The team at AVX Digital attended the Dallas Digital Summit earlier this month and we are happy to share what we learned from all of the great workshops, sessions, and speakers. Read our conference highlights below, which we will apply to our 2018 digital marketing goals: Robert Bochnak, Social Media Strategist for the Office of External Relations at Harvard Business School, hosted a workshop about developing and sustaining audience engagement. Through the best practices below, Robert was able to grow his social media interactions through different platforms by 160% in the past two years. That was all due to focusing on data-driven content and analyzing the ROI of those efforts. Some main takeaways from his workshop: Start with applying social media goals to build meaningful relationships Involve alumni in the creation of user-generated content Connect with your target market based on interests and personal connections Another speaker that caught our attention was Loren McDonald, Marketing Evangelist for IBM Watson Marketing, who hosted a workshop on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning Technologies. Here are some things we learned: 5 R’s of data quality that affects AI: Range, Recency, Robustness, Relevance, and Reliability. Set clear goals/KPI’s for machine learning programs Creativity will not be replaced, but enhanced through AI Fun Fact:IBM Watson Marketing partnered with 20th Century Fox to create the first “cognitive movie trailer” using AI for the movie “Morgan.” This could be only the beginning of AI in the film industry and we are interested to see where the future of marketers will head and what we need to do to prepare. Another workshop that our team loved focused on voice search and how we can monetize it. Collin Colburn, an analyst on the B2C marketing team for Forrester, spoke on the topic and shared these key points: Voice search is only easy to monetize through companies who adopt this tool with an easy sales funnel It provides high-level visibility to search queries that are designed to empower customers to make informed purchases. Check out this graphic to help give you a better idea of voice search and the difference it can make for your business: A favorite keynote speaker of ours had to be Jay Baer. Jay is the Founder of Convince & Convert and shared best practices and real world examples that assist in creating success through the digital world. Consumers post on social media about their experience, so find out how your company can apply X-factors that make people want to tell others about your business. Example: Highest rated amusement park in the world is Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari because of 2 X-factors: Free sunscreen and free soda. Example: The highest rated business in all of New York is a locksmith, because of 2 X-factors: He doesn’t charge extra for weekends or late nights and he oils all of your locks in your house. The team had an amazing time hearing all of the speakers who spoke about the future of digital marketing and how we can always be up to date with our current and future clients. We can’t wait for Digital Summit 2018!