Perspective At 8,000 Feet

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, December 10, 2012

As we assemble in Deer Valley for the 14th Email Insider Summit, we look forward to a very full agenda. While the industry may have seen a crazy transition to mobile viewership/engagement, it's still grappling with the same issues we’ve had for years, such as  justifying email marketing, when the perception is  that it’s not effective as moving the numbers (a perception that’s  hard to swallow for those that live and breathe the channel!)

The industry has seen tremendous growth in email volume -- not necessarily an indicator of growth in the channel or even an indicator of success, but it is a data point.  We have seen a dramatic increase in targeting (meaning more segments per campaign), we have seen adoption of more automation and of course with the Mobile Consumer shifting, there’s been a lot of buzz on making sense of response data across PC, laptop, mobile device and tablet.

The Insider Summit typically brings together 25% of the “old timers” (those with 10 or more years in the space), who collectively have written and spoken on virtually every potential topic you could think of.  The Summit also brings a new generation of practitioners.



This year, the Summit hosts a keynote by Toby Fallsgraf, who ran the email program for Obama’s re-election.

There are also a couple of really great sessions on mobile , including a keynote by TurboTax’s Elizabeth Berger. For users of TurboTax, it's very interesting how engagement through software, mobile and email are more closely linked than most would think.

Another great session is a panel on social media.  So many options, all adopted by consumers en masse.  Yet relating it back to the email and CRM industry is the challenge.  I’m really curious to hear how people are moving the needle, or better yet... helping organizations shift from ROI (return on investment) to ROO (return on objectives).  Once we make this shift, I think the connection of the channels will foster a degree of fluidity.

At these summits, you always have industry views.  Is 14% CAGR right?  Are companies really investing?   As I like to say, there has been very little “bending of lasers” in this industry over the last 10 years (AKA:  innovation), yet there are a lot of small companies popping up with some very cool extensions.  Remember the old saying, “It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” – I believe this new generation of startups we’ll see in 2013-2014 will actually impact the practice of email and online CRM.

Big Data is a tough subject, so this panel is going to have the challenge to convey real views and concepts that mean something to this audience.  It’s not enough to say “we’re in the cloud”--   we have to think about driving insight in the midst of a changing and eve- increasing set of data that has a shelf life.

Lastly, there is going to be a really fun panel on real-time content.  Content that renders on the fly?  Maps driven by where you are at the time?  Offers based on time of day?   Count down timers?   When real-time meets production environments, our worlds of campaign automation, testing and insight will change pretty dramatically.  Good times to come.

Should be a fun time on the mountain with a bunch of smart people.  If you aren’t here, you should watch some of the video from the event.

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