Engage APAC Speaker Spotlight – Llew Jury on Avoiding AI for AI’s Sake

That’s a Wrap! The Best Bits from Acquia Engage APAC 2019

Wendy’s burgers, blue doughnuts, VR headsets, a pile of cash raised for charity and a gorgeous, show-stealing puppy called Parker.

We could stop there… but we won’t!


Last week’s Acquia Engage Asia Pacific had it all, including an extremely high-calibre speaker line-up covering some of the most pertinent topics in the digital industry. If you couldn’t make it on the day (tut tut tut!) here’s a few of our favourite quotes and snippets to give you a taste of what you missed.

The conference kicked-off with a double-whammy of Acquia’s CEO, Mike Sullivan, closely followed by a keynote from CMO, Lynne Capozzi. Mike set the energy for the day, stating Acquia’s intention of “being aggressive about becoming the best digital experience platform in the world”, and Lynne focused on the key findings of Acquia’s 2019 CX research: “Three things: People. Process. Tech – wrapped with empathy. This is how to create and communicate a great customer experience.”

We heard from Vision Australia’s CIO, Damien McCormack, who highlighted the far-reaching potential for accessible web design practices. Chatting with Acquia’s Steve Green, Damien admitted “There are a whole range of opportunities that might seem specific to disability access but can in fact be applied to a much wider audience. For example, the experience that a person with a hearing difficulty might need for listening to online content could also be applicable to a commuter on a noisy train, listening to content on their mobile device”.

Later on in the Innovation Showcase session, we heard from Wendy’s former Head of Analytics, Mike Mancuso, who revealed that “Wendy's customers make the decision to buy 10 mins before driving into a restaurant, so staying top of mind is extremely difficult… but crucial”. Mike also shared this piece of advice for organisations looking to personalise experiences: “Get to know your customers not by personas but by their buying patterns and brand interactions to deliver personalised experiences.”

Acquia’s Product Marketing Manager, Eric Fullerton, then went on to demonstrate the Wendy’s website suggestive sell, on the Acquia platform, by creating a persona based on himself – Eric ‘Fry Guy’ Fullerton, a sucker for a good French fries and milkshake.

In the track sessions, a recurring theme was overcoming key challenges of digital transformation:

“Staff don’t need to understand the technology, but they do need to understand the digital endpoint that they want to reach.” – Brittany Fox, Marketing Campaign Strategist, Deloitte Digital

“Making transformation happen in a 120-year-old business hasn't been easy. Our company had created rules, on top of rules, on top of rules, all designed to keep things exactly the same. In order to break the mould, some of our teams had to ‘go rogue’.” – Luis Andrade, Director, Digital Experience - Global Marketing, UL

“Most businesses have been very good at learning the language of computers, but not so great at learning the language of humans. Voice will force them to do this.” – Gavin Macmillan, Managing Director, Ogilvy Australia

“People ask me why we need empathy in a digital transformation; but empathy is simply taking time to consider someone else’s point of view, so when you think of it in that sense, it should be applicable to every aspect of business.” Susan Brown, Co-founder, Girls in Tech

During the breaks and lunch session, throughout the day, Vision Australia used VR headsets to give delegates a view of how their own living rooms would look with a Vision Australia accessibility make-over. The charity’s team also brought along Vision Australia trainee seeing-eye dog, Parker, who stole the show when he joined GM of Fundraising, Luke Bell, on stage. By the end of the conference, our generous Acquia Engage delegates had raised an impressive $3,287 for Vision Australia! Thank you to everyone who supported this amazing cause last week! (To find out how Vision Australia supports more than 25,500 Australians with blindness or low vision, click here).

To round out an inspiring day, author and CX expert, Isabella Villani, gave delegates a glimpse into the future with emerging technologies being adopted in retail, such as Echo Look, Walmart and Amazon Prime drones and Ford’s car vending machines. When asked “hands up who would buy a car from a vending machine?” the audience was decidedly reticent, to which Villani remarked “I suspected as much. In Australia, we still tend to be wary of technologies that completely cut humans out of the process”.

If you missed the conference last week and would like to see more highlights from the day, check out the #AcquiaEngage Twitter feed, featuring photos, video interviews and delegate discussions.

Nicole Stirling, marketing director, Asia Pacific & Japan, Acquia

Nicole Stirling

Marketing Director, Asia Pacific & Japan Acquia

Nicole Stirling has more than 15 years’ experience working as a marketing professional, with 10 of those years creating go-to-market strategies for B2B software businesses operating in Australia and New Zealand.

As Acquia's marketing director for Asia Pacific & Japan, she is responsible for our Asia Pacific go-to-market strategy and execution across all things marketing: demand generation and digital programs, PR and communications, regional content strategy and development, field marketing, event management, regional partner and customer marketing, and performance reporting.