This post was originally written by Omer Navaid, Online Marketing Specialist at Apartments.com
ExactTarget, an interactive marketing platform providing solutions for email marketing, social media, mobile and websites, held its annual user conference – Connections – this October in their home city of Indianapolis, IN. With 4,000 attendees this year, it was touted as one of the largest interactive marketing conferences in the world. The conference strives to deliver inspiration, education, and last but certainly not least entertainment. As an attendee of the conference, I can attest that ExactTarget succeeded on all three fronts. The conference featured keynotes from top CMOs, as well as Michael J. Fox, who all delivered on this year’s theme of Inspire the Future. It also included 40+ breakout sessions, with wide-ranging topics like cross-channel strategies, segmentation and content marketing. Throw in some entertainment from The Fray and David Blaine and you’ve got yourself a pretty engaging conference.
Based on the sessions I attended, here are some of the themes I took away from this year’s Connections:
The Importance of Mobile. By now, it’s well established that exponential growth of mobile devices is here to stay. Companies who want to stay ahead of the curve need to start investing significantly in this channel. Whether it’s developing a mobile app, or optimizing your email marketing for mobile devices, any interactive marketing strategy needs to account for those faithful users of the small screen.
Cross-Channel Engagement. Just like mobile devices, social sites, blogs and apps are not going away any time soon. Facebook and Twitter are still the mainstays, but companies need to also pay attention to emerging sites like Pinterest. And let’s certainly not forget about the relevance of email! These days, consumers engage with their brands in a variety of ways and it’s up to marketers to keep those conversations going.
Automation. If you or any one you know works in marketing, you know that we’re busy implementing and optimizing marketing campaigns for the greatest ROI. Why not make life easier with marketing automation? With so many marketing tools and vendor solutions available (ExactTarget of course being one of them), companies can get more out of their marketing departments and remove many of the manual processes of yesteryear.
Attending ExactTarget’s Connections user conference has become somewhat of a tradition for the Marketing folks at Apartments.com. We’re always striving to learn about new and innovative ways to drive quality leads to your properties, and being at one of the hubs of the interactive marketing industry is a great place to do just that.