Nearly 200 well-established, intelligent and influential attendees from a variety of industries all speaking/discussing/debating about the benefits & implications of personalization: how to use personalization to engage customer loyalty, or even enhance a doctor’s visit, what is to come, and so much more. The 2011 1st Annual Personalization Summit was a great success!
With such a small group, attendees’ and panelists’ discussions were thought-provoking and intimate, and fostered a safe environment for intriguing debates. Conversations bubbled over from one panel to the next, and a live graphic recorder captured and visually displayed the thoughtful panel conversations on large 8-ft drawings throughout the day (charts below). Although there were many opinions about where society stands with personalization, and how it should be used, we saw some key discussions centered on the following: personalization around marketing and user content, the realization of just how much we benefit from personalization and that better quality data is key to improving it.
The Summit kicked off with “Why Personalization is Happening now” consisting of Blekko, 23andMe, Blue Sky Factory and Rapleaf, all companies on the forefront of personalization, leaving us with a key, underlying question to think about: What if Personalization went away?
As Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko, put it, “personalization is the new frontier of search,” and if used correctly, could become like a private butler who you trust with valuable information and go to for the best recommendations. It allows us to receive less spam and irrelevant information and only show the content, offers, information and news that we wish to see. Linda Avey, Co-Founder of 23andme, compared personalization to being a King surrounded by “yes, men,” but thinks it’s crucial to be transparent when it does occur. CEO of Blue Sky Factory, Greg Cangiolosi, as well as others, including Paul Geller, EVP of Grooveshark, understand the importance of personalization for marketing efforts. “The more data we have on people, the more relevant and efficient our marketing efforts can be,” Cangiolosi stated. Geller went so far as to say that personalization is one of the only ways to effectively sell products today.
Gene Bellotti, VP of Marketing at Client Types, watched the event stream live from his computer and featured his thoughts in a recent post to his blog: “As we are moving from one to many towards one to one marketing and customer service, one issue kept being mentioned: we as marketers need to do a better job of getting inside the consumer’s head. The companies that are better at defining the user experience in the long run will win.”
Coming full circle, the Summit ended with a panel discussion on the future of personalization. Personalization will become more intuitive, shopping apps will become more interactive, and anonymous data becoming open to everyone. Hitin Shah, CEO and Founder of KISSMetrics hit the nail on the head: “The right message to the right person at the right time in automated fashion is the future.”
Rapleaf was proud to host such a memorable conference, and was honored to have such monumental thought leaders partake in our event. A huge thanks to the David All Group for sponsoring the graphic recordings, a huge hit from the day. View and download all of the drawings here.
Stay tuned for the live video recordings from each panel coming next week, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!