Last week we held our second Innovation Day New York event, and third overall in the US. This one was hugely successful, thanks to all of our amazing speakers and attendees. If you are not familiar with our global Innovation Day events, read about the ones we held in London and Sydney earlier this year.
Our theme this year in New York was The Future of Partnership. While we don’t know what the future holds, it’s clear there is eagerness to go on this journey together. With more than 96% of leading companies now participating in the partner marketing space, there is little doubt that our industry offers business transforming power.
Partnerize Marketing Manager Holly Brim kicked things off with some thought starters on the rate of change in marketing technology, and the need to keep pushing for innovative and creative ideas to move the industry forward. She offered the crowd a reminder on why we need to keep working strategically to be better stewards of our data and be better at the customer journey across the board.
Keynote Address: Lessons from the Data Trenches, JP Rangaswami
We were delighted to have JP Rangaswami keynote our Innovation Day event.
JP is a renowned expert on data, information, and corporate strategy. JP Rangaswami is a company director and board advisor currently serving on the boards of DMGT plc and Allfunds Bank S.A.U.; he is also a trustee of the Web Science Trust and a governor of the Hammersmith Academy Trust.
He served as Chief Data Officer and Group Head of Innovation at Deutsche Bank from 2015-18; Chief Scientist at Salesforce.com 2010-14; Chief Scientist at BT plc 2006-10; and Global CIO at Dresdner Kleinwort 1997-06. He has also been a Trustee of the Computer History Museum and a venture partner at fintech investor Anthemis Group SA.
JP’s inspiring talk focused on a “view from the data trenches”, and covered a variety of broad themes that set the stage for the rest of our day. As he famously posted in his popular TED talk entitled, “Information is Food,” he asserted the essential value of quality, curated data as a builder of the credibility and trust that are essential to our industry. Further, that the quality and validity of that information impacts the health of our businesses in ways analogous to how the food we eat helps define our physical health.
In an eye-opening retort to the idea that we are experiencing too much data and information to make sense of it, he said that what we have is a filter problem, not a data quantity problem. That truism widened scores of eyes, and underscored the value of properly framed ideas and information for smart decision-making in partnerships, as in everything else.
Panel Discussion: The Future of Partnership, Featuring TJ Papp, Kenneth Cole Productions, VP of Consumer Direct; Alexis Caldwell, rewardStyle, Senior Director of Global Network Development; Jessica Celenza, PayPal, Marketing Manager Online Affiliate Program
Partnerize SVP & Head of Partnerships Anshu Khurana moderated a stellar panel of sales and marketing thought leaders on The Future of Partnership. One of the most exciting aspects of the partnership space is the tremendous speed of change across the industry. Each of our panelists provided an interesting perspective on where the partnership space is heading, with a common theme being an expanded definition of partnership. PayPal's Jessica Celenza provided insight on the B2B space:
“Today, we’re seeing a lot of brands partnering with other brands. This not only allows each brand to be a better resource for products and services for their audience, but it is also a great way to monetize that audience.”
rewardStyle’s Alexis Caldwell considers partnerships core to the DNA of performance marketing. “At rewardStyle, we’re always working with your network of more than 4,500 brand partners and 45,000 influencers to innovate and evolve together as the customer journey changes, so we can all see growth.”
TJ Papp added, “Traditionally, for our brand, partnership has been very performance driven. We’ve now transitioned our relationship with brand partners to be more driven by brand storytelling. We believe this is how we can better drive home a connection between our brand values and consumers. It’s really about partnership exploration with our consumers and hopefully taking a lifelong journey with them.”
Anshu then guided the conversation to how to scale performance through influencers and content partners, and the importance of authenticity in those partnerships. Alexis said:
“When building out collaborations for brands and influencers, we’re hyper-focused on maintaining authenticity. We strive to find the right influencers for a brand, and then we encourage our brand partners to let influencers use their own voice in a way that makes sense for their page and audience. We’ve seen that be extremely successful for performance for brand partners.”
TJ spoke about how brand equity plays a role in partnership and how Kenneth Cole strives to be purpose-driven, partnering with organizations focused on community issues such as mental health and civil liberties.
“For us, it’s really about taking the value-based structure of the partnership philosophy, and amplifying it to create more connected and authentic relationships with consumers.”
Jessica added how content plays a role in the finance B2B world: “We work with content partners to help tell the story, give the legitimacy, and tell an authentic story about financing options. It’s a vital part of that consideration stage.”
The panel also discussed the importance of data and attribution, especially with today’s ecommerce complexities. With consumers going from web to app to mobile web, there needs to be tracking in place to be able to deliver and realize the true value with brand partners.
The panel closed with a discussion of their organizations came to realize the value of partnership. The common theme among our panelists was that it’s important for all marketing groups to work together to shift brand perception, acquire new customers, and ultimately help the brand win. Less focus on getting buy-in or credit for your channel, and more teamwork. That sounds like the power of partnership.
Partnerize Senior Director of Strategic Alliances Michael McNerney conducted a fireside chat interview with Lindsey Grossman, Netflix, EMEAPartner Engagement, Member Acquisition.
Netflix has an outstanding reputation for innovation and Lindsey shared how that helps in her ability to experiment with partners around the world. The Netflix culture encourages experimentation, whether around trying different pricing models, offers, or within the product experience
Lindsey’s team is tasked with making it easy to discover and sign-up for Netflix in their partner channels with companies like Sky, Comcast, and others. This includes building different bundles and promotions to gain incremental customers. One of her keys to success in working with these partners is giving up some of the control you’re used to having in exchange for unlocking new opportunities. You want to be sure the partners are properly representing your product and brand, communicating customer value and product functionality.
“What it comes down to is great partner management, which is a mix of both sharing guidelines and best practices, as well as building trust. We have to get in there and work on the customer journeys with the partners. We also have to come in and be humble. We have a lot to learn from our partners - especially given they are experts in their own sales channels. We’re doing these deals at the end of the day to create shared value for both the partner and Netflix as a result of creating delightful customer experiences.”
With the roles in our industry changing to focus more on business development or strategic alliances, Mike asked Lindsey how her thoughts on building a career in this space.
“I think it’s really important for people to be equally aware of both product and go-to-market strategy. My days are really split pretty evenly between working with Netflix engineers and product managers to build scalable partner-facing APIs and then partnering with marketing, customer support and sales teams to create a great experience for customers.”
According to Lindsey, letting curiosity drive you is one way to keep things interesting and explore new opportunities.. Curiosity is also what drives her to continually go deeper to understand how her partners measure success and how Netflix can help them overcome their challenges.
Product Vision: Matt Simmonds, Chief Product Officer, Partnerize
Partnerize Chief Product Officer Matt Simmonds engaged the crowd with a discussion of three current major trends in the partnership arena, and how our company is responding strategically with important new features to help clients drive even better incremental results. These include enhanced partner discovery tools, stronger mobile capabilities to align with market needs and trends, and the use of AI and machine learning.
Thanks to all who attended this year's outstanding Innovation Day New York. We learned so much about the power of partnership, influencers and content, data and attribution, affecting change in our organizations, and of course, innovation. We hope to see you at the next one!