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6 Key Takeaways from Connect to Convert 2019

Articles10-7-19

More than 1,000 of the top lead generators and digital marketers gathered in Boston recently for Connect to Convert 2019.

The conference featured dozens of educational sessions by industry professionals who shared the latest solutions and innovations to help find, nurture and convert the best leads.

Infutor was once again among the sponsors and presenters, taking part in a round table discussion and hosting a lunch and learn session to educate attendees on topics including the power of identity resolution and the importance of personalization.

While there, we also attended a wide array of speaking engagements, and had some key takeaways in addition to what we shared with the industry’s leading marketers.


What we knew going in to Connect to Convert

Identity resolution is the foundation for marketers: Put simply, identity resolution is the ability to resolve all of the identity markers (name, address, phone, email) to a single person, residing within each enterprise platform (CRM, billing, delivery).

The primary aspects of identity resolution are data hygiene, identity completion and identity enhancement, which combine to clean-up and optimize fractional identities, fill in missing pieces of information, and add other known markers such as additional emails, phone numbers, and mobile ad IDs (more on these shortly). Additional markers play a key role in linking disparate identities together. So, regardless of where you work in digital marketing — billing, sales, or any other division — there is a single, linked view of the consumer.

Identity resolution is crucial for inbound and outbound marketing by making the instant identification of inbound consumers possible, and by enabling personalization, analytics, and outbound activation.

These steps toward identity resolution enable brands to begin to stitch identities together to form a powerful picture of consumers and start to impact inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Personalization simply works: Consumers expect personalization from brands. And the numbers back it up:

  • Increasing personalization can increase consumer spending 500%. (The E-Tailing Group)
  • Most internet users in the U.S., nearly 80%, say they want personally relevant content from brands. (Marketing Insider Group)
  • A vast majority of companies that use personalization are exceeding revenue goals. (Monetate)

In essence, personalization means that through your messaging you’re giving consumers a sense that you actually understand who they are, what their individual needs are, and what motivates them to purchase.

However, a key factor in personalization is contactability. Do you have all of the identity points about a consumer to reach them once you know how to personalize their messaging?
Ensuring you have all of the relative data points to reach consumers via social, digital, email, phone and offline is a key driver for the success of personalization. Different attributes and intelligence can even be layered in to round out the view of the consumers to help personalize outbound communications for more impactful messaging for the best results.

Time to tap into mobile platforms: Mobile is huge. And it’s only going to get bigger.

Combined with recent changes in third party cookie tracking and the expansion of cross-device/in-app usage, there is a need for an additional way for brands to consistently interact in a compelling way with their top consumers in an omnichannel environment. With consumers spending nearly all of their mobile usage time in-app, there needs to be a way for marketers to personalize their messaging to these consumers. And unlike cookies, Mobile Ad IDs (MAIDs) are transferable among data onboarders, making it a more cost effective choice for marketers who use multiple DSP platforms.

Mobile Ad IDs, in conjunction with hashed emails, are also proving to be a great way to deliver personalization in the digital space without using Personally Identifiable Information (PII). MAIDs act as anonymous identifiers, tied to consumer attributes.

MAIDs are essentially a complete picture of the consumer, minus the PII (name, address, phone, email), so marketers who are wary of handling PII can still target their top consumer segments in a scalable and personalized way without managing PII.


What we and our partners learned at Connect to Convert

Accumulate and then activate: Everyone has data at this point, and historically it’s been a race to see how much you can accumulate, and less so about what you do with the data. It’s a common misconception that if you just acquire a ton of data, then you’re all set and good things will happen. That’s simply not true. The industry is at the phase now in the “big data” trend that we understand what big data actually is and its limitations. Accumulation of data is not a skill — the skill is in finding that actual value from the data, and finding what is applicable to your industry and what helps your business operate more effectively.

Related: Infutor’s tip sheet explains why bigger data isn’t always better

“There seems to be less boasting about scale and more focus on how to work with data partners that can help with the understanding of how to use data on specific products or for unique needs. The industry is learning to find data that leads to an applicable win, and then scale from there.”

– Jordan Staab, President and CRO of Cognius

Expertise and experience matters: I think there’s a noticeable increase in the desire to improve the consumer experience in our industries. We’ve seen consumers get bombarded with dozens of calls and generic emails for years, and I’m seeing more and more focus on solving this problem. The increase in privacy and compliance regulation (TCPA, upcoming CCPA, recent regulator action in EDU) is certainly contributing to this; but the real driver isn’t compliance, it’s marketing performance and consumer responsiveness. One example of change is how companies like drips.com and botsplash have brought text/SMS into the market as a smarter way to nurture leads into a phone call.

“As far as trends, I think the most exciting is the increase in data capabilities that lead sellers are using to personalize their marketing and create more high quality leads for their partners. We’re seeing a rise in lead sellers who are using privacy-friendly behavioral data to differentiate a person’s interests and level of intent before they engage. I’m looking forward to seeing this evolution continue in 2020.”

– Eli Schwarz, VP of Data Strategy, Jornaya

Refining best practices: The Lead Gen market space has rapidly matured as practitioners are sharing best practices in data-driven marketing. Top brands and lead generators are actively refining the way they attract new leads including more broadly adopting A/B testing of creative, a focus on true audience segmentation for personalization of marketing campaigns as well as landing pages, and continual data-driven measurement for optimization of campaigns. To be successful, it is imperative to integrate the best lead generation practices into an overall marketing process (including website, mobile optimization, email, SEO/SEM, marketing automation, and content marketing.

“Clearly, what sets the best performing marketers apart from the rest is their unique use of available data — both their own and from third parties — to define their approach to customer acquisition.”

– Michael Colucci, Infutor

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