CDP Week: Summer Edition, Day 2 Recap

A recap of all the sessions we had our second day of CDP Week: Summer Edition

By Kelly Kirwan

We just finished Day 2 of CDP Week –  and it didn’t disappoint.  

From a live episode of our new podcast, Good Data, Better Marketing, to participating in interactive developer showcases, and exploring the insights from our third State of Personalization report, there were tons of important takeaways on the future of customer experiences and the essential role of data governance.  

Weren’t able to attend? Check out our recap below. 

Findings from our 3rd State of Personalization report

This is the third year we’ve published our State of Personalization report, in which we survey thousands of business leaders and consumers around the globe about the evolving trends surrounding personalization, customer loyalty, consumer privacy, and more. 

Since our first report was published in 2019, it’s offered a unique perspective on how consumer behavior has changed in a pandemic-influenced world – and how companies have adjusted their business strategies to keep up. 

In this session, Tess Mercer, Head of Marketing Data and Ops at Box, sat down with Twilio Engage’s GM, Kathryn Murphy and Twilio Segment’s Director of Product Marketing, Tim Parks, to discuss the report’s findings and go over personalization success stories from companies like Domino’s and Veronica Beard.

In this year’s report, three main trends took the spotlight:

  1. Investments in omnichannel personalization are improving, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

  2. Businesses lack the confidence or the technology for personalization. 

  3. Businesses are turning to first-party data to future-proof their personalization efforts. 


Of the businesses surveyed, 40% said getting accurate customer data for personalization was still a challenge. And only 37% of businesses said they exclusively use first-party data in their efforts. 

While these statistics show a slight improvement from years prior, there is still a long way to go for businesses to confidently (and successfully) personalize customer experiences across channels. And it’s all the more clear that having a scalable data infrastructure in place is a must-have.

A live episode of our new podcast, Good Data, Better Marketing

At Twilio Segment, we have a saying: what good is bad data? 

There are a few culprits behind “bad” data: siloed apps and tools, no standard naming conventions, non-compliance with privacy regulations or user preferences – the list goes on. But on the flip side, “good” data, which is accurate, collected in real time, and a result of the direct relationship between your company and its customers, has become a competitive asset to businesses. Especially when it’s leveraged to create top-notch, digital-first customer experiences. 

At CDP Week: Summer Edition, we aired an episode of our new podcast, Good Data, Better Marketing, in which we meet with marketers and digital innovators to understand how they’ve used customer data to hone their strategies and decision making (with great success). 


Joining us was Ted Chi, a digital marketing executive well versed in the world of media and entertainment (having led marketing efforts for Disney Interactive, Yahoo, and currently NBCUniversal).  

In Ted’s words, “Data helps me build relationships with the people I’m trying to reach.” It’s how you break past the generic, surface-level interactions that customers have gotten very good at tuning out. 

But an important caveat that Ted pointed out was, you won’t win if you’re collecting data just for data’s sake. There needs to be clear goals attached. 

One example that Ted offered was the launch of a fantasy gaming app that he had been working on. Early on, the data looked great: positive feedback from focus groups, topping the list of downloads. But then they took a closer look, and realized they had a huge issue with retention. On closer inspection, they saw that their onboarding process was a mess, and it was driving away customers. 

It was an important lesson on not neglecting the entirety of the customer experience when analyzing the data.

Want more insights on how to create successful data-driven strategies? Subscribe to Good Data, Better Marketing.

Deep dive: what’s new for developers

There’s a fundamental shift in how companies are adopting and deploying software. 

For greater flexibility, businesses are now moving toward buying infrastructure “building blocks.” It’s a middle ground in the build vs. buy debate: trimming the high-costs of an internal build without sacrificing customization (which can be the case with certain off-the-shelf solutions).

This adaptability is what enables companies to improve performance while empowering their developers. And it’s a large part of why we decided to expand our Developer Toolkit, so that customers can personalize and extend the Segment platform in a way that makes sense for their business. 

Instead of installing a single SDK, developers can pick and choose the pieces they need. 


With the Developer Toolkit you can:

  • Streamline data collection with best-in-class libraries, SDKs, and server side sources.

  • Ensure data is processed correctly and aligned to the right spec with tools like data validation, transformations, and filtering.

  • Send your data – and easily customize and configure integrations – so that your data destinations are aligned with your company’s specific needs.

But that’s not all that’s new. Our suite of next-generation libraries and SDKs have been re-engineered for better extensibility, performance, and to create a better experience for developers. For instance, our flagship library, Analytics.js 2.0 is now 70% lighter-weight, and Analytics Swift & Kotlin (for mobile instrumentation) outperformed their counterparts  Analytics-iOS and Analytics-Android by as much as 15x and 3x.

We’ve also introduced plugins that enable:

  • New privacy and consent controls before an event occurs.

  • Enriching events with additional customer or page context in-flight with middlewares. 

  • Collecting better metrics around deliverability after messages are sent.


Learn more about Twilio Segment’s Developer Toolkit here.

Slices with Segment: developer stories

As a part of CDP Week, we were thrilled to have our developer community come together for a live, interactive showcase to share tips and ideas on everything from managing your configuration as code to getting internal buy-in for a CDP. 

One of our speakers was Hunter Medney, Chief Architect of Growth and Ecosystem Data Services at IBM. He offered an inside look at IBM’s schema, and their approach to data governance.


As Hunter said, “Every person needs to have the same interpretation of an event.” But when you’re dealing with a large organization, and many stakeholders, it becomes trickier to answer questions like: 

  • How do we propose a schema change? 

  • How do we iterate or roll-back a schema change? 

  • Keep an audit trail of every schema?

  • Ensure everyone has the same version of the schema? 

This is what led IBM to the decision to treat data standards as code, and manage with GitHub.


You can actually check out this schema (and Hunter’s presentation!) on Github

Another presenter was Kevin Gammariello, VP of Product Analytics & Engagement at Suzy, who spoke about how to get stakeholders invested in developers’ ideas.

Then there was Ferruccio Balestreri, Co-founder and CTO at, who spoke about scaling their data infrastructure as a 19-month-old startup. (For Ferruccio, staying agile was paramount, advising everyone to, “Do the least complicated thing first, and only make it more complicated when you have to.”)

You can catch the replay of their demos by registering here (for free!).

Reaching your customer data maturity

Data maturity is a measure of how advanced a company is when it comes to collecting, analyzing, and activating on their customer data.

In this panel, we were joined by Victoria Hammond, SVP of Marketing at World Finance, to discuss the best practices behind reaching data maturity (and what that progression looks like). 


Victoria was quick to point out that data maturity isn’t always a linear process. In her experience, there were certain operations that had already reached the Adaptive stage, and then others that were still in the Foundational – making it a more agile progression. 

She then shared an example of one of World Finance’s early wins in this endeavor. Like many businesses in the past few years, World Finance knew they needed to double-down on digital transformation. They sought out Twilio Segment during what they referred to as the “opt-in, opt-out” conundrum, or being able to adhere to user preferences and ensure they’re engaging with the right people in the right way (in real time). This is especially important for a highly regulated industry like finance. 

With the help of Twilio Segment, their first course of action was to test if emails performed better with customers and leads over mailed letters – quickly realizing that they did. But not only did email convert better, it saved them roughly 6 million dollars a year. 

On top of that, World Finance was able to easily, and instantaneously, suppress leads that unsubscribed or didn’t engage with emails from later retargeting campaigns. It was a huge success for the company (both fiscally and operationally) that got Victoria’s team immediate internal buy-in for Twilio Segment’s CDP.

Get ready for Day 3!

Tomorrow is our final day of CDP Week! 

Don’t miss our fireside chat between Twilio’s CMO, Joyce Kim, and Segment’s VP of Product Marketing & Demand Generation, Katrina Wong, and a product tour showing how to implement omnichannel customer journeys. Save your spot!

The State of Personalization 2023

Our annual look at how attitudes, preferences, and experiences with personalization have evolved over the past year.

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