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Digital Summit’s annual Denver conference is a hotbed of marketing expertise. This year’s conference featured speakers from Netflix, The Onion and Dreamworks, and for the second year in a row, VOLTAGE sent a few trusty soldiers to Denver Digital Summit to gather intel from the front. Read on to see what knowledge our crew gleaned from DDS 2018.
1. Authenticity is everything
The theme of the year is, without a doubt, authenticity. Consumers give their dollars to brands they can relate to, brands that take a stand and brands that “get” their customers.
2. It’s all about storytelling
Believe it or not, customers don’t care about what you do. They care about why you do it. Telling your brand story creates a moment with your customers, building trust and (you guessed it) authenticity. Content is alive and well, folks!
3. Your customers are like your friends
People crave stability, and they turn to brands to provide a consistent message that aligns with their values. As a brand, it’s in your best interest to focus on your loyal core customers, and treat them like part of the family.
4. It’s not just okay to have a point of view, it’s encouraged
Gone are the times where a brand can be Switzerland and remain neutral. Those that stay silent about key issues, especially issues relating to the brand, are deemed “inauthentic” by customers. Customers look to brands that share their point of view and spend their dollars accordingly.
5. People can smell BS from a mile away
Okay, we literally just told you to establish a point of view, but the first rule of marketing in 2018 is “be authentic”. You don’t want to be Pepsi and Kendall Jenner – if you claim to have a higher purpose, you need to walk the walk.
6. Don’t overcomplicate things
On the flip side, not everything HAS to be a story, take a side, establish purpose, etc. The future is anything that reduces transactional friction. Take Amazon Go stores, for example. They don’t tell a story, or takes side on a hot-button issue. They do, however, make life a LOT easier.
7. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Google’s first page is owned by people bigger than you and with more authority than you. If you want to get the word out about your brand, stop trying to beat HubSpot — and get published in them instead. Same goes for social media. If you want more followers, find someone who has them and collaborate.
8. Multitalented is the future
The future of the ad industry can be summed up in 1 word: multitalented. As the industry evolves, workers must adapt and expand their skills sets. We’re seeing designers sharpen their dev skills and writers advance their strategy abilities. We must be renaissance workers.
9. Social media isn’t going away, and there’s a LOT to know.
By now it’s clear that social media is no passing trend, and there’s a lot to keep track of. Here are just a few:
- Time zones matter
- Have a strategy for EVERYTHING (even down to your hashtags)
- The best social platform is the one where your audience is
- You can’t fake followers and engagement
- One good interaction is better than 10000 inactive followers
- Facebook knows EVERYTHING about you 😭
Stay tuned for a future blog where we dive deeper into all you need to know about social.
10. Get comfortable with change
As marketers, we get pretty good at rolling with the punches. Things change so frequently in this industry, and the only certainty is that disruption and change are our new normal. Being agile and adaptable is an essential skill for marketers in this day and age.
We could fill a book with everything we learned as this year’s Denver Digital Summit, and one thing is certain – we’ll be back for DDS 2019.