May 28, 2024 | 4 min read

Amplify 2024 Recap: AI, Paid Media, and the Lakehouse CDP

A day of conversation and inspiration around the future of customer data.

The stage at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit. In the foreground, someone in the audience is taking a photograph or video of what's happening on stage, because they are so engaged.

Amplify, our annual summit, brings together Amperity customers, partners, and other fellow travelers to explore what’s happening in the customer data space today so they can get a jump on tomorrow. We look forward to it all year long, and there may be truth to the rumors of an Amplify countdown clock in our office. 

This year centered around three high-level themes: the relationship between AI and customer data, the ongoing evolution of the paid media landscape, and how to build greater efficiency and value into a customer data infrastructure. 

Plus, there was live saxophone, because we keep it smooth. 

Three people sitting on stage at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit, discussing the customer data space.

A holistic approach to customer data

The kickoff keynote framed the big picture: massive shifts are underway as AI becomes mainstream and the paid media ecosystem continues to evolve, and any brands that want to catch the wave of opportunity need high quality customer data flowing without any obstacles. The challenges cannot be tackled by IT teams or marketers alone — data teams need the right building blocks to create the foundation for business teams to personalize customer experiences at a once-unimaginable scale. 

This is what inspired Amperity to develop the world’s first Lakehouse CDP, which we unveiled in the keynote session. The Lakehouse CDP plugs directly into a Data Lakehouse so IT teams can easily access and enrich customer data using Amperity. High-quality data is then available in any tool across the stack, without replication. This makes data easier for IT teams to manage and more effective for business teams to activate.

Beyond the announcement of the Lakehouse CDP, the keynote session showcased Amperity’s capabilities in the key areas listed above, with multiple live demos:

  • AmpAi - Natural language exploration of data and assistance with complex queries 

  • Amperity for Paid Media - Segment insights and executive reporting based on first-party data

  • Amperity Bridge - Simple-to-setup inbound and outbound data sharing between Amperity and a Data Lakehouse

Amperity product and growth leaders were joined on stage by customers as well as partners from GM, Bobit, and The Trade Desk to share their successes with the features being demoed.  

The remaining run of show included in-depth breakout sessions that delved into the main themes through the lenses of Marketing, Analytics, and IT. Read on to learn more about the topics we discussed and the insights shared from different organizations. 

People sitting in the audience at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit

Winning the AI revolution with better data

Artificial intelligence was a common thread running through the whole day — you can’t talk about customer data without considering how it affects and is affected by AI. That synergistic relationship was evident in multiple sessions: how AI can be used to improve data quality and insights, and how high-quality data fuels AI-powered personalization. 

We heard from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Bobit about how they’ve been able to transform their day-to-day operations using AmpAi features. Thanks to a user-friendly conversational interface, technical and non-technical teams alike are able to easily create and validate SQL queries, drastically improving speed and efficiency through a true democratization of data. 

Slalom joined us on stage to discuss how AI can bring together personalization and scale in a way never before possible for brick and mortar business alone (which could personalize but not at scale) or earlier phases of ecommerce (which gained scale at the expense of personalization). The key to making it work is the underlying data quality, which will be the critical differentiator for brands when everyone has access to the same generative AI personalization tools. 

Each AI-focused session touched on the need for holistic change management, from both the top-down and bottom-up. 

The key takeaway? Don’t be overwhelmed by the AI hype or wait until the dust settles; AI-powered improvement can happen today, so start small and start now. 

Two people chatting amiably at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit

Reimagining paid media with first-party data

The digital advertising landscape has changed dramatically with the ongoing deterioration of third-party signals. Even as Google continues to kick the cookie-phase-out can down the road, third-party-based methods no longer work on 35% or more of all online traffic, and this number will keep growing. The brands that are taking a first-party-focused approach are already seeing dramatic improvements in audience addressability and overall performance. 

We heard examples of this in sessions throughout the day, beginning with new approaches to media measurement as discussed by GameChanger, Adora, and TikTok. They emphasized the importance of a unified first-party data foundation for peak precision and accurate measurement, and went over key KPIs and benchmarks for the new ad ecosystem.

In a session on the future of identity in cookieless advertising, we had Paramount and The Trade Desk share what it really means to own your data and make it usable in a post-cookie world. This included privacy-safe identifiers, like UID 2.0, and how connected TV can be a part of a brand’s media planning and buying strategy. 

Business leaders from DICK’S Sporting Goods, Loblaw, and The Trade Desk gave a crash course on how to monetize your media asset. They touched on how brands can use their owned data to drive personalized ad experiences on behalf of their supply partners, how supply partners can evaluate which Retail Media Network (RMN) is best to drive incremental revenue within their retail partners, and the key trends emerging in the RMN space. 

Two people engaged in a discussion at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit

Data quality & infrastructure

Innovative approaches to AI and paid media are certainly exciting, but they'll only work if there's an underlying foundation of data that’s accurate, enriched, easily accessible, and freely shared between all the tools that need it. This is where IT and data engineers have a chance to make a major difference: by building an infrastructure that optimizes customer data management and quality, they can unlock the potential of marketing teams to grow the business and delight customers. 

Databricks and Virgin Atlantic dove right into all things Data Lakehouse, exploring how the Lakehouse CDP works in conjunction with the Lakehouse to improve data quality and provide governance across the infrastructure. They laid out the advantages of open sharing protocols like Delta Sharing to save data teams from unnecessary hours spent integrating tools and copying data. They also explored the meaning and application of “composability” and how putting together a stack of best-in-class tools to activate data only works with an accurate dataset of customer identities.

MacKenzie-Childs dished on the value of Stitch, Amperity’s patented process of identity resolution that returned accurate customer profiles in days rather than months, as was the case with competing vendors. Not only that, the data was rigorously tested and verified to meet their high benchmarks. 

Customer data & organizational operations

Amid all the excitement about AI, paid media, and new methods of solving data management challenges, it’s still always important to share ideas on how to help a customer data practice take root and thrive. 

We heard from SPARC Group on their transition to becoming a data-driven organization. They covered their “Value-Driven Roadmap” that guides incremental steps in managing change, the tools and practices that support their data-driven model, and how intelligence-backed insights have informed their roadmap to success. 

Vail Resorts walked (skied?) us through how to plan and execute a multi-brand strategy. They focused on the technology challenges of connecting the customer journey across brands, and how their marketing and technology teams aligned around a unified data foundation as their single source of truth. 

Shiseido discussed how they are seeing greater ROI on their Customer Data Platform investment through intentional change management to drive adoption and business benefits. Any brand using a CDP can deploy the tips and tricks they shared for greater CDP performance, team engagement, and faster implementations.

A saxophone player supplying some smooth tunes at Amplify, Amperity's annual summit

Amped up all over again

Every year, we look forward to hearing from our customers and partners about their real life customer data success stories and where they see the industry is headed. 2024 was the most dynamic Amplify yet, with the breakout sessions letting attendees dive deeper into their particular areas of interest and expertise. 

Beyond the sessions, we enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends old and new, sport our actually-cool-looking Amperity swag, and take in the river views from City Winery in Manhattan. We capped off the evening with a toast to the promise of better data driving better results. 

For those who missed it, or who want to learn more, we’ll have videos of the sessions available on demand soon.

And for anyone currently using Amperity who wants to share their experiences, the stage awaits you — get in touch with your account manager.

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. Until next year!

To learn more about Amperity or any of the topics you read about in this recap, get in touch.