Events / Marketing

Inside the annual event that reminds you that Monetate is kind of a big deal

The fifth annual Monetate Summit drew 350 marketers to Center City.

Lucinda Duncalfe speaks at the fifth annual Monetate Summit, May 2015. (Photo courtesy of Monetate)
It’s Wednesday morning, just after 9 a.m., and the giant event room on the second floor of the Loews Hotel is kissed with blue — the color of Monetate.

Glowing blue orbs sit at the center of every table, long rows of Monetate employees — in blue company T-shirts — line the back of the room and blue lights illuminate the room’s stately floor to ceiling columns and the folds of the curtain on stage, where Monetate CEO Lucinda Duncalfe, clad in jeans and a blazer, has just appeared. Her walk-on music? Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
Duncalfe was opening the fifth annual Monetate Summit, a gathering of 350 of the Conshohocken digital marketing company’s customers. It’s a big ticket event: $695 for a day-and-a-half of marketing seminars, with an additional $199 if you want to attend “Monetate University Live!,” the full day of Monetate training before the summit began. The event also has a full roster of sponsors.
The summit featured execs from Lilly Pulitzer and JanSport, plus a former exec from Apple and Tesla Motors. Think of it as a mini Dreamforce, the annual conference for Salesforce that costs over $1,000 to attend. If anything, the Monetate Summit is a reminder of the company’s stature. Philadelphia is home to many a B2B tech company, but only Monetate is hosting a conference at this level (RJMetrics held its first customer event in New York City, where many of its customers are located, just last month, and it doesn’t seem like Curalate has held one yet, though they attend many industry events. We asked Curalate about a customer summit but never heard back.). Monetate has also held summits in Europe.
The theme of this year’s summit: Personalize Now. It’s written on the posters in the hallway and on the Italian leatherette blue notebooks at every attendee’s seat. Monetate’s technology gives ecommerce companies the tools to do personalized, targeted marketing.
It was the first Monetate Summit with Duncalfe as CEO. She replaced cofounder and CEO David Brussin last summer. (Brussin spoke on a panel at this year’s summit.) Duncalfe seemed natural on stage talking about “lifts” (marketing speak for an increase in sales or conversions) and “the five levels of personalization.”
She talked about shopping for graduation dresses with her daughter and pondered what the future of shopping would look like, what that experience would look like and how Monetate would play a role in that. She talked about joining her first startup back in 1995, when “analytics were log files” and it was Lycos, not Google, that was a household name.
Back then, she said, “we knew that something big was happening.”
She said it feels the same now.

Companies: Monetate
People: Lucinda Duncalfe

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