Digital Summit Phoenix – Day Two Recap

Written By on February 26, 2018

As I mentioned in my last recap, my feeling around conferences is that they can either be amazing, or a waste of time. Day two has come and gone and my sentiment is leaning towards the amazing side (with one caveat…see #2 below). Here are my top two take-aways:

  1. Artificial Intelligence is here to stay.  There were no less than three talks on day two that discussed the use of AI software for marketing and customer service. We already use forms of AI with our clients at Magnetry (a chat bot for one, programatic ad-buying for others), but one thing I loved hearing was the reminder for brands to stay human through this transition. Annie Gherini from Affinity reminded us that while the manual data-entry jobs may be overtaken by AI (is there anyone who is actually mad about not having to manually input thousands of data points? #notmadhere), having a human intertwined in your strategy when engaging with consumers is just as important as that time-saving robot inputting all of your data for you. With all that time saved, you can use the opportunity to create unique and significant connections between you and your audience. Nothing replaces empathy.
  2. Millennials. If I had a dime for every time someone mentioned the phrase “marketing to millennials”, I would have been rich by the end of this conference. This take-away is not one from a talk and it is not one that was taught during #DSPHX. Instead, it’s my rant and small soapbox about the over-focus on marketing to millennials. Sure, they’re a HUGE demographic, and one of the most powerful in regards to spending at the moment. But what irked me, for one, was an actual comment made by a speaker (who shall not be named), when asked for his advice on how to grab the attention of this elusive group: “If you’re going to market to millennials, you should do it on Twitter. They have short attention spans and like shorter content.”. I’m sorry….WHAT? Let me hit you with these quick facts:

    1. According to a recent Pew study, high-school-aged teens are the most active age demographic on Twitter. 42% of those between the ages of 15-17 use Twitter. The second largest age demographic is those between the ages of 18-29, of which 32% use Twitter.
    2. Millennials don’t have short attention spans, nor does anyone within any other age demographic. They just don’t want to watch/read/hear your junky content.  Instead of focusing on how short or long a certain demographic’s attention span is, lets shift our focus to creating content that is relevant for our audiences so they want to engage with us. Anyone will watch a 5-minute video if it’s interesting enough.

There were SO MANY more great things at this conference, but rather than write them all out here, let’s grab happy hour some time so you can hear about it in person. See you there next year, friends!