The CDX Brand Innovation + IoT Influencer Summit: Event Recap


On October 18-19th, DataXu was a proud sponsor of the CDX Silicon Valley Brand Innovation + IoT Influencer Summit at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA.

The conference attracted droves of brand marketers and kicked off with a fascinating keynote from Bryson Koehler, CIO & CTO of the Weather Company. Koehler discussed how the company has transformed into a data hub by leveraging locational and behavioral interactions with weather events serving as digital touchpoints.

The view of Half Moon Bay at CDX Brand Innovation Summit 2016

One such event, Koehler explained, was recent Hurricane Matthew. Matthew caused a surge in mobile interactions as people frantically checked the weather on their mobile apps. Koehler’s discussion opened up a debate that permeated the rest of the conference: the question of whether the future of mobile is in native in-app or mobile web. A secondary question also quickly surfaced: how much of that experience is driven by the consumer, versus the experience itself?

Slide from a panel at CDX Brand Innovation Summit 2016

Jeetu Patel, Box’s Chief Strategy Officer, introduced another topic to the forum later in the day. He took the stage to discuss today’s rapidly changing landscape and the growing necessity for collaboration. Patel referenced Amazon’s mantra of maintaining “Two Pizza Teams” as an example of collaboration and innovation in action. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Amazon’s CEO believes that his company should never build teams larger than can be fed with two pizzas. The idea behind the phrase is one centered around keeping teams small enough to remain tight and productive. Patel’s presentation opened up the topic of Artificial Intelligence, which became yet another theme of the conference.

The patio view at CDX Brand Innovation Summit 2016

Programmatic marketing remained a hot topic. “Everyone should see themselves as being potentially disrupted by Artificial Intelligence,” a panelist later in the day opined. The pivot point for marketers today looking to transform their organizations is embracing that disruption and figuring out what that means for previously uncovered (and never before thought of) areas of their business.

Other artificial intelligence-related topics ranged from Smart Remotes from Comcast to Connected Cars from Volkswagen to the way in which site design and user experience will change in the coming years. Today’s ongoing digital transformation (referred to more commonly as the “Internet of Things” or IoT) around everything we use in our daily lives is having an impact on the way businesses look at their consumers and think about their behavior. It’s also causing consumers to think about businesses and how they interact with brands differently.

Many speakers acknowledged that the ease of use of “smart” devices will continue to bleed into the average person’s daily experience and expectations. Phillip Easter, Head of Mobile Apps & Wearables for American Airlines, remarked, “People bring the humanity to travel. Artificial intelligence will move the [travel-related] workforce to a better customer experience.” Consumers will begin expecting more from their interactions with brands, and brands need to step up and deliver.