On October 26th, industry leaders, experts, and visionaries came together from around the world to discuss the present state of influencer marketing, and to shape its future. Everyone gathered at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, which provided a stunning backdrop for ten hours of learning, discussions, and networking. With over 700 attendees (not counting the orchestra), the day more than lived up to its hype as a can't-miss influencer marketing conference.
If you couldn’t make it—or if you want to relive it all over again—not to worry: we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll recap just a few of the event’s signature moments and key insights. And be sure to check our website for full videos of each session, coming soon.
Photo by Dina Douglass
The day began at 7 AM, when CIQ’s support teams arrived at the venue to help set up. Everything proceeded in a smooth blur of activity and anticipation as guests began to arrive in advance of a 9:15 AM start-time.
The event featured two separate stages, each with unique programming running concurrently throughout the day. During the morning, guests could pop over to the CreatorIQ Intelligence Lab, where they could demo our current and upcoming product capabilities, sign-up for early access to new offerings, and see their brand’s data in action. Finally, several of our event sponsors, including AWIN, Meta, and Collectively, ran workshops during the afternoon.
The morning kicked off with two powerhouse sessions: a spotlight on iconic beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, and a discussion on best practices for creator partnerships.
On Stage 1, Anastasia Beverly Hills President Claudia Soare walked through tenets of the brand’s game-changing influencer marketing strategy, which has helped propel ABH to best-in-class EMV rankings among U.S. Cosmetics brands since 2017. The discussion was moderated by Brit Starr, SVP of Marketing at CreatorIQ. Claudia and Brit shared data and details of ABH’s dominant EMV performance, plus its early use of creators to become one of social media’s first smash-hit beauty brands.
Brit Starr and Claudia Soare discuss all things Anastasia Beverly Hills
Meanwhile, on Stage 2, Lia Haberman, creator economy expert and author of the world’s most popular influencer marketing newsletter ICYMI, led a panel featuring Adeline Leong, CMO of Kosas, David Neyman, Global Lead of Talent and Content at Logitech, and Jess Clifton, Head of Brand and Marketing Advisory at Media.Monks. The quartet examined the dos and don’ts of creator partnerships, citing examples of standout campaigns and providing takeaways for both brands and creators.
Next, the audience was treated to a wide-ranging, insightful conversation between Hannah Murphy, Tech Correspondent at the Financial Times, and Taylor Lorenz, Technology Correspondent at the Washington post and author of Extremely Online. Taylor drew upon years of experience analyzing trends and stories in the world of social media to discuss topics like the evolution of digital fan culture, what journalists often get wrong about creators, and how her familiarity with social media has—and hasn’t—informed her own personal brand-building. Additionally, Taylor offered her predictions for the future of social media’s biggest platforms, including TikTok, YouTube, and X.
Following a mimosa break, guests learned about a Day in the Life of a CMO in the Makeup Industry. It was a true honor to hear our star-studded panel command the room: Dulma Altan, Founder and CEO of Makelane; Aida Moudachirou-Rebois, SVP and Global CMO at MAC Cosmetics; and Katie Welch, CMO at Rare Beauty. Each panelist discussed how the role of CMO has evolved—or rather, sprung into existence—as the marketing landscape has changed over the last fifteen years. Rather than building a one-dimensional marketing plan around a stock-character target consumer, CMOs now have to understand the multivalent relationship between consumers, creators, and brands, and build campaigns that evolve at the speed of culture. The panel concluded by emphasizing that for all its challenges, they remain more excited by the space than ever.
Dulma Altan (Makelane), Aida Moudachirou-Rebois (MAC Cosmetics), and Katie Welch (Rare Beauty) on being beauty CMOs
Over in the other room, Conor Begley, CSO at CIQ, presented his take on what good creator marketing looks like. Conor discussed the importance of investing in creator relationships early on, so that brands can grow with these creators. He also explained how creator retention, which measures the consistency of a creator’s posting history, is the key metric for predicting a brand’s long-term growth. Finally, Conor emphasized how influencer marketing is part of a full-funnel marketing strategy, and fuels multiple KPIs, along with improved video completion and conversion rates.
Conor Begley discusses great influencer marketing at CreatorIQ Connect 2023
Following lunch in the courtyard, guests learned about Building Brands with Premium Talent Partnerships. Moderator Nathan Coyle, Global President of Influencers at IPG Mediabrands, led a spirited discussion with Aron North, CMO at Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile, and Kenna, a Grammy-nominated musician and tech founder.
Aron underscored that the role of talent has shifted from that of spokespeople to fully-vested creative partners with say over strategy and decision-making. Kenna agreed, emphasizing how artists are increasingly understanding the importance of learning more about the economies around them, and accessing partner brands who can help these artists not only achieve their own professional goals, but push culture forward. Finally, Aron answered the day’s most burning question: yes, Ryan Reynolds really is as cool as he seems.
It wouldn’t be a CreatorIQ event if we didn’t spotlight the strides we’re taking to improve our product—and that’s exactly what Bhavin Desai, our Chief Product Officer, and Clare Bruzek, our VP of Product & Global Creator Intelligence, achieved at their innovation presentation. Bhavin and Clare outlined how our new AI-powered Creator Discovery will help clients enjoy better, faster, smarter creator search and selection. Meanwhile, our all new Content Library will serve as a command center for all things content, housing every post that brands have ever commissioned, loved, or wanted to use again. Finally, upgrades to our dynamic analytics dashboard will allow brands to view real-time campaign performance via attributes like publishing dates, preferred metrics, creators, social platform, or post types. CIQ brands can expect these updates in their dashboard no later than November 6th.
Some CreatorIQ Connect sessions were so popular that we ran out of chairs
The sessions closed on a high note, with back-to-back panels on Equity in Influencer Marketing and Women in Leadership.
In the former panel, Sasha Wallace, CreatorIQ’s Sr. Director of Customer Success (Americas), moderated a group featuring Gabby Beckford, Digital Storyteller at PacksLight.com, Tom Pompei, SVP of Digital & Innovation at MSLGROUP, and Sherry Jhawar, Co-Founder of Blended Strategy Group and nez. All our panelists agreed that while true equity is an ongoing goal, rather than a fixed point, they feel increasingly encouraged by the brand conversations they’ve had thus far. While this heightened discourse hasn’t necessarily led to corresponding action in all cases, more brands and agencies are making sure that their teams reflect the diversity they preach, leading to storytelling that feels authentic, rather than perfunctory.
Finally, CIQ’s COO Max Powers assembled a dream-team of female leaders: Amanda Baldwin, CEO of Supergoop!; Christiane Pendarvis, Co-CEO of Pattern Beauty; and Gregg Renfrew, Co-Founder and CEO of Beautycounter. On a stage that could barely fit their star power, these women spoke about their careers, the challenges they’ve overcome, and where they intend to steer the beauty industry heading next. It was a rousing, frank discussion that might just have generated the loudest applause of the day.
With that, we made it to the cocktail reception, which found our attendees talking about their favorite sessions while enjoying a perfect Los Angeles evening.
The cocktail reception featured a performance by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
To attend CreatorIQ Connect was to experience firsthand creator marketing’s incredible impact, and even more incredible potential. Speaker after speaker emphasized the scope and impact that creators are having on all kinds of businesses, from the world’s most recognizable brands to the up-and-comers who will shape commerce in the future. Each session served to underscore influencer marketing’s velocity, and the central role that CreatorIQ plays in fueling this velocity. Guests left excited to see where influencer marketing takes us all next, and already looking forward to CreatorIQ Connect 2024.
Where the magic happened
For more insights on the state of influencer marketing, check out our 2024 Trends Report.