CDP Week Day 3: The past and the future of customer engagement

Geoffrey Keating on October 20th 2020

From October 19 to 22, CDP Week brought together inspiring keynotes, practical sessions, and digital networking experiences that highlight the impact a CDP can drive for every business. View all the sessions on-demand here.


Keynotes, panels, AMAs, day 3 of CDP Week had it all. 

We saw how companies are transforming decades-old technology with customer data platforms. And heard predictions about how they're enabling the next generation of customer experiences

In case you missed it or want a quick refresher, here’s a collection of our main highlights from the day.


Enabling customer-focused growth with good data

Regardless of what they sell or who they sell to, every business today is a customer experience company. And the companies that deliver the best experiences are the ones that have built the right infrastructure to truly understand their customer and how they want to engage.

In their fireside chat, Segment’s CEO, Peter Reinhardt, and Twilio’s CEO, Jeff Lawson, discussed the future of customer engagement.

Zoom with margin

Jeff and Peter discussed the explosion and fragmentation of different communication channels, and the spaghetti junction of data it causes for businesses. This tangled web of customer data inhibits any business from truly understanding their customers, resulting in impersonal and ineffective customer communication.

The future belongs to businesses that can manage both sides of the coin – who are my customers and how can I reach them? According to Peter and Jeff, it's data and communication in tandem that will define the next generation of customer engagement.

Dragging a centuries-old industry into the future

With a large part of its transactions performed offline, a siloed digital ecosystem, and outdated IT architecture, achieving a personalized omnichannel experience has been a pipe dream for many insurance companies. 

Zoom with margin

However, according to Jennifer Stephenson, Vice President, Digital Hub, CSAA, the emergence of the CDPs have changed the narrative.  She walked us though how they’re using audience propensity scores to provide proactive solutions and upsell opportunities. 

Effective personalization requires more than technology

To get personalization right, technology is not a silver bullet. 

In a roundtable led by Segment’s Head of Product Marketing, Kevin Garcia, Chris Colinsky, CTO at MeUndies, made the excellent point that you can’t just buy a bunch of technology and then try to figure out what personalization strategy you can deploy with it.

In fact, an over-reliance on technology can allow personalization to go very very wrong

Chris argued that effective personalization must involve people and processes, and that change management and governance is just as important as the technology that goes along with it. 

We’ve seen ten years of digital acceleration in ten months

In recent months, digital transformation roadmaps have accelerated dramatically.

And with that surge has come the increased need for real-time customer data. IBM’s Chief Digital Officer, Neel Adhya, summarized it like this:

“The era where you could wait for a couple of days for a piece of data. is gone. The migration to digital means you have to act within seconds”
Zoom with margin

The shift to remote work is accelerating data democratization

On the back of COVID-19, businesses are transitioning to remote work, making collaboration more important than ever before. 

For Edtech companies like Discovery Education, the challenge is two-fold. How can they drive engagement amongst students in remote, hybrid learning environments? And how they can empower teams across the business with the insights they need to drive that engagement?

In his session, Nick Betit, Marketing Analytics Lead at Discovery Education, shared how he is empowering teams across departments and business units to access data while enforcing data standards during their digital transformation. 


Tomorrow is the final day of CDP Week 202O, and we’ll be closing out the week with a bang. 

Join us for product deep dives, demos, and step-by-step guidance on how to ensure your CDP project is successful. 

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