• We’re back from  RampUp Los Angeles and frankly, our heads are still spinning a bit from everything we learned. So without further ado, here’s a snapshot of what we learned at our roadshow focused on brands’ and agencies’ marketing challenges.

    Insight 1: The empowered consumer is now the entitled consumer.

    “Consumers have changed and their demands and requirements of us have changed,” said Fatemeh Khatibloo, principal analyst at Forrester and our opening keynote speaker. In order to provide the personalized experiences people enjoy, companies must do everything they can to understand who someone is and what their interests are. This involves going beyond first-party data to piece together that understanding.

    For example, Fatemeh shared that she uses rechargeable batteries and would love to receive a message from a brand about recycling her old devices. She won’t get it because this type of information is not something a brand would typically know about her firsthand—but they might know if they sourced third-party data.

    Another option for getting a better understanding of what consumers want is collecting “zero-party data,” which is data shared explicitly and intentionally by consumers, not data generated by a business transaction. Think of this data as answers to the questions an automotive brand might ask when car buyers are browsing their website: do you need a back seat that fits two car seats and grandma comfortably? Are you looking for a new truck for your construction business?

    “Treat this data with kid gloves,” Fatemeh cautioned. These are deeply personal details, and marketers must think carefully about how to use it.

    Insight 2: An experience is more than a single moment in time.

    On the other hand, there is information that consumers may not need to share in order for a company to understand what they desire. Jeremy Levine, head of digital and publishing at Live Nation, said of their events, “An experience is more than a single moment in time. There’s the lead-up and the after. There’s lots of moments to connect.”

    Live Nation connects with concert- and festival-goers at the travel-planning stage six to nine months before the event and all the way through the weeks after. They are able to do this because their customers register for RFID bracelets before an event via email or Facebook, giving Live Nation and its advertisers the opportunity to reach out on a one-to-one basis. This key piece of “festech” allows Live Nation to offer a seamless experience that is personalized without having to explicitly ask what someone wants.

    Insight 3: Bring IT in early.

    With all of the technology marketers are using, it’s important for them to involve IT early in the process—even as soon as the initial conversation with a potential platform provider.

    “Bring IT in early. Don’t wait, giving them the perception that they’re being told what to do. Involve IT early in evaluating new technology so they feel like key stakeholders,” said Randy Antin, product marketing lead for retail and CPG of LiveRamp. During his time as a performance marketer at the Gap, he brought many platforms to their stack, and found that the most successful implementations occurred when he brought IT in from the outset.

    Building closer ties between IT and marketing can be key for larger, company-wide initiatives, too. Establishing this relationship for smaller projects can pay dividends when it comes time to collaborate on revenue-driving projects like product launches.

    Bonus insight: Look up.

    You’ll inevitably be stuck in traffic in L.A., so if you find yourself at a standstill, look up. Los Angeles is an amazing town for murals and graffiti art, and you’ll inevitably see something Instagrammable.

    The Museum of Contemporary Art – Los Angeles, California, USA

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