Connecting the Data Dots at Synapse 2019

IMG_2086 (1).JPG

If the future is a future without cars, parking garages will make pretty cool event venues (or office spaces, like cred client @PeriscopeData’s HQ). 

This past week, Segment held their annual user conference Synapse—a two-day conference with more than 30 sessions focused on how to harness your customer data effectively and use that data to grow—at SVN West (a converted parking garage). 

Multiple members of the cred team joined 1,000 engineers, analysts, product leaders, and growth marketers to enjoy sessions from Instacart, Scoop, Shipt, Thumbtack, RaiseMe, and Warner Brothers to see how they are driving data strategies for growth and hear “what great data looks like.” 

synapse 7.jpg

Synapse was an event as great as the quality of its production—and it was clear the Segment team sought to provide a quality experience for attendees. From even the smallest details like mirror decals with words of encouragement in the bathrooms to their purple, pink, and blue lights scattered throughout the venue, the event provided a thoughtful, futuristic experience people will remember. Very fitting, given data is the future.

In addition to Ritual coffee, delicious bites, and Roy the Robot, a standout detail was Segment’s partnership with local organization Hamilton Families (a cred favorite). Instead of handing out the now notorious conference “swag bags,” Segment donated $30,000 to the nonprofit organization, which focuses on ending homelessness in San Francisco. We love this idea to give back to the community, and we encourage more events to follow the lead! 

synapse 2.jpg

Sessions ranged from tactical content to more high-level ideas about growth marketing and data practices. 

In his talk, “From 0-160 people: How Scoop Scaled their Segment Implementation to Drive Growth,” Jon Sadow, Co-Founder & CPO of Scoop, a carpool rideshare app for enterprise companies, talked about the importance of evolving your approach to using data by moving away from analyzing data in spreadsheets and finding a simplified end-to-end analytics solution. 

Leading their company to their acquisition by Target, Shipt’s VP of Data Science Harini Karthik broke down key levers to drive growth in her session “Turning Data into Insights: A Deep Dive on Attribution and Engagement.” She also expanded on how to measure ROAS (return on ad spend) and how to understand various segments of customers and their lifecycle stage.  

synapse 4.jpg

A panel with growth marketing experts from Instacart, Thumbtack, Red Ventures, and RaiseMe dived into “What Data-Driven Growth Marketing Actually Looks Like,” explaining how they are driving growth at their companies and the different metrics they leverage to keep track of their progress.                 

In a solo session, “Creating a Marketing Moat to Crush Competition” with G Cabane, of Growth Ex Machina, unpacked how to use different tiers of data to create predictions for various campaigns, thus creating your “Marketing Moat.” He emphasized that what makes a company succeed is not the product alone, but rather a product’s distribution channels. Noting that a user’s experience increases conversion—but more money spent on the wrong channels doesn’t—he said: “You can’t  brute force your way into the market with sheer spend.”

 “We use data science and algorithms to drive improvements on how we create, market, and distribute our content. These appended traits can be used to generate audiences, which power personalized communications.”  —Adam Hussein, VP, Data Science & Advanced Analytics, Warner Bros.

Diana Tobey, Principal Designer from IDEO, challenged attendees to have a human-centered frame of mind when designing products and performing data research in her talk “Designing Human-Centered Products in a Data-Driven World.” She emphasized the importance of thinking about the people behind the numbers. 

synapse 8.jpg

Rebecca Kline of Pagerduty shared her biggest lessons “Scaling Growth Marketing,” focusing on the importance of building a dynamic team. She shared how, after shifting to a growth-focused mindset, all of the cogs in the marketing and product machine started to work together—increasing trust and confidence within the team.  She said that, as a result, the team went from constant roadblocks to increased success, leading to more effective marketing—especially at scale. 

This blog was written by Abrisham Khosavyani, Brandi Blossom & Kassia Filkins.

Want to speak at an event like Synapse? Get in touch and we’ll see if cred can help you get on stage.