One doughnut, two cookies and 26 sessions later, we have so much to share from our time at Digital Summit Denver (DSD). Below, we’ve highlighted our top ten takeaways from this fantastic conference held in our hometown:
TOP FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM LAUREN
This was my fourth year attending the Summit and interestingly, I take away something a little bit different every year. The five things that resonated with me this time around include:
- Everyone Wants to Be Able to Talk “The Digital Talk” – This year, the Summit was more crowded than ever. And when you glanced at participants’ name tags, you saw a cross-section of professionals – from marketers, analysts, operational experts to attorneys and entrepreneurs. Digital strategy is no longer confined to just the marketing team; it’s truly a skill set needed across an organization.
- Consumers Crave Access and Experiences – In a session focused on 2019 trends, a recurring theme became abundantly clear: consumers expect special access and experiences from brands they love. This is especially true when companies are celebrating consumer loyalty. Say goodbye to offering “points” and “discounts” to your best customers, and hello to VIP access and “behind the curtain” experiences with your brand.
- Put the Customer First – This concept isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s one of those reminders every communicator and marketer needs to hear early and often. As we create marketing plans, we’re all guilty of sometimes succumbing to sales goals, campaign objectives, or a client insisting on “promoting” their latest and greatest achievement even at the risk of losing the audience. As you’re crafting your brand strategy, are you constantly putting the customer first? What do they want? How do they want to feel? Keep this as your guiding mantra throughout the process.
- Do More Things You Suck At – We had the privilege of listening to Reshma Suajani (CEO of Girls Who Code and author of “Brave, Not Perfect”) give a lunchtime keynote on bravery. One way to start flexing your bravery muscle on a daily basis, Reshma suggests? Do more things you suck at. It’s not about perfection, it’s about trying (and failure will not break you). We left the keynote and ordered the book immediately.
- The Tiny Moments Matter – If you’re tasked with producing a “live” event to broadcast on social media, be mindful of capturing the tiny moments within the larger picture. Think of it as sharing the color commentary of the event, not the play-by-play. Anybody can regurgitate what happens, but only a special few know how to truly share “the feeling” of an event through beautifully curated storytelling. For inspiration, please take note of Daryl Reaugh’s sports commentary strategy.
TOP FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM OLIVIA
This was my second time attending DSD and I’m happy to report that my sophomore year was just as insightful as my first. Here are the top five learnings:
- All Time Is Not Created Equal – Daniel Pink kicked off this year’s conference, sharing science behind how our mood and performance changes over the course of a 24-hour period. His keynote echoed some learnings my colleague Amy Moyihan and I explored earlier this year with the course RESET. If you’re a morning person, do your most important work in the morning.
- Every Brand Has a Video Story to Share – Jason Hsiao’s session focused on successful video marketing, was packed with humor, best practices and video content inspiration. Below is one of my favorite slides, which highlights 12 video ideas – a great reminder to me that video content is truly achievable for any brand because there’s always something to share.
- Email Is the Most Popular Smartphone Activity – Most of my working hours are spent developing social media strategies and content for clients, which is why it’s so easy for me to forget about the popularity of other digital mediums, like email. Did you know that 59% of time spent on a smartphone takes place in an inbox? And people check it everywhere – 69% of the time we’re checking it while watching TV or a movie.
- The Difference Between a Group and Community – This was an eye-opener for me, thanks to Will Cady, Reddit’s head of brand strategy. A group is a collection of people with a shared experience (e.g. everyone waiting in line for delicious pancakes at Snooze), but a community is bound together by shared beliefs and values. The marketing magic happens when a brand connects with its audience on a community level.
- Create Content for Each Individual Platform – Although not a new concept, this was a great reminder reinforced from multiple speakers. People use different social media platforms for different purposes, which is why it’s so important to tailor posts and creative to match the users intent. Cross-platform promotion is a crime.
Did you attend Digital Summit Denver 2019? What were your biggest takeaways? We’d love to hear them. Please leave us a comment below.