Last year, we hosted our first annual global client summit, K8. After K8 2013, I thought: that’s going to be hard to top. This year, we returned to Cavallo Point in Sausalito, CA to do it all again. Now, K8 2014 has come and gone, and I find that the bar just keeps getting raised.
It was a packed agenda, so I want to share some highlights.
The day kicked off with Skai CMO, Aaron Goldman, welcoming our 200+ attendees and setting the stage for the day’s theme, Predictive Intelligence for Proactive Marketers. Aaron talked about the idea of transformation and how marketing organizations today have the opportunity to leverage technology in innovative ways to look ahead and make informed decisions about the future of their programs.
Skai CEO, Yoav Izhar-Prato, expanded on this concept of futurecasting by discussing how Skai has positioned itself around predictive marketing.
In one of the days most exciting moments, Yoav announced the acquisition of Skai Apps, a leading Facebook PMD platform geared toward the mobile app and gaming sectors. Joe McCormack, co-founder and CEO of Skai Apps and now GM, Gaming for Skai, took to the stage to talk about what it means to join the Skai family and the crowd warmly welcomed him to the family.
Following up that exciting news was the day’s keynote speaker, Pablos Holman — hacker, futurist, inventor, and all around badass. Pablos broadened our view of using big data and computational models by providing examples of projects that use futuristic invention and imagination to solve some of today’s toughest global issues like climate change and malaria. He had the crowd laughing, nodding, and amazed at times.
We moved on to some of the Skai leadership taking the stage to share our product vision and approach to client success.
CRO, Ted Krantz, discussed the complexity marketers face each and every day.
SVP of Product, Will Martin-Gill, laid out product developments that have helped to solve those challenges.
And one of the the newest additions to the Skai team, Susane Berger, MD of Client Excellence, shared the value of our client partnerships.
During this session, the speakers highlighted outstanding client work with success stories across search + social, Product Listing Ads, and forecasting. Throughout the day, we also had the opportunity to recognize winners for our second annual Skai Infinity Awards. Representatives from organizations such as Bom Negocio, Virket, iProspect, Sears, and Experian took to the stage to share how they applied creative thinking and the power of the Skai platform to face their challenges head on and drive results.
After a break to refuel with lunch, attendees got to hear about the research we’ve been conducting with Facebook that exemplifies the combined power of search + social. Our own Doug Chavez was joined by Facebook’s Rob Creekmore, who shared a sneak peak at an upcoming study we conducted with Resolution Media.
Next up were roundtable discussions for attendees to share insights and best practices across search, social, local, mobile, forecasting, and audiences. These sessions were moderated by reps from Skai and our trusted partners who helped support the event – Bing, Invoca, Marchex, Riot, Boost Media, Century Interactive, Datapop, Google, Ifbyphone, SIM Partners, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Telmetrics.
The discussions were followed up with a fun challenge for our guests — capture a two minute video highlighting your roundtable takeaways using a Surface Pro 3 Tablet (Thanks, Bing!). After posting and sharing all 15 videos, it was in the hands of the attendees to promote their own video. The one with the most views had a special prize in store.
The day appeared to be winding down as everyone caught their breath after the challenge, but things were just starting to heat up. We had a mobile measurement panel hosted by Skai Director of Product, Paul Wicker, and featuring Darryl Shaper of Hibu, Ty Martin of iCrossing, Dave Coburn from Invoca, and Marchex’s John Busby.
Finally, after a few more Infinity Awards and client presentations, Ted Krantz took the stage for some final remarks and brought up Skai newest clients – Capella University, Conversed, and iCrossing to talk about why they selected Skai as their partner for predictive marketing.
From there, a cocktail reception brought mingling, networking, and readings — palm and tarot card, that is.
And, the show was just getting started.
After an initial three-way tie, we announced the winning team of our video challenge. These “cool kats” won some sweet GoPros to further their video-making careers.
Dinner brought live entertainment in the form of the Pop Rocks.
The Pop Rocks — a band part of the Skai team came to know at our Sales Kickoff earlier this year — really brought the house down. One of my favorite things is to see people outside the context of how you know them, so Executives, VPs, and buttoned-up marketers breaking it down on the dance floor was definitely a highlight for me.
As one attendee pointed out, “This is like an industry wedding!” I loved this comparison. And it fits with Skai. As Yoav stated in his session about Skai’s investment in partnerships, “We don’t date, we marry.”
So, a toast to K8 2014: a union of two innovative technologies; of big ideas and practical applications; past learnings and forward thinking; and maybe, most importantly, of great marketing minds and genuinely awesome people.