The first thing I felt when I walked into the 2019 Traffic & Conversion summit was awe.
The sheer number of marketers from around the world (over 6,000!) who, like me, were there to learn, network, and share was inspiring. The room was buzzing with people eager to feel the pulse of what’s new, hot, and actually working in digital marketing, and I got to be a part of it.
With 108 sessions being led by various industry leaders and experts, it was impossible to attend every talk, but I came out of each session full to the brim with new ideas to share with my team.
1. The original 5-step marketing funnel is kaput. Make way for the customer journey.
In his opening keynote, Ryan Deiss, founder and CEO of Digital Marketer, announced that we cannot continue to follow his original 5-step digital marketing funnel. It has become increasingly evident that customers don’t necessarily follow a fixed funnel path; we need to properly understand the real customer journey in order to build pathways for audiences to:
- Become aware of a brand,
- Engage with the brand,
- Embark on a journey to convert into a customer who’s excited about the brand and will,
- Become a loyal repeat customer, and ultimately…
- Advocate for the brand through their loyalty and promotion of the brand to their circle of influence.
This lesson was reinforced by Roland Frasier, CEO of Warroom Mastermind, who depicted the customer journey as the Marketing Helix, with multiple interspersed awareness and interaction touchpoints that promote awareness, engagement, conversion, loyalty, advocation, etc.
2. Brands need to stand out to rise above the clutter.
There were multiple presentations that drove this point home for me.
Deiss discussed how brands need to build authority in their industry to advance their status in the eyes of their audience. Brands can accomplish this by answering their customers’ questions, speaking in absolutes, defining their core beliefs, and changing their customers’ rites and rituals.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, further emphasized this point in his live interview with Roland Frasier. He gave examples of how he grew his $16 billion business by finding gaps in the market and filling them by doing things completely different from his competitors. This is how he started Virgin Airlines.
Sally Hogshead, author of How to Fascinate, helped reinforce this point with her message that “It’s good to better, but it’s be better to be different” and that, “Different is better than better.” She also emphasized that people have a very short attention span, less than nine seconds, so you have to distinguish yourself quickly, preferably with just one word. If you can differentiate your brand in just one word, you’ll stand a better chance of staying true to that and creating clear messaging that resonates powerfully with your target audience.
3. Marketing automation and personalization will be key for business growth.
A common message across the board was that companies and marketers need to find ways to personalize messaging and communication as much as possible so that their audience feels engaged and connected. Couple personalization with marketing automation to streamline marketing, sales and customer service processes, and that’s a recipe for explosive success and optimal growth.
We go to events like these to keep up-to-date on current digital marketing strategies and see where the industry is going next, so that we can help our clients grow and build successful businesses. Let us help you apply proven digital marketing strategies to your business to bolster your success. Take our FREE digital marketing assessment to discover areas for improvement in your online strategy.