Spilling the tea on Dynamic Yield’s NYC Personalization Pioneers Summit

A look back on the 2019 Personalization Pioneers Summit in New York City, which gathered and connected marketing experts and leaders over two days to share insights, best practices, and product updates.

Alliances Manager, Blue Acorn iCi

Dynamic Yield brought the Personalization Pioneers Summit to the city of delicious bagels and pizza June 12th to the 13th. The Summit brings together eCommerce and marketing professionals from all walks of life, including retail, finance, travel, and more, to share insights, stories, and best practices.

Over 150 eCommerce and digital leaders gathered in New York City to hear speakers from YETI, Accenture, Synchrony, PacSun, and of course, McDonald’s.

Here’s what we learned:

Personalization Starts with Cross-Team Collaboration

“How the hell does personalization work” said Megan Hoover, eCommerce Testing and Optimization Manager at YETI, “and where do you start?” she went on to say.

A thought many of us in the industry have had. In theory, you can test every aspect of your site from the navigation to the checkout flow. Everyone has an idea of where to start—the key is deciphering what’s important and how to balance this against your business goals.

Choosing the tests:

  • Develop relationships across functions – the ones that directly engage with the customers often have the best ideas.
  • Seek inspiration from other sites and experts that don’t live in your brand every day.
  • Look for proof there’s an actual problem that needs to be fixed and find the visitors impacted by the problem.
  • Determine the level of effort and how much this will change your workflow.
  • Define primary and secondary KPIs and prioritize tests that align with the KPIs.

    Before an optimization program can launch, it’s key to get everyone onboard—testing affects every aspect of the business. “You need to create a culture of testing that is fear free on all teams,” says Lauri Vela, SVP of Digital Marketing at Synchrony Financial. Once you have results, share them with every function. In Synchrony’s case, they produce a monthly report which includes experiments they’re running, the benefit of each one, failure rate, and what they learned.

    YETI started as a one-person optimization team and has since tripled in size. After launching the team, Hoover realized three things:

    1. Everyone at the company is here to solve customer problems.
    2. Tests should be prioritized based on ROI.
    3. You need to build a team of passionate, smart people and listen to them

    Personalization in 2020

    Customers expect an evolving relationship with the brands they buy from. The more they engage with the brand, the more tailored they expect the experience. Customer data enables personalized experience, making the CRM one of the most valuable assets for eCommerce and marketing managers. While customer acquisition is important, the real value lies in how you leverage the data from the CRM to personalize the experience and retain customers. For example, you can hyper personalize product recommendations by combining the CRM strategy with testing to create a seamless workflow.

    To prepare for the ever-evolving customer needs, Dynamic Yield’s CEO, Liad Agmon, announced a series of new features for later this year and 2020:

    Personalization API – The API integrates all of your channels, including voice, POS, website, and stores, to provide a frictionless, personalized experience anywhere the customer interacts with the brand.

    User Affinities – Often underutilized by marketers, Customer Affinities allow you to dynamically personalize the experience in real-time as the shopper browses the site.

    Customer Profile API – The CRM mainly holds transactional data, which Dynamic Yield estimates to only be about 1% of all customer data. With the Customer Profile API, you can unify the CRM data with Dynamic Yield data for a holistic customer profile.

    Customer Data Platform (CDP) – Dynamic Yield had all the makings of a CDP but never officially called itself a CDP—until this event. They are launching the “CDP for the marketer.” The CDP will all act as a control center to unify data and launch new experiences on any channel. In the future, a loyalty aspect will be layered onto the CDP.

    Funnel Optimization – Dynamic Yield will make recommendations for customer funnels using AI algorithms. For example, you launch a landing page, but Dynamic Yield knows that the page isn’t the best funnel for iPhone users. The platform will notify you to consider changing the funnel for these users.

    Embedded BI vs. Machine Learning – Dynamic Yield is working with leading BI vendors to bring business intelligence capabilities into the platform.

    “At the end of the day, Dynamic Yield is here to make their customers work faster… to help the marketer do more, and be more successful within the organization,” said Liad.

    Love at First Bite…We Mean Sight

    In April of this year, McDonald’s acquisition of Dynamic Yield was announced in a strategic move to enhance the customer experience across the drive-through menu board, in-store kiosks, digital menu boards, mobile apps, and more.

    McDonald’s has a series of customer touchpoints, including its app, ordering kiosk, and, most recently, it’s drive-thru digital menu board. Through these touchpoints, McDonald’s captures billions of dollars of transactional data each year. The fast-food chain knows where the purchase was made, what time of day, what the customer ordered, and how long the experience took (from the customer’s first digital engagement to the time they receive their food).

    With Dynamic Yield, McDonald’s can leverage this data and present personalized experiences at scale. For example, at 12 pm a customer walks up to a kiosk in McDonald’s Penn Station, NYC location and begins the order by choosing a Big Mac. By querying transactional data, Dynamic Yield knows that based on the time of day and location, a customer ordering a Big Mac will most likely buy other specific items. Within a fraction of a second, the kiosk screen automatically customizes the order recommendations based on that data.

    McDonald’s considered other personalization platforms, but the fast-food chain’s Global CMO, Silvia Dias Lagnado, said it was “love at first sight” when the two teams met. What originally was planned to be a formal partnership, McDonald’s realized the bigger opportunity in acquiring Dynamic Yield. “We’re about the food, we’re about the experience and technology is the enabler,” says Lagnado.

    Ms. Silvia reiterated that her vision is that Dynamic Yield will operate as a standalone business and will continue to attract, retain, and serve brands worldwide.

    Couldn’t attend the NYC event? Dynamic Yield is hosting Personalization Pioneers Summits in Berlin, Singapore, L.A., and London later this year, so make sure to sign up to their newsletter for updates.

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