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Reflections on Click Summit: Eight Years Strong

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I believe good things come from ideas. Ideas come from knowledge and experience. Knowledge comes from the incremental accumulation of many small insights, openly sharing experiences and creative thinking.

I created Click Summit as a place for industry experts to hold intimate, thought-provoking conversations; a place to have intense, inspiring deep-dives into complex and philosophical issues; and a place to build authentic, meaningful relationships.

Click Summit is a unique conference where people leave with three or four deep relationships, not 14-15 business cards. Little did I know when I created the first Click Summit in 2010 that it would become an annual conference or that it would evolve into what it has become today.

While the primary goal remains the same – to share different perspectives, exchange ideas, inspire each other and renew our expertise, as well as shape purposeful relationships – many things have changed. For starters, Brooks Bell is no longer a generalized digital marketing agency. We’ve become specialized as an experimentation consultancy dedicated to accelerating clients’ online optimization programs, including enterprise-level testing and personalization. Meanwhile, the industry has matured. Data and analytics have become more prevalent. Tools have become more sophisticated. A/B testing has become a valuable means to compare bottom line business results. Conversations have become more technical.

Three years ago, we were defining online personalization. Today, the conversation is different. We are implementing personalization strategies while simultaneously, debating how to do it and discussing the technology behind customer centricity. We are learning how to anticipate customers’ needs on a global scale. We are changing corporate philosophies, shifting an age-old, short-term mindset. We need to put customers first. We need to put customers above revenue. We need to be willing to accept a financial loss on individual transactions.  We need to better understand buying motivations and human behavior. We need to get to a point where everything we measure provides insights that we can trust and turn into actionable strategies. Those strategies then, will produce the desired business outcomes. We need to think long-term and invest in customers to encourage engagement, incite brand loyalty and keep them coming back, time and time again.

From a personal perspective, Click Summit is my favorite time of year. Not only because it is great experience where every one contributes, but also because it brings together the industry’s best minds, top brands, newest technologies and powerful tools. It also allows me to bring my team, clients, partners, sponsors and friends together to discover new ways of thinking, learn how to take more risks and challenge ourselves by questioning what we know and don’t know so we can continue this innovative journey.

Certainly, the industry has come a long way.  But it is still evolving as thought leaders explore new methods and technologies to measure the real value of personalization in the online marketplace.

Brooks Bell, Founder & CEO
Brooks Bell is a leader in the conversion optimization industry. She founded Brooks Bell with the goal of bringing a data-driven mind-set to digital marketing departments. Under her guidance, the company has generated more than $500 million in value for leading eCommerce, financial services, and media companies. Outside of the company, Brooks has been featured in world renowned publications including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Washington Post, and Techonomy. She is a graduate of Duke University.