A year in review 2019: AI, CDPs, mobile, data privacy, and more

Chris Baldwin

Feb 23, 2019

A year in review 2019: AI, CDPs, mobile, data privacy, and more Featured Image
Chris Baldwin

Feb 23, 2019

Table of Contents
  1. Everything is converging to Growth

  2. A year of Growth

  3. Behold! The next big thing is coming

Everything is converging to Growth

The wave of hyper-personalization is rising to a climax. The cost of capturing customers’ attention is increasing and customer expectations are shifting towards more personal, meaningful and smoother experiences, no matter what channel they navigate. In 2019, brands will have to recognize that they need Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning backed technologies to deliver a more personalized and differentiated experience to each and every customer, to eliminate marketing silos and put historical and real-time data side by side.

In 2018, we set out on a mission to help brands deliver relevant and delightful experiences that are mindful of their customers’ attention and time. Collecting valuable insights from digital marketers across the globe, we found a gap in the market, which was the lack of acquisition optimization tech in a marketing scene already crowded with conversion optimization technologies. That’s why we decided to create a new category, the world’s first integrated Growth Management Platform (GMP), to help every marketer drive growth across the funnel, from Acquisition to Activation, Retention, and Revenue from a unified engine powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

From launching our integrated Growth Management Platform to partnering with Sequoia, opening our 19th office to welcoming leading brands in every region and nearly 200 new team members to our community; 2018 has been a year of growth for our people, for our regions, and for our community. Our endless dedication and persistence in creating new technologies to shape customer experiences reaped the rewards. I would like to share our key learnings from 2018 and how they are guiding our strategy for 2019.

Mobile first, Messaging first

We are strongly moving into a mobile-first, messaging-first world. One of the biggest news in the messaging world came with WhatsApp launching its Business API product that enables marketers to send transactional updates to their users at scale. We developed our product for WhatsApp Business API in a record 1 month after its launch.

We boosted our Mobile App Marketing suite with Content Optimizer that lets you build and test any custom experience for your app. And one thing that really caught my imagination and I believe it resonates with our partners as well, is InStory – a unique story-based selling approach for online businesses. Stay tuned to hear more about this product.

2018 Insider Global Report Quote

As you can see, despite these advancements, low conversions on mobile suggest that it should be an area for marketers to invest further in and seek significant exponential gains. And we want to partner with you on this journey.

With these learnings here are two key areas that we are investing in:

Maven is Coming – A unique product discovery solution that is poised to revolutionize how your users discover your product or content while maximizing key business metrics for your online business. You can follow #Maveniscoming on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay on top.

Investing in Messaging Apps – Facebook Messenger is already on its way and we will be soon tackling transaction and marketing messages for Line, WeChat and Kakao. You can read more about our take on Building your Marketing Strategy for Messaging Apps.

Data, Data and then there was Privacy!

We saw a piqued interest from customers in 2018 to bring all their user data together to perform effective multichannel marketing. We all witnessed the term Customer Data Platform or CDP as they call it to become a trend that marketers are still trying to decode.

CDP Industry Report Quote

We made major strides with launching our multichannel journey builder product – Architect earlier in 2018. We have already seen some really thoughtful experiences being built by our partners and we continue to invest in making it the best out there in the industry.

But there was also one other reason why user data was at the center of every discussion in 2018 and that was because of General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR coming into effect on May 25th. We embraced this change with becoming fully GDPR compliant well in advance and also helping our partners by educating them.

What this shift in privacy essentially means for marketers is the need to balance the 360-degree view of user data across channels with responsible data collection and consent. We see this in a tremendously positive light as this would only increase the quality of conversations that we as marketers end up having with our customers.

One key area of investment for us in 2019 is boosting our state-of-the-art CDP which we refer to as Unified Customer Database (UCD) to bring in a lot of standard connections with common marketing and/or customer experience tech stacks that you might already have in place. If you are still new to this entire parlance of CDP, then I would recommend this detailed guide on CDP created by our team.

Artificial Intelligence for Marketing

You think you have heard about AI more than enough, that’s exactly because AI in marketing is totally worth the hype.

Gartner Hype Cycle Quote

We have always invested in AI to improve acquisition and our Predictive Ad Audiences product stands as proof for that. It’s a unique product that helps you increase your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) by using Machine Learning segments to guide how you spend your marketing dollars on ads. We saw strong success with several industries and our case study with Pegasus will help you better understand the potential of this product.

We also launched our Product and Content Recommendation Engine with industry-leading recommendation strategies for e-commerce, travel, media/publishers and aviation. We went one step ahead of the industry with our unique auto-optimizer, Chef, that automatically learns from your data and suggests the best recommendation strategy to maximize your revenue from recommendations. If you are interested in learning more about building a recommendation strategy for your business then I would recommend this guide and webinar.

A year of Growth

We partnered with one of the world’s best venture capital firms in the world, Sequoia. We reflect their core values and culture. They believed in us and our mission to build a legendary tech company; their considerable network and market expertise will contribute to our growth and further improve our technology.

We welcomed nearly 200 new partners to our community this year, including top brands like Samsung, Watsons, Huawei, IKEA, IBM, Nissan, LG, Puma, Unilever, McDonald’s, Hyundai, and Estee Lauder.

We launched our 19th office in Australia. From Japan to UK, Australia to Taiwan, Singapore to Korea, we have built one of the most international communities in B2B tech space.

Our community grew bigger, now we are around 300 people around the globeWe are “the underdogs, the outsiders, the defiants, the resolute”. We inspire and challenge each other to cultivate a unique culture that drives us to create technologies fostering deeper and more meaningful experiences for millions, every day. We are a global family, with a wide range of perspectives and backgroundsHowever, we manage to stay true to our culture and the core values behind our determination: care. We care about each other as much as we do about the world we live in. That’s what makes us an empowered community.

Behold! The next big thing is coming

Again something big is coming from Insider. A key area of investment in AI for Marketing that I am personally very excited about is a product that would make your acquisition strategy stronger than ever. It re-imagines the way you execute shopping and dynamic remarketing campaigns. With a mix of predictive segments and recommendations, we think it will be the next big thing in propelling acquisition from ad channels. Stay tuned.

Creating impact in the lives of marketers and shaping the future of customer experience delivery by democratizing predictive, machine learning and AI technologies

I would like to say thank you to all our partners, your insights and feedback have been vital in our growth journey. We know that great things never come from comfort zones. It requires blood, sweat, and tears to create something beyond the expectations. Lasting success can only be achieved if you put in the hard work. None of these would have been possible without the passionate dedication and endless care of our team. Thank you for being a part of our growth journey. We’ll continue shaping the future of customer experience delivery and further our technology together.

What’s your perspective?

While we are guided by our research and insights, we would love to know more about what you think and how you see this space shaping up? I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to reach me at hande@useinsider.com or tweet to @HandeCilingir about your opinions. I’ll try to answer all of your questions and discuss your ideas as much as I can.

Chris is an award-winning marketing leader with more than 12 years experience in the marketing and customer experience space. As VP of Marketing, Brand and Communications, Chris is responsible for Insider's brand strategy, and overseeing the global marketing team. Fun fact: Chris recently attended a clay-making workshop to make his own coffee cup…let's just say that he shouldn't give up the day job just yet.