The fall was filled with a flurry of in-person events. For the first time in nearly two years, professionals of every industry gathered in conference halls, scheduled in-person consultations, and listened to keynote speakers live. While the environment was nothing new, per say, it was a different experience for many reasons. Whether it’s retail, finance, or another industry, professionals are ready to get back to work and innovate. We’ve gathered the key takeaways from these two exciting events and pulled together relevant topics for the year ahead.
CommerceNext reinvigorated the industry with innovative insights from retail and marketing leaders. For the first time in nearly two years, attendees gathered in-person to share collective wisdom on ecommerce and marketing strategies September 28-29 in NYC. Over 80 speakers from leading retailers and innovative tech companies, including executives from Tapestry, Old Navy, Coach, Rent the Runway, Wayfair, Macy’s, and many more.
Persado’s own Amy Heidersbach, Chief Marketing Officer, interviewed Rachel Larsen, Senior Marketing Manager at Old Navy, about the company’s experience using Persado to scale marketing results with personalized, data-driven language.
Heidersbach and Larsen discussed the importance of personalization and how it impacts customer engagement. By analyzing first-party data, Old Navy realized that messages highlighting emotions of excitement and achievement performed better with their audience than others. The session examined how companies that activate their first-party data with language AI can drive actionable results with incredible value.
Persado nominated Old Navy’s Rachel Larsen for the Best Use of Data or Technology in Marketing Award. The CommerceNextys are a way to honor and exemplify retail and DTC brands that are delivering breakthrough results in customer acquisition and ecommerce. We are so excited for Rachel’s selection as a finalist and send her huge congratulations!
Money 20/20 was held in-person October 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event brought hundreds of Fortune 500 financial leaders together to discuss trends and challenges of the global money ecosystem. From in-depth analytics and world-class presentations, Money 20/20 provided an opportunity for in-person conversations and unique networking opportunities.
Leaders from JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Visa, RappiPay, and more gathered together to share experiences, learn from each other, and plan for the future ahead. Persado hosted a private lunch and learn session, showcasing our customer Hiram Valdez, Head of Strategy, RappiPay Mexico and our very own CMO, Amy Heidersbach.
In this session, Heidersbach and Valdez shared the story of RappiPay with their attendees, showcasing their ability to achieve a 179% increase in conversions using AI-generated language. The RappiPay story is super compelling for any business that knows they need to be more customer-centric and wants to cut through the noise of the market to connect with their audience. The way RappiPay started with the customer and built financial services tools to serve them… it’s all in our case study including their outstanding results.
Over the past 20 months, brands have been called to refocus their messaging on those they serve in a much more personalized way. One of the key themes that reverberates through messaging and networking events is the focus on the customer and the renewed reverence for their retention and loyalty. Recently, companies were asked to showcase their stance on social issues and be a part of the conversation around world events.
CommerceNext and Money 20/20 attendees, speakers, and sponsors all spoke about the impact of COVID, social justice issues, and how they were going to respond to the future of business opportunities in a world with no third-party tracking cookies. The disappearance of cookies will impact acquisition plans and marketing in a way we’ve never seen before. So, how do brands reposition themselves to stay relevant and competitive in this new landscape?
1. Reverence of the Customer
The return of customer marketing was a theme throughout the conference. Many companies are realizing the value that they already have inside their own customer base.
“At CommerceNext and Money 20/20 alike, I heard a lot of talk about customer retention and the return of retention marketing. That is exciting to hear because there has been such a focus on new customer acquisition,” says Amy Heidersbach, Chief Marketing Officer at Persado. “In that new focus, it’s easy to forget who made us. We need to bring it back home to the customers who know and love us, focusing more on retention and loyalty and realizing the value that we already have in our current customers.”
2. Readiness to Pull Value
The word activate was used liberally, particularly as it relates to activating first party data and activating the investments enterprises have made in digital transformation.
“I believe there is a new wave of activation marketing that includes digital investments and first party data to connect with the market. Many businesses are sitting on goldmines of first party data that they have yet to activate,” reflects Heidersbach. “Businesses and brands can redeploy money that they may have put into acquisition campaigns and double down on the roadmaps for technology and data. They can use these insights to personalize their marketing campaigns, and they’re ready.”
This opportunity enables Persado to activate customer data from CDPs, generating better content and pushing them through CRMs and marketing automation platforms. The results help companies build new forms of first party data: language profiles based on what inspires customers to act, for more and more personalized content over time. And those insights can go straight back to the business, so teams can move more quickly to ideate campaigns that resonate and engage customers.
3. Talent Resilience
“Talent continues to be the number one priority and the number one challenge for marketing leaders. And it’s not just about attracting talent. In CMO circles, we often discuss how to retain and develop our highest performing talent. It involves coaching, mentoring, and connecting mentors and advocates,” states Heidersbach. “We have hiring plans and open headcount, but just like we have focused on acquiring new customers instead of retaining the ones we have, we now must shift our focus inward to our teams. We need to think differently about retaining talent and developing our top performers. Leadership is so different right now.”
Some leaders took time during the pandemic to really rethink their organizational structure. Take Poshmark, for example. The company went public, and then the CMO reorganized her team to reinvigorate the passion for marketing. She put them into different functional roles to enable them to learn something new. Content marketers were trying their hands at internal communications and digital marketers were shifted to UX.
It’s a different talent strategy that worked for her team. There are new ways to activate talent within your current teams. Within teams, there are data, digital, and customer journey perspectives, but it’s easy to get stuck in a bubble, thinking about the same things when activating new ideas and perspectives should be the focus. This is a marked opportunity for leaders to not just retain talent but inspire growth and development.
“One of the most interesting ideas about the future is how we incorporate machines into our work. We need to embrace machines as automation team members to help us with mundane tasks and data driven insights. These tasks are simply not possible for humans to complete at the speed and scale necessary for competitive growth,” shares Heidersbach.
Solutions like Persado come into play with complex, repetitive algorithms that are mathematically proven to perform better than control content. Companies need to understand how to think about machines and people together; how they can collaborate to do better work. If machines are part of our teams then they must be held accountable for revenue and other KPIs (just like humans), especially as core pieces of the business start to be powered by machines, freeing humans for higher value work.
So what is the higher value work that writers and creative professionals contribute? Companies need to strategically place humans and machines together based on their strengths. How will this collaboration enhance the business objectives? For example, the human brain cannot compute 16 different multivariate experiments at scale. Something that takes a human years, takes weeks–or days–with a machine. Machines can do the complex calculations and measurements, surfacing insights for humans to take those data and turn them into strategic direction. Organizations need people to be deep thinkers, to ask why, to be inquisitive, to problem solve in new ways.
“Mark Cuban said that in the future, the most valuable job skill will be the ability to think deeply and problem solve. It’s not a dystopian idea. People shouldn’t be concerned that machines are coming for their jobs,” explains Heidersbach. “As we automate tasks that take us much longer to do manually, what greater value of work can we bestow on our team? When do we need to use machines? When do we need to use humans?”
Persado shared results from Let’s Make a Deal, a custom consumer report focused on privacy and personalization. Attendees who visited us at CommerceNext received their own copy, showcasing some of the latest insights in consumer trends.
When customers experience a brand that “speaks to you,” what they remember the most is: first, that the brand keeps it simple (47%); second, that the brand presents an offer a customer can’t pass up (30%); and third, is that the brand appears authentic and transparent (29%).
If you’d like to dive in to read more of the report, you can get your own copy here. We hope to see you at an event soon.
Discover how Persado provides more insight for brands to leverage new technologies, like AI, as well as optimize first-party data. By leveraging language, you can create more personalized experiences for your customers. Learn more about Persado solutions at persado.com.