What’s What at Internet Summit 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.34.27 PMI’m kicking it off at Day 2 of Internet Summit 2015, proudly repping Sweeney amongst the thousands of digital marketing professionals who have gathered to learn the latest and greatest in marketing, user experience and design, search, content, mobile and more. But what exactly does this mean?

If there is one thing I learned from my experiences so far, it is there isn’t one answer or formula for success. Sure, there are generally accepted “best practices,” but every brand must have their own personality to stand out amongst the noise.

In fact, brand personality – along with personalization and a unique customer experience – have been a key topic of the Summit so far. Today, consumers want to see beyond the product or service. They want to see the brand as a whole. What do they represent? What are their values? How do they not only provide a product and service, but impact a customer’s life experience?

With the constant need for real-time content in today’s hyperconnected society, customers are beginning to expect more out of the information they receive. They expect a brand to know them – who and where they are, what they’re looking for and what kind of content interests them. Brand personality and customer personalization are heading to the forefront of the customer experience.

Take ING Bank for example – a financial institution whose key target market is recent college graduates. To reach these consumers, the bank looked past traditional marketing and headed where recent college grads are often found: a music festival. It provided toilets, lockers and parking – amenities that are normally lacking – along with a booth where concert-goers could record and share their concert experience through short slow-motion videos (and, of course, provide their email for more information on the company). By understanding their target consumer and their interests, the bank was able to effectively gain traction among this demographic.

But there are much simpler examples, too. Consider when the Walgreens app pushes a notification that your prescription is ready to save you the time and hassle of waiting around. Or, when Uber recommends its dining newsletter that provides great places to eat in the areas you visit most. The possibilities for customization are endless, and can be as straightforward or complex as you can imagine.

As Day 2 continues, I can’t wait to see what’s in store. I’m looking forward to soaking up more information, seeing the newest technologies and platforms and mingling amongst some of the greatest professionals in our industry.