Coming off the heels of our latest Ignite: Experiences event, Whatever it Takes, we had some interesting nuggets from our presenters, a few suggestions for next time, and a whole bunch of valuable insights that made the ‘to-do’ list. We hope you did the same! Those who registered will still have access to the Ignite sessions for awhile. In the meantime, here are a few, takeaways from the event.
Executive Keynote – Syndigo acquires Riversand, expanding data management capabilities
CEO Paul Salay highlighted the very recent acquisition of MDM/PIM leader Riversand… just one week before Ignite! Our two companies are highly complementary, and together we bring a greater perspective and point of view, while bringing parties together. The acquisition ‘closes the loop’ on data excellence, by combining Riversand’s expertise in MDM and PIM with Syndigo’s robust capabilities in syndication, enhanced content and analytics optimization, making it easier to engage in commerce. And with both company platforms built on the same technology framework there is a good understanding of the capabilities of both, right off the bat.
There was great interest in the retailer/recipient panel, hosted by SVP of Retail Client Development Trevor Martin, and featuring representatives from hardlines, foodservice and grocery sectors to discuss the market impacts and changes taking place in retail over the past year. Uncovering where their organizations had to pivot – and what they anticipate to be continuing trends were both discussed in depth.
A common theme was highlighted across these leading companies: The intersection of “discovery and fulfillment” were highlighted again and again as key pivots from the prior year that are driving more innovation. Discovery means both searchability – the availability of their buyers (whether consumers or businesses) to source items in a shortage and ensure it was the proper product – and them understanding the items that were available under a recipient’s brand or banner. Fulfillment also was noted to be an expected function of anyone selling products, with flexibility as a requirement.
Thanks everyone for the opportunity! Excellent organization and execution by all!”
— Ignite Presenter and Attendee
All panelists agreed that both of these elements are driven by high quality content. Regardless of the channel, these recipients were able to drive better experiences and sales with their customers when they had more complete, detailed, and quality product information, including imagery as well as metadata. And with the rate of online shopping and spending likely to continue, all are continuing their efforts to drive better content across their organizations.
Client ‘fireside chat’ sessions
Another highly rated segment were the one-on-one chat sessions with clients who shared their experiences in having to do Whatever it Takes to work their way through the unique challenges of the past year.
For example, Anheuser-Busch’s Jamie Murray shared insights on the challenges and opportunities of using seasonal promotions (including updates to product ingredients and packaging for holidays and key social events). As a large consumer brand looking to drive consistent messaging across TV, social, in-store and online, A-B focuses on content “relevant to the moment.” And while this can be extremely successful, it requires a great deal of communication, coordination and flexibility for both the brand and the retailer. Brands must develop and maintain the most complete and high-quality content for a program to succeed, and retailer partners need the infrastructure to make changes quickly in order to be able to fulfill the short timeframes of these periodic promotional periods.
In the foodservice space, Rob Mould of the Independent Marketing Alliance highlighted how IMA uses GDSN data to enable more customized experiences for their clients, helping to create profitable sales for their members above the industry average. The big shift that’s happened in recent years in foodservice is what Rob called “The Amazon Factor.” If an item doesn’t complete information or poor images, the customer won’t buy it. Advice in this session for those looking to start their data journey include the commitment from top management to ensure support of the data management strategy – and anyone who hasn’t started yet, is already behind. Data is also one of the best tools to help future proof businesses, as understanding trends – in eating at home, in labor, in delivery and pickup – will enable a business to pivot and remain successful.
Orca Pacific’s John Ghiorso provided his perspective on how to help “bring brands to life” by helping them maximize their eCommerce channels – being found and being fulfilled online. A challenge some companies have is lack of understanding on what maximize potential really is – how to measure not just growth rate, but the growth rate potential. And one of the core elements for Orca’s clients to maximize their success is through content – it’s a foundational element according to Ghiorso. One interesting perspective he mentioned was that the pandemic forced a bigger macro shift than just a temporary behavior change – it had a large enough impact to also change longer-term buying behaviors. Savvy brands & retailers will find ways to understand this shift in order to maximize their sales and activity.
Shawn Brackenridge of Rich’s Products rounded out the sessions with his perspective on digital transformation, and how every customer is approaching it at a different speed. By focusing on both what needs to be done as well as how to accomplish it for their customers, Rich’s can help to ensure content is optimized along the way. Since every business is looking to create the best experience for their consumers, today’s accelerated demand for content and information also comes with the expectation that it will be delivered in a custom standard. And as part of the content journey, it’s important to be both visionary and reasonable – focus on accelerating digital transformation, while also managing costs effectively.
Much appreciated to have the chance to engage with such great and knowledgeable panelists.”
— Ignite Presenter and Attendee
Vertical Sector Workshops
It was time to get more specific in the Vertical Sector Workshops, focusing on the key issues faced across these channels. For Healthcare, it was all about how to share product data in a way that helps content become an asset to drive growth. The Hardlines team focused on how to better connect and convert shoppers with increased content quality and reduced operational inefficiencies. The Foodservice/Grocery workshop featured a lively discussion around how distributors are taking advantage of their data to improve the bottom line – sometimes requiring changes to existing data. And the GDSN workshop featured two GS1 experts who helped participants understand the power that GS1 Standards can deliver to driver more sales while lowering supply chain costs.