Our Top Takeaways from the Digital Summit DC Conference

Ironistic attended the Digital Summit DC Conference in McLean, Virginia from October 13th to 14th, 2015. Here are our top takeaways and the biggest things we learned from the conference.

Casey Perno - Front End Developer

“I love data. I love seeing trends and changes and analyzing the whys and why nots, and drawing inferences and conclusions based on those things. But when I say we need data, I’m not only talking about analytics reports. I’m also talking about usability testing, user discussions, and — perhaps the most budget-friendly option — personas. Without much of a marketing background, I had never heard of personas before. And I love the idea of checking changes against these fictional characters. Now when someone comes to me and says, “Hey, we should put all of these things inside an accordion,” I can come back and say, “Is this going to help Frank, one of our older users, find the information better? Or is it going to be harder to navigate for him?” It will force website owners to think and reflect a little bit more deeply about the changes they want in the context of their users. And thinking about your users first is always good practice.” -Casey

Chris Foss - Ironistic Co-Founder

“First and foremost, it was great to listen to industry experts from around the world and confirm that Ironistic follows some wonderful development and marketing tactics. Most of the “best practices” mentioned by the speakers and panelists were right in line with the services already provided by Ironistic. It’s always good to confirm that you’re on the right path!

That being said, the speaker from Wedding Wire, Sonny Ganguly, reminded me not to focus on today’s successes. Yes, we are doing some great things now, but Sonny gave some great examples of companies and technologies that grew complacent and didn’t evolve as the Internet evolved. I’m excited about the successes that our efforts have brought for our clients, but I have to remember to always look ahead at how the landscape is changing and how we must help our clients (and ourselves!) always evolve and stay on top.” -Chris

Janet Waring - Artform

“The biggest thing I learned was the power of visuals. By visuals I am referring to not only photos but charts, graphs, infographics, gifs, video – all the visual mediums. Visuals are a powerful way to get your message across and much better received by todays “instant information” audience. No one likes to look at a wall of text. Consider the old saying, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.” Think of saving 1000 words with each visual you create. And optimize those visuals! No pic0003578.jpg. but rather green_vegetables_diet.jpg. If you have no idea how to find or create great visuals, call me.” -Janet

Emilia Totzeva - Ironistic SEO Guru

“A buzzword that gets thrown around a lot in marketing is “content marketing,” but it seems that no one really knows what that means aside from producing content. Even that is vague, but the secret to content marketing is producing unique, high-quality content that will bring value to your site’s visitors. But even when you do that, it’s hard to stand out: thousands of content is uploaded to the web every minute. So, we have to take it one step further by finding content gaps – that is, we need to figure out what people are searching for, but where they are not getting the information they need, and then create content to fill those gaps.” -Emilia

Faith Dallmann - Ironistic Account Manager

“My key takeaways were that there is a huge importance in the digital world for mobile and that the online world is all about the consumer’s engagement and experience. The ‘digital natives’ (younger college age group) use their mobile phones almost 100% of the time. This group also prefers something ‘visual’ or will lose interest immediately.” -Faith

Hannah Watkins - Ironistic Director of Integrated Marketing / Marketing Guru

“The consistent theme throughout the conference was the idea that before you do anything else, you should always have a solid digital marketing plan in place. You always have to keep your goals and target audience in mind. Oh, and emails with kittens get higher click-through rates.” -Hannah

Andrea Macino - Ironistic Account Manager

“Listening to creatives from Twitter, Time Inc., The Coca Cola Company, and more allowed me to step into their minds, listen to their thought processes on the digital world, and observe how they approach and execute their ideas. These were statements that really stuck out to me:

  • Practice and design with empathy, understand your audience.
  • Drive advocacy by making sure every interaction the audience has with you is authentic, unique and supports their needs.
  • Make doing your business enjoyable.
  • Look at analytics but TALK to people.
  • Go out and do something great.” -Andrea
Rita Foss - Ironistic Co-Founder

“It was great to have the team at the Digital Summit DC conference these past two days. With over 50 sessions to choose from, we were guaranteed to leave full of digital marketing insight! A few great take-aways:

  • Subdirectories (example.com/test) are better for SEO than subdomains (test.example.com).
  • Stop using “click here” – thumbs on mobile don’t click! (Source: Mike King from iPullRank).
  • The future is visual – market more with emotion-generating images than words.
  • It is possible to grow with lean innovation by creating an experimental prototype, performing a smoke test, and letting those interested pay for the beta build.” -Rita
Nick Castelli - Ironistic Project/Account Manager

“One of the cool tips I learned is to do background checks on new domains you buy to make sure they have no bad links, poor content history, or issues with spam emails. I’m excited to try it out on the next couple of sites that we build.” -Nick

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