SEMPO: an Event to Remember
by Brooke Meyer, Graphic Designer
This Tuesday, Markitects was a proud co-sponsor of SEMPO Cities Philadelphia: Up Your Digital Marketing Tempo in collaboration with local WSI affiliate, Vinkler Internet Enterprise. This event was part of SEMPO’s outreach initiative for local networking and learning. As one of only 20 cities around the world to be included the first-ever SEMPO Cities Month, it was truly an honor for Philadelphia to be chosen. Taking place at The Pyramid Club, one of the finest venues in Philadelphia, the entire morning was fast-paced, engaging, and incredibly insightful for all who attended.
As a graphic designer at Markitects, I was fortunate enough to participate in SEMPO’s outreach event. I had never attended something of this scale, and was pleasantly surprised as to how the day unfolded. Located at the very top floor of the BNY Mellon Center building, the guests were treated to a fantastic view of the cityscape as they greeted each other and signed in at the desk. Before the event started, it seemed more like a reunion than a meeting: attendees giving each other hugs and warm handshakes and talking about their marketing experiences over mugs of coffee and breakfast.
The keynote speaker was Dan Monaghan, Co-Founder of WSI, one of CIO Magazine’s 20 Most Promising Digital Marketing Solution Providers. His presentation, entitled “Harnessing Digital”, was an eye-opening experience for both marketing novices and veterans alike. He fully engaged the audience by speaking to them as business peers, offering insightful advice, tips and facts on marketing strategies that many would not have considered.
It was a surprise even to me to learn that 65% of web developers have never tested anything–that it’s based entirely on the approval of the client without testing. Or that when driving web traffic, using SEO is obvious, but most people don’t know it can be downright dangerous to the business. If SEO is not done correctly, it can potentially cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars to undo the damage. SEO can be manipulated (or “hacked”) to shoot through the rankings, but can crash shortly after when Google nails you. Instead of coding tricks and buzzwords, using relevant and meaningful content for gradual SEO growth is better in the long-term.
Monaghan then delved into Facebook and other social media, explaining that it can be rendered useless if the audience is not determined to make it succeed. He raised the question if a company’s social media property is even controlled by the company, or is the page being maintained by a former employee—ouch! If that person leaves and a login migration plan is not in effect, the social media presence essentially leaves the hands of the business, too. Monaghan also stressed the importance of content consistency across all properties–even something as minor as an address discrepancy can affect rankings in search engines.
Following Dan’s presentation was the “Digital Marketing in Action” panel, which was a refreshing interactive segment facilitates by our very own Francine Carb, President & CEO. Joining here were Justin Pizzi, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Saxbys Coffee, Kevin Crowly, Sales Performance Analyst at Tozour Energy Systems, and Chris Schalleur, Partner at Christo IT Services who offered insights into how marketing strategies work for them in their own businesses. The beauty of digital marketing is how adaptive and responsive it can be for each individual company. What works for one business may not necessarily work for someone else. However, the underlying elements remain the same: client engagement is crucial and is the root of digital marketing for businesses. Justin Pizzi says that one should always be open to working with marketing agencies and new methods to reach your audience. He also urged that a strong website is the foundation of a business presence; all other materials can be created around it. Kevin Crowley added that for his company, email campaigns and brand consistency greatly helped increase the company’s presence and customer awareness. Chris Schalleur emphasized the importance of getting uncomfortable–as a reminder to engage in continuous improvements is you are to be successful and grown your business.
Next, one of our featured speakers, Julianne Gaudio, Agency Development Manager at Google, presented “Micro Moments, Creating and Capturing Demand with Google”. Did you know that the average person checks their phone 150 times per day and spends a 177 minutes using their smart phone? Many of these moments are spent searching for what we need or want at that moment—Google calls these micro-moments. For marketers, these moments are an open invitation to engage. This directly tied into the discussion panel earlier where client engagement was emphasized as crucial. After hearing Gaudio speak, it was fascinating to realize how many different companies, both large and small, have experienced such positive results from digital marketing.
The SEMPO Cities Philadelphia event was truly a success for everyone involved. I was so grateful to be a part of this and will continue to utilize what I learned at SEMPO for my future design and creative goals for Markitects and its clients. View more about our SEO capabilities here.