General, Inspiration /

Top Takeaways from the 2017 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

The 2017 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference marked UMSL’s third year hosting the event and my first year in attendance. I learned a lot about what it is like to attend a large conference like this and a lot about the changing digital marketing landscape. Here are some of the key insights I took away from the conference.

  1. Digital marketing should be about making connections, not just making contact.

This one may seem obvious, but it never hurts to have a reminder. The key to a successful social media presence is making meaningful connections with your audience, not just spewing information at them that you perceive to be relevant. It’s better to stop and understand what your audience really wants to see and respond to, rather than playing a guessing game. Two pieces of advice to keep in mind to help you stay on track and build connections are (1) say it, don’t spray it and, (2) when it comes to content, place value on quality over quantity.

(Inspired by Phil Cara of Buzzfeed)

girl on phone

  1. Check your strategy against your business’s goals.

You have a digital marketing strategy, but it might not be as strong as you think. Remembering to regularly look back and check that your strategy is reflecting your business goals is a good way to make sure your digital media efforts aren’t wasted. Overall, make sure your strategy is driven by genuine connections that matter for your business, not just by acquisition of impressions and views.

(Inspired by Nate Bauer of Perficient)

  1. Meaningful brand experiences can make meaningful life experiences.

Technology has opened up new lines of communication, changing the way people interact with each other and the way we experience things together. When news breaks and big events occur, people turn to digital media to see how others are reacting and engaging. The digital media landscape invites collective participation that leads to a new type of cultural experience. Through all this, it is important to remain authentic, especially as spokespeople for our businesses. Open discussions with your team and a keen understanding of your audience are crucial to providing experiences that build meaningful and memorable connections that meet the expectations of today’s digital natives.

(Inspired by Melissa Hamilton of Momentum Worldwide)


It was difficult to boil down all the takeaways into one blog post. The knowledge gained through the 15+ sessions I attended was immensely beneficial, and I highly recommend getting next year’s Midwest Digital Marketing Conference on your calendar. If you need a little more convincing, here is another interesting read about the conference and the UMSL team behind the magic:

Stay tuned for my follow up post outlining how to make the most of attending a multi-day conference!


Claire Strube