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DigitalRVA Conference Showcases How Top Marketers Are Harnessing Innovative Technology

Sep 13, 2023

The last year has been a hectic one for digital marketers, as we help our respective businesses or clients navigate new technologies and evolving audience behaviors. Our jobs entail constant research and analysis, tracking what’s working and what’s not across a massive scope of work, from strategy to tactical execution. With all this in mind, we wanted our first DigitalRVA Conference to be a way for harried marketers to immerse themselves in ideas and innovation that would help make their jobs simple and more impactful, to help them get the results they want.

More than 250 marketers from all over the country gathered at The Park in Richmond, VA, to share thoughts on the changing world of marketing, and how we can (and are) taking advantage of new tools and technologies to better connect with audiences.

Workshop Digital Co-Founder and VP of Client Services Andrew Miller kicked off the day by showing how marketers are embracing change, especially in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. He paints an optimistic future, highlighting the transformative power of machine learning and analytics in shaping digital marketing. The verdict? The future includes even more uses for innovative technology, with abundant potential for marketers willing to adapt.

“I've always said Richmond has a sneaky strong marketing community that doesn't get enough attention outside our area. The 250+ conference attendees and rock solid speakers put that strength on display. We're thrilled with the turnout and already have ideas to improve our regular meetups and expand our conference lineup next year.”

Andrew Miller, Co-Founder and VP of Client Services

Meg Craig and Bradley Wells of The Martin Agency spoke to the seismic shift happening in social media. Content is everywhere, and yet, so is creator burnout. Amid these challenges, the focus is on innovation, audience insights, and weaving cultural moments into branding. The future promises a stronger bond between brands and audiences, influenced by a rich mix of public relations and storytelling.

Imagine marketing not as an interruption, but as a service addressing real-time needs. Chris Gatewood of Name Warden introduced the concept of event-driven demand, using public data to discern moments where a service is genuinely needed, spanning various industries.

With privacy legislations reshaping data accessibility, Terazo's duo of Amee Mungo and Victoria Flood delved into the power of human-centered marketing. The key? Crafting personalized experiences by understanding customers deeply and engaging them in their unique journeys.

Google's ever-evolving SEO parameters demand content that serves real value. Clearscope’s Bernard Huang unraveled strategies like topical authority, the implications of AI-generated content, and more, emphasizing the importance of relevance in content strategy.

Rosalie Morton of Padilla educated the audience on the influencer landscape and how it is transforming, with micro-influencers, known for their authenticity, taking the limelight. Morton showcased how genuine, localized influence drives better brand engagement, using Padilla's success stories as testimony.

The CarMax trio of Brad Goldschmidt, KJ Travis, and Zeke Brody spotlighted the intricate web of media consumption and marketing spend. Using advanced analytics, they illustrated how brands could effectively determine the genuine impact of their marketing endeavors.

Casey Prentice of The Hodges Partnership presented a three-step guide for marketers to stay organized and grounded using the plethora of channels at their disposal. Because, in this age, mastering omnichannel strategies is non-negotiable.

Meta’s Gibran Jones provided a comprehensive guide on maximizing brand presence on Facebook and Instagram. From fostering communities to best content practices, this session was a goldmine for social media enthusiasts.

Susan Wenograd shared how AI, invisible attribution, and their convergence in media buying are. Wenograd discussed the perks of computer precision, urging marketers to capitalize on technology without sidelining human intuition.

And finally, who would have thought that pizza could be an innovation hub? VP Head of Brand Jaclyn Ruelle highlighted Papa Johns' marketing prowess, emphasizing how a blend of product, consumer insights, and marketing creates brand differentiation. Jaclyn made the day even better by surprising the crowd with free Papa John’s pizza for the post-event happy hour!

We couldn’t be happier with the turnout, the conversations, and the opportunity to meet and build a stronger marketing community. The DigitalRVA Conference underscored that the future of marketing is not just about data, AI, or algorithms. It's about real human experiences, genuine storytelling, and how brands can create meaningful connections in this digital era. It's safe to say, the future of marketing looks not just challenging, but exciting!

To be a part of the ongoing conversation about how to take advantage of all the new opportunities in digital marketing, make sure to sign up for Workshop Digital’s Shop Talk newsletter. If you’re in the Richmond area, you can also stop in to one of our free DigitalRVA meetups to hear hope marketing leaders are using technology and smart strategy to unlock success. Our next free DigitalRVA meetup is October 18 – Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail, will be sharing his wisdom with us. We hope to see you there!