Thoughts, Notes and Rants from Unbounce’s CTAConf – Day 1
Day #1 Wrap
All-in the most exciting thing to see is the genuine people from in and around Vancouver’s digital marketing industry coming together in a positive way. I took a long break from local conferences a while back after going to one-too-many “Social Media Revolution” talks where gurus pitched each other on their RT-to-win campaigns.
It’s phenomenal to see so many smart local people out there killing it. There was a ton of actionable stuff in the talks, but the #1 thing that I’ll take away from the day was that a lot of the success that we’re seeing right now in digital marketing comes not from tactics, but from the courage to try things on a large scale, take risks, evaluate, and try even bigger the next time.
See you all tomorrow – I’m off to the pub crawl.
Find all of the Day #2 updates here
The afternoon sessions broke for a break, so I set out to do a bit of an impromptu survey of the crowd: Are the talks useful? Are they inspired? Or is this just enough expensive (to their employers, at least) excuse to get out of the office for an afternoon?
I do this same little survey at most conferences that I go to, and inevitably I get the same responses. Something along the lines of: “Yeah, there are a bunch of things here that I should really be doing. One of the speakers was inspiring, one was boring, but mostly I’m looking forward to the after party.”
Today was a lot different, though. Overwhelmingly I heard one thing from people (or similar): That they hadn’t considered until now how their entire organization could be a part of their digital marketing, especially their growth and lead-gen.
If I were an employer at a mid-sized brand and my employee came back from a conference with the epiphany that they could be the leader for experimentation, improvements and efficiency in our entire organization I’d start budgeting to send 10x as many people the next year.
Some of today’s speakers have been inspiring. Some have been on the boring side. But consistently they’ve talked about how the entire organization can get involved, improve, and benefit from conversion-focused, user-centric digital marketing.
The speakers are doing a great job of weaving together how all of the different facets of marketing work together.
In @MorganB‘s words: “Growth Hacker” is just a term that someone came up with because companies thought that all Marketers can do is buy Super Bowl ads.
It’s refreshing to see how much less people in specific areas of digital marketing are protecting their areas – as digital has grown into a fully respected area of marketing, there has been less need for the email people to put down social, or the social people to stand on the shoulders of PPC. Even traditional PR is getting a bit (a little bit) of love today.
The best news in the industry in a long time isn’t something that anyone is flat-out announcing, but it is in everyone’s lessons today: Blanketed, unimaginative communication just isn’t working any more.
Old days: Put “Free” in your email subject line = you win
Now: Write a subject line that people are going to find interesting, and ideally is highly personalized – @SusanFSu
Old days: Find the people with the greatest reach and pay them to promo your product
Now: Professional influencers don’t drive conversions. Real users of your product as authentic ambassadors do – @ErinBury
Theme that I’ve been seeing throughout the day: The best enterprise tools, especially for lead generating, aren’t the big bloated enterprise suites. The best are a smart combination of clever little tools that cost just a few dollars/month.
That’s not just for scrappy little founders, that’s coming from big guys like Buffer, Unbounce and 500 Startups.
It is so awesome to see the Vancouver’s tech scene starting to grow up.
The local tech scene had humble beginnings, and that showed up fairly obviously at some of our early conferences and meetups. Gone are the days of the community halls, guru-speakers and paper signage. Arriving at the CTAConf today the #1 impression that I had was: These guys are legit.
The Queen Elizabeth theatre is currently draped with Unbounce branding, and the theatre is filled with hundreds (thousands) of people paying real cash to learn from each other.
It really shouldn’t be a surprise for me, Vancouver is now the host to Slack, Hootsuite, Medeo, Mobify, A Thinking Ape and Unbounce. Despite my ignorance, walking into CTAConf was a nice reminder that we’re no longer a little town playing tech, that we’re a now a real player in the most exciting industry.
Hey guys, Conner here.
Right now I’m watching, listening and generally drinking in all of the #CTAConf goodness and will be checking in here regularly throughout the conference to drop thoughts, rants and knowledge on you as it comes up.
It’s an annual get together put on by local tech startup Unbounce. They host events, talks and workshops all around the practice of getting people to go somewhere online, and then getting them to do something. Sounds simple, right? It is, and that’s the beauty of it all. There are a million little variables that go into a fantastic experience for the user, and more importantly, one that makes the users glad that they went through the process with you and feeling even better about your company than they did when they first saw the ad/tweet/post/etc.
Where else can I follow along?
I’ll be posting stuff on our Twitter account @JunctionYVR, and there’s a ton of other good stuff going up by the minute at #CTAConf
Banner image photo cred: CTAConf