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Highlights from Merkle's 2016 Performance Marketing Executive Summit: Days 2 & 3

It's a wrap! Summit reflections from the CMO

Merkle’s 2016 Performance Marketing Executive Summit is in the books, and the second half was filled with even more keynotes, panel discussions, breakouts, networking, and local attractions, all capped off by a world-class party at the historic Columns at One Commerce Square. This year, we were excited to open the sessions for Livestream, which had a great following throughout the conference. If you missed out, you can still view a number of the keynote presentations by following the link below. Click here to view a brief Summit wrap-up video.

Day 1 focused on the foundational concepts of people-based marketing and the Platform Marketer™ capabilities that are required to support it. Highlights from the first day are summarized here. The remainder of the event was dedicated to the imperatives for success: Enablement, Activation, and Transformation.

Day 2 opened with a workshop led by Dan Fertig, Alliance Director for Oracle, who discussed the art of harnessing data to inform your messaging and drive exceptional customer experiences across channels. 

An enlightening keynote by Renee Horne, VP, Social Business for USAA, took a candid look at how the insurance provider, which specializes in coverage for current and past US Military members, uses social marketing to deliver business outcomes throughout the purchase funnel.

The Enablement imperative was introduced by Merkle’s Z Shen, EVP, Global Marketing Solutions and Matt Mobley, EVP, Chief Technology Officer. The core message was about leveraging the data, technology, analytical approaches, and integrated workflows needed to manage interactions and enable the customer experience. Breakout sessions studied use cases on loyalty with UGG, cross-screen planning and measurement with AT&T AdWorks, and data and analytics with AARP.

The Enablement discussion continued with an all-star panel of successful marketers who have found success in assembling the tech stack required to execute on people-based marketing. Moderated by Andy Fisher, Chief Analytics Officer for Merkle, the dynamic panel consisted of Sandeep Varma, VP, Enterprise Customer Relationship for 1800Flowers, Janet Bava, Director of Customer Engagement & CRM for Universal Orlando, and Chris Pace, Director of Digital Strategy for Dignity Health Arizona, who discussed some of the keys to their success and the challenges they faced along the way.

Two additional keynotes were delivered on day two, to initiate the conversation on Activation: one by Sean Downey, VP, Media Platforms for Google, and another by Aseem Chandra, VP, Experience Manager & Target for Adobe. Sean highlighted the macro-level trends in the marketplace and DoubleClick’s integrated programmatic solution and explored Google’s vision for leveraging data-driven marketing to drive deeper consumer engagement and deliver real results. Aseem’s discussion made the compelling case that as marketers today, we are in the “experience business.” And as great as our products are, if the experiences that consumers have with our brand aren’t delightful, it’s game over. And that includes all aspects of the experience, from sales to service, at every touchpoint, with every product.

The Activation imperative was summarized in a Keynote delivered by Gerry Bavaro, SVP, Enterprise Solutions & Digital Strategy for Merkle. He discussed the requirements for activating audiences through strategic, integrated campaigns. The focus was on leveraging data and insights, via a wide range of marketing communications tools and channels, to develop creative and conduct media planning for the delivery of personalized, optimized experiences.  Breakout sessions dove deeper into applicational examples of successful Activation initiatives, with a Creative workshop as well as case studies presented by TIAA and ESPN.

The discussion continued with an Activation Panel, moderated by Adam Lavelle and featuring Brent Rosso, VP, Digital Media for Target, Patrice D’Eramo-Flack, VP, Americas Field Marketing for CISCO, and Ivonne Kinser, Director, Digital Marketing for Avocados from Mexico. Their candid conversation examined how different organizations define, design, and implement their Activation strategies and how they learn from and deal with setbacks. Matt Naeger, EVP Digital Strategy for Merkle and Alissa Tofias, Director of Product Marketing for HBO gave a real-life look into the Activation of a unique audience for HBO Now, the premium cable network’s new over-the-top (OTT) content streaming service.

The third imperative, Transformation, was introduced by Margie Chiu, SVP and Partner with Merkle’s Customer Strategy practice. Implementing a people-based marketing strategy is not about adding a veneer of tech or program enhancements to what you’re doing today. It is a big shift that will touch every part of your organization and force you to rethink how you interact with your customers. Margie’s talk focused on the competencies required to truly transform your company into a people based organization.

She then invited an esteemed panel of brand marketers to the stage to discuss some real life field stories and learnings. Jay Grayson, VP of Customer Advocacy for Liberty Mutual, Andre Salazar, Global Practice Lead for Partner Consulting at Adobe, and Carla Wilson, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing for Visa revealed the distinctive Transformation initiatives they have championed.

Three breakout sessions took deep dives into the Transformation topic. James Hutchinson, VP & Associate Client Partner for Merkle was joined by Dell’s Xavier Perez, Marketing Director, EMEA Marketing Operations and Vincent Hontebeyrie, EMEA CRM & Contact Strategy Leader, to discuss Dell’s road to next generation marketing.  Merkle’s Ron Park, VP of Analytics, and Jason Redmond, Director of Enterprise Demand Generation for Samsung, delivered a case study to showcase Samsung’s initiative to build buyer journeys that work. And Colin Brogan, VP of Customer Strategy for Merkle led a Transformation readiness assessment workshop.

The final Keynote of the event featured Courtney Stacks, Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing for Nestle Waters, discussing how its brands benefit from listening to conversations on social platforms. The insights gained from analyzing the data are used to inform content, creative, and personalized brand experiences that engage consumers throughout the customer journey.

If you missed this year’s Summit or would like to share some of the content with colleagues, you may view select general sessions by filling out the form below. And if the depth of content and breadth of thought leaders piques your interest, mark your calendar for next year’s Summit, being held June 12-14, 2017, in Palm Beach, FL.