AWesome Highlights from ASCEND Digital Marketing Summit 2014

Not many conferences can brag about bringing together an outstanding lineup of talented speakers (and maybe part-time comics?), enthusiastic attendees, and a fun astronaut. But it happened, and there’s a lot we want to talk about!

The energy was tangible even before the inaugural ASCEND Digital Marketing Summit (hosted by AWeber) kicked off Thursday morning October 23, 2014 at The Westin Philadelphia — and it only carried on throughout the remainder of the conference. With topics ranging from content marketing to optimization strategies and affiliate marketing, each session was engaging and informative, providing many actionable takeaways for attendees (or as we call them, ascendees) striving to become better digital marketers.

While we’re still digesting all of the incredible information we just absorbed (and Tweeted), here are some of our favorite highlights from ASCEND 2014:

ASCEND Kickoff

Introducing AWeber’s Newest Team Member

Speaker Sessions: Day 1

Dear Diary: A Content Marketing Makeover

Speaker: Ann Handley

“Writing is a habit, not an art.”

“We don’t need more content. We need better content.”

The Entrepreneur Story

Speaker: Peter Shankman

“Having an audience is not a right. It’s a privilege.”

“Don’t have a back up plan for when you fail; have a back up plan for when you succeed.”

“Learn to write, learn to speak, learn to communicate. Create something real. Be different.”

SEO Straight Talk: Why You Need #RCS Now More Than Ever

Speaker: Wil Reynolds

“Build cliques, not clicks.”

Affiliate Marketing – Live and Uncut Moderator: Tricia Meyer Panelists: Sarah Bundy, Jen Myers Ward, Geno Prussakov, Brian Littleton

“It’s a matter of finding the right partners and educating them.”

“Do your research, get to know your audience – you need to bring value.”

“Humans are creatures of habit. Big changes can take time to adjust to, especially in A/B tests.”

Advanced Blogging and Multichannel Analytics Speaker: Andy Crestodina

“Don’t send people from your homepage to YouTube. There are baby hedgehogs on there. They’re never coming back.”

“If you’re not making friends, you’re doing it wrong.”

The Future of Content Marketing Speaker: Michael Brenner

“Great marketing has always been about storytelling.”

“Banners have 99 problems and a click ain’t one.”

Speaker Sessions: Day 2

How to Produce Content that Gets Results, More Leads, and Way More Customers

Speaker: Marcus Sheridan

“Stop telling the world you’re awesome! People will figure that out on your site.”

“Become the wikipedia of your industry.”

Fat Fingers & Small Screens: Three Strategies for Mobile-Optimized Emails

Speaker: Justine Jordan

“80 percent of customers will delete your email if they can’t read it on a mobile device and 30 percent will unsubscribe.”

“Use actionable, useful terminology in your subject line.”

Conversion Optimization – Live and Uncut

Moderator: Hunter Boyle Panelists: Oli Gardner, Brian Massey

“Distracting landing page backgrounds are the enemy.”

Email Deliverability: Ask the Expert

Speaker: Mohammed Ahmed

“Make it easy to unsubscribe.”

2 Key Insights Learned From Processing Over 4 Million Opt-Ins Per Month

Speaker: Tim Paige

“Make your page a giving page, not a taking page.”

Exploring the Fundamentals of User Experience

Speaker: Jessica Ivins

“To make products useful, we need to understand the needs of our audience.”

“Reduce barriers to entry – don’t make it hard for them to get what they want.”

A Tactical Toolkit to Conquer the Digital Marketing Trifecta

Speaker: Lynette Young

“Pay attention to social, blog, and email. Where are you strongest? What needs help?”

“Give away your knowledge for free – help before the hype.”

“Make your interactions with your customer fun.”

ASCEND 2014 Sessions Available Now!

Don’t worry if you missed out on AWeber’s inaugural event. You can order videos of the best sessions so that you can get the best content from industry experts right to your own device. The one thing not included in the ASCEND session videos is content from the networking parties! No worries, our friends at Wistia put together a little taste of what went on after the talks were done!

One Comment

  1. Kevin Puls - "...online, email marketing maven."

    10/29/2014 5:14 am

    By all accounts, I heard that it was a VERY productive, educational, AND useful event.

    I am glad that I was able to pick up my friend, Jack Born at the airport to take him and then to spend dinner with him at Morimoto on Chestnut St after I picked him up to take him back to the airport.

    Let’s hope that this will start to become an annual event, b/c THAT would be something!