3 Major Takeaways from Digital Summit Seattle 2018

There’s an entire world of marketing beyond the “glass” walls of the FishBowl.

Buried in the pleasant monotony of everyday office life, I sometimes forget that.

Client projects, internal operations, email inboxes, Facebook notifications, phone calls, webinars—boy, our worlds can get pretty small pretty fast. It’s easy to shift to a mindset that trends toward insular.

Venturing out of the FishBowl, I set out on a quest to Digital Summit Seattle for a two-day digital marketing conference for inspiration, motivation, and time for creative space.

Instead of sharing hundreds of pages of notes, I decided to boil this conference down.

So, here are the 3 major takeaways I learned at Digital Summit Seattle 2018...

Email Marketing Still Has Legs—Just Please, Use it Wisely!

Email has been around for over 25 years. It was popularized in the mid-1990s and had a famous movie made about it. But lately it’s getting a bad rap.

One of the main reasons the European market is implementing the GDPR in May 2018 is because of internet marketers who have been brutally abusing email marketing for years.

Bad marketers can kill just about any medium or platform.

But somehow, by some miracle, people still love email—so long as it’s the right email.  

In a study done by Adobe about what channel consumers prefer to get messages, email still led the way at 61 percent of consumer votes.

A close second was direct mail at 18 percent.

So here’s the key. It’s about using email well. Sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Entertain them. Inform them. Inspire them.

And it’s not about email alone. It’s that combination.

After all, when reached with Facebook ads, email openers were 22% more likely to make a purchase.

So here’s our focus with email:

  1. Send value.

  2. Send a targeted message.

  3. Be concise.

(I didn’t share this yet, but an “engaged email user” is one who stays on an email for 8-seconds.)

That’s what we’ll be doing at Fisheye over the course of 2018. Heightened focus on a medium that many feel is dying, but that we still feel has legs.

(Thanks to Michael J. Barber for his killer workshop 45 Tactics for Taking Your Email from Zero to Hero.


Video… ooo baby, video

I love content. Good content, that is.

So do all consumers.

That’s why instead of just writing a long, drawn-out blog post (sorry), we opted to combine this blog with a video. After all, video is the future.

The most popular statistic in video marketing today is the fact that 80 percent of all content consumed online by 2020 will be video.

That’s a harrowing statistic, but it is fractionally misleading. Of course, they’re factoring in all of the OTT streaming with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling, and more.

But still… 80 percent is a massive amount.

And here’s a key takeaway that is valuable, granted subjective: 100 percent of your video needs to be optimized for mobile.


Over half of all video content consumed today is consumed on mobile. And the number is growing.

And as video is consumed in dozens of places (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, LinkedIn, and more, and more…), it’s important to be mindful of where you’re posting.

A video on Facebook should look different than one posted on Instagram. A video posted on YouTube can take on a different feel than one posted on Twitter.

So here’s our focus with video for our clients:

  1. Create video that tells a story.

  2. Make sure the video is easy to digest on mobile.

  3. Think about the platform you’re posting on.

We love helping clients create cool video. To more in 2018!

Just tell a story

I touched on this in the beginning of the last paragraph, but it’s all about that story.

And storytelling is hard.

Scott Dikkers, founder of The Onion, shared how he built an entire publication business based on his ability to share his story of sarcasm and outrageous marketing with the world. The Onion is built on story.

Every business has a story.

If you’re a business owner or involved with running a business, how are you telling that story?

Jon Fish is a storyteller with ESPN. He gave a presentation at DS Seattle that talked all about telling a story and about getting into what makes a story special. How you want to be telling it from a perspective that connects with the person on the other side.  

Storytelling is as old as the campfire. And even the most basic message has a story.”


So here’s our focus with storytelling for our clients:

  1. Illuminate what makes their business special.

  2. Use storytelling to build relationships.

  3. Integrate story into every part of the business.

As marketers, we head to the office every day with a tool belt. That tool belt is fully equipped with skills in copywriting & design, branding & positioning, and technical execution. And that’s just the beginning.  

Then there’s client relations, time & project management, and managing deliverability around key KPIs for each client.

It’s conferences like Digital Summit Seattle that allows you to flesh out this tool belt.

At the 2018 event, there were over 55 different presentations spanning some 20+ hours. For someone with a notepad, a pencil, and a hand with some serious stamina, you could come away with hundreds of tidbits. Maybe thousands. Valuable little marketing nuggets.

I still have tons of notes to review, but figured I would end it here for now.

If you want to talk marketing or hear more about what I learned at Digital Summit Seattle, feel free to shoot me an email or a tweet.

I’d love to chat more.