Days don’t get much more beautiful than June 21st, 2013 was in sunny San Diego, where advertising and marketing professionals converged on the Bayfront Hilton for Interactive Day 2013. Attendees took three escalators up to Agency Alley where rows of sponsors and local businesses had displays set up, showcasing their agencies’ strengths and expertise.
An outdoor deck was adjacent to the conference area, with panoramic views overlooking San Diego Bay, Coronado, the Embarcadero, and Point Loma. While the view outside was filled with sunshine and scenery, the atmosphere inside was even more rich with knowledge and ideas.
The day started off with Dan Zarrella from HubSpot, talking about the science of social media. I had read some of his articles before, but seeing him speak in person has made me a true fan of his work. His authority on the subject matter was evident by the depth of the statistics that he delved into. It has been a while since I took stats, but his presentation was a refresher course and had tons of relevant, engaging examples that illustrated the statistics behind people’s online actions.
Image: Gary Magnone
Takeaway #1: Tweet on Thursday or Friday With a Link in the First Half of Your Tweet
Dan shared some simple tips about what kind of voice to use on social media (identify yourself authoritatively), and what subjects to avoid (nobody posts pictures of themselves being bored or standing in line at the DMV), but he really got my attention when he had all sorts of charts, graphs, and tables depicting the different responses and engagement that different types of posts generate. He had compared thousands upon thousands of emails, tweets, and facebook posts, and made these charts to compare and contrast each metric.
For instance, tweets with a link in the first half, but not the very beginning of the tweet, have the highest chance of being retweeted. To go with that, Thursday and Friday are the days with the highest percentage of retweets, so next time you want to promote something on Twitter, post it on Thursday or Friday, with the link in the first half of your tweet.
Takeaway #2: Everyone Sends Emails on Tuesdays
Historically, I do a lot of emailing and social promotion on Tuesdays. Wednesdays and Thursdays see a lot of action, but Tuesday was my workhorse. My thinking was that on Mondays everyone (me) is still half asleep, scrambling to get their week in order and nobody (me) is quite coherent enough to even comprehend a tweet or an email. I thought that promotion on Fridays and weekends would be ineffective because everyone is thinking about what they are doing for the weekend, not what people are saying on Twitter.
Turns out that most people think the same exact thing. To such a degree, in fact, that Tuesday is the biggest “unsubscribe to email” day of the week, by far. Everyone sends out their weekly emails on Tuesday, everyone is bombarded with emails they don’t really care about every Tuesday, and everyone unsubscribes from emails on Tuesday.
Think about it, that last time you went through your inbox and unsubscribed from fourteen email lists that you hadn’t read or responded to in over a year, was probably on a Tuesday. Dan said to use contra-competitive timing. I could go on and on about everything I learned from him, but you should really just find out the next time he is speaking, and check him out for yourself.
Takeaway #3: Know Thy Customer
Professor John Durham was the second speaker that morning and brought a very scholarly knowledge and style to the stage. His presentation was informative and engaging, and felt a bit like an MBA course lecture as he mentioned the marketing mix: product, place, price, and promotion. He added the fifth P, people.
He talked more to the advertisers in attendance (as opposed to the marketers), and broke down the process of advertising: attention > interest > desire > action, talked about how television advertising is inefficient, but not ineffective, and discussed how consumers are statistics and customers are people. His presentation focused on knowing your customers preferences and how customers are marketers for the brands and products they use.
Takeaway #4: Market Through Nudges
As soon as the morning keynotes were done, I rushed through Agency Alley to the breakout rooms so I could secure a good seat for Rand Fishkin’s presentation.
He has always been an engaging speaker in Whiteboard Fridays and Mozinars, but seeing him speak in person was honestly inspiring. He started with some facts and examples about the psychology of nudging your customers in the right direction, and talked about how small visual or verbal clues can have a large impact on people’s decisions.
Rand had the entire audience cracking up and talked about how marketing is changing – how we can’t buy customers, and can’t beg for customers, but we must nudge people in the right direction.
Rand’s presentation was called “The Nudge is Mightier than the Sword” and had twelve actionable tips. You can see his slides below.
Takeaway #5: Customers Are Becoming the New Salespeople of Your Brand
Joel Book is an experienced, no-nonsense marketer with over 35 years in the industry. He talked about all the changes he has seen since direct mail marketing in the seventies to the social media and email marketing of today. Marketing in the future, he says, will be about serving the individual and offering a personalized experience. He talked about how engagement is becoming increasingly important, and how customers are becoming the new salespeople of the brands they use.
There were a number of other amazing presentations, and I learned more than I ever thought I could in one day. I spent some time mingling with other professionals in marketing, advertising, and technology, and gained insight into how they got to where they are.
Interactive Day was an incredible experience, and augmented my motivation to continue soaking in as much information as I can about my industry. I am hoping to go to some more conferences this year and am already counting down the days until next year’s Interactive Day.
If you were at Interactive Day, please feel free to share any of your takeaways in the comments below!