Blog Post

Digital Summit PDX 2018: Our Agency’s Big Takeaways

Crystal Frankenbery, a graphic designer at PMG, attended Digital Summit PDX on June 11th and 12th. In this post, she recaps two sessions, from Greg Perotto and Mindy Weinstein, that highlight the importance of building a strong brand from the ground up to deliver a customer-centric experience.

Digital Summit PDX in Portland OR

Only a few days after launching our agency’s new website, I had the opportunity to attend Digital Summit PDX. Hearing from industry experts about best practices helped to reinforce the confidence I have in our agency’s new website—from the foundation of our keyword and sitemap strategy, to our overall approach of delivering helpful content in a customer-centric way. It was only after months of discovery, research and planning that we kicked off our own website rebuild with the intention to reach more of our customers in the SaaS and tech space who may need help optimizing (or launching) their B2B content marketing and demand generation programs.

These two sessions, from Greg Perotto and Mindy Weinstein, not only spoke to the importance of building a strong brand from the ground up, but they also outlined a lot of the steps we took, as a company, to ensure that our new website would deliver a customer-centric experience.

Building Brand in the Digital Age

Greg Perotto, VP of global corporate marketing at HootSuite, spoke at the conference about building brand in the digital age and how to deliver consistent brand experience. The biggest takeaways were that brands need to:

  • Map the customer’s journey, from awareness to advocacy, noting opportunities for surprise and delight.
  • Understand that people see right through anything that is not genuinely aligned with your company.
  • Build a foundation for success with a keen understanding of the basics.

When Perotto talked about having a keen understanding of the basics, I immediately thought to how important our team’s work in developing a brand book has been to our agency’s ability to work in a customer-centric way.

A brand book serves as a reference point for your brand. Beyond providing an overview of your brand’s identity, it sets the visual and messaging guidelines that your brand operates within. Establishing a tangible, brand-defining guide for our team to refer to has been foundational in our ability to deliver on our agency’s brand promise.

Telling the story of who you are in a codified way also sets the tone for the expectations you have around your product, your team and the customer experience.

Perotto walked through a few key areas a brand needs to define to ensure delivery of the intended customer experience:

Purpose: Clearly articulates why your company and brand exist.
Promise: Captures what you uniquely do for your customers and the value you deliver through your company, brand, people and throughout your customer’s journey with you.
Point of view: Outlines what you stand for as a business and in the market.
Brand Experience: Captures what you want customers to experience at every touchpoint through their journey with you—from awareness to advocacy.
Values: Lays out how you operate as an organization and how you work each other, customers, partners and investors.

To deliver a consistent brand experience, you need to understand your customer and build your brand promise and desired customer experience to serve them.

Optimizing Your Website

After your brand book is established, and you’re clear on 1) who you are; 2) what you’re delivering; and 3) exactly who you’re delivering it to, it’s possible to begin planning for the content that will best serve your customers—starting with a full SEO investigation and analysis.

Mindy Weinstein, founder and president of Market MindShift, held a session at Digital Summit PDX called “What’s Wrong With Your Website” in which she discussed how to:

  • Diagnose common problems that can hurt your search rankings.
  • Prioritize technical fixes based on the level of impact on the website.
  • Communicate technical implementations to both IT and Marketing.

Weinstein called out a few of her favorite tools in working towards establishing a website that is optimized to get your content seen by the right audience:

  • Google Lighthouse audits your content to improve the quality of your webpages.
  • Google Search Console ensures your site’s robots.txt gives accurate directives to search engines and improves the overall crawl efficiency possible on your site.
  • Siteliner finds duplicate content on your site, as well as  broken links.

While some of these tasks to optimize your website can feel tedious—they also represent keystone aspects of being able to deliver a customer-centric experience. Because if you don’t invest time and resources to handling these basics, it won’t matter how great or helpful your content is—your audience won’t be able to find it.

Of course I can’t help but mention how great it was to be inspired by the beautiful storytelling and keynote presentations given by Chelsea Handler, Cynthia Round, Rand Fiskin, and Tamsen Webster.

Chelsea Handler, Speaker at Digital Summit PDX

Thanks again to Digital Summit PDX for gathering this community of digital marketing experts in one place. Be sure to check out Digital Summit’s Marketing Resource Hub for more information about the event, and if you’re interested in learning more about how to build brand and drive demand for your company— get in touch with us