In the media and marketing industry, solutions, technology, and ideas evolve rapidly as brands embrace new advancements and test different approaches. There is no better environment for this type of shared learnings than at industry events. With a unique mix of attendees, conferences offer up the chance to have real conversations around the new & innovative ideas just breaking into the industry.

In reality, there are always those that attend just to get a day out of the office or to collect free giveaways, it is certainly a perk to traveling to events. However, the majority of attendees are there to learn and talk about the big buzzword that inevitably comes out of each event. Back in April, we attended Tealium’s Digital Velocity in New York and found the most buzz-worthy topic to be Disruption and Digital Transformation.  Naturally, we were excited to see what the new buzz-word or topic was going to be at the second Digital Velocity Conference hosted in the beautiful city of San Francisco.

What’s in a buzzword?

At DVSF17, we heard most of the buzzwords you’d expect to hear: omni-channel, multi-channel, cross domain tracking, cross-device tracking, multi-device tracking, and, let’s not forget, customer experience! From customer experience you get even more buzzwords and topics: optimizing the customer experience, A/B testing, personalization, the list goes on and on.

To be honest, we’ve been talking about these topics for years and we were excited to talk about some of the new & innovative approaches we’ve seen with many leading brands worldwide. As DV proceeded, similar to the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, two topics continually rose above the rest: the path of the customer journey and visitor stitching.

Nowhere was this buzz more visible than the standing room only crowd at our Visitor Stitching roundtable discussion on how to think pragmatically about filling gaps in your customer journey. The discussions were lively and thought-provoking and as proud sponsors, we were able to discuss beyond the typical conference talking points that have permeated the industry for years. Ah, refreshing!

While I can’t go into detail on these two hot topics, I can lay out the key elements learned from these discussions. Here are the critical takeaways:

  • Be people-centric
    A common problem is having the right kind of data to be able to be personalized and actionable in marketing. The solution is being able to find common identifiers within your data that can make each customer “known” in order to create a full view on a personal level. Fair warning, this will require some time and additional thought.

  • It’s ok to be selective.
    When doing A/B testing, it’s important to remember that targeting everyone isn’t necessary. It’s better to only push a few segments and audiences through for any given experiment while still utilizing a significant sample size.

  • Go beyond yourself.
    If you want to target and retarget effectively, internal walls need to be knocked down. All business owners should have a shared list of common goals with the visitor (customer) always being top of mind.

  • Failure is not an end.
    Data will never be perfect, and use cases may not provide the results you expected. That’s ok; start small and build off of a simple, yet well-thought-out plan.

Building a Better User Experience

Being able to think through your options and develop a strategy that best fits your needs in both the short and long-term is critical. We see leading brands from all industries come to the realization that the initial promise of their analytics cloud platforms to manage user identity across all channels is greater than what has been delivered. In theory, it might sound simple enough, but a common question at the conference was how do I do this for my company?

Being able to ask questions and source answers from a relevant and tuned-in crowd is why events such as Digital Velocity help in providing excellent learning experiences. Whether the discussions occur at a roundtable, summit, or in front of a booth, the synergy of talking to colleagues about the different and unique obstacles you are each facing always helps in developing clarity around your own processes and strategy. Luckily, Digital Velocity did just that.