3 Takeaways from Digital Summit Atlanta 2017
Digital Summit Atlanta 2016 was already a blast, but this year’s edition was on another level!
I could tell you about Morgan Spurlock’s keynote or Seth Godin’s answer to my question “Is Marketing more needed when the product is bad?”, but instead, let me share my top 3 takeaways from #DSATl 17!
Email marketing isn’t dead
We always talk about the next social media trend and the importance of content marketing, but if you think about how your lead generation funnel is built, email is still a big part of it.
So you’re going to spend all that money on a SnapChat strategy and then not care about emails engaging your leads and customers? That sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, Digital Summit understands email isn’t going anywhere, and had some great speakers to discuss the topic, including Michael Barber. Check out this tweet to access his slides.
— Michael J. Barber (@michaeljbarber) May 24, 2017
How to make marketing data more actionable
Early in my career, I realized companies still spent too much on tactics that were not measurable. In a few years, a lot of them switched their marketing dollars to digital marketing tactics that are easy to measure and tweak in real-time.
With Digital Marketing growing, data went from scarcity to abundance quickly, but Analytics don’t always result in actionable insights. So how do we use data to make better decisions?
The critical few: You don’t need 20 data points on your dashboard. Identify what matters to your organization and marketing goals and choose Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). I personally care more about engagement than social impressions and overall web traffic.
Organization: Once you’ve identified KPIs, there’s still a need to organize them. Keep in mind you don’t display data the same as when you’re talking to an executive with just enough time to glance at your dashboard, versus the rest of your marketing team. Build a separate dashboard for the big boss.
Visualization: Make it easy for someone to scan through your data and quickly find what they’re looking for. Tools like Tableau and Domo can simplify complex information, and reduce misinterpretations of data.
Once you’ve done that, here’s another level to think about which was a common thread from speakers to vendors: how do we use data to talk to people, and not “users”? We want to create personal and cohesive experiences across devices, channels, and browsers.
Technology and algorithms do help, but you usually end up with multiple products giving you a fragmented vision of the overall picture. Startups like Segment, FullStory (one of the vendors at the conference) or Hull.io are trying to solve our data “binge eating disorder” by connecting the dots. Analytics is a very competitive space right now, and I still haven’t found the unicorn solution.
Digital marketers need to practice what they preach
For the second year in a row, I was surprised by the gap between what digital marketers preach at work, and how they behave during a marketing event.
The biggest difference between attendees and speakers: It’s easy to say everything I’ve learned during my college years about marketing is mostly irrelevant by now. That’s why I keep myself informed about the newest trends by using… wait for it, Google!
So why attend conferences? The internet has almost eliminated information asymmetry so speakers didn’t really say anything I didn’t know. Still, the big difference between attendees (me) and speakers (them) is that they are marketing practitioners, day in and day out. They live and breathe marketing. It’s always a great reminder that “doing” is the only option.
Low attendee/tweet ratio and the need for better engagement: Thousands of digital marketers under one roof, but only 243 of them tweeted about it?
Out of these 243, how many actually used Twitter to engage in a conversation beyond snapping a picture of a slide as a “note to self”? This is why marketing gets a bad rep. We still don’t understand social media isn’t about us, or about selling a product, and it’s clearly not a one-way communication tool. Seth Godin would be ashamed of us.
— SolDesign (@soldesignco) May 24, 2017
Top 5 Tweets from #DSATL 2017
Among the 243 attendees who did tweet, we are some gems.
— Quinn Tempest (@QuinnTempest) May 24, 2017
— Dotun Babatunde (@db40) May 23, 2017
— Saura Johnston (@SauraJohnston) May 24, 2017
— Stephanie Fritz (@FritzImage) May 25, 2017
— Just Jess (@JessBScott) May 24, 2017