Emplifi Summit 22 Recap by Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia

Zarnaz Arlia, CMO, Emplifi

Make every experience unforgettable: Highlights from Emplifi Summit ‘22

Our annual event for customer experience professionals shed light on what’s new and trending across the CX landscape.

This year’s edition of the Emplifi Summit featured several inspiring thought leaders across the worlds of marketing, commerce, and customer care – and from several industries. The agenda truly offered something for everyone. Congratulations to the entire Emplifi marketing team for producing another incredible event!

Here are some hot topics and fun facts that surfaced throughout the day’s presentations. Couldn’t make it to Emplifi Summit ‘22, or want to dive deeper into the sessions mentioned below? Watch Emplifi Summit ‘22 on-demand today

Putting social first

Why are leading brands embracing a social-first approach? Gen Z spends three hours a day on social channels, and this reality has led to a new trend: Business now runs on social for the entire customer journey. Emplifi CEO Mark Zablan explored the implications of this trend in his opening keynote, with a special focus on live commerce scenarios.

"From research to discovery, consumers today hit their social channels to engage with everything from makeup to technology to automobiles," Mark said. "And brands wanting to do business with them need to be ready to serve them on their platform of choice: social."

What makes an experience unforgettable?

For my CMO keynote, I wanted to identify the common characteristics among brands that excel at delivering the unforgettable. Over the years, I have observed that the best customer experiences begin with shared values and convey authenticity. They tap into powerful emotions, come from relatable brands, and build trust over time. 

After exploring these qualities, I took a close look at three well-known brands — Spotify, Sephora, and Emirates — to see how these traits result in the kind of experiences we all crave. 

Be sure to watch this session on-demand to find out how:

  • Spotify has disrupted the way we consume music through its annual Wrapped campaign.

  • Sephora has become a forward-thinking brand in how it uses digital technology, and they’re also a leader in customer care.

  • Emirates Airline made a simple promise to its passengers: “Fly better.” The airline is giving passengers more choices and flexibility in their travel and launching a brand-new hospitality strategy.

A spotlight on the Global Fund for Children

Global Fund for Children (GFC) was our designated charity organization for Emplifi Summit ‘22. At Emplifi, we can’t imagine a more critical purpose than planting the seeds of change for children everywhere.

GFC strives to achieve this by empowering partners and people on the ground in local communities through many small investments. GFC also supports leaders of its partner organizations through virtual well-being spaces to help them cope with the often intense and emotionally exhausting work. 

I had the privilege to host a fireside chat with Global Fund for Children CEO John Hecklinger and Managing Director Hayley Roffey, during which we delved deeper into the work that GFC is doing. 

"During the pandemic, we really supported a lot of the partners and leaders in their own difficulties and challenges that they were facing as leaders in one of the most unprecedented times for the world," Hayley shared, reflecting on GFC’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our main focus is supporting our partners to be the best they can be in whatever way they want to be while helping them process and deal with the trauma… and really helping them move through any challenges that they face to become the best that they can be."

Hayley and John also reflected on the immense impact GFC has had on children worldwide, highlighting recent efforts in Ukraine and West Africa. However, as I highlighted in a recent article, these are just two of the many inspiring initiatives that GFC has undertaken. 

I encourage you to check out the Global Fund for Children website to learn more. If you want to support GFC: 

  • The organization has launched a monthly donor campaign called Children’s Changemakers Circle

  • You can give a one-time gift to help GFC provide grassroots support that reaches youth in communities worldwide and helps them thrive.

Understanding Gen Z

In a talk about the new world of social, Fanbytes Cofounder Timothy (Timo) Armoo explained that social media has broadened since the early days of Facebook to become a series of personal broadcasts led by movements and niche interests instead of led by existing circles of friends.

He advised that brands need to be more human and approachable if they want to reach Gen Z. And then he walked us through four pillars of this new world that’s unfolding now:

  1. The humanizing of brands 

  2. The role that social media plays as a “remote control” for the internet

  3. The new algorithms of social and the importance of video

  4. Focusing on building communities vs. audiences

"What if my brand isn’t inherently Gen Z?" Timo asked at one point. "You can take part in a conversation that’s already going on in their heads." As examples, Timo described how Ryanair and Duolingo have humanized their brands by turning inanimate objects like a plane into something with feelings and emotions (Ryanair), and by entering ongoing conversations with a relatable mascot (Duolingo).

Coping with imposter syndrome and burnout

I was delighted to host a fireside chat with Katy Leeson, former Managing Director of Social Chain and recently-appointed CEO of Relevant Media. While Katy was rising to the role of managing director at Social Chain, the company grew from 30 employees when she joined to 130 just five years later when she decided to leave. 

"I was trying to navigate the MD role while also learning to lead a team," she recalled. "Burnout for me came after a challenging period of fast growth in the business and trying to keep hold of a workplace culture. I realized I had imposter syndrome myself."

In our conversation for Emplifi Summit ‘22 and on her podcast, "I shouldn’t say this but…", Katy talks candidly about experiencing imposter syndrome and the dangers of glamorizing burnout in the profession. 

Why brands must love their customers

I was delighted when business strategist Fred Reichheld joined us remotely to talk about how the Net Promoter system he created has endured over the years, helping companies stay true to their purpose in the digital age. The Net Promoter Score draws on the idea that the primary purpose of a business is to enrich the lives of its customers.

Fred’s new book, Winning on Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers, explores the importance of preserving Net Promoter as an inspirational target, rather than turning it into a KPI. Customer care teams will want to absorb this wisdom.

"Over two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 use Net Promoter today, but the majority misuse it," Fred said. "I wrote Winning on Purpose to get the whole loyalty movement back on track."

The exponential growth of social media and Emplifi’s product vision

More business will be conducted on social media and digital this year than over the past five years, according to Cashing In On Social Commerce, a recently commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Emplifi. Yet, right at the moment when we need the customer experience to shine, CX appears to be on the decline.

"Most companies have struggled with the influx of data from each interaction," said Emplifi CTO Todd McCaslin. "Great CX feels like a daunting task."

Todd walked us through a series of reality checks about the current state of CX before presenting Emplifi’s product vision and the future direction of our unified CX Cloud. Emplifi has enabled more than 500 million interactions in the last 12 months, and we are so excited about the innovation and enhancements that are in the pipeline.

Watch these sessions (and more) on-demand

Throughout the day, we also heard unique perspectives on marketing, commerce, and care from global brands like Virgin Media, TikTok, and the NFL. 

All of these sessions — and the complete Emplifi Summit ‘22 agenda — are now available to watch on-demand. Check it out and tell us what you think!

Meet our Emplifi Summit '22 featured speakers
Emplifi Summit ’22 Guest Speaker Blog Series: Meet Katy Leeson
The topics of corporate culture, work-life balance, and burnout came to fore during the pandemic. Katy Leeson, CEO of Relentless Media, shares insights in these hot topics ahead of her session at Emplifi Summit '22.
Emplifi Summit ’22 Guest Speaker Blog Series: Meet Timothy Armoo
What do brands today need to know about marketing to Gen Z? Timothy Armoo, founder of Fanbytes, shares some insights you need to know ahead of his session at Emplifi Summit '22.
Emplifi Summit ’22 Guest Speaker Blog Series: Meet Fred Reichheld
The primary purpose of a business should be to enrich the lives of its customers, according to business strategist Fred Reichheld. Ahead of his session at Emplifi Summit '22, see what insights Fred has to share on enriching the lives of your customers.
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