• RampUp on the Road in Chicago started on a high note and crescendoed from there. “We’ve hit an inflection point in the industry. When consumers are actually telling us or understanding that [their] data is being collected, and that it’s been used as a benefit to them, and we’re actually serving better user experiences – we’re winning,” said Gayle Meyers, CMO of LUMA Partners, during her opening keynote.

    This is great news for marketers everywhere. Now that people understand that their data helps deliver personalized experiences, they expect it. They may not call it people-based marketing, but they know it when they see it.

    As we all know, it takes a lot of martech platforms and tools to make these experiences land seamlessly versus creepily. So after an inspiring opening session, we listened to other speakers in Chicago with one main question in mind – how can marketers shore up their martech stacks and teams to meet people’s personalization expectations?

    1)   Take Control of Your Data. Meyers put it best when she said, “Data is the new oil.” There’s truly no more valuable resource across industries than useful data.

    While taking control of data may mean cleaning house and removing internal data siloes in some organizations, it quickly needs to become more than that. The way your data is organized and fed into your martech stack needs to be able to handle the “shiny objects” like AI and machine learning that will quickly become ubiquitous, as noted by Newcombe Taylor, global director of AIG’s Rapid Learning Lab, in his session on modeled customer data. With AI gaining momentum, companies that will win at people-based marketing with this technology are those with their data in order.

    And beyond handling new technologies, taking control of data must also mean managing it to continually comply with changing privacy regulations. There’s no better time than the present with GDPR quickly coming down the pike.

    2)   Understand Consumers’ Moments. There’s nothing people want more than being able to receive what they want on demand. They feel entitled to it, as Joe Stanhope, VP and principal analyst of Forrester, concluded after presenting a riveting case study on Domino’s Pizza’s ability to take orders via 12 different means – through text, Facebook Messenger, talking to Google Home and many other ways including the classic telephone. Domino’s stellar stock performance speaks to its success in satisfying consumers’ need for pizza in 30 minutes or less.

    Invest in martech tools that will help you understand where people are and what they might want right then and there. This could involve sourcing location data, experimenting with machine learning or testing out rewards platforms like Kiip, the company founded by CEO and closing keynote speaker Brian Wong. “The data tomorrow that we’ll get from consumers is through activities,” Wong said. If marketers know what their target audience’s habits are and can match this data with other attributes and indicators, they’ll be in a much better position to catch people at the right moment.

    3)   Integrate Talent and Technology. The best martech won’t help you reach your people-based marketing goals if the talent hired to work with these tools is not integrated into the wider team. Make your martech investments last by encouraging team members to share expertise and collaborate on new projects.

    “If you know that you’re bringing something new to the organization, put equal effort into integrating that talent,” Taylor told us after his session. “Don’t forget the people involved with the talent and tools, because if you do, chances are you just spent a lot of money on something that’s not going to work.”

    Follow us on Twitter to get a tweet-side seat to RampUp on the Road’s next stop in New York, and join us next year in San Francisco at the annual RampUp conference!

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