Team GMD never misses a chance to learn from the best in the industry and keep improving our skills. Therefore, we couldn’t miss one of the biggest digital marketing conferences on the West Coast – the Call To Action Conference. Over 3 days (September 24 – September 26), we absorbed all the little details to become better at what we do, but also to share our key takeaways with the rest of you. 

The digital marketing industry is ever-changing, and having a chance to learn more about new innovations and discuss various challenges with like-minded marketers is refreshing. This year’s conference covered the six core elements of Marketing IQ: design, copy, analytics, process, strategy and emotion.

As Rick Perreault, CEO and Co-Founder of Unbounce put it:

“Here’s to raising the marketing bar as we raise our Marketing IQ’s.”

Without further ado, here are key takeaways from each day.

  1. September 24 (Workshops)

How to help your customers get the most out of your product, so they keep choosing you?

Every business owner has to answer this question at some point. Whether it is before they start their business, or once the market is saturated with similar products, or the whole industry shifts. The answer is known and pretty straightforward, but it is always good to keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure your team knows your product. It will help them build empathy with the customers to understand what they go through.
  • Never leave your customers guessing the answers. Instead, help and reassure them that they’re in the right place and remind them about the awesome tools and features you offer.
  • Stay relevant and keep updating your processes.

In the next workshop, we learned about 5 behind the scenes secrets to landing page success in 2019 and beyond.

  • Know the real purpose of the landing page. An independent, campaign-specific destination that persuades a member of a target audience to take one clearly defined action. Create an experience for your visitors that compels them to take action now instead of later.
  • The highest conversion landing pages have one single action. Instead of focusing on the elements, focus on the questions:
    • Do I quickly understand the big idea?
    • Can it specifically help me?
    • Do I like it?
    • Has it helped others?
    • Do I trust it?
    • Is it something special about it?
    • Can I easily take action now?
  • Processes give you structure, save you time, and help you avoid mistakes. Have a well-documented process and follow it.
  • Don’t just assume what you need to change on the landing page. Improve landing pages by gathering feedback and running tests.
  • Focus on these 7 pillars:
  1. Analytics.
  2. Testing.
  3. Psychology.
  4. Usability.
  5. Copywriting.
  6. Development.
  7. Design.
  1. September 25 (Day 1)

On the first official day of the conference, top marketers like Brian Massey, Jason Miller, Britney Muller and Sonia Thompson (to name a few) shared their wisdom and experience. However, here are the top three speakers that resonated with our team:

  • Angie Schottmuller shared her way of reaching the audience through their emotions and talked about the benefits of doing so. For example, we know that testimonials are a great addition to a website; however, they are much more effective if they tug at your emotions. A compelling testimony will first address the problem that the user was having before using the product, and then go on to talk about how it can help fix the issue in a timely manner. These are the types of testimonials that should be put on the website. The same can go for social media copy, using emotions and putting users feelings first can encourage them to picture themselves with the product and also encourage them to browse the website/research the product more.
  • Nir Eyal gave actionable advice on how to stay super-focused in this day and age, with phones attached to our hands. His tips are to plan your time, schedule your days and tasks, get rid of low-value work, spend less time messaging, and block out external distractions. 
  • Colin Loughran, Unbounce’s Editor in Chief, had a great presentation about content. Unbounce reports that over 4.4 million blog posts are written daily, and a lot of time, this content isn’t exciting or novel, rather it exists for purely SEO purposes. We are in a crisis of facts and knowledge, and companies should focus their content on customer curiosity, generating conversation, and finally connecting it to their product/service, not just think about SERP’s. 
  1. September 26 (Day 2)

The second day was full of giveaways, intellectual discussions, and amazing speakers. Joanna Wiebe, the founder of Copyhackers, reminded us that usually, founders of the companies are the very first customers of the aforementioned companies. They were so frustrated by the absence of a product or a service in the market that they founded a new company to solve that need. Therefore, interviewing them, learning more about what pushed them to start a new business is crucial to know what to emphasize when talking to prospective clients.

Here are a couple more talks that stood out to us on the second day:

  • Carl Schmidt, the founder of Unbounce, challenged our perception of the A/B testing by stating that it is no longer the best decision-making tool. In the upcoming years, the industry will be moving away from the “one size fits all” approach. AI technology will enable a more custom experience by matching landing page variants to the individual user.
  • Andy Crestodina’s love for data was infectious. His talk went into a deep dive into how to use Google Analytics to observe user behaviour. Our designers were fascinated to see how data and design can often go hand in hand in shaping a business’ strategy. Rather than using Google Analytics as a means to view data averages, using it correctly through advanced filters and segmenting could be a one-stop-shop to finding out what a user cares about and what they don’t. Through that, data can be translated into design strategy, to help realign the information hierarchy of a webpage to better fit user needs.

We can say with confidence that the CTA Conference gets better every year and we as a team learned a lot within this 3 day period. There are so many more takeaways that we are excited to implement into our current and future campaigns after attending this year’s conference. We look forward to meeting fellow marketers, industry leaders and the Unbounce team next year.