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At the end of January, the marketing team here at Boostability had the opportunity to attend the 2020 Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah. We were inspired by keynote speakers like Mark Zuckerberg and learned so much from the other top Utah tech companies that were in attendance. Here are the highlights from our two days in downtown Salt Lake City.
Sara Beth Preston, Partner Marketing Manager
Favorite presentation: Gayle Troberman, CMO, iHeartMedia
- Our ears have bandwidth.
- Audio is becoming a dominating force to connect people with content (podcasts, radio, morning shows, etc.)
- You don’t have to be manipulative to gain customers. Be honest and open and tell your story simply.
- “The power of human connection is profound and you connect with each other through conversation. It’s the best marketing you will ever do.”
- Podcasts are a great starting point. Ads are part of the show and conversation.
- Embrace the idea that your brand isn’t just visual.
Camden, Partner Marketing Intern
A thought that I haven’t been able to abandon since attending the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit is “Wow, Utah is pretty cool.” Seeing Boostability amongst hundreds of thriving, lucrative companies born and bred in Utah gave me a sense of pride for my industry, and for my state. Competing in the tech industry is no easy feat, and these Utah companies are doing it with such beauty and vigor. From a marketing perspective, I loved walking up and down the rows of company booths, comparing one to another. What makes them stand out? How were they able to convey their message? All in all, the creativity I witnessed at this summit was inspirational.
Owen, Partner Marketing Intern
My favorite session was given by Ryan Napeirski on behalf of NuSkin. This session focused on how important word of mouth recommendations and referrals are to consumer purchasing. Ninety-two percent of people trust their peers over advertising and 74% of purchase decisions have a recommendation backing them. It is key for businesses to provide unmatched customer support while maintaining a quality product/service to maximize customer retention and satisfaction.
Tommy Le, Project Manager
Representing Boostability at such a major conference was an eye-opening experience for me. The attendees consisted of a mixture of tech companies, marketing professionals, small businesses, and prospective students wanting to learn about the ever-growing tech industry.
No matter the industry of the businesses that I spoke with, there was an overwhelming interest in SEO and what our company does. SEO still has the misconception of being a luxury expense reserved only for those with deep pockets and specific industry experience.
Networking with these businesses allowed us to be in the conversation with other leaders in our industry and gave us an opportunity to shed light on how we’ve been able to make SEO services affordable for the masses.
Luckily, our business model has become the anti-enterprise solution and I was proud to explain how we’ve been able to become the worldwide leader in what we do.
Kenna Flanders, Senior Designer
Working the booth gave me great opportunities to understand just how badly SEO is needed for small businesses everywhere. I rarely get the chance to talk to people who are small business owners as my role isn’t client-facing, so I enjoyed explaining the benefits of our SEO product to people who really need it. Our product helps small businesses get more traffic to their websites and therefore more customers, in turn boosting their revenue and giving them a larger footprint in their community. A win for everyone!
Paige Millett, Junior Designer
Silicon Slopes was an activity filled event with lots going on. One of the speakers that really stood out to me was AOL founder, Steve Case, when he really emphasized the importance of working with your local community. This really got me thinking on how we could work with our local communities as we create content in the future.
Mike Marsh, SEO Manager
I was live tweeting the Brand and Marketing breakout meetings with some heavy hitters like Jessica Klondnicki of @skullcandy and Joe Grover of @TryHomie as well as the keynotes from Mark Zuckerberg and Gail Miller. Here are some highlights:
— Mike Marsh (@TheMarshSpeaks) January 30, 2020
Patrick Lencioni gave us great tips on how to identify and manage real team players.
Being a pioneer in every facet of life takes immense amount of courage. Don’t let fear get in the way and cause you lose out on the great experiences life can offer.
— Mike Marsh (@TheMarshSpeaks) January 31, 2020
Gail gave a great speech about how Silicon Slopes and education helps the community and how we can overcome fear.
Niki Hansen, Lead Acquisition Specialist
One of the most insightful sessions I attended at Silicon Slopes was Patrick Lencioni’s presentation on becoming a team player. He talked about how his best-selling book, The Ideal Team Player, and the three core virtues that makeup invaluable team members for an organization. The ideal team player is humble, hungry, and people smart. Although these concepts seem simple, a team that lacks one or more of these virtues will become dysfunctional. To better create a team of ideal team players we need to conduct non-traditional interviews and coach current employees on where they fall short and how to improve.
Kristine Pratt, Content Manager
A key takeaway from Silicon Slopes was helping you become the best within your own space. Topics were diverse and can apply broadly to the very diverse tech landscape we have here in Utah. But as someone who is a marketing and communications guru at heart, the sessions that talked about building a brand spoke to me the most.
Jeremy Andrus from Traeger Grills kicked things off and set the tone for me for the whole conference. He said building a brand has nothing to do with what you say about your brand. It’s how you engage your community and make them advocates for your brand. Gayle Troberman from iHeartMedia said something in a similar vein, saying that attention is the most valuable currency for marketers. Your customers are listening to your branding in a way you’re likely not, so you need to be smart and savvy in how you connect with your customers. And it may be different from the way you’re used to.
Krystin Pipkin, Social Media Coordinator
I liked the messages from several branding professionals on the importance of allowing your consumer to help you spread your brand and message. Consumers don’t always trust brands. They know they are being sold. But people trust people. They trust their friends. Enable your customers to help share your message and product to help grow.
The funnel is broken. We need to retire the funnel. It gives credit to sales and marketing but the most important reason people buy isn’t marketing or sales. It’s your existing customers. The strongest reason for buying is customers influencing new customers. @bhalligan #SSTS20
— Boostability (@Boostability) January 31, 2020
I noticed a theme of building a community, whether its with your employees, customers, or through social media. Giving trust to the people around you helps to build and grow your community. There is power in a community. People are stronger when they work together.
The mission of Facebook is to build a community. While social media is a global phenomenon, polarization is trending in very different directions in different places. – Mark Zuckerberg #SSTS20 #boostatssts20 pic.twitter.com/wbXoSw9HB7
— Boostability (@Boostability) February 1, 2020
Madeline Thatcher, Content Specialist
As a former English major, I was impressed with the way panelists discussed computer science as a form of literacy. While I am wary of programs that support tech as the be-all, end-all of modern educational initiatives, I believe that teaching students how to read code and programming is a useful skill, even if they don’t inevitably use it as an integral part of their future careers. But I am also a firm believer in the necessity of diversity in tech, which was also discussed. Without teaching students how to engage with others and the world around them, ethical tech will be hard to come by.
John Matsen, Content Intern
I attended several sessions that gave insight into the younger generation as an emerging demographic. Clark Stacey, CEO of WildWorks, gave the example of Captain Toothpaste, a character created by adults to teach children about dental hygiene. While the motives behind the character might be good, kids can smell the agenda from a mile away. Having grown up in step with mobile technology AND digital advertising, they are experts and getting around roadblocks, ads, privacy protection, and anything that works for the man. Instead, Stacey said that companies should start working for them instead of themselves in order to satisfy their craving for authenticity.
Jaime Neely, Chief Culture Officer at Trend Hunter, touched on the subject as well. She shared data that shows that to 90% of people, authenticity is important in choosing brands. We’ve reached a turning point in the boom of digital technology and companies will have to pivot their online strategies to stay relevant. Neely shared several tactics for correcting this problem: co-branded influence, instant gratification, and AI engagement.