Top 10 Takeaways from The Chicago Digital Summit

    Last updated: July 17, 2023

    1. Respect the Limitations of Today’s Information Overload
      Be the best marketer you can by saving your audience time. Write and design with this in mind. Compose pieces to the level of the audience you are trying to reach. Limit information to what is necessary in order to fight the clutter. The average person reads approximately 200 words a minute. Did you know: Many famous writers used to write at a sixth grade reading level in order to appeal to a more universal audience. It all comes down to knowing your audience.
    2. There’s a Positive Spin on GDPR: GDPR Can Be Considered a Good Thing!
      With GDPR came a lot of fear and uncertainty. However, it’s important to embrace the changes the legislation created and begin to look at it from a different angle. Did you know: 60% of companies are embracing GDPR as an opportunity? GDPR is actually forcing us to change our behaviors and ultimately this can be a good thing! Though consumers do have the ability to make it more difficult to get to know them, the consumers who do opt for you to communicate with them build a trust and become a stronger quality consumer to market towards. In starting with hygiene, you are cleaning lists and marketing to those who are interested and have the genuine interest in your communications.
    3. Many Brands are Getting Snarkier on Social Media – There Is Value in Getting Attention While Staying On-brand
      Back in the fifties, brands were more wholesome. Jabs were often taken at competitors but they were in a less snarky style than we see today on social media. Society has shifted and there are more mediums in which to reach your audience. Also, there are many more brands trying to take on a more human voice and appeal to generation Z. It’s important to find the right balance, to decide your overall tone on social media and to stay true to your brand. For example, think about how many campaigns have had to make apologies for being overly snarky or who have misstepped with comments. Social media is meant to be fast. However, the digital marketing team holds a responsibility to stay on-brand and be out there in a creative way that does not cause controversy that would be considered off-brand.
    1. Employ a SLICE Principal
      A presenter laid out his principal for how to help any audience walk away with value. Time is our most precious resource therefore, it’s important they walk away with some value from any offering. There are five key words to help guide this process. 1. Service: Are you helping people save time by giving them deals or telling a story that will help them save time. 2. Learning: Are you creating an experience for them that they couldn’t necessarily get elsewehre. 3. Insight: Do you challenge and inspire them to think differently. 4. Connect: Start a Conversation with your brand. Is your brand connecting with them in a meaningful way. 5. Entertainment: Are you creating an environment where they are having fun and like visiting.
    1. “Doing good work draws people to you” – Scott Dikkers, Founder of The Onion
      No matter which industry you come from, the principal above should be a mantra in everyone’s head. Scott Dikkers was a keynote speaker for the event and relayed a few stories that all came back to the fact that when you do good work, people are drawn to you. Don’t focus on the monetary valueThey are drawn to your brand and they are drawn to work for you. Scott used Harley Davidson as a case study in how it all started with two guys who weren’t looking to start a brand, but who were tremendously good at making motorcycles. They weren’t even interested in first at selling them. In the same way, Scott saw how a variety of writers approached him over the years. They wanted to be a part of his organization because of the work that is put out by The Onion.
    1. Don’t Be Afraid to Use an Outrageous Strategy
      Another insightful point from Scott Dikkers was the concept of outrageous strategy or outrageous marketing. The brands that are pushing the envelope and thinking differently and more courageously than others are moving their industry forward. He wasn’t saying to be as scandalous and wild as The Onion can be at times, but rather to critically evaluate norms in your brand’s industry and find areas of opportunity to take risks or break the traditional strategies that have been implemented. Using Disney as an example, he said that Walt had the idea to be most fantastical because of his vision to build the theme parks to enhance the production and cartoon company. Most people thought he was crazy for wanting to do so, but it turned out well for the company!
    2. The Subscription Model Is Taking OVER!
      During a session on trends, a slide popped up that made our heads nod: “The Subscription model is taking over.” A slide of the dollar shave club popped up and the speaker reminded us that if the customer doesn’t like you, they don’t have to renew. We have to be part of the product and customer experience in this environment. It is up to the CMO’s to own it all and bring this all together for the best experiences for the customer.
    3. Learn to VENT Your Email Promotions
      Email promotions are far too often over the top in terms of information provided to their audiences. An email’s job is to engage an audience enough to get them to click through to the next place. Implementing the VENT strategy can help to capture your audience’s attention and increase responsiveness. Make sure your email content is: 1) Valuable 2) Engaging 3) Necessary 4) True.
    4. Humanize Your Brand
      Consumers now more than ever are valuing brands that are personal, intimate and add value to their daily lives. They want to feel like there is a real human behind the messaging for your brand. Using gimmicky marketing slogans and generic messaging is out-dated and doesn’t incur strong engagement. Dialogue aimed towards your consumers should be less about selling the product and more about engaging with your audience. What do they like? What do they need? Are you educating or entertaining them with content you provide? Strategy should be aimed at enhancing the lives of your audience. This will create positive sentiment towards the brand, more engagement and stronger brand loyalty.
    5. FOMO Is a Real Strategy
      Most people by now have heard of the phrase FOMO – fear of missing out. This tactic uses the concept of Recognition Memory, where the things you’ve done and the memories you’ve accumulated are used to play into not wanting to miss the opportunity to experience them again. Using this concept for event planning in 2019 is hotter than ever. In the age of digital sharing, consumers love unique experiences that they can share and enjoy. When it comes to event promotion, emphasize the aspects of the event that they won’t want to miss.


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