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Get the inside scoop on the latest strategies, trends and best practices for engaging your audiences and converting your buyers.

On Friday, April 29, the region’s community of marketing and communications professionals congregated for fifth annual Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Tysons Corner, Va. Sessions spanned a range of topics top-of-mind for today’s marketing professionals including metrics, mobile, social, big data, marketing automation, online video campaigns, experiential advertising, and more.

But if you missed the event, don’t worry, here are some of the highlights.

Starting out the day was the “CMO Roundtable: The Big Picture for 2016,” which included speakers Shana Glenzer of Make Offices, Michael Lees of MetaLogix and Trevor Lynn of Social Tables. While a number of issues, challenges and even favorite tools were discussed (such as Pardot, Infer, C3 Metrics, Triblio and more), the group seemed to agree on four main priorities that keep them up at night:

  1. Access to better data to understand who the customer is;
  2. Finding marketing talent and building the right team;
  3. Creating campaigns and programs that are easily measured and replicated; and
  4. Pushing the buyer through the funnel from awareness to conversion, at the lowest cost.

Raising awareness and driving the buying process was a theme that continued throughout the day. The enormous role that social media plays in this process today was discussed by Tracx CEO, Rick Rudman, who noted that 70% of buying journeys today start from self discovery versus 30% from direct outreach by a brand. Content continues to be king (when done well) and Marriott’s VP of Creative and Content Marketing, David Beebe, even went so far as to call what we’re dealing with now as “Generation C” (for content). We’ve reached the point, he said, that everyone’s sharing content and everyone’s a media company, so your business should operate like one.

In the session “I Became a Content Marketer Last Year: Now What?” Greg Kihlström, CEO of Carousel30, emphasized that to be successful with content, you need to follow five key steps:

  1. Make it manageable;
  2. Make it measurable;
  3. Grow and share;
  4. Make it about your audience; and
  5. Give audience something to do.  

Content was also the number one resource sales wants from their marketing teams, according to a panel around “Let’s Cut to the Chase: Here’s What Sales Needs from Marketing Today.” Panelists spoke about how marketing is not just about lead generation (many times the leads are there), it’s about acceleration the sales cycle. Content plays a critical role in educating the market so that buyers already have a positive impression in that “first moment of truth” even before they walk in the door or pick up the phone to talk to sales.

These are just a few of the highlights from the full-day conference. If there were any sessions you found interesting, I’d love to discuss more! Reach me directly, here

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