On the 4th March, we brought the partnership community together for the sixth annual Sydney Innovation Day. Set at the iconic Sydney Opera House, we were joined by our customers, partners, agencies and other leading brands to hear from a number of insightful speakers.
Note: Industry discussions are very valuable — they give us time to share ideas and thoughts with others active in the space. This event occurred before many governments felt the need to provide guidance on in-person gatherings. While since this event we and many other organizations have instituted a no in-person events policy in response to changing circumstances, we are committed to helping foster conversations and will be moving to virtual formats so that the sharing and ideas can continue to flow.
The APAC region has undoubtedly seen significant growth in the partnerships space, which was explored in our theme of “Growing Together.” This put the spotlight on customer stories and industry ideas on how the fast-growing partnership channel is moving forward with collaboration from brands, partners and technology.
Opening Address: Pete Mycock, General Manager JAPAC at Partnerize
The day kicked off with a welcome from our General Manager, Pete Mycock. Pete touched on how partnerships are fostering efficiency and innovation and challenged organizations to think outside of the box. This was exemplified through an unlikely, yet interesting, partnership between auto-racing organization Formula One and a UK-based Children’s hospital. Pete continued to explain how a Formula One pit stop crew is lending their incredible skills and knowledge to the neonatal unit at the University Hospital of Wales in order to streamline the crucial resuscitation process.
This opening address set forth the idea that groundbreaking partnerships can be achieved through parties working together to fulfill a common goal. In business, we are seeing this used for revenue or awareness goals whereas, in the greater society, partnerships are employed to solve more complex problems throughout various industries. Food for thought given our uncertain times.
Keynote Address: Tané Hunter, Cancer Scientist and Dr. Angus Hervey, Political Economist at Future Crunch
We were delighted to welcome Tane and Angus to discuss technological disruption and adaptability in today’s society. As a technology company, we have seen first-hand how it can reshape the status-quo when it comes to business and addressing problems we didn’t even know existed. Future Crunch examined both facts and theories around technology developments and how it will be applied and enhanced within our lives.
Their captivating presentation wasn’t a “doom and gloom – robots will take over” warning. Rather, it explored the idea that technology and human beings are not opposing forces, but can instead complement each other in order to achieve progress. They went on to discuss how existing technologies will be used to solve new problems; however, human creativity is essential in order to envision the innovative ways we use technology.
Another theme touched on by Tane and Angus was the emerging importance of AQ (Adaptability Quotient). Tipped to be a new competitive advantage in the workplace, it highlights that the true value of the workforce of the future will be the ability to adapt to new technologies. This is particularly important in partnership, as brands and partners work together in more creative ways, and continuously adapt approaches, to ensure continued innovation. Alongside this, organizations and employees will need to invest time and resources to ensure we have a workforce equipped to handle an ever-changing technological landscape.
Panel Discussion: David O’Rorke, Head of Performance Marketing at THE ICONIC, Joanne Heggie, Head of Marketing at Trip.com and Dane Patterson, General Manager Brand & Ecommerce at SurfStitch.
Alix Simpson, our VP of Customer Success APAC was joined on stage by three leaders in the partnership marketing industry for our panel discussion. David, Joanne, and Dane all take a strategic and thoughtful approach when it comes to their partnership program and how it works as part of an overall marketing mix.
Their discussion centered around both their experiences and current trends within the channel. When it came to growing together, all panelists reiterated the importance of working with partners and evolving to a more strategic approach – a true partnership.
“Just do it!” was the concise message to everyone in the room for anyone thinking about starting out in the partnerships channel from SurfStitch’s Dane Patterson. His enthusiasm for the channel is a result of it being the most effective for positive ROI and profitability for their brand.
In terms of how our panelists create cohesion between the affiliate channel and an overall marketing strategy, David revealed their flexible approach; being able to allocate budget to the channels which are most effective for them.
For Trip.com, Joanne highlighted that localization is important when managing the affiliate channel, whereas other paid media can be run centrally.
The panel went on to discuss mobile and how it will be a focus within the channel in order to enhance the customer journey. Continuing on the topic of customers, David highlighted the value of capturing and optimizing rich customer data in order to focus on establishing continued loyalty amongst existing customers and to further acquire new customers.
It was fantastic to hear our customers talk about their experiences in the partnerships channel. These brands truly resonate with the idea of “Growing Together” as we have seen them embark on brand partnerships, innovative partnership initiatives, and working together with a number of key partners in the market to drive growth for their brands.
Product Vision: Stefanie Colley, Head of Client Services and Integrations and Jim Nichols, Chief Marketing Officer at Partnerize
We wrapped up with Stefanie Colley, our Head of Client Services and Integrations and Jim Nichols, our Chief Marketing Officer discussing our product vision for 2020.
They touched on how a growing trend of increasing spend on technology and the demand for rich customer data amongst CMO’s has set the backdrop for our product enhancement strategy. Stefanie and Jim went on to discuss the notable shift within the partner channel to more accountability, user-level targeting, personalization, and two-way partnerships.
They highlighted, however, that partnership has lagged behind in the data revolution due to missing data, external and internal silos and delays with getting insights.
The product enhancements are designed to overcome these challenges and ensure three main things: the discovery, optimization, and protection of partnership.
In line with our key message of “Growing Together”, the main takeaway from the day would be that as an industry, we can and will be successful through collaboration. Whether that collaboration is with partners, brands or technologies, when we grow together, that growth can be phenomenal, and can create progress for the industry as a whole.
This in-person event occurred before the current recommendations and guidelines went into place in many countries around the world. During this new period, we will be shifting our discussions and events to virtual formats.
Thank you to all our insightful speakers and attendees who joined us for Innovation Day Sydney 2020. The event has truly set the tone for a positive 2020 in partnerships.