May 23, 2023 | 4 min read

Amplify 2023 Recap: Together We’re Electric

Highlights from our summit covering the future of customer data and exciting developments in paid media.

Amplify Sumimt 2023 Recap

After a few years of hosting and attending our annual summit Amplify through our individual screens, we emerged from the digital wilderness for an in-person event, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be back together! 

That’s why this year’s theme was “Together We’re Electric.” To us, together has multiple facets: it means unifying scattered data to make it work for you. It means teams across consumer brands collaborating from a single reliable data foundation. And it means working with a network of first-class partners and experts to activate the power of first-party customer data for better business results. 

In considering the electrifying potential of together in customer data, the summit covered three main themes: the future of paid media; Customer Data Platform (CDP) best practices; and how building a unified data foundation with Amperity has helped brands drive business value.

A shot of Amplify at City Winery with a man speaking onstage.

Setting the scene: The right tools for a shifting landscape 

Amperity CEO Barry Padgett kicked off the event with an analogy: a Customer Data Platform is like an electrical outlet, with all the circuitry behind the wall making it work and the appliances that get plugged in making things happen. The data foundation is behind the wall, and all the marketing and analytics tools get power from the foundation. He emphasized the importance of both halves of the customer data equation — what goes on behind the outlet and what gets plugged in — working in harmony to create a seamless flow, from data intake and unification to insights and activation to revenue. This collaborative approach is even more important at a time of heightened external pressures like regulatory compliance, technical evolution, and the demands of knowledgeable and savvy customers. 

Next was the keynote unveiling of Amperity for Paid Media, a new solution addressing the challenges to the traditional methods of digital advertising due to the continuing deprecation of third-party data and evolving content and privacy regulations. Amperity CTO and co-founder Derek Slager laid out a customer data strategy focused on using unified first-party data to power paid media and be much more effective than a third-party-forward approach. This isn’t a future state: Amperity is already sending more than 10 billion profiles a day to the majority of top media partners, and brands adopting a first-party-first strategy have seen great results, including match rates as high as 85% on key channels, improved return on ad spend (ROAS) by up to 5x, and up to 90% faster activation time for new campaigns. The keynote summed it up as "better data, better results." Then product leader Beth Boomgard provided a brief product demo to show how easy it is for marketers using Amperity for Paid Media to build high-value segments and campaigns connecting directly to the top media providers.

Derek Slager, CTO of Amperity, onstage at Amplify
Amy Pelly, CFO of Amperity, and Bastien Parizot, Global Head of Technology & Digital Marketing & eRB, at Reckitt

First-party paid media strategy in action

Several sessions delved into the future of paid media, making it clear that this moment in digital advertising is both evolutionary and revolutionary. Things are changing, and they’re not going back.

With third-party-reliant systems growing obsolete it becomes critical to base your approach on first-party data to navigate the changing ecosystem. We heard from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Citizen Watch, and Taco Bell about how they’re working with Amperity to unify and use their owned data for advertising, seeing tremendous results. They shared their experiences with change management when transitioning to a unified customer profile approach. They also discussed how adapting their paid media strategy pushed them to think about other ways to use customer data in different settings, emphasizing the critical role of a unified customer foundation in making any of it possible.  

We heard from TikTok about how first-party data is especially well-suited to the style of advertising on their platform, since it‘s more accurate and leads to better personalization for audiences who prize authenticity and creativity.

A photo of the entryway of Amplify Summit at City Winery
A light at Amplify in the shape of a lightning bolt

CDP best practices: Scoping, ROI, and use cases

We dug into the different aspects of using a Customer Data Platform, including hearing from SPARC Group about building a multi-brand strategy with a unified data foundation, exploring the three pillars of ROI strategy at Vail Resorts, and learning about how CPG company Reckitt makes a CDP work at a global scale. 

Sessions with Vince and Citizen Watch walked through a variety of specific use cases for marketing & analytics, with a focus on tying together the customer experience across all touchpoints.

And we heard from Taco Bell collaborating with AWS on how they went from having no customer data to operating seamlessly between digital and in-person channels, using data to understand customer preferences and creating the kind of personal experiences that build loyalty.

And a major automotive brand shared their vision of how using unified data to understand their customers will be the basis of a smoother, more satisfying customer experience.

(There were a lot of really interesting sessions!)

The speakers underlined that what they’re doing with their marketing only works when it’s based on a unified data foundation. They shared their experience of how important it is to be able to feed accurate data to a whole range of tools for various use cases, like omnichannel, multi-databases, and real-time profile API.

On the culture and change management side, speakers agreed that each organization's initial use cases and CDP rollout plan should be tailored to their specific needs, but no matter what they’re trying, they need to be able to see ROI quickly. 

There was also a session from David Chan of Deloitte Digital discussing the future of customer data. He explained why brands need to move from Data Management Platforms (DMP), which were previously popular but dependent on third-party data and thus increasingly less viable, to CDP, which maximizes first-party data, and how clean room technology is vital to making that move happen.

A man painting at the paint by numbers section at Amplify

Building a data foundation with Amperity

Some of the sessions asked, what does it take to put together a data foundation that can turn customer data into business value? Databricks joined Amperity on the stage to discuss the concept of a “composable” CDP, which involves solving CDP-related challenges using individual point solutions, also known as a modern data stack. One of the takeaways was that the point solutions within a composable CDP do not create unified customer profiles — which is itself a highly specialized technical problem that needs to be solved to make the other points work more effectively. (And, incidentally, is the problem Amperity was built to solve.) 

T-Mobile shared their experience of building their own identity solution and data foundation in collaboration with Amperity, whose platform served as a base around which T-Mobile built their data stack. They discussed best practices for deployment, managing change, and driving adoption, emphasizing the importance of aligning on a business north star, training the team early, and driving a leadership coalition.

Amplify summit with a fireside chat taking place onstage

Stay electric

And then there was everything else — the river views, the tasty food and drink, the giant lite-brite wall. The people, the tunes. The energy. It was just so great to be together in person again with our customers, partners, and friends.

For those who missed it, or who want more, we’ll have video of the sessions available before too long. And you can catch us in person, when we take Amplify on the road with half-day roadshows in Los Angeles on June 13 and Dallas on June 15.  

We’d like to offer our sincere thanks to all the folks who took time out to join us at Amplify and make it such an informative and memorable day. Let’s do it again!