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Relationship Marketing is the New Marketing

Optimove’s VP of Revenue shares thoughts on the next phase of the customer-marketing-technology continuum.

Video Transcript

Hi, everybody. I am literally the only thing between you guys and the rest of your lives and drinks first. But I’m not going to keep it short because I’m the last person. I can do whatever I want, so that’s really exciting. But I feel that I have kind of a big responsibility, A, to summarize everything that we’ve been doing over the last day and a half, and to also give you guys a little bit of an update of what we’ve been doing at Optimove over the last year, since you guys saw us last.

So, we’ll start off by talking a little bit about what we’ve been talking about over this last kind of day and a half, and there were a couple of topics. And I wrote these topics kind of before we started the conference. And we looked at kind of what can be talked about. We thought about how we’re going to be talking about battling one and done, so the sessions yesterday dealt a lot with segmentation and how do we help people segment properly in order to get those customers over that really important kind of bump.

We talked about customer obsession. Greg told us customer obsession is a bad thing, but why customer obsession is kind of replacing customer centricity. We talked about the love affair which is happening between CTOs and CMOs all over the world, and basically how we can align brand, customer, and technology properly. And today I took six things away from one of the sessions that we listened to that I wanted to share with you. So one, we heard from Michelle how Rebecca Taylor is using their physical locations to create experiences.

So how their stores in Texas are providing services around charities, thank you, around charities. How the stores in New York are helping people get their nails done. I don’t know what that says about me, that I live in New York and not Texas, but probably not a good thing. But kind of how they’re really leveraging brick and mortar locations do really, really intelligent things.

How to be truly omni-channel. We heard from Alan about how people remember bad experiences very, very quickly, but good experiences have to happen again and again and again for customers to be really advocating for them. Greg, again, told us the customer obsession doesn’t work. Alex told us a little bit about how to drive a strategy to capture the customer that you want and not just the customer that you have. And I think that that’s a really fundamental and interesting question.

When we think about our marketing, there’s a lot that we know in our data but not everything is there. We need to know who we’re trying to get to and what we’re trying to do. And I think that the example we heard about here of DVF rolling out rentals is a really, really interesting one. I personally learned today why flamingos are pink from Yanik and I didn’t know that. It’s not kosher, but it’s because they eat a lot of shrimp, so they’re probably not Jewish flamingos.

And I think that the best takeaway that I took from today or the best example I’ve ever heard of increasing lifetime value actually came from Ron from GVC. They learned that there was a heat wave in Germany and made the first prize air-conditioning. So I thought that was a really creative use of things which are in your data, things which aren’t in your data, and how you can combine those two things. So the state of our union, every year we get up here and we tell you guys a little bit about what we’ve been doing.

And since we all saw you last in October of 2018, we’ve kept growing. So we’ve just added 70 new brands this year to our Optimove family of clients, which is super exciting. We’ve kept developing; gaming, retail, financial services, growing really all over the world, which has been super exciting. And I think that this year has been the year of enterprise for us. It’s been the year where we’ve really become battle tested.

And there’s a lot of people sitting in this room that have been working with some of the biggest companies in the world and we’ve shown that Optimove can really work with anybody, anybody with any data set, and we’re probably going to be continuously tested throughout this year as well. I think that the third interesting part, and we just heard Ian reference Gartner, is that for the first time this year, we really took the world of analysts seriously.

And our product marketing team have done a really fantastic job making us front and center with these analysts, which is something which I remember kind of two-three years ago, we used to show up and people would say, “Why don’t we see you guys in the Forrester Wave or Gartner Magic Quadrant?” And this year was finally the year that…well, after last year, but this is the year that we really made our name in the world of analysts, which is super exciting as well.

And our AIPAC presence. So we actually have Tomma here somewhere. We just opened our fourth… There he is. We just opened our fourth office in Singapore which is really, really exciting. So it’s been a year a lot of change. And when we look at kind of our enterprise presence, so we actually grew our enterprise footprint by over 150%. You can see some of the brands behind me, but there are some really, really iconic brands that we’ve started working with this year, and you can see that it really spans every industry and every territory in the world.

If it’s Culture Trip, or Spanx, or J.Jill, or Lifesum, or Staples, Gamesys, Snai, Finish Line, probably one or two that I haven’t read, Dynamite, of course that you just heard from Ian, which we’re already going to replay to every single prospect we ever have about why they chose to work with Optimove. But I think that, you know, this year has been that year of growing in the enterprise and really working with the best and the biggest in the business.

And just to share with you guys kind of some of the results that we’ve managed to generate in the world of analysts. So, for those of you not familiar with this thing over there, this is a Gartner Magic Quadrant, and I think this is the multi-channel marketing hubs, that’s the way that it’s defined, yes, great. And you can actually see Optimove right over here. Do I have a great clicker? No. Optimove in that bottom left corner right by the top, about to break into the challenges.

And I think it’s a really good depiction of where we are. We’re a company which is continuing to grow and evolve. Our vision is getting more complete, our ability to execute is getting better, and we’ve made progress year-on-year. Gotten even better, gotten even stronger, in the way that these outside analysts are evaluating us and our offering. And what I’m not allowed to show you, even though I tried to sneak it into the presentation last moment and Bivas wouldn’t let me, is that we’re also being featured for the first time in a Forrester Wave and we’re also kind of in a leading position there, which is really, really exciting.

So, a lot of that work, making sure that we’re not only getting validation from our clients, but we’re also getting validation from analysts, from third parties, looking at what we’re doing and understanding kind of what Optimove is trying to bring to market. So as I mentioned, we opened up a Singapore office, there’s one person there, he’s about to grow I think by 500% in the next coming months, which sounds better than saying he’s hiring four people.

We’ve actually hired over 17 new Optimovers this year. So in 2019, we’ve had more than 70 people join the Optimove team and we’ve doubled our offices in London and New York, which is really, really exciting to see kind of that growth all over the world. I don’t know if most importantly, but Keeney also left New York, came back to Israel. And I think that that was kind of a big change for the company, but also showed a lot of the maturity of where we are and what are the things that we’re thinking about today.

That’s a little bit about us. And when I was preparing this presentation, last year, I talked about predictions and I played it kind of safe with my predictions, so I thought I’m going to revisit what we talked about last year and see how many of those things actually came true and then let’s talk about what are we expecting going forward. So one, we selfishly predicted that CDPs are going to be the central nervous system of the business.

And I can definitely tell you guys that that prediction has come true 100%. The amount of RFPs, the amount of searches, that we are seeing the customer data platforms exploding. I think that Ian’s diagram which probably I should have shown about what a CDP can do, everywhere from creating that 360 degree view of the customer, to deploying cross-channel marketing campaigns, measuring and optimizing has really made the CDP somewhere from being a nice to have to being an essential part of any marketer’s tech stack, any marketer who’s worth their salt.

And that’s a trend that we’re only going to see continue to grow. And you were seeing that everywhere, even with those analysts at Forrester and Gartner, some of them didn’t really believe that the CDP was a real thing. What we’re seeing today is that more and more brands understand that it’s not enough to have an email service provider, it’s not enough to have a push vendor, it’s not enough to have a data warehouse, it’s not even enough to have Snowflake, that being talked about this morning.

You need that customer data platform, you need something which can really make it accessible, make it actionable, make it useful for the marketer. And I think that that’s something…that’s a trend that came true, and I think that a trend that we’re going to continue to see. Execution channels and providers are consolidating. So we predicted that a lot of these execution channels are going to consolidate with one another and we’ve seen it happen. Only this year in 2019, we saw Twilio acquire SendGrid in a huge, huge, huge acquisition in the marketing technology space.

And this is another trend that we’re going to see happen more and more, as venture capital money is going to start drying up. We’ve seen WeWork recently and Uber. As venture capital money is going to start drying up and companies are going to drive towards profitability, it’s only going to make consolidation much more inevitable, and it’s really going to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to marketing technology.

The talent is continuing to improve. If you look at everybody in this room, if you look at all of the people who are on the stage speaking here today, the kind of people involved today in marketing, in relationship marketing, are going from strength to strength. And again, I think that this was an easy prediction to make. I predict that this is what’s going to continue as well. Rule-based automation is going to make way for a more holistic approach and I’m going to come back to that in a second.

And lastly, channels are going to continue to grow, but we believe that in the foreseeable future, email is still going to be king. But the one question I have for you is who here has heard about TikTok? Oh my god, that’s a lot more people than I thought. So TikTok is…it maybe a Chinese propaganda machine, we don’t know, but it may also be a legitimate social media app, and it’s exploding. And we’ve seen some brands do some really creative things with it.

I saw [inaudible 00:09:05] last week, they put up a video that Reese Witherspoon had done a video of herself singing and doing something with makeup, and it went berserk with, you know, millions of hits within a few hours. So it’s going to be interesting to see how all of these channels play into the world of CRM, but I think as these channels continue to grow, we see that for the majority of marketers, for the majority of CRM teams, email is still going to be the primary mode of communication that they’re going to have with their customers.

So where are we going to go? So there are a few things, really, three things that I think are the most critical kind of places that we’re going to be taking Optimove over the next year. One is to finally break down the artificial boundaries between batch life cycle and triggered marketing. I think that it took me a long time to understand, but the majority of brands have a very artificial separation.

They have batch campaigns, which are things which are sent out to an entire customer group or a segmented customer group. They have life cycle campaigns, which is what we typically think about as journeys. These sequential set of events that happen one after the other. An onboarding journey, a win-back campaign, whatever it is. And what we call triggered marketing, so triggered marketing is everywhere from cart abandonment to having a bad day.

But what happens today is that these things are mostly running in parallel. So that example from Forever 21, of sending a poor soul 20 emails within 24 hours, that continues to happen. And the reason that that happens is because these are still three different ways of thinking about things. Most marketers say, “Yeah, you know, I’m doing my life cycle in one way, but my batch is being done another way, and my trigger’s being done a third way.”

And the only way that they’re currently trying to deal with it is with caps on the number of emails being sent to a customer in a given day. But fundamentally, these should all be one. There’s one customer, when you’re experiencing it as a customer, you don’t really care whether it’s a triggered campaign or a batch campaign, all you know is that you’re being retargeted on Facebook for shoes that you’ve already seen and you’re getting an email about a cart abandoned campaign for something completely different.

And we believe that fundamentally, what marketers need to think about is what do they want to say to their customers. And you need to let us figure out in what order that should be said, when it should be said, how it should be said, but we want marketers to be focusing on the creative more than anything else. You cannot imagine all of the different sequences, you cannot imagine all of the crossfire that can happen. You need to be there to think about what you want to say and let the machines do what they do best, which is actually help you execute against that.

And we believe that this is going to kill the customer journey. The customer journey is an antiquated concept, it’s a contact that comes from the fact that it’s easy to explain and present. You draw it on a board and you explain how a customer goes from awareness to whatever it is, and go through a certain flow. But the truth is that it’s much more complicated. Anybody which remembers the ping pong balls which feel like three years ago, but it was only this morning, it’s very, very difficult to kind of anticipate what customers are going to do.

And anybody which is trying to do so is going to fail. And I think that any of you that open up your phones and look at your Gmail tab and look at the promotions tab, the number of campaigns which are completely irrelevant are happening because people are not really able to properly plan out that elusive customer journey. The last part here is strengthening the data capabilities of marketing teams.

And we heard that from Ian right now. I think that marketing teams today do not want to be reliant on IT, they do not want to be reliant on data science, they want to be able to answer the questions themselves. And I think that that’s a really, really fundamental change, and more and more brands are demanding it, the marketers are demanding it, it’s really great that CTOs and CMOs are friends, but ultimately, we want the CMO to be able to access all of the data that they have about their customers to make the most informed decision that they possibly can.

So, before I thank our sponsors, I want to thank the Optimove marketing team, led by Amit Bivas for the last day and a half.

It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. And I want to say a massive thank you to our sponsors, to XtremePush, to Mobivate, and to Wiraya.

And I think that with that… Oh, wait, we want to tell you about four events. So, this is PostFunnel Summit, but there are four more events coming up in the next few months. We have a PostFunnel dinner, so anybody who’s going to be in LA, please do feel free to reach out. We would love to see you at dinner in LA on November 12. We’re going to a really nice restaurant. We’re having a forum in New York on December 4th of this year, where we’re going to be doing a smaller version of what you guys are doing here.

Another one in London on December 5th, and we’re having a personal dinner here in Tel Aviv on December 11th. So, thank you very much everybody for being here year after year, for making PostFunnel Summit, this first PostFunnel Summit a great success. And we invite you guys to drinks on the roof. Thank you very much, have a great day.