With over 400 participants from more than 22 countries, to say that CXL Live was the converging point for growth and optimization enthusiasts is an accurate statement. More than just a conference, the immersive experience CXL provided was something I had not been a part of before. There were several things that set CXL apart from your standard industry conference.
First, the content was relevant and actionable. Organizers ensured that every speaker in the line-up was providing practical, teachable content – no brand pitches or sales demos. That was reserved for the select group of friendly vendors outside the conference rooms. I walked away with a ton of notes, enough to inspire an internal sharing session for my team at home, and many test ideas to spark conversation within our own conversation rate optimization team at Kanetix Ltd.
Second, the conference provided a secluded resort experience just outside of Austin, Texas for everyone – speakers and attendees – to learn, network and eat together in one place. Conference founder Peep Laja certainly wasn’t kidding when he said, “Fun is a serious business at CXL Live.”.
Experience was a theme of the entire conference – from the growth topics where tapping into personalized customer experiences was a big part of marketing campaigns, to the optimization tests that were judged successful if they proved to improve the customer journey. Even down to the conference experience itself, where professionals from varying backgrounds and industries with a shared interest in conversion had the opportunity to come together outside their comfort zones to network in a unique resort environment.
Key Takeaways from the Talks
Artificial intelligence and voice assistance were big topics at CXL, but I was also delighted to discover so was customer retention.
The Experience of Voice:
Keynote speaker, Bryan Eisenberg, predicted that voice will change the way people shop and will progress way faster than mobile. This is so interesting when you consider that the year of mobile happened 10 years ago, yet we still have brands struggling to improve their mobile experiences today, or not acknowledging mobile at all. Eisenberg attributes this partly to the fact that screens and typing are artificial. Voice is more intuitive, more natural. At Kanetix Ltd., we’ve integrated smart speaker technology across our brands already and are working with insurance companies to build similar technologies for them.
The AI Experience:
It’s also no surprise that testing with artificial intelligence was part of more than a few speaker topics. “Machine learning will be huge,” according to speaker Rachel Sweeney at Google. AI can be good at managing a lot of data at once, learning at an accelerated pace, listening and reacting 24/7, and acting with precision. At Kanetix Ltd., we have tested and fully adopted machine learning within our own digital marketing strategy. But an important consideration that was impressed upon me as I listened to the topics on AI is that we, as marketers, need to have a firm understanding of our consumer audience first, before making the machine leap. The machine will contend with challenges in velocity, behavior changes, and timing, but I think true human understanding and empathetic input into experiences can’t be replicated, or replaced, by technology.
The Customer Retention Experience:
Beyond looking at the top of the funnel, another key takeaway was focus on retention. Several speakers, like Tara Robertson of Sprout Social, warned us to not only focus on acquisition. “Flip your funnel – only 5 per cent of revenue comes from optimization but 92 per cent of revenue comes from retention,” Robertson said in her talk. She goes on to explain that the key to success is to know what retention looks like for you, and the road to get there is to spend time with customers, look at the quantitative and qualitative data, and really care about the customer experience.
So, in three days, the CXL conference was indeed packed with experiences. I could only highlighted a few here, but take it from me, it’s worth being immersed it in for yourself next year.
About the author:
Flora Cheung is a senior digital marketer, content creator and storyteller. Having worked in marketing at some of the largest brands in Canada, including Loblaw Companies Ltd., Hudson’s Bay Company and Shaw Communications, she takes pride in developing winning campaigns that resonate and enrich the customer experience. Flora brings 15 years of expertise in content marketing, social media and influencer marketing, and brand management to Kanetix Ltd. and is excited to be challenged every day being immersed in an evolving tech space.