Five Things I Learned at Digital Summit Dallas 2018

In December, I had the privilege of attending my first Digital Summit in Dallas, Texas. This two-day event was packed full with dynamic digital marketing experts, technology trend setters and stellar story tellers. This article summarizes five key lessons learned at the Digital Summit.

Dallas Digital Summit Event Page Graphic

Dallas Digital Summit Logo

Lesson One: Being an effective storyteller is good for business.

Children and adults alike love a good story. It draws you in and helps you identify with the characters (or company) you’re reading about. During the Dallas Digital Summit Keynote Speaker, Tamsen Webster delivered the “Story Telling of Your Ideas” which addressed determining your goal and driving the action through story.

People don’t buy things, they buy ideas. Not that I didn’t already know this but having it articulated helped drive the point home. As a business owner, story tell and make the emotional connection with your audience. But how?

The most important first step is to consider the action you want people to take. How do you want people to interact with your Website, mobile app, product or service? How can you drive them to the next step and what’s your call to action?

How a person perceives something drives what they do. They might not see it the same way you intended it to be seen. In brick and mortar retail or online – we need to create the conditions in which your target customer will say yes. Just remember, great ideas aren’t found – they are built. So you consider the client needs, your needs … and go for the goal. When you’re looking at solution – you have to make the client see a glaring problem – make the problem impossible to ignore – and then solve it.

Lesson Two: Marketing tactics are changing: enter AR & VR.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are taking a slot in the marketing mix of tools and tactics.When it comes to integrating VR and AR into your marketing strategy, the sky is the limit to leverage the technology for better storytelling, engagement, and creating immersive, high-value experiences. To get started, it helps to have good ideas of knowing where to start. Time’s Mia Tramz lays down three foundational tips to add VR/AR to your future marketing.

There’s not a catchall strategy for AR or VR. Just as you’d consider print, direct mail, video or Web – augmented reality and virtual reality are another tool in the tool belt. Consider how they fit, the audience and what makes the most sense. There’s not one demographic for AR and VR. It appeals to the masses. Consider what your goals are and how these mediums can speak to the audience.

Lesson Three: What really moves the needle in SEO?

How you rank on the page of the SERP is the difference between success and failure for most businesses dependent upon digital marketing. SERP simple queries can result in significant research opportunities. It’s key to look at all aspects of the page results. Now, more than ever the People Also Ask(PAA) as a place to glean keywords and key search terms.

Also, fix what’s broken on your Website. Nothing matters if search engine spiders can’t crawl a broken site, your pages aren’t indexed and you have a penalty. Errors on a website that cause major problems include slow websites, poor page construction, broken links and lack of mobile friendliness.  Below are a few key tools that should be adopted in SEO development:

Want more? Review Mindy Weinstein’s Technical SEO Checklist for the Non-Technical Marketer.  It’s full of great insight, tips and training for SEO development.

Lesson Four: A Method for Increasing Lead Volume by 300% – Paid SEO.

The goal is to be more effective by supplying the demand rather than generating the demand, thus increasing your Share of SERP.  The landscape for organic SERP is changing fast. Typically, 70-100% of the top 10 listings will either be a review site or a paid listing. And, 61% of B2B buyers are reading those third-party review sites while making decisions about important purchases. It’s no surprise that client reviews have a huge impact on buyer engagement. So, what’s the process of taking your share of SERP?

  1. Analyze SERP: is my site the best answer for the query? Or, do I need to rethink?
  2. Analyze the competitive landscape: how are my competitors doing on SERP?
  3. Launch and test: are paid lists outperforming paid search or organic?
  4. Measure ROI: when looking at my cost per sales qualified opportunity does it make sense to reallocate budget? This involves pay-per-click conversions that lead to opportunities and eventually deals.

Lesson Five: There are 9 Trends That Will Shape Marketing.

IBM’s Watson Marketing is influencing and shaping digital marketing through artificial intelligence tools and tactics. It’s no surprise that they provided one of the most provocative presentations for the summit. Below summarizes their predictions for 2019.

  1. Marketer 4.0: Emergence of the tech-savvy “Martecheter” – marking functions require coding skills – data analytics, user experience, email, CRM, automation, SEO, personalization, testing, mobile
  2. Director of Marketing Data becomes the hottest new role. On average less than 1% of data is ever analyzed, though over 30% is useful (chiefmartec.com).
  3. AI and Machine Learning make hyper-personalization a reality. Upwards of 94% of companies agree that personalization is the golden ticket to success but 47% experience IT roadblocks and 46% experience legacy technology dependence as barriers to their personalization efforts. AI gives marketing organizations the super powers they need to achieve these increasing goals.
  4. Digital marketing agencies transform into IBM, Accenture, PwC and Deloitte are shaking up the Marketing Industry with a new approach to the old Advertising Agency. Over 80% of client/agency relationships are changing. Marketing transformation is key to agency success. Consulting meets agency.
  5. GDPR has marketers tighten up data hygiene and build more customer trust – 60% are embracing GDPR as an opportunity to improve privacy, security, data management or as a catalyst for new business models.
  6. Agile marketing adoption accelerates, driving marketing outcomes and culture. Some core reasons why agile marketing adoption will continue to accelerate into 2019 and beyond:
  • Greater ability to shift gears and manage changing priorities
  • Tighter business alignment and objectives
  • Increased delivery speed and time to market
  • Improved team morale and team productivity
  • Higher output in the quality of work
  1. MarTech + AdTech is the holy grail of marketing. By 2020, over 86% of all digital ads in the US will be transacted programmatically – which represents $69B. Marketers struggle to connect pre-purchase and post-purchase customer journeys. AdTech and MarTech lives in silos and they don’t communicate. Putting the two together creates the perfect synergy.
  2. Focus on customer centricity and happiness – this will drive constant transformation.  No longer are marketing professionals just focused on the traditional funnel, which is designed to attract new customers and markets with a single transaction. Marketing organizations are now discovering a longer and deeper customer cycle that circles the customer experience (and lifetime value by strengthening and retaining existing relationships.
  3. In the Emotion economy – purpose creates loyalty. Consumers are driven by purpose and they want to follow companies who are too … 87% of US consumers will purchase a product because a company advocates an issue they care about. Genuinely connect and care about your customer to create loyalty.

There was no shortage of insight about digital marketing, content, search engine methods or anything related to marketing. My suggestion is to attend a Digital Summit event to glean from the best and the brightest in the changing landscape of digital marketing.

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