Before I get into the good stuff, I must let you know – it apparently rains in Palm Springs. But don’t cry for me, it was short-lived and the rest of my time in the desert was beautiful. Though cry for me a little, I spent most of it in hotel conference rooms.
Onto the takeaways
1) Personalization tops the discussions. The hot topic was personalization. Perfect personalization is seemingly both within reach and discussed as something that may never be attainable. Balancing the ability to reach consumers wherever they are while not annoying or worrying them with privacy is still a debate being discussed.
2) Cross-device pain. There were plenty of companies at eTail that help clients track their customers regardless of what device they use, but clients still feel less than confident they have that holistic view.
3) Symbiotic relationships. A lot of talk about the mutually beneficial opportunities for retailers, vendors, and brands to share content, data, and technology to reach customers more intelligently.
4) Where to start. The fireside I hosted featured Tommy Lamb, director, CRM & Loyalty at Teleflora, who talked about purchasing marketing technology. He answered both beginner and advanced questions about how to start the process and when to loop in executives from other teams, an important step many forget to do.
5) The “A word.” Amazon. People I talked to were in awe of its tech and its innovation, and acknowledged traditional retailers needed to up their new concepts to compete with the eTailing Goliath.