Key Takeaways from the 2019 Collision Conference

Collision is North America’s fastest growing tech conference, which made the booming tech hub of Toronto a fitting home for it this year. Known as one of the most innovative, multicultural cities in the world, Toronto’s first Collision brought together digital experts, marketers, scholars, start-ups, VCs, and even a few celebrities to discuss and celebrate technology.

At Branch, we empower teams with technology and tools to unify fragmented user experiences and siloed data for a more cohesive mobile ecosystem. Based on our commitment to helping our customers stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving space, it was enlightening to learn what is top of mind for the experts at Collision.

Even the crowds had an opportunity to weigh in about their priorities!


Here are some of the most memorable takeaways from Collision 2019’s speakers:

Kristen Garcia Dumont, CEO at MachineZone (MZ), illuminated the importance of delivering high-quality products for users to drive LTV, and said: “Mobile is going to transform the marketing ecosystem because it puts a finer point to what your inventory is really worth.” Mobile offers an ability to quantify media, know where a player was found, and understand how they behaved in a game.

Robert Alexander, Chief Information Officer at Capital One, shared insights into the company’s journey to soon becoming 100% agile and 100% cloud-based. Companies in the finance sector often have to overcome the challenges of a starting point built on legacy technologies and operating models. Capital One is seven years into this transformation and feeling optimistic, as Alexander believes, “the winners in our business are going to be great technology companies.”


Jaya Kolhatkar, Chief Data Officer at Hulu, discussed the importance of keeping customers engaged with your brand in order to keep them. She offered this tip: “When you talk to your users through different channels, make sure you have consistent messaging.” Hulu has achieved this by connecting with customers in-app via email, push, and social, then leveraging programs to deliver the right message at the right time across touchpoints.


Ev Williams, Founder and CEO at Medium, pointed out, “pure advertising for pure publishing isn’t working” and “people don’t subscribe to 12+ sites.” He sees Medium as more of a network and platform with the goal of building the best content subscription product. When asked about the ideal modern media company, he shared that he is impressed by those that are “open to some degree,” to capture the best from the internet by blending humans and machines.


Steve Lacroix, Executive Vice President at Minnesota Vikings, noted the importance of analytics to get to know the team’s fans. With mobile ticketing and apps, teams like the Vikings can finally see who is in their seats on game day, unlike the days of paper tickets.


Kellyn Smith Kenny, CMO of Hilton, discussed the importance of breaking silos and leveraging tools to create an environment of agile marketing. Kellyn suggests preparation across one’s company is key, recognizing that digital transformation can be a roller coaster with ups and downs.


Tim Smith, SVP Global Services at Box, describes the company as “enterprise with consumer DNA at the heart.” He understands the significance of a seamless first experience (without any friction) – especially when aiming to drive virality from the first interaction with their free offering.


Ryan Ostrom, Chief Digital Officer at KFC, considers the company one of the largest omni-channel brands in the world, reinventing the customer experience through a digital transformation. He advises, “it’s one thing to collect data; it’s another to understand how to use it in real time to make business decisions.”


With these themes top of mind, we look forward to helping our customers leverage reliable, unified data to offer users seamless, personalized experiences in 2019/2020 and beyond.

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