5 Takeaways From Digital Summit Chicago 2017

Friday 5

This year’s Digital Summit in Chicago brought together attendees from brands, agencies, technology companies and media.  The conference delivered a workout for not only our minds, but also our bodies as we got in some extra steps making our way through the expansive McCormick Place Convention Center.  The agenda spanned a wide array of topics, including usual suspects like content and SEO, and some newer to the scene, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As many brands head into annual planning season, here are five insights to consider and evaluate their impact on your organization.

1. B2B Customers Now Expect Amazon-level Online Experience

B2B customers now expect the same convenient and personalized digital experience they’ve become accustomed to in their personal lives.  68 percent of buyers now find going online superior to interacting with a salesperson, up from 53 percent in 2015 (source: Forrester Research).

2. Reducing Counterfeit Programmatic Inventory is Top Focus for Industry

The ads.txt project from IAB is gaining adoption in the industry with the mission to increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem and help prevent bad actors from creating counterfeit inventory.  This will help buyers to more easily identify legitimate sellers for a participating publisher.

3. Number of Brand Interactions to Convert a Consumer on The Rise

Today’s shopper turns to 28+ brand interactions on average and three out of four people change their minds when researching a purchase (source: geniusmonkey). Infusing AI into digital advertising platforms will be essential to better target and convert consumers efficiently.

4. Automated Email Marketing is Driving Conversion Industry-wide

Despite the rise in new technology and emerging consumer touchpoints, email marketing continues to deliver the highest ROI for marketers.  Automated emails, built to trigger based on user behavior (welcome emails, product/service retargets, etc.), drove 624 percent higher conversion last year than blast emails built for broader audiences.

5. Experience Mapping Has Become Essential to User Experience Both Online and Offline

Adding to Digital UX, experience mapping gives consumer context to ensure digital experiences such as mobile, in-store kiosks, digital outdoor are all supported by the physical experience surrounding the consumer.

Erica Barth is a senior vice president, Digital, Edelman Chicago.
Grant Keller is a vice president, Digital, Edelman Chicago.