A handful of Blue Mooners attended the second annual Digital Summit Denver for two action-packed days of leading-edge digital media and marketing content. We made our way through the trade show floor, mixing and mingling with Denver’s digital marketing elites. We also attended a number of sessions focused on content marketing, brand building, usability testing, and all things related to omni-channel marketing. Below are some of the highlights we took with us that we want others to know.

Best-selling author, Rohit Bhargava, kicked off the conference with an exciting keynote about the superhuman art of predicting the future. He shared the following infographic, and advised us all to curate trends using the following five habits:

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Rohit also challenged us with the following question regarding social sharing and the evolution of social media: “What if we could be the person just enjoying the world, instead of the person trying to capture and share it?” For more of Rohit’s tips and tricks, check out his book, “NON OBVIOUS, How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future”.

Next up, Rebecca Lieb of Teradata Applications spoke about the culture of content, and shared the following quote from Michael Margolis: “If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change the culture, change the stories.” Content was one of the most talked about topics at this year’s summit, but the main message was consistent: converged media is essential in telling your brand story.

blog2Infographic Source: “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned & Earned Media” Altimeter Group {July 19, 2012}

In our next session, Rob Burns of Burns Marketing walked us through the customer journey and the importance of #WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). He discussed the transition from marketing “the old way”, which was focused on products/solutions, to marketing “the new way”, which is focused solely on customers. Michael Behrens from Revana Digital continued the conversation about customer journey and made the following statement: “Every interaction with a customer should result in information (data).” He shared the following infographic in support of delivering the right message, containing the right offer, at the right value [to the right customer, at the right time]:

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Infographic Source: Revana Digital

The Wednesday sessions started with a bang as Michael Barber from barber&hewitt explained why email marketing is about people and not metrics. He touched on the increased interactions caused by mobile engagement, as well as the benefit of email as an influencer (as opposed to a closing channel). His very blunt advice for us as email marketers was to “make email suck less” by focusing on the following P’s: Portable, Personal, and Prescriptive.

The afternoon sessions focused on brand storytelling, and Laura Wilson of Georgetown University shared a case study centered around “digital natives” who are those born after 1995 (the ‘new’ millennials). Digital natives suffer from intense FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) which is why brand storytelling and the placement of your stories is absolutely essential to your brand’s success. Allowing your customers to co-create your story, is more important than targeting because “You do not own your story. It is being told for you.”

Infographic Source: Georgetown University

Infographic Source: Georgetown University

Another highlight was when best-selling author, Chris Brogan, delivered the lunch keynote after asking the audience the following question, “In a world where you can buy anything from anyone, why would people buy from you?” He went on to talk about why he would never be a marketer, but why his principles for life applied to marketers trying to reach consumers. The answer to this question lies in [providing] value, [demonstrating] velocity, and [showing customers] the velvet rope.

In the closing keynote from Matt Wallaert of Microsoft, we learned about the difference between inhibiting and promoting pressures. We talked about Uber, Netflix and Johnny Cash, and the relationship between social media engagement and engagement across all other marketing channels. Matt encouraged marketers to focus on all levels of engagement because, “the permanent likers are not the social evangelists – it’s the transient likers that are talking about your products as they discover them. You still need to embrace the permanent dislikers, but they should not be your main point of focus.”

All things said and done, it was a great couple of days at the Digital Summit Denver. Blue Moon Digital is excited to integrate our learnings into our client’s strategic roadmaps!