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June 20, 2013 at 06:30 AM EDT
Neolane Evolution 2013 Inspired Extraordinary Experiences for Marketers

Conversational marketing technology provider Neolane, Inc. held its annual global user conference Neolane Evolution for marketing leaders of global brands. More than 600 attendees gathered in Paris last week for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that featured remarkable speakers and content, as well as unforgettable entertainment and social activities. Neolane Evolution was held at The Carrousel du Louvre located in the heart of Paris.

Neolane Evolution 2013 hosted at The Carrousel du Louvre. (Photo: Business Wire)

Neolane Evolution 2013 hosted at The Carrousel du Louvre. (Photo: Business Wire)

Attendees were treated to some truly unique experiences, including private guided tours of the world-famous Louvre Museum—home to the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and other masterpieces—and a gala dinner under the museum’s iconic pyramid. From a post-lunch, audience-led drum session to a flash mob in the Partner Showcase, every element of the two-day event lived up to its theme of “inspiring extraordinary experiences.”

In terms of the content itself, nearly every session touched on some facet of the customer experience and how marketers can deliver optimal engagement in today’s increasingly mobile and social world, including keynotes from Neolane CEO Stéphane Dehoche, Neolane Chief Product Officer Suresh Vittal, Don Peppers from Peppers & Rogers Group and Forrester Principal Analyst Shar VanBoskirk.

“Our goal was to make Neolane Evolution 2013 truly unique and memorable, so our global customers and partners would be inspired to do the same for their customers and prospects,” said Stéphane Dehoche, president and CEO, Neolane. “We wanted to provide an experience that transcended the traditional user conference and hosted our event at The Carrousel du Louvre to create an atmosphere that would awe and inspire. The keynotes, customer presentations and Neolane demonstrations conveyed the challenges marketers face today and provided best practices for leveraging Neolane’s conversational marketing technology to drive positive customer engagement and deliver more personalized experiences.”

Some highlights of the conference include a variety of challenges and opportunities facing today’s marketers:

Cross-Channel Marketing
In his opening keynote, Dehoche discussed how the analog and digital worlds are converging, creating a new multi-dimensional reality. This convergence is creating both challenges and opportunities for marketers, as the need to bridge the gap has never been greater. According to Dehoche, Neolane customers are ahead of the curve in cross-channel marketing with 66 percent of Neolane customers using two or more marketing channels; 38 percent using three or more; and 20 percent using four or more channels. VanBoskirk stated that brands must create unified, not uniform, customer experiences.

CMO Club and Neolane Data
A joint survey with The CMO Club was featured in Vittal’s session. According to the survey, while 90 percent of CMOs are personally responsible for their brand’s customer experience, only 11 percent actually own the customer profit and loss (P&L). In addition, CMOs lack competence with the most essential tools for delivering great customer experiences, including interaction management, loyalty management and predictive analytics.

Loyalty & Trust
Dehoche’s key theme in his opening remarks was that loyalty today is elusive, so brands have to deliver truly memorable experiences. While more informed customers are harder to persuade, there are opportunities for brands to learn more about customers and deliver consistent, relevant experiences. Peppers focused his keynote about the role of trust in customer engagement. He also discussed how the more people interact, the more there is a requirement of trust to filter out the noise.

Mobile
In her session, VanBoskirk outlined Forrester’s concept of the always-addressable customer: someone who goes online multiple times a day from multiple locations from multiple platforms/devices. This “mobile mind shift” is radically altering consumer behavior, particularly in terms of how they research and purchase products. To capitalize on these trends, VanBoskirk emphasized that brands should think about mobile first in the planning and design process.

Real-Time Marketing
Neolane Senior Product Marketing Manager, Patrick Tripp shared Neolane survey results which revealed:

  • Seventy seven percent of marketers believe that real-time personalization is of high importance.
  • While 22 percent of European marketers personalize their website in real-time today, 59 percent will do so within the next 12 months.

This increased adoption of real-time capabilities was reflected in several customer presentations:

  • PMU, which has increased cross-sell revenue 200 percent with real-time web personalization;
  • Yves Rocher, which has unified customer interactions across inbound and outbound channels; and
  • Baxter Credit Union, which will be implementing Neolane Interaction to deliver next best offers via its call center and web channels.

Social
Neolane customer EMI Music presented on using Neolane Social Marketing to transform anonymous social contacts into loyal and qualified fans. Illustrating the enormous potential of social CRM, there are 1 billion anonymous fans through EMI artist Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, versus 15 million qualified contacts in its marketing database. The label’s social CRM strategy, therefore, is to acquire these contacts, enrich the marketing database with social profile information, and then engage them with one-to-one campaigns across email, mobile and social.

In another session, Neolane customer Thai Randolph of GENERATOR shared how a Johnny Cash Facebook app increased the artist’s email list 20 percent while enriching subscriber profiles and driving deeper engagement, emphasizing the point that social and email are better together.

Neolane executives moderated or presented several sessions, including best-practice on various applications and capabilities of Neolane’s conversational marketing platform. The event also featured the Neolane Lab as well as a Partner Showcase area where attendees gained insight into value-added technology and services that Neolane partners offer.

Attendees expressed their enthusiasm for the event and the sessions and shared Tweets including:

  • From @albertsmit: @DonPeppers #NeoEvo Wanna thrive? Become a trustable proactive partner of your customer! #marketingasafriend #respect
  • From AndersGul: Great time at the @Neolane after party! #NeoEvo http://t.co/VSCIlIdzp1
  • From @DataMinded: @SharVanBoskirk just knocked it out of the park at #neoevo! Amazing articulation of the role of technologists in marketing
  • From @GuillaumeDoret: #NeoEvo happy to be at @neolane evolution 2013. Ready for 2 passionate days
  • From jmichel_franco: According to Neolane, the measurement of ROI of social marketing should be: Acquisition, qualification and selling #NeoEvo
  • From PierreAdrienL: Confidence from customers comes through competence (doing things right) & ; good intentions (doing the right thing) #neoevo

Adobe, Business & Decision, Celerity, CGI and Waisso were Gold Sponsors of the event.

For more recaps on Neolane Evolution, please follow The Cross-Channel Conversation and on Twitter @neolane with the #NeoEvo hashtag.

About Neolane
Neolane provides the only conversational marketing technology that empowers organizations to build and sustain one-to-one lifetime dialogues, dramatically increasing revenue and marketing efficiency. Born digital, with best-in-class email and inbound-outbound channel fusion capabilities architected into a single code-based platform, marketers achieve results in record time. Neolane is easy to use for both power and casual users, but powerful enough to drive the most sophisticated marketing strategies. Future proof, Neolane has a track record of enabling its customers to adapt to new customer engagement challenges and exploit opportunities more quickly than their competition. Neolane is used by more than 400 of the world’s leading companies including Alcatel Lucent, barnesandnoble.com, Sears Canada, Sephora Europe and Sony Music. Visit www.neolane.com and read our blog The Cross-Channel Conversation.

Copyright © 2013 Neolane. All Rights Reserved. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

Contacts:

PAN Communications for Neolane
Kyla Ruane, + 1 617-502-4300
neolane@pancomm.com
or
Harris Communications (for Neolane U.K.)
Derek Harris, +44 (0) 1395 516 613
derek@harriscomms.com
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