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Kayla Amaral - 12.03.2019

Sagepath 2019 Digital Summit Debrief

Top 3 Digital Trends from the 2019 Sagepath Digital Summit 

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, Sagepath hosted its third annual Digital Summit at the Sagepath offices in Atlanta. As in years past, the purpose of the event was to bring together clients and partners to share experiences, discuss overcoming their business challenges, and of course network with other difference makers in the digital marketing community. An impressive lineup of speakers included business leaders from Georgia-Pacific, Haverty’s, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Sazerac, Amazon Web Services, Krystal, and, Atlanta Eats.

 

Screen at Sagepath summit

 

The Summit included three separate panelist discussions, with topics including innovation, digital transformation, data and analytics, and customer acquisition. While each discussion featured a diverse mix of speakers spanning different verticals and roles within their organizations, each speaker (and the audience members) shared the use of digital to propel growth for their business.

Here are a few key takeaways from this year’s Summit:

 

Two panelists at Sagepath summit

 

1. Leveraging Innovation & Technology to Drive Digital Transformation

The first discussion was focused on driving change. The speakers included:

  • Lewis Broadnax, Vice President, Global eCommerce, Sazerac Company
  • Kevin Heath, Senior Vice President – Sourcing & Procurement, Georgia-Pacific

The most consistent theme during this panel revolved around creating experiences that exceed customer expectations in an environment where expectations are continuously rising. Today customers expect to be treated like a unique individual, want self-service and crave hyper-convenience. This is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity. Companies should be using digital transformation to help create incredible customer experiences.

However, for companies that have been in business for 100+ years this is no easy task. There was a consensus that we must drive innovation through investing in the right people. Whether this means creating an innovation center within your company, or recruiting digital native employees from universities and start-ups. It’s key to recognize your people are the engine driving digital transformation.

 

2. Using Data and Analytics to Increase Customer Conversion

Our second group of panelists sat down with us to discuss the important role data and analytics play in all digital transformation.

The speakers included:

  • Paula Dart, VP, Global Commercial Leadership, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Kishore Pejavara, GM, Portfolio Strategy and Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Delta Air Lines
  • Joe Schueller, Business Development Manager – AI & Machine Learning, Amazon Web Services

The speakers noted that in the past year, there seems to have been a large step forward, moving from BI (business intelligence) and traditional analytics, to more advanced analytics, such as machine learning, automation and predictive analytics. While the speakers acknowledged that there is still a focus on the building blocks - joining the data points together and getting a single view of the customer would allow them to better serve their customers. Regardless of industry, all companies were beginning to look forward to using data and analytics to drive business value.

As we trend toward more advanced analytic capabilities, there was one caution - companies should not view predictive analytics projects as large-scale IT implementations, where each model must live on for eternity as its own program. The companies disrupting established businesses are agile - exploring data, trying things out, failing, and moving on. The focus of predictive analytics is on experimentation.

 

3. Best Practices for Customer Acquisition

Our final panel focused on how companies were acquiring new customers. The speakers included:

  • Teresa Caro, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Jason Dominy, Social Media Manager, The Krystal Company
  • Steak Shapiro, Founder/Host Atlanta Eats, Host of ‘The Front Row’ on 680 The Fan

Similar to the first two panels, the message was consistent – marketers must show that their company understands its customers’ needs and is ready to meet their expectations. But take caution, do not treat all customers alike. Best practices for customer acquisition must include segmenting your audiences, understanding their customer journey and how they like to engage, and most importantly, creating great content catered to them.

 

As the evening wrapped up, attendees made new connections and had follow-up conversations with the panelists.  Sagepath wants to thank all of our panelists and guests for sharing their perspectives with our Sagepath community. We look forward to seeing what 2020 brings and we hope to see everyone again next year!

If you would like to be invited next year, please email events@sagepath.com.