Top 5 takeaways from the Digital Marketing University

Sep 17, 2014 | Automation

Last week I attended the SilverPOP’s Digital Marketing University in Minneapolis – the turnout was great! This was a special event for us because SmartBase CEO, Kris Lynch, was presenting “Delivering the Right Experience across Channels”, in which she detailed how marketers can move through the Collection and Analysis stages to reach the Engagement design stage. All of the speakers contributed a piece of the omni-channel marketing puzzle, giving us a clear picture of how to achieve engaging marketing that our customers have been waiting for.

Here are my top 5 takeaways from DMU 2014:

1.       Good Marketing is Like a Conversation. Marketing used to be a one way street. Organizations had a message and they sent that message to the clients and basically told them what, how and when to buy. The age of the internet in every pocket has given consumers the keys to the buyer’s journey and they’ve left organizations in the dust. In order to remain relevant, marketing must open themselves up to a two-way dialogue between their customers and the company, on every platform that the customer has available to them. The technology and tools to do this well and measure the impact are here.

2.       Personalization is King. It’s happened to us all. You get that email in your inbox that has nothing to do with you and you disassociate yourself with that organization. Nearly 3/4ths of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their needs – Jainrain & Harris Interactive. Using the data that you’ve acquired about your customers, you have the information necessary to make your communications more personal – Use it!

3.       Traditional Marketing is all about the Plan. Behavioral Marketing is all about the Customer. Segmentation used to be based on assumptions. Assumptions about demographics, preferences, roles and responsibilities, etc.  Today’s marketing moves past the assumption of the Marketer or the Industry or even the Analyst. We can capture customer behaviors. We can understand what they want by what they DO – and then we can use that information to give them more of what they want, when and how they want it.

4.       Automation Increases Engagement. I’m not saying that a robot is more engaging and “human” than an actual human, but there are things that automation platforms can do that would be impossibly time consuming for us marketers. They found that on average automated communications got 7% more opens and 6% more click-throughs than manual email sends.

5.       SMS for Small, Midsize and B2B Companies. Usually when you think SMS, you think of big, B2C companies, like the movie theater that sends me coupons and discounts via text. DMU proved that the opportunity is too great not to leverage it for all types of marketing. Ninety-five percent of SMS messages are opened on average within 3 minutes of receiving them – 34,000x faster than email. SMS open rates are 90%+ compared to 25-35% for email. SMS can be used as reminders in B2B of upcoming webinars, events, incentives etc. The opportunity for creativity here is huge!


I had a great time connecting with fellow marketers about the different marketing strategies that are available to us now through tools like SilverPOP. If you’d like more insights into the conference from one of our favorite sources of behavior marketing data, click here to see what people had to say on Twitter.

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