LTR 2018

Be Human: Exploring The Human Side of Customer Relationships at LTR 2018

Todd Grennan By Todd Grennan Oct 4, 2018

Two days. 25+ sessions. More than 50 speakers. Hundreds and hundreds of attendees. This year’s Long-Term Relationships (LTR) conference, held October 3-4, 2018, in New York City, highlighted the challenges and opportunities presented by the rise of mobile and emerging technologies and their complicated impact on today’s customer experience… as well as countless insights into the human dynamics that drive us all, in business and in life, and how brands can support deep, rich, and truly human relationships with their customers.

During the event, attendees heard from leading brands like ABC News, GE, Grubhub, Microsoft, Stash, TD, as well as innovative agencies like R/GA and Prolific Interactive, and took part in sessions on mastering message personalization and location marketing, understanding the ins-and-outs of email deliverability, and exploring how to break down internal organizational and data silos, among other topics. (And also took a little time out to celebrate the Braze Series E, which was announced October 3!)

With an event this big, there’s always too many interesting conversations and striking presentations to cover them all, so let’s take a minute for a quick run-through of the conference’s main highlights:

How “Human” is Your Marketing?

“We had a hunch, many years ago, that brands who communicate in a more human way will be more successful at customer engagement,” Braze President and Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Myles Kleeger told attendees. “What we didn’t have, until now, was a quantitative understanding from the customer’s perspective of what qualities make a brand’s communications feel more human.”

On Day 2 of LTR 2018, we got that.

Kleeger and Dipanjan Chatterjee, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, walked attendees through the Braze Brand Humanity Index (BHI), based on a new, precedent-setting piece of research demonstrating how important “human” brand experience are in building and sustaining meaningful customer relationships. As part of their research, Forrester polled more than 3,000 consumers around the world and conducted in-depth interviews with leaders at top global brands, and found that whether brands connect with their customers on a personal, emotional level has a major impact on purchase intent and overall satisfaction.

How big? Brands that thoughtfully leverage technology to support “human” customer engagement can see their campaign conversion rates increase by up to 900%. To learn more about BHI and its potential meaning for you and your customers, visit

The Psychology of Lasting Customer/Brand Relationships

Technology is central every LTR, but this year’s opening keynote from author and thought leader Nathalie Nahai dug deep into the ways in which brands can confront and overcome the very human ethical dilemmas that impact today’s tech-drenched landscape.

From exploring the causes and meaning of fast-changing consumer attitudes around data privacy and security to laying out 12 key considerations for brands looking to build out sustainable, humane, and fair customer relationships, Nahai made a compelling case for putting ethics and authenticity at the center of your brand experience that may or may not have climaxed with a famous quote from a beloved comic book.

To hear more from Nahai about the intersections of technology and the human experiences, and how all us can better navigate that complex relationship, check out The Hive Podcast.

Exploring the Future of Connections with Braze Alloys

In keeping with LTR 2018’s focus on connections, Braze announced a major new initiative designed to help brands more effectively take advantage of the Braze customer engagement platform in concert with other technologies. “We’re living in a brand new era, one where technology has caught up with [marketers’] vision,” said Matt McRoberts, Braze vice president of partnerships and channel. “It’s now possible to embrace data agility to tie together a custom-built collection of best-in-class solutions and platforms into a true data-driven customer engagement ecosystem.”

We’re living in a brand new era, one where technology has caught up with [marketers’] vision,”

Matt McRoberts
Braze VP of Partnerships and Channel

McRoberts announced the launch of Braze Alloys, which reimagines Braze as a fully integratable customer engagement platform and establishes a simple, scalable system for adding new technology partners to the Braze Partners program. “Braze Alloys,” McRoberts told attendees, “will make it easier for our clients to use Braze in concert with an ever-wider range of technologies—via direct integrations, API, and webhooks—to support meaningful brand experiences at scale.”

To learn more about this new announcement—from what technologies are supported and how new partners can build Braze integrations to what’s possible when the Braze platform is used as part of a best-in-class technology ecosystem—visit

What’s Next?

This year’s LTR is gone, but the lessons learned here won’t be forgotten. To dig deeper into some of the key topics and areas of discussion from this year’s conference, check out:

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan is a New York-based writer and editor. When he's not writing about mobile marketing, customer retention and emerging technologies for Braze, you can find him trying to read his way through every Wikipedia article related to World War II.

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