awkward

Ok so all of the above is really cool, but it would be nothing without the people. I love meeting other marketers, whether it’s ones that I’ve met at other marketing events or brand new ones. The free bookstore created the perfect environment to meet people, as it was very easy to bond over not being able to decide which book to get. Lots of people had several books in their hands because there were so many good ones!

The venue was also just made to feel like you were at a really big house party, complete with a DJ and everything. So it was casual enough that I felt like I could go up to anybody and chat. 

I really enjoyed meeting not only marketers working on the brand side , but I found that there were a lot of business owners as well. I met creative studio owners, marketing agency owners, and even small business owners who are at the stage of their business where they are thinking about starting a marketing strategy. It was really interesting to hear about what it was like to start a marketing agency, the marketing campaigns my fellow marketers have been working on, and of course what they all thought of the speakers on stage.

Looking Forward to the Next From: Here, To: There Conference

So, that was my first F:HT:T Intuit Mailchimp conference, but hopefully won’t be my last. The conference highlighted how marketing is evolving and showcased the technology, strategies, and products the marketers of today need to be successful tomorrow. 

Events like this one are incredibly important for the marketing community in and around London to stay motivated and inspired to take the brands we either work for or are building into a bright future. Hope to see you there next year!



Dianne Castillo

Creative senior marketing leader with over 8 years leading content strategy and production. My focus is on working with entrepreneurs and startups in the tech industry. I'm skilled at translating complex tech concepts into compelling stories for B2B audiences. I'm also passionate about shaping SaaS/AI product global perception with clear messaging and eye-catching graphic design.

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