The Top 3 Takeaways from Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018. Skeptics Welcome.

The 3 Big Shifts in Marketing For 2018

Finally, Tie Social Media To Lead Generation, Sales and Customer Retention with these 3 Takeaways From The Largest Digital Marketing Conference in North America.

March 29, 2018

Is it time to panic yet? 

“Crap! The Future of Marketing in a Bot-Infested, Facebook Dominated World Where Everyone Just Buys Their Stuff on Amazon.”

This was the title of Digital Marketer CEO Ryan Deiss’ opening talk of Traffic and Conversion Summit 2018.

The message was clear.

If you aren’t freaking out about all the changes in digital marketing, don’t worry....

 You’re already too late.

Change is here.

The Facebook Algorithm has been radically altered, ad prices are skyrocketing, Amazon is eating big box stores alive, and customers are buying from chatbots and Alexa.

And it gets scarier…

Gartner survey recently predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be without a human. The average person will talk more to bots than to their mate!

But, Ryan Deiss also told the 6,000 strong crowd- It’s going to be OK…

IF you can jump in and capitalize on the 3 Big Shifts happening right now in marketing.

“If you want to thrive in this new reality and adapt to the changes, you need to invest in conversations with your customers and prospects.” 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -Ryan Deiss

The 3 Big Shifts In Marketing In 2018

1) Conversation is the Need Lead.

The businesses that will thrive in the future will be those who invest in and focus on starting customer conversations.

Conversations are the building blocks of sales. A sale doesn’t happen unless someone starts a conversation first.

But, interactions AREN'T happening on the phone anymore. Most consumers now want to use messaging to interact with businesses. 

So how do you start a sales conversation?

You leverage technology to drive more real human conversation. 66% of consumers recently told Facebook that they would rather chat with an automated bot than a real person.

This actually makes sense.

Remember the last time you called a business? You were probably placed on hold and had to endure infuriating automated phone menus before you could finally talk to a real person.

Chatbots, which use artificial intelligence, bypass this tedious process. They instantly answer your questions and only give you the information you actually want. Need to talk to a human being?
They can immediately connect you to one.

Chatbots can be so effective that Ryan suggested that they could transform a prospect into a buyer with only 5 questions:

  1.  Are you a _________? For instance, are you an agency owner? Are you a consultant?
  2.  Tell me more about you / your business?
  3.  What brought you here today? / Goals? / What do you hope to accomplish??
  4.  What do you know about our product/service?
  5.  Would you like some help with that?

However, Ryan stressed that bots are best used for filtering; not closing.

A real salesperson should step in and take over around question four. When they do, they will be much better informed and can help the customer get what they want much faster.

2) Community is the New Brand.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”
                                                                                                                                         - Jeff Bezos

Nowadays people are looking for a home. They long for a place where they can feel truly understood. Provide them with a better one than your competition and your business will win.

In fact, Ryan stated that the biggest business opportunity today is to create a ‘virtualized Amazon Prime” for your particular market. If you are in the golf market, a top priority should be to create a sense of community and belonging for golfers with a prime like membership.

Building a vibrant community is also the answer to today’s soaring ad costs. Amazon Prime, community members spend almost twice as much as non-members 

“A good logo absent community is just a logo. A crappy logo with a community is a community…and community is the new brand.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         - Ryan Deiss


3) The customer is the New Power Broker

This is the biggie.

The one that is already affecting all businesses, no matter what the industry...

Today’s consumers have so many options to purchase what (and when!) they want, they now have all the power.

A good or even great product is no longer enough. As Ryan Deiss pointed out, having a great product nowadays is the fastest way to get commoditized!

With consumers seeing a minimum of 4,000 marketing messages a day, talking to your market only about your product is a sure way to be ignored.

To compete in this brave, new, customer-centric world companies need to remember it’s not about the product, it’s about the customer and their journey.

Whoever gets closest to the customer -wins.

Here are Ryan’s four steps to being customer-centric:

1) Show up. Go where your customers are…even if it isn’t convenient. The companies who have done this have revolutionized their industries. Look at the difference between Uber and Yellow Cab. You had to go to the corner and hail a cab. Uber brought the ride to you by putting themselves on your phone.

2) Redefine what your business is. Defining your business based only on what you sell now days is a slow form of suicide. Live longer. Start by defining your business by WHO you serve and begin advocating for that market. When the technology changes you’ll have staying power rather than be left behind with an obsolete product.

3) Know who your customer is, and know the journey they are on. Brands like Apple have dominated by making their customers feel truly understood and valued.

4) Know your role in your customer’s journey. Realize that your customer is the hero and you’re the guide. Your customer is Luke and you’re Yoda. 

“Brands must now learn to compete in a world of infinite supply where customers have all the power.”
                                                                                                                                                                                     -David Cancel, CEO of Drift 


Today, keeping up with all the changes in marketing can seem like a game of “Whack-a-Mole”. No sooner do you get a grasp on one new tactic when two more pop up in its place.

Yet with all the new, shiny tactics, the essence of marketing has remained constant.

As the Digital Marketer CEO Richard Lindner said in the conferences’ opening video

“Effective marketing is a constant. It’s about clearly articulating the value that you’re going to provide to your future prospective customer.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Digital Marketer CEO Richard Lindner

If you want to really thrive in today’s rapidly changing market, you need to focus on the 3 C’s:

  • Invest in Conversations
  • Invest in Community
  • Invest in your Customers

For a Video Summary of these takeaways, as well as to see footage from the actual event, watch the video below:

T&C 2018 from Brad Bruckner on Vimeo.

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