Key Takeaways from 2022 DSU Tech Summit

I had the pleasure of attending the Direct Selling University (DSU) Tech Summit last week. The virtual seminar was filled with industry experts who shared their valuable knowledge and experience on emerging tech and market trends.

Following are my key takeaways from the 2022 DSU Tech Summit.

Building Customer Trust

Michael A. Davis, CEO of InClaro Group with experience as CISO at multiple energy and financial firms, shared the importance of building customer trust.

Customer trust is hard fought and easily lost. Building trust among your customer base can take years to build but can be easily lost with even one security breach. Vulnerabilities in security and consequently, customer trust, has a direct effect on your brand. Changes in technology are a driver in customer trust as well.

In 2021, attackers changed the level of technology they used to target end users rather than companies. Five in every six industries saw an increase in security attacks in 2021, with a 21% success rate of attacks. Attackers have increased their skill level of how attacks are done during the “time off” in the pandemic.

So how do we earn trust? David emphasized the importance of balancing security with experience. You don’t want to push customers away by hindering the user experience with excessive security protocols. For example, it is important to evaluate which actions require a CAPTCHA and which are not as valuable and could be interrupting the user experience.

Changes in Privacy in 2021

There were significant changes in how privacy was prioritized and managed in 2021. Privacy Bills were introduced in 25 U.S. States in 2021. In addition, three new U.S. States have passed laws around privacy that will go in effect in 2023.

What does that mean for businesses? There will be different privacy laws and requirements in various States, and from a technology perspective, companies will need to support all of them. This will be a massive undertaking as privacy requirements continue to grow and may conflict with each other from one region to another.

Evolving Relationship Between Marketing and IT

We also had the opportunity to hear from Heather Chastain, Founder & CEO of Bridgehead Collective. Chastain spoke on the changing roles and merging relationship of CIOs and CMOs in today’s business world.

It is important to recognize that CIOs are a huge strategic partner in revenue growth functions of a business. IT and Marketing are now just as important to the front end of business as Sales and Marketing. IT professionals need to develop more of a user experience and customer-centric mentality alongside marketing teams.

While IT roles are evolving, so are the required skills for CMOs. Marketing teams today need to master the science of analytics to identify and capture revenue opportunities. In addition to strategy and creativity, they need to have a passion for data, facts, and measurement. Today, marketing has become a technical discipline.

Wayne Moorehead, a marketing, brand strategy and direct-to-consumer industry expert, touched on the four key drivers contributing to the merging of Marketing and IT. 

  • New Tools and Technologies: Rapidly changing tech landscape requires businesses to streamline the process of implementing new technologies, which includes communication to end users.
  • New Consumer Behaviors: New consumer behaviors lead to changes in the marketplace and how we interact with the consumer base. With the rapid shift to all things digital in the last two years, it is important for Marketing and IT to harmonize how to best interact with and satisfy consumers.
  • New Expectations: Consumer expectations have never been higher, while their time, attention and trust have never been lower. 74% of consumers have switched brands because the purchasing process was too difficult. Businesses need to ensure they deliver a simple and seamless digital experience.
  • New Methods: Marketing Technology (martech) tools have transformed marketing from mass communication to individualized conversations that nurture the consumer throughout their user journey.

The trends and insights reported by the panel of speakers at DSU’s 2022 Tech Summit resonated with the priorities and requirements I frequently hear from direct selling businesses. Direct selling organizations that keep up with important market trends such as building consumer trust, security and privacy, and harmonizing marketing and IT resources will be better equipped to meet the needs of their consumers and successfully compete in a rapidly changing market.

Thank you to the presenters, host Heather Chastain and to the presenting sponsor, Exigo, for putting together this insightful and informative event!

Crystal Holtzendorff

Crystal Holtzendorff

VP of Global Sales

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