This week I had the pleasure of attending Digital East. Digital East is a premier digital strategies forum aimed at educating and promoting forward thinking and thought leadership on topics related to internet business and marketing. Since my job involves event planning and management, it was nice to be on the other side of the spectrum for a change – being an audience member and attendee. This was my second Digital East experience and I was pleased to see that they continue to raise the bar on event programming with an exceptional line-up of speakers and breakout sessions. Here were my top digital strategy takeaways from the event:
Reputation Management: Everything is Everything. Andy Beal of Trackur kicked off Day 1 with a great keynote exemplifying the top pitfalls and points to consider when it comes to reputation management. This may seem like a topic a bit basic or obvious, yet still time and time again we see so many public figures and notable organizations fail on this fundamental aspect. According to the presenter, 83% of businesses will have a reputation crisis in the next 5 years that will impact their business profits 20-30%. On a personal level, with the lines continually blurring between social and digital channels, there is no longer a separation between who you are online versus offline. You’re always being judged and what you put out as an individual can and is reflective of your organization, so just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you always should say it.
Second Screen Experience, UX & Mobile. While last year’s event seemed mostly focused on data-driven marketing and analytics (still important!) sessions at this year’s event focused largely on second screen experience, UX and Mobile. These three really work as a trifecta in the evolution of enhancing the consumer experience. From my own experience, I’ve witnessed a trend in many start-ups and other organizations making mobile their first and top priority; setting out to create an optimized mobile site or application first above all other tactics. From the various sessions that covered these topics, the over arching theme was creating consistency. In the early days of web development and design, responsive design was basically meant “can you view the site on a smartphone” – Now, responsive design encompasses creating a consistent experience across all platforms, accounting for all touch points and creating new opportunities to engage.
Disrupting the Cycle: Your consumer doesn’t want to be your friend. As a marketer, the ability to think like a publisher and brand story telling is important. But as Marc Hausman of Strategic Communications Group points your customers don’t care about your messaging, they care about their problems. There’s far too much marketing fluff out there that is distracting audiences. Often times, marketers focus so much of their energy into their brand messaging that they overlook what it is they are actually providing to their customers. Focus on what utility your organization provides and focus on how to communicate and provide resources to help solve your customers problems.
These were just some of the main points that stuck with me from attending Digital East. There was a ton of other valuable information and insight shared. Honestly, I think my brain is still trying to process it all! Did you attend this year’s event? What was your favorite session or what did you find the most interesting?