Activate 2019—Afterthoughts

Overall, a success. The Activate 2019 conference was fun, informative, educational, and smack in the middle of one of my favorite cities—San Francisco. It was a jam-packed 3-days, filled with conversations touching on cross-channel tools, the future of machine learning in digital marketing, and creative philosophy.

Key takeaways:

  • Individualization vs personalization. We have the data at our disposal to take personalization (first name, personal referral link, etc) and evolve it to where your marketing collatoral is adapting to the user based on things like demographic or general geo-location using platforms like Foursquare.
  • Email design systems are a thing: https://stackoverflow.design/email/guidelines/getting-started
  • Content, content, content
  • AI is moving from theory to practice, and is here to stay. It's already being used on a wide scale, and is increasingly becoming a first-party feature in different marketing tools.
  • An AI/ML product should solve at scale a problem that you know how to solve on a small scale. At it's core, it's a tool to scale human decisions.

I'm excited for what this all means for the field, and I'm excited to start using some of the ML tools that Iterable is launching this year for frequency and cross-channel optimization.

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