[Guide] The Social Media Management Maturity Model

Is your organization optimizing its potential on social?

Read the guide

Published May 16th 2018

Event Recap: NYK Chicago 2018 Highlights, Day One

It’s been just a few days since we left the beautiful city of Chicago with bleary eyes, full hearts, full brains, fuller stomachs, and tons of ideas we’ve taken back to the workplace (and beyond).

We were there, of course, for the third annual US edition of our Now You Know event series.

Joined by over 400 of the world’s biggest brands and agencies we explored the evolution of intelligence and how the intersection of smarter people, smarter collectives and smarter machines can help you push your work into the future.

We did this through awesome keynotes from some of the planet’s most brain-tickling thinkers, hands-on workshops with the people behind the products, roundtables unpicking topics that blow even the sturdiest of minds, and networking in ace places.

That’s actually a pun, as one of the party venues was AceBounce! There’s more where that came from. Perhaps.

In this recap I’ll be sharing some of the highlights from day one; but do not fear, day two is following. We couldn’t fit it all in one post, there’s just too much good stuff.

And after that, I hear you cry? Well, if you weren’t able to make it, we’ll make it feel like you were there with SO. MUCH. EXCELLENT. CONTENT coming at you in the coming weeks, all inspired by the conference. Strap in.

Day one: what went down?

We kicked off day one (after meeting plenty of you the prior evening at our happy hour) bright and early. And our venue was designed to be so much more than a main stage.

We had extra space for everything from Product Pods with live demos of the whole family of Brandwatch products – manned by the engineers who created them – to Insights Stations with live data on the conference and tweets from our attendees.

We bought more of the Brandwatch crew along with us than ever before.

Oh – and we also bought along our biggest ever Vizia display.

Like we said at the time, if you didn’t know what Vizia was before the event, you certainly would after.


After a rousing welcome from CMO Will McInnes, with plenty of trademark wild gesticulation (example below), CEO and founder, Giles Palmer, opened up the conference by sharing the Brandwatch product vision and history. 

After a sneak peek at the product roadmap, and some very happy customers hearing of new features before anyone else, we were straight into our first keynote.

What makes the human mind special?

Our first keynote was Laurie Santos. Santos is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive science at Yale University.

Her research focuses specifically on the evolution of the human mind and intelligence, and she got us started on our journey through human intelligence by helping us better understand what makes the human mind special.

Santos explored this question of human uniqueness by examining what makes the human mind so different from that of other animals. She’s dedicated years to better understanding the humans behind the data, and so was excellently placed to share knowledge on the continued need for human intelligence, complimentary to data.

Why are humans the only species that reads fiction, tells jokes, and shares photos on Instagram?  We found out (and we found out that the photograph was invented because a man was annoyed whilst on his Italian honeymoon).


Next up we welcomed Greg Schwarzer, Senior Director of Data Strategy at Twitter, to the main stage.

In today’s challenging business landscape, CMOs who best understand their customers’ emotional needs will be the ultimate winners and sales figures will be the barometers of their success. But how does a marketer tap into these complex “wants and needs” in an affordable and scalable fashion and, more importantly, how do they do it right now?

Customers open their wallets to those businesses that they feel truly know them as an individual, and customer intelligence derived from Twitter data can help brands of any size to unlock this spending behavior.

While Twitter might be the source for what’s happening in the world, Twitter data is the source for what’s happening in your customers’ lives.

We learned how leading brands have uncovered surprising insights about how their customers find, buy and consume their products. By tapping into this source of unparalleled customer intelligence, these brands are using Twitter data to create experiences that elicit delight and help them to stay one step ahead of their competition.

The eagle-eyed amongst you (or just those of you with eyes) will have noticed the reference to magic in the tweet above. Bill the magician was back, after having delighted us last year in Denver, to wow and boggle the collective brains of our crowd. If a conference doesn’t have a magician, it ain’t worth your money, hunny.


Going deep on digital transformation and customer experience

Another highlight was our digital transformation panel. Digital transformation really starts when an organization can unify around the customer.

It’s a shift from thinking like departments to thinking customer-first through systems of nurture across Advertising, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service where all employees are Sellers; all employees are Marketers; all employees are Care; and all employees are in Research. In this session, learn what it takes to build a customer-centric marketing organization across every stage of the customer journey – from anonymous visitors, to customers and fans.

Heather Truettner, Head of Events and Curator of NYK

Our VP Customer Success for NA and LatAm, Georgia Tregear, was joined for a panel on the subject, with a lineup of industry big hitters.

“Everytime we think we’ve solved it, we’ve actually just built another stepping stone,” shared Enterprise Media Monitoring SVP at Bank of America, Tracy Bell, on the transformation of tech. “Transformation’ infers that there’s an end point; it’s more like a really long journey.”

Following this awesome discussion, Brigitte Majewski, VP, Research Director at Forrester, discussed how to make customer experience a competitive advantage – covering how each interaction can and will impact consumer opinions and ultimately, a brand’s revenue.

Every activity that your marketing team creates is meant to improve customer experience.

So why do so many marketers struggle to put the customer first? In this session, we learned how the top brands deliver best-in-class customer experience and how this affects their customers and their bottom line.

Brigitte covered the blurring line between online and offline, warning against the bifurcation of internal marketing team strategy, as well as hammering home the value of social intelligence (which we loved, of course).

Social media helps you be human, helpful and handy…An individual experience becomes a collective experience because of social media.

Brigitte Majewski, VP, Research Director serving CX professionals at Forrester

Doubling marketing ROI…sounds good, right?

Transparency – or rather, the lack of it – has dominated the advertising trade press this last year. Marketers are waking up from a nightmare of ad fraud, undisclosed commissions, and extraordinary wastage, and are demanding greater accountability and deeper impact from their paid media investments.

Peter Morgan, one of our good friends at digital marketing agency Metia talked the crowd through how they doubled lead generation ROI for a B2B technology client.

Digital consumers use numerous apps, platforms and digital devices each day. Successful marketers and advertisers know that to reach potential buyers, they must deliver the right messages across many of these platforms.

For its tech client, Metia knew LinkedIn and Google were the right platforms for its business audience. However for niche, B2B audiences, using Twitter as an ad channel requires a bit more thought.

To get the biggest return on its Twitter ad investment, Metia used proprietary techniques to compare two different targeting approaches: an audience built using Brandwatch Audiences and a control audience, targeting Twitter users by publicly available accounts and keywords. Clever stuff.

By testing efficacy from the paid ad from the channel all the way to lead conversion, Metia was able to optimize advertising on this crucially important channel. You can find out more about Metia’s journey to doubling ROI in the case study, here.

How Toyota leverages insights for live events

Before we called it a day, loaded up our swag bags, and headed to AceBounce for table tennis, pizza and beer, we learned how Toyota utilize social listening to optimize activations at live events.

This includes how they manage opportunities to interact and engage with consumers as the conversations happen, unearth true, real-time insights, and tap into the zeitgeist of events in a relevant way. We love the zeitgeist. Not just a great word to spell, and say.

Victoria Ellis, Senior Social Media Strategist at Toyota, and wearer of excellent red shoes (seen above, in front of Vizia), shared her full talk below.

Highlights from our guests

We’ll have to leave it there for this recap, but remember there’s a whole host of in-depth posts coming on all the things we learned – and before we go, here are some of our favourite tweets from day one.

You can also rewatch the video highlights of the conference in the ‘Highlights’ circle at @brandwatch on Instagram!

Until next time, goodbye!

Share this post
Brandwatch Bulletin

Offering up analysis and data on everything from the events of the day to the latest consumer trends. Subscribe to keep your finger on the world’s pulse.

Get the data
facets Created with Sketch.
facets-bottom Created with Sketch.
New: Consumer Research

Harness the power of digital consumer intelligence

Consumer Research gives you access to deep consumer insights from 100 million online sources and over 1.4 trillion posts.

Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image

Falcon.io is now part of Brandwatch.
You're in the right place!

Existing customer?Log in to access your existing Falcon products and data via the login menu on the top right of the page.New customer?You'll find the former Falcon products under 'Social Media Management' if you go to 'Our Suite' in the navigation.

Paladin is now Influence.
You're in the right place!

Brandwatch acquired Paladin in March 2022. It's now called Influence, which is part of Brandwatch's Social Media Management solution.Want to access your Paladin account?Use the login menu at the top right corner.