RampUp 2015 may be over but so much of what we learned from the brands, agencies and industry pundits who leverage marketing technology will not be quickly forgotten. The latest iteration of RampUp included fireside chats and panel sessions on everything from how brands are using data onboarding to the rise of addressable TV. That said, I’ve highlighted the hottest trends from this year’s show that feature insight from some of the greatest entrepreneurs, visionaries, and innovators in digital marketing today:
Putting the Customer Front and Center
Using techniques currently available with emerging technologies, a customer-centered marketing strategy is now more possible–and more necessary–than ever. During The CMO Agenda for 2015 – What’s Hot What’s Not session, it was clear that top brands are beginning to look more holistically at the customer journey. Chris Bruzzo, CMO of Electronic Arts, spoke about rethinking the customer journey across products. Stephanie Anderson, SVP and CMO of Time Warner Cable Business Services, discussed a recent reorganization that involved optimizing around customer touch points, and Kieran Hannon, CMO of Belkin International, shared his thoughts on the importance of understanding the different points at which Net Promoter Score are affected.
Which technologies and techniques work best to implement a customer-centered strategy? As always, the key to success are the people, processes and technologies. Speakers from American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Macy’s, Western Union, and Merkle spoke about the importance of using data to reach audiences with highly relevant messages across channels during the Managing Cross-Channel Marketing Campaigns session. They are growing their analytics teams to understand the data and use it to define audiences and measure outcomes. While the fragmentation of marketing platforms, data matching and portability are challenges, and an attachment to the old way of doing things are obstacles, they can and must be overcome. The next generation of CMOs are more tech savvy and have to be great at handling more channels, attribution, and marketing in real time, noted Kevin Akeroyd, SVP and GM of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, in a fireside chat that kicked off the day.
Fragmentation vs Consolidation
Those in the industry who predict consolidation in the ad tech and marketing tech industries will have to wait another year, according to overwhelming consensus by our speakers. We are still very much in a period where innovation is outpacing consolidation. During the Predictions for Data-Driven Marketing in 2015 panel, Terry Kawaja, Founder and CEO of LUMA Partners, predicted that the 2015 would see a single non-IPO exit above $1B and 50 companies going out of business – but new companies would take their place on the LUMAscape.
We heard similar feedback in the Connecting the Digital Marketing Ecosystem panel with Google, Ensighten, TiVo, and LiveIntent. All panelists believed we are still in a time of expansion. Since a universal ID is unlikely, Joe Zawadzki, CEO of MediaMath, spoke about the importance of open identity solutions provided by LiveRamp and others that can provide the glue between systems in The Evolution of Programmatic Marketing discussion. This same session had my favorite quote of the day, when Aaron Bell, CEO of AdRoll, talked about how ‘summer is coming’ for marketers, since there is so much innovation to leverage.
Data Creates a World of New Opportunities
The overarching theme this year was data-driven marketing, and speakers didn’t disappoint. Bruce Biegel of Winterberry Group covered the size of the data market for direct mail, digital, and email while Experian, Epsilon, Oracle, and V12 highlighted the importance of recognition as a key requirement for successful data matching across channels in their Getting Maximum Value from 3rd Party Data panel.
Exciting opportunities for optimizing campaigns on the basis of deeper insights were discussed in the session on Measuring the Impact of Digital Marketing on Offline Sales. What’s the key to offline sales? TransUnion and Neustar outlined how marketers can increase efficiency by analyzing incremental behavior changes through analysis of data across channels and how measurement insights can feed into targeting strategies.
I hope you will take some time to check out the recordings of our RampUp sessions. My heartfelt thanks to those of you who were able to join us for RampUp this year and to our many sponsors, who made this event possible. As Gartner noted in their post-event blog, a big part of what makes RampUp special is the attendees – we attract the “glitterati of the digerati”. I hope you will be able to join us next year!