Integrated Marketing Week in NYC featured representatives from marketing agencies, marketing automation vendors, and content marketers. Are you sensing a theme here? It was marketing for marketers and marketing by marketers. We were all drinking the Kool-Aid.

Since our New York conference space became marketing-central, there was a lot of talk about marketing automation software, our favorite topic! Attendees were knowledgeable of the technology and eager to learn from each other how to get the most out of their tool.

Some of my most memorable moments were in between sessions, talking to marketing managers as they dissected their strategies and swapped war stories with each other.

Here are eight things I learned at Integrated Marketing Week:

  1. You can use non-personal data to increase your customer’s personalization process: Elias Roman, Founder of Songza, gauges his customers’ needs by asking about their current struggles and needs from a service instead of asking for their name and personal email account.
  2. Make it incredibly simple for returning website visitors to access wanted information: Even preface lead capture forms with a brief statement letting people know, “you only have to do this once, and now we have everything stored from here on out.”
  3. 2014 will be about conversion: Kevin Tate, Chief Revenue Officer of Chirpify, explained that we should all be asking ourselves, “How am I going to drive more value from my content?” We do this by maintaining a sharp focus on ROI and offering incentives to loyal customers.
  4. When it rains it pours: Tuesday night welcomed us with a 30-minute downpour. Not usually a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It just so happens that this half-hour was when the entire conference was herded a few avenues from the west end of 18th St. to the east end. Luckily we were greeted with a happy hour, so the rain was soon forgotten.
  5. You will miss opportunities by not being available across different platforms: Navigation and task functionality need adjustments for mobile, but make sure you’ve created an interactive environment that’s fun, fast, and simple. Design the mobile screen first – it’s easier to scale your design up than down.
  6. Experiment with email sends: Ben Lerer, the founder of Thrillist, reduced email sends by 20 percent, which increased traffic to their website by 33 percent– decreased unsubscribes by 50 percent, increased engagement by 15 percent all while driving a more personalized product.
  7. Focus on effective conversations, not campaigns: Effective conversations need to be relevant, laid back, trustworthy, coordinated across channels, and prevalent throughout the lifecycle. Content marketing engages your readers instead of trying to get them to buy something from every interaction.
  8. Experience is perception: Consumers are educating other consumers – a fact beyond your company’s control. 25 percent of buyers that have a bad experience with your company won’t even visit your website again. Because of this, there has to be a minimal level of trust for someone to even reach out to you for engagement.