1. Retailers are data focused but are still working on gaining access to 1st-party data and building data structures that make that data actionable.
2. Despite the data challenges, retailers need solutions for better campaign intelligence and activation now, not later.
Regardless of retailers’ continued limited access to data, they are finding solutions to solve the problem in the short term by partnering with vendors, like Tinyclues, who can take their uncleaned data and help them make use of it.
3. Email is still prominent, but brands are thinking multi-channel as there was an increased focus around additional channels such as SMS.
4. Great to see brands thinking multi-channel, but there is still work to do to ensure that storytelling is connected across the channels marketers employ.
As brands continue to expand the number of channels they are actively deploying in, we anticipate more discussion around holistic multi-channel strategy and their need for capabilities in their stack to help them address these concerns.
5. Marketers still focus on proxy metrics such as open rate as a measure of success but the ultimate business goals are focused around sales and ROI.
In an effort to make use of the data they have available, retailers will have to determine vendors that are able to produce insights and services that can generate long term benefit in metrics like conversions and ROI as opposed to solutions that produce short term wins in metrics like open and click rates.
6. Segmentation is going out of vogue as brands look to personalize experiences for each individual user and now, more than ever before, they can with the right capabilities.
7. CRM terms such as segmentation, personalization, and individualization are being used in different contexts and there is a need for uniformity.
8. AI capabilities are diverse and impact every element of a marketer’s job. Marketers of the future must understand these capabilities and apply them to their day-to-day to deliver results.
9. Loyalty is a huge focus for retail and travel brands but excellerating engagement is still difficult and there is a need for loyalty programs to employ customer relevancy of offers.
Loyalty was a really big topic among retailers this year. We even heard an interesting story from Nike about how they used their membership services and program to reactivate customers!
10. Retailers and travel brands need a data strategy that drives decision making and ensuring data isn’t used to justify strategic assumptions that have already been made.
Both Brendon Witcher from Forrester and Mike Walsh mentioned there is still a great opportunity for business leaders to leverage data to inform decisions and strategy instead of using data to justify decisions and strategy.
BONUS. We noticed the following topics were missing from the conversation:
- Privacy and iOS update on email open tracking
- The rise of GCP and agile stacks
- Pressure Management (both mono and omni channel)