The Interact Digital Marketing Conference

This post was ghost-written for the 2017 Interact Digital Marketing Conference in Columbus, OH. You can view the post on Upward Brand Interactions.

Day two of the 2017 Interact Digital Marketing Conference was even more electric than day one. Attendees were welcomed into a large conference room with music playing; large screens displaying information about the day only created more anticipation.

Interact17 upped the ante and made the entire conference interactive through their geo-targeted Snapchat filter, and an augmented reality app that encouraged attendees to network themselves throughout the day by scanning QR codes on session signs and other attendee’s name tags. It’s getting someone’s contact information without any awkward conversations! 

The day was broken up into multiple sessions and keynotes, all revolving around the digital blur. The world is moving and growing fast and keeping up with the latest marketing trends is essential to success. There we some key takeaways from the day that any modern digital marketer can use to their advantage.

Reach for the brass ring

The high-speed merrygoround that we call marketing moves a hundred-miles-a-minute. It’s easy to hold on and enjoy the ride, but if you’re not reaching for the highest point, that’s as far as you can reach as a marketer (the brass ring), it’s a failure. Harsh, right?

But it’s true.

We’re in the age of customer centricity. Our brand, our content, and obviously our product should be made for the customer, which isn’t a metric. It’s easy to get caught up with all the data and analytics involved in digital marketing, but it’s important to take a step back to remember that every customer is a person.

Think beyond the blog

Every customer is a person, and as humans, we consume content in so many different ways. So why is it that the almighty blog is still king of all things marketing? Content has become an assembly line that overwhelms consumers with a massive merciless stream of information. It’s getting rough for the user, and marketers keep pouring gas on the fire.

So how can we make this seem more consumable? Create remarkable content that is environmental, forcing you to create for a specific intent, or create immersive content, that forces us to be a part of the user’s intent.

Voice activation services like Amazon Alexa streamlines the process of search along with a plethora of other functions. Virtual reality inspires users to explore and consume content at their own pace.

Heike Young of Salesforce discussed how you can make remarkable content that drives brand awareness with podcasts. Just like Netflix, podcasts are bingeable and on-demand. Users can consume the exclusive content when they want, where they want. It’s content made for the user’s intent.

Crush the email marketing myths

Justine Jordan of Litmus Email Marketing settled the score for us. Emails are still relevant, and yes, millennials still use email too! There are myths about email marketing, that just aren’t true. These are the truths:

  1. You must follow the spam laws of the countries you are emailing to, not just the country you are emailing from!
  2. Email is not a static medium. We can work to make emails interactive and engaging.
  3. Emails are not “blasts.” Emails are one-to-one direct interactions with your customers.

Above all else, in order to be a successful email marketer we must find the balance between subscriber needs and business needs and balance the trust between user and marketer.

But how?! Build a powerful subscriber experience with the hierarchy of needs

  1. Your email should be respectful and reach the expectations and permissions of the subscriber.
  2. The email should be functional. All of your links and images must be optimized for every browser and more importantly, every device. Mobile email opens have increased 600% in 5 years.
  3. Emails should be valuable. The content in the email should be relevant, targeted, and personalized.
  4. Email should be remarkable. Everything you send should garner exceptional content and even better experiences.

Interact17 was a day full innovative solutions to taking on the most asked marketing questions. Minds were melded, connections were made, and job offers were granted. But most importantly, everyone at Interact broke through the digital blur.