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Highlights from Merkle's 2016 Performance Marketing Executive Summit: Day 1

Opening day was jam-packed with valuable content that ranged from one-on-one Guru Meetings to intensive Capability Workshops to broad-reaching Keynote Sessions. Did you watch the livestream?  Some of the most memorable takeaways for me included the following:

Adam Lavelle, Chief Growth Officer, Digital Marketing for Merkle, gave the welcome remarks. He discussed the overall Summit objectives, which are centered on the team — the collective team, coming together to work through a very complicated set of objectives that create positive outcomes for the organization. This doesn’t happen unless different players with different skills collaborate toward a commonly desired end state. The three questions he challenged the audience to explore during the course of the Summit were:

  1. Who are these “people” that we keep talking about in people-based marketing? How do we define them? What’s a segment vs. an audience vs. a group vs. an individual vs. a cookie, etc.?
  2. What experiences do these “people” want? What are their expectations, movements, motivations, triggers that influence their decisions?
  3. How do we make it happen? How do we bring data, analytics, technology, creativity, processes, policies, integration, and so on, together to create experiences that drive the results we want?

Next, Merkle Chairman & CEO, David Williams, delivered the first keynote talk, titled “Mastering People-Based Marketing.” He discussed the evolution of one-to-one marketing, which has come of age in tandem with advancements in data, analytics, and technology, where the whole world is moving toward addressable digital media.  But at its core, this has always been about marketing to people.

The market opportunity is grounded in 5 general principles:
  1. The rise of programmatic media buying at scale and the creation of addressable marketing platforms such as Google, Facebook and others, is fundamentally changing the marketing landscape ...
  2. Now allowing marketers to move from marketing to anonymous personas or cookies to marketing to actual, known individuals ...
  3. Which increases the value of data and consumer insight that helps inform the creation of more relevant and personalized consumer messaging and experience development ...
  4. Which in turn has marketers investing in enterprise technology stacks like Adobe and Oracle to manage that data and create more integrated customer journey workflows across owned, earned and paid media and channels ...
  5. Which is allowing marketers to manage, measure and optimize marketing spend and consumer experiences like never before, creating improved ROI, revenue and profit growth, competitive differentiation and shareholder value

The conversation has moved from the “what and why” of people-based marketing to the “how.” And that is dependent on our ability to master these three drivers:

  1. Enablement – Developing the supporting platforms and capabilities
  2. Activation – Designing and delivering personalized experiences
  3. Transformation – Defining the future state of the business

The Summit will be organized around these imperatives, diving deep into the skillsets required to transform the business strategy at the enterprise level. 

And finally, Michele Elrod, EVP of Marketing for Regions, gave us an intimate look inside the bank’s transformation to a people-based marketing strategy. Their overarching goal for competitive differentiation is simple: to drive measurable impact by creating customer experiences that anticipate and address the needs of prospects and customers better than any other bank. Regions has managed this through a combination of organizational alignment to the strategy and an automated technology platform that enables the execution.

Regions has developed a cross-functional team charged with marketing strategy, program management, campaign operations, marketing information systems, reporting, and marketing analytics. Despite many challenges along the way, they have achieved a series of incremental wins to create the foundation to compete in the world of modern marketing.

If you want to hear more, view select sessions in their entirety.

What’s in store for today? Keynotes, general sessions, a panel discussion, and breakouts that dive deeper into our core content and highlight real-life successes from clients and partners, including USAA, Target, Adobe, Google, Cisco, TIAA, Avocados from Mexico, ESPN, and more. View the full Summit agenda and don’t miss the livestream of today’s keynote sessions.