• This year’s RampUp was one of reconnecting, refueling, and simplifying industry complexities by working together as a community to not only serve our businesses, but better our world in doing so. 

    “Against these seismic changes in the last couple of years, I believe data when used ethically and responsibly can change the world,” Scott Howe, LiveRamp’s CEO, said in his opening remarks.

    We were thrilled to meet face-to-face at RampUp for the first time in two years to collaborate on how to adapt to sweeping changes in our industry, including the Great Reshuffle, launching first-party data strategies, complex new measurement currencies, and retail media networks. 

    We also prioritized conversations about what still needs to change to better diversify and provide equal representation in tech and advertising.

    “For starters, it’s having decision makers in the room. Not necessarily a leader, but a person who has the ability to actually voice an opinion that matters,” said Walter Geer, Executive Creative Director, XD, VMLY&R, in Do The Right Thing: Seizing Today’s Golden Moment For Advertising

    To no surprise, our trailblazing speakers, and each of you, came to RampUp prepared to redefine and strategize next steps in moving our industry forward. As Dane Matthews of Conagra Brands said in Shifting to an Audience-First Marketing Strategy, “Progress is better than perfection,” echoing a key message heard throughout our event: community drives progress.

    Finding Your Community

    “The day I found community my life changed,” said marketing legend Antonio Lucio, Founder & Principal of 5S Diversity, and former CMO at Facebook, Visa, HP, and Pepsi. 

    Not only is community essential to our mental health, but when you have community support, you don’t have to go far to learn about disciplines outside of your expertise – community members learn from each other and are stronger for it. Lucio shared that he grew his community over time by showcasing his abilities and taking action. “When you focus on the work you’re doing, the door opens for people to follow you,” he said. 

    Anil Charavarthy, President, Digital Experience Business, at Adobe and an engineer by training, relies on his community to bridge the art and science of marketing. “The art part, the intuitive part [of marketing], doesn’t come naturally to me. It helps that at Adobe, there are a lot of people who are really good at that. We get a lot of access to customers and partners who are really good at that. I get the chance to really problem solve with them,” he said.

    A Community Built on Data Collaboration

    The Trade Desk’s Jeff Green set the stage for the future of what shared data can do: “We’re focused on interoperability to help advertisers make better decisions,” he said. “Interoperability is a means to the end… We’re looking for a world that’s more rich with data and where we help each other way more.”

    In the spirit of working together, in Power Innovation from the Data Layer, Adam Solomon of Amazon Web Services (AWS) said companies that wouldn’t normally work with each other are starting to discuss collaboration for the first time. “I think we have a unique opportunity for all of us to really do things differently, to do right by consumers, but also to really think big and solve some pretty gnarly problems,” he said. 

    Understanding Your Customers’ Communities and Taking Action

    “Actions speak louder than words,” said Maryam Banikarim, Head of Marketing at Nextdoor in Community is the New Cool. Beyond your own communities, marketers need to understand your customer’s communities and what drives them so brands can be there for them meaningfully. “Consumers expect brands to stand up and do something about the world at large,” Banikarim said.

    Emma Grede, Co-Founder & CEO of Good American, gets to know her customer’s community by digging into the data as a “data nerd” who “spends her Sundays reading every single review.” For her, data is another form of customer communication.

    “You have to foster a relationship that has a two-way street, and you have to be willing to hear the feedback and turn it into actionable things in your business,” she said.”Do a lot more listening than speaking—your community will guide you down the path.”

    From all the fantastic insight speakers shared this year’s RampUp, one thing was made clear: Actions matter. Empathy plus action equals care. How do you plan on connecting with your communities and showing them you care about their needs in the coming year? Tell us your thoughts and share your #RampUp22 experience on social!

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