Highlights of the SmartVideo Summit 2017

David Stabel May 05, 2017
Highlights of the SmartVideo Summit 2017

The following piece was written by David Stabel, Director of Customer Communications Advisory Services at Keypoint Intelligence, and was originally published on the InfoTrends blog on May 5, 2017.

SundaySky recently held its fifth annual SmartVideo Summit in New York, NY. This year, SundaySky invited a couple hundred partners, customers, and analysts to discuss “The Art of Personalization.” SundaySky also used the Summit to update the community on its latest developments and strategic direction moving forward.

In the opening presentation, Jim Dicso, CEO of SundaySky, discussed the importance of scaling personalized customer engagements to tackle the strategic challenge of improving customer experience. This next generation of personalization is all about moving from simple (“Hello Jim…”) to individual/one-to-one personalization (“Just for you…”).

AT&T, Hilton Worldwide, Royal Bank of Canada, Verizon, and others shared their challenges and successes as they implemented personalized video campaigns as a mean to elevate their respective organization’s personalization capabilities. In addition to the presentations, there were networking opportunities, as well as a chance to speak with SundaySky’s senior management and specialists.

SmartVideos for Customer Communications

SundaySky provides a personalized video platform, based on its proprietary SmartVideo technology, that enables enterprises to create, manage, and optimize data-driven and real-time personalized video campaigns. Some of the key capabilities of this platform is its scene library and its Personalized Storytelling Framework™.

Through this platform, SundaySky serves a variety of customers in the banking, insurance, telecommunications, retail, and travel industries. Last year, it passed the one billion mark of personalized videos supporting use cases that range from transactional-focused personalized videos, such as explaining bills, account balances, and loyalty status, to personalized video advertisement. SundaySky is one of the leaders in this market.

Personalized Customer Engagement

During the Summit, the concept of personalized customer engagement was introduced as the next generation of personalization. Using toys as a metaphor, Dicso explained the evolutionary shift in customer communications from segmentation to personalization to a future of individualization as enterprises seek ways to increase customer experience for an ever increasing empowered consumer.

The Evolution of Personalized Customer Engagement
The Evolution of Personalized Customer Engagement


The key to individualization is to overlay multiple customer data points until consumers transition from a market segment to an audience of one, says Dicso. These data points can be based on demographics, product/service utilization, the current customer lifecycle stage, previous buying behavior, channel preferences, and many others. As consumers are constantly changing and evolving, enterprises need to manage this process in real-time. Having the right technology for this is crucial to be successful.

Scaling Customer Engagement

As customer engagement becomes a real-time practice, enterprises need to be able to scale customer engagement. During last year’s Summit, SundaySky introduced its Personalized Storytelling Framework™ as a proprietary methodology for developing data-driven storytelling for one-to-one (individualized) customer engagements. Using this framework, enterprises can start with small personalized video initiatives and scale to larger engagement programs.

Continuing the scaling discussion, SundaySky announced its latest innovation of video-led engagement streaming. To date, most personalized videos are delivered through e-mails according to Guy Atzmon, SVP of Creative & Industry Solutions at SundaySky. Using this innovation, enterprises can now ingest a personalized video feed within other channels, such as their own mobile apps.

Responsibility for Customer Engagement

It was interesting to review the various job titles of the presenters during the Summit. Essentially, these job titles indicate where responsibility for personalized video campaigns resides within these enterprises. It also shows the importance of personalization for each of these companies as they assign executive titles to them. Here are a few:

Through our annual customer communications research, we track who ultimately is responsible for customer experience and engagement within customer communications-intensive industries. Our data shows that the responsible department varies across enterprises, as shown in the chart below. Enterprises are creating new job titles, such as Chief Experience Officer (CXO), Chief Digital Officer (CDO), or Chief Communications Officer (CCO) with customer engagement-related responsibility. We believe that these are intermediate job roles needed to ensure successful execution of customer experience strategies in the mid-term but may ultimately become an operational function falling under the responsibility of the Chief Operations Officer (COO).

Infotrends, 2016 - Responsibility of Customer Engagement
Responsibility of Customer Engagement


InfoTrends’ Opinion

The use cases for personalized video are endless. Many of these use cases, such as bills, statements, onboarding information, explanation of products/services/benefits, etc., are typically also covered by Customer Communications Management (CCM) technology. It is therefore an interesting observation how slow this CCM market is embracing personalized video technology, while there seem to be many synergies. Some reasons could involve the following:

  • CCM technology is very good at managing structured data. The data involved in personalizing customer engagement in real-time typically is unstructured in nature.
  • Managing a personalized video campaign requires strong marketing skills, as it typically involves a creative production process, understanding of customer emotions and the customer journey. Information Technology, who deals with CCM in many cases, is secondary in this process.

As personalized technology providers continue to innovate their technology and enterprises increasingly see the benefits of personalized video over other communications channels, CCM solution providers risk losing typical CCM use cases (and attached revenue streams) to these “new” technology providers.

It was great to be invited to this year’s Summit and we look forward to continuing to research and report on this market as it continues to develop.

Keypoint Intelligence continues to track the customer communications market including emerging technologies and channels, such as personalized video. Follow David Stabel on Twitter for his latest findings and research.