I’ve always felt that the ONeil Interactive team is made up of “my people” — meaning they get me and I’m comfortably transparent with who I am. We’re all individuals with unique interests and quirks, but the love of digital, the quest for knowledge, and the desire to do good things for good people are the themes that unite us. Plus, we love a good meme or obscure movie quote.
During last week’s Online Sales & Marketing Summit, hosted by the good people of Do You Convert, I’ve never been in the company of so many that I would describe as “my people.” The summit was buzzing from start to finish with conversion rates, event tracking, SEO, lots of kindness, and a uniform desire to help one another.
It had been many years since I last visited Chicago, but I was so glad to be back. My ideal climate is a perpetual Fall season, and Chicago comes pretty close in September. Add in Chicago’s stunning architecture and it’s hard to get me to walk inside.
The day before the DYC Summit, the ONeil Interactive team took the opportunity to hold our first-ever Homefiniti Summit. We gathered a group of current and soon-to-be Homefiniti users to collect feedback on the good, the bad, and the “I wish it had.” Our attendees got a sneak peek at some new features coming out soon, and their early feedback is shaping the final form of those features.
We’ve considered holding a Homefiniti Summit for some time, and the convergence of the DYC Summit attendees created a great opportunity. If you didn’t hear about the summit, we promise it was simply due to the limited timeline and space. We will undoubtedly be holding another Homefiniti Summit, and we’d love to have you there.
Afterwards, we all decompressed over cocktails and table tennis a couple blocks away.
Mike Lyon and Kevin Oakley got the event kicked-off early (BTW, big big congratulations to DYC on their first ten years) and introduced an excellent lineup of keynote speakers – Steve Pacinelli, CMO of BombBomb, Alaina Money, Founder & CEO of Garman Homes and Fresh Paint, and Jeff Turner, Entrepreneur In Residence at Second Century Ventures.
Each keynote spoke to me, as they all centered around the importance of human connections in life, business, and more practically – commerce. I was most touched by Alaina Money’s stories and how I could see her not simply leaning into her humanity, but diving heart first into her company, employees, contractors, and customers.
I also learned that Alaina and I share the opinion that a stock photography budget can never be too small. Instead of stock photos in Garman Homes model homes, the frames are filled with personal photos of employees doing what makes them happy — fishing, traveling, or proposing marriage. No headshots allowed. How’s that for making it personal?
Alaina went on to describe an interaction with a couple tradesmen she heard speak an offensive slur. I don’t want to spoil the story, but let’s say that both Alaina and the tradesmen involved gained a new perspective and made a mutual commitment to adjust their own speech – forever.
It’s no wonder Alaina will be on stage for the Clash of The Titans debate at IBS 2020.
The Marketing Track
The Summit split into separate sales and marketing tracks for the remainder of the event. Not surprisingly, I spent my time in the marketing track.
For those of you that haven’t attended the DYC Summit in the past, you know there is a serious amount of powerful fresh and proven ideas shared — the kind you will not find in blog posts for at least 6 months. You’ll need to get on the VIP list here and attend next year (in Dallas!) if you want all the goods, but here’s an overview of some of the many themes everyone was talking about.
Content. It’s not a secret that builders need content, but Kevin Oakley shared some exciting idea starters for attendees to seriously up the game. I’m genuinely excited to see what everyone’s working on in the coming months.
GoogleMyBusiness. Andrew Garbeson discussed best practices and tips on leveraging GoogleMyBusiness and Facebook for local SEO.
Designing for Data. A favorite topic of ours, Megan and I shared our insight into this process. I believe strongly that “neutral design” does not exist, and that all design is a manifestation of a company’s values and a reflection of how they see their customers. Megan took the room deep into the specifics on how a website design impacts lead conversions, and how a builder’s website can be prepared to provide well-organized conversion and activity data.
Google + Facebook. Andrew Peek, aka The Ad Doctor, pulled back the curtain on the landscape of advertising budgets. He shared what’s changed in common budget allocations, ad units, and successful strategies — all backed up with data.
Cocktails With a View
Really. The photos say it all.
I am an unapologetic night owl. The only time I’d be naturally awake and ready to take photos at 6am is if I happen to have stayed up all night and had four espressos at 5:45am.
For those more AM inclined than I, Kevin Oakley and Jeff Turner hosted a photo walk through Chicago before the start of day two. After viewing some of the shots they took, I’m kinda wishing I had those espressos.
It’s no surprise to me that working with the Do You Convert team is amazing, but it doesn’t stop me from appreciating it. The summit ran like clockwork. Every member of DYC is friendly and helpful. And because their summit attracts the brightest in the industry, the conversation is top-notch.
See you in Dallas!