The bonfires are out, all the smores cookies are eaten, another Bootcamp has come to an end. Thank you to all the talented marketers in attendance, and a special thanks to our troop leaders, aka the informative speakers who shared their knowledge. 

We covered exciting new ground but also some familiar territory, as some marketing essentials stay consistent over time. 

We began the day with Dave Cacioppo of emfluence, who highlighted an operationally sound principle of data-driven marketing: when you are using data, you know if you’re winning or losing faster. This allows you to make your decisions quickly and wisely use your resources. 

Dave shared the mind-boggling statistic that 90% of data in the world was created in the last 2 years. Along with that data, we are seeing a rise in data privacy laws like the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). Marketers must stay abreast and aware of these changes as they impact how we use our customer data. What remains constant, however, is the importance of using this data throughout the customer journey, defined as the progression from Awareness -> Consideration -> Purchase -> Retention -> Advocacy.

Ever had an old coach tell you that “If you can see it, you can be it? Visualize yourself making that goal!” Well, that was a key sentiment from Ryan Sleeper of Playfair Data. He led us through our Storytelling badge where he drew a dynamic comparison of presenting data to writing a great story: your characters are the fields to analyze, your plot is the insights that emerge, and your storyline and narrative are how you communicate the data. 

Data Visualization can increase the speed of realization and accuracy of insights, so Ryan provided tips for creating dashboards. He highlighted two dashboards that showed the same data two different ways – one dashboard told one story, another dashboard told a different story. Dashboard creation is critical, and how you do it can have a huge impact:

  1. Understand the users’ expectations – how and who will use the data?
  2. Us color – five or fewer to help viewer process visualization. 
  3. Don’t neglect the setup – remember that the title and subtitle, they provide the context to help communicate what purpose of a dashboard is, how to use and what users can do with it. 
  4. Charts – favor bar charts over pie charts for maximum impact. 

Want more?  Get a discount to Ryan’s October Tableau Training in KC using code KCDMA.

Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning is Marketing 101 for understanding your customers and selling your products accordingly. Angela Ridpath, MCH Strategic Data, led us through these concepts en route to our List Acquisition badge. 

You may be struggling with how to create a list of customers or prospects. Some common sources include websites, call centers, trade shows, emails, and social media followers. Newer and more creative sources can include social media campaign for sign-ups, CTA on webpages, LinkedIn groups, virtual events, and guest blogger opportunities. 

Remember to always segment so that you can identify the best targets of your offer! Relevance is the key to the success of any marketing campaign, maximizing your impact and resources.

Good email marketing practices never go out of style, and neither does Jessica Best, Barkley, who has been a mainstay of KCDMA email marketing education. Always remember the Good and the Bad of e-mail marketing, as outlined here:

The Good: 5 things you should always do 

  1. Get Permission: Subscribers should opt-in
  2. Follow the Law: CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
  3. Have a Plan: Integrate with your content marketing calendar
  4. Have a Testing Plan: Test & track to learn
  5. Use Email’s Secret Weapon: DATA!! (Personalization + Segmentation + Automation + Optimization)

The Bad: 5 Things you should never do

  1. Don’t Start from Scratch: Your e-newsletters should pull from previously created work like blogs, videos, social posts, etc.
  2. Don’t Use One Big Image: 25% of your email audience has their images turned off
  3. Don’t Buy an Email List: Only use house lists 
  4. Don’t Ignore the Mobile User’s Experience
  5. Don’t Send Without a Pre-flight Check

Josh Selig-Votaw and Corrie Castro, iFocus Marketing, gathered us around the Social Media bonfire and shared their Social Media know-how. We started with a walk us through the different social media platforms and their reach – Instagram has a whopping 500 million platform users per day.  

The basis of your organic content strategy should be the 40/40/20 rule: 40% Engagement, 40% educational and 20% promotional. By creating the content in that manner, you will engage views but avoid oversaturating your audience by forcing your brand message upon them.

We put a few other takeaways straight into our pocket: if you haven’t leveraged Pixel & GTM (Google Tag Manager), do it now. It’s free and tracks behaviors and multiple pages – great for paid ads with multiple tracking or conversion focuses. Good tracking and reporting can improve the success of your overall social media strategy.

Speaking of paid ads, be sure to recognize the difference between paid ads versus sponsored posts. The structure and benefits can differ. The former can impact your page likes, web traffic, reach, brand awareness. The latter helps increase engagement and brand awareness.

Scott Schaper, RSM Marketing, helped us earn our SEO Badge. He describes SEO as the digital marketer’s glue. It is organic, long-lasting and most surely required as part of any marketing plan. When done correctly, it provides a competitive advantage that uses your website and its contents to create impact.

How’s your patience? Some of the work takes months to materialize. While PPC can yield immediate results, something like a blog can take months for a change to occur. We left inspired to take a few immediate actions: write longer content, and make sure Google Analytics and Google Tags are enabled. 

Thanks to our panel of trailblazers – Erin Risner – Director of Marketing & Communications, Camp Fire National Headquarters; Jane Blakeley – Community Engagement Manager, Wildwood Outdoor Education Center; and Chadwick Smith – Owner, Lunar Phase Adventures, LLC – who gave us a birds-eye view and reminded us about the importance of the human connection.

We look forward to seeing you next January at our Symposium and of course at next year’s bootcamp.